On the 23rd of February, 2010 a posh residential building in Bangalore named Carlton Towers caught fire. There were many, many illegal aspects in the construction of that building… and as a result the fire engines were unable to get to all the residents in time. Several lives were lost that day, and many people were left injured. Some irrevocably scarred for life.
Maneesha Ramakrishnan and her two small sons were in that building. They watched people jump to their death… as they feared for their own lives. They were finally rescued at 5:15 in the afternoon.
Her sons were not physically affected, but they carry the mental impact to this date. For Maneesha, the smoke she inhaled left her vocal cords permanently constricted. She’s had multiple surgeries to try and fix this… but nothing has worked. She has to breathe through a tube surgically implanted in her larynx. It’s called a tracheostomy tube and it has to be changed once in four months… forever.
When I met Maneesha a few weeks ago, it was not to talk about this life-altering incident, but to find out why she had decided to feed 44 dogs every day. And why she was doing this despite all the injuries to her body and soul.
Oddly I met Maneesha on Feb 23rd, 2022, exactly at 5:15, twelve years after the incident, and at the exact moment she was rescued. She was resplendent in a glittery saree and brought me tuberoses which are my most favourite flower in the whole world.
We did not know each other at all… but now, I feel I’ve made a friend for life. I like to think that dogs change people’s lives… always for the better.