‘It’s like the life we had never existed... every day now passes in a flash’
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"When a movement is happening, it is sometimes hard to know you are at the epicentre," says the younger brother of the Delhi bus gangrape victim who continues to battle for her life.
Ironically, the 19-year-old adds, nobody lets you forget it either — not the protesters, not the eager internet rumour-mongers, not the politicians, not the police and certainly not the media. In the midst of all, their only concern is a woman who only partly knows the extent of her injuries but senses the worst as the buzz around her grows.
It's been a week since the family has been at the bedside of the woman at Safdarjung Hospital. Since then, from the floor of Parliament to the doors of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the story of their tragedy is the only thing they have been hearing.
"It is like the life we had a week ago never existed. Every day is now passing by in a flash. When I switch on the TV or log on to a social networking site, I see these emotional outbursts about Damini, Amanat, Nirbhaya (the names some media organisations have given the victim). It's hard to digest that this is my sister they are talking about," says the brother.
The first time he saw a pseudonym flashing on TV, he says he raised the issue with doctors and some police personnel. "I thought the channel in question had got my sister's name wrong, because they said 'Damini's condition is deteriorating' — they addressed her like that. I was reassured from the first day that our names, my sister's name would not come out. I was furious," he says.
He has since learnt the ropes, even the terms for it. "Somebody explained to me it is a phenomenon known as personification. I don't like it, but they say she is the face of a movement," he says. However, the Net barrage was something he couldn't take — he has blocked his Facebook account.