Abhijit Bharadwaj
3 min readJan 19, 2022



Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

“Hi Dad…. I have officially graduated B school. …Love You Dad.”

Think, that was cue for me to jump in joy.

Didn’t work.

I lay perfectly still. Didn’t move an inch.

Couldn’t move, even if I wanted to.

I had been lying on this bed, in the same position for the last one month.

I am in a COMA, and this room is also known as the ICU.

It was Graduation week, and my son had come over to show me his degree.

We had been talking about this day for many years now.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t be there with him when it happened.

So, he decided to come over and tell me all about it during the visiting hours today.

Not getting much of a response from me, he left.

All this while, I had been trying to communicate with him in “coma code”.

Larry, my fellow next bed ICU neighbor had warned me this would happen.

In fact, within seconds of John leaving I could hear the bugger whisper loudly “Told you so”

“Coma code” never works with the living or rather the “actively living”, but works spectacularly with other comatose patients.

I have had several interesting conversations with the folks here in the ICU ward.

Our party starts right after the visiting hours are complete.

All of us talk and chit chat, gossip, remembering our good old times.

Of course, our bodies don’t move. If John were around, he would never hear or see anything different than what he saw when we was talking to me

I learnt that our brain activates “coma code” after 10 days in coma.

It’s like a unique frequency, only available to other comatose patients.

I couldn’t sleep that night, that after John left.

It wasn’t because I was feeling bad for John. I don’t feel guilty anymore.

Coma code doesn’t recognize those feelings.

I was excited for tomorrow. Larry’s wife was going to visit him.

We had a bet going with the other guys here that she will tell tomorrow him that she can’t wait for him anymore and that she is marrying again.

Serves that Larry right.

I was thinking of Larry’s face when she will tell him the news, when suddenly something moved around me.

That’s the new guy they brought in yesterday. I heard the nurse talking about him.

Apparently, he is an Italian mafia boss who was absconding for 20 years.

The police found him through a Google Street view photo, but he complained of chest ache and was shifted to the ICU yesterday.

Looks like he is feeling much better.

Really better.

He is slowly getting out of bed.

I knew he was acting all along. But nobody listens to me esp. these nurses.

I knew they were involved in this too.

We had been hoping to listen to some of this mafia guys stories if he spent some more time here.

He is now standing up.

Was he ever in coma?

As he is slowly tip toeing out, he looks at me. I freeze.

My heart beat starts racing. My heart beat monitoring machines start beeping.

Larry wakes up. He was always a light sleeper.

Within moments, Julie wakes up too , and so does Frank.

They can see the Mafia boss out of his bed.

All our heart beat machines start beeping. Our hearts are racing.

Too much excitement for us, at this age.

Soon we hear foot steps running toward the ICU.

Looks like the nurses are running in. Maybe some doctors too.

I can hear some instructions being shouted. 5–10 people are rushing towards the ICU now.

Too risky for him to escape now.

The mafia boss slowly gets back into the bed.

We heave a sigh of relief.

We hi-fi each other.

Better go to sleep now.

Big day ahead tomorrow.



Abhijit Bharadwaj

Trying to write 200 words a day, everyday. Exploring ideas that are entertaining and socially relevant.