Ganesh believes that loyalty is a two-way street. The 25-year-old store manager at a mobile phone chain has a loyal friend who follows him around in total devotion: a street dog that he feeds everyday. A month ago, when Ganesh and his mother boarded a train, he noticed that his furry friend had followed them matter-of-factly. They panicked on the dog's behalf. “I took a stone and flung it”, he says (not at the dog but in its general direction to scare it away to safety).

When the bewildered dog continued to stand there, Ganesh got off the train, crossed the tracks and sent it away. The next few seconds were life-altering. “I was between two trains and couldn't find the way back to my track”. The last thing he recalls is staring at death's face when a train sped towards him at over 160 km/hour. “My mind was blank. After half an hour, I gained consciousness”. The first hospital he was rushed to said there was a lot of blood loss and that it was too critical for them to handle. He was taken to another hospital where emergency surgery was performed.

He sums up the damage. “Two fingers are gone. One foot is broken, my left hand is broken”. He is recuperating at St. John's Hospital, Koramangala watched over by his worried father, a 62-year-old bypass surgery survivor. Asked if he is proud of his oldest son, he replies “I'm worried”. The medical costs are Rs 2.5 lakhs and aren't covered by insurance.

Ganesh is uncomfortable about being called a hero. He looks forward to being discharged and notes that the intense pain has subsided. There are challenging times ahead but he says he has no regrets. “I'm a human being. I've done my work”.

(If you'd like to lend a hand to Ganesh, contact his family at 99160 37007)

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