"He could've died on the road, right there...my parents' only son, my brother."
Celina Jaitly in the news lately for all the wrong reasons, is still in a state of shock a week after her brother had a near-fatal accident in Mhow, the army cantonment in Madhya Pradesh known for its closely-knit community of armymen and civilians.
"And would you believe, my brother Vikrant, a captain in the army who's now posted in Lebanon with the UN peace-keeping force, lay in a pool of blood for 25 minutes unattended after being in a hit-and-run accident. People just stood and stared at this army man in uniform as he lay dying," Celina shudders.
"Until a Muslim gentleman passed by saw the scene found my brother's mobile thrown off to a distance. The gentleman, God bless his soul, dialed the last number on my brother's mobile which happened to belong to my father, a retired army colonel.
Can you imagine a father being told his only son is lying unconscious in a pool of blood on the road? My father ran all the way from our home in Mwoh to the spot.
Fortunately an army doctor who happened to be passing by, had taken charge of the situation by the time my father arrived. They both kept screaming and shouting at my brother to keep him from slipping into a coma until they reached the hospital.Otherwise anything could've happened."
Celina's nightmare had only begun. "I had to rush to Mhow to be with my parents.I felt really guilty that I wasn't there for them when this happened.
Then I had to rush back to Goa because it was the climax shooting of Gol Maal Returns and there was no way I could be relieved. I shot the climax then rushed back to be with my parents.
I've hardly slept in the last one week.Fortunately Bhai is now out of danger and has been shifted to Lucknow. But no one can imagine what I've gone through."
What really bothers Celina beyond the immediate crisis is the apathy of the junta.
"No one helped my brother. Women just stood there with their dupattas to their mouths, men just looked on curiously ...When everyone in Mhow knows my father as retired Colonel Vikram Jatley.
Our home is known as the Jaitly kothi. In fact some over-concerned types took my brother's shattered helmet from the accident site and gave it to my mother at home who was deliberately kept clueless about my brother. She thought the worst had happened."
The worse is over for Celina. "I don't know why these things keep happening to me. It's all fate, I guess.
My brother who had a 5-day leave wasn't even scheduled to come home. And my father who now works for a private company was supposed to be out of the country."