Tuesday, 13 June 2017

part 15: Tera Mera Rishta By Sangeeta

Armaan was at the Operating theatre early in the morning. After he
scrubbed in for surgery, he saw a little boy being wheeled in on a
stretcher. Armaan's skipped a heartbeat when he saw Ishaan asleep under
the influence of sedatives. Armaan thought, "this little boy's fate was
now in my hands……but why am I thinking like this? I have operated on
kids like Ishaan before…..but why do I feel more responsible today than I
ever have?"

As Armaan took his place on his operating chair, he saw Ishaan's
head had been shaven off. Those thick black hair were gone. Never before
had that sight ever bothered Armaan, but today he felt sorry for that
cute little boy with a shaven head. As they were getting ready to make
an incision in Ishaan's skull bone, Armaan's heart skipped a beat at the
site of the saw. It was a routine procedure. They had to always cut the
bone to reach the brain, but today for some reason when he heard the
noise of that drilling machine, he almost thought someone was cutting
through his own bones with a knife. Armaan could not take it anymore!

"Excuse me….sister….I need to change my gloves…" he lied and stepped
aside. He went back to the scrubbing area and stood there with his back
to the center of operating room where Ishaan was being prepped for
surgery. Each time the drill and saw made a jarring noise, Armaan felt a
sharp pain in his chest.

Armaan felt as if his hands were shaking. His heart was beating
rapidly; the only time he had ever felt that way was the day when
Riddhima had been bitten by the snake in Madhupur. He had never felt so
vulnerable before. Dr confident Armaan Mallik felt so helpless today. He
looked up at the ceiling and shut his eyes, "God….I ask you for courage
today…..why am I becoming so weak today? This is the second time in my
life when I want you to take charge…..please give me the courage to help
this boy."

"Dr Mallik, we are ready, the dura (covering of the brain) is ready for incision…."
The senior resident called for him.

Armaan turned around, trying to hide his tears. He suddenly had an
impulsive thought, "sister, please ek extra tube mein blood le lena….."
he did not know what made him order that test BUT HE HAD TO KNOW!

"Sir, kya test order karna hai?" the nurse asked

"Blood test ki tube mujhe de dena…..wo Vellore mein ek tumor study
ke liye Ishaan ka blood test bhej naa hai…" he lied. He decided to take
the blood test to the lab later.

Once he was settled in his chair, the surgeon in him took over. He
forgot all his emotional turmoil….his fingers and eyes were focused on
his target…..after a few hours, the tumor had been removed completely;
they had checked to see whether the electrical waves to his vision
center were working; the surgery was a success!

"Please send the specimen for pathology…..looks benign though…not
cancer….lagta hai chemotherapy ya radiation ki zaroorat nahin padhegi…."
He felt a strange sense of relief, just as one would when a close
family member was found to have a benign rather than a serious disease.
He found his eyes moist again, but this time with happiness! This little
boy, Ishaan had certainly stirred up emotions in him like no other
patient had ever done before.

He walked out to the waiting area after putting the extra tube of blood in his lab coat pocket.

He saw Riddhima pacing up and down; it was rare to see her so
nervous. She was normally a calm person; he had never noticed her look
so worried. Her hands had scratch marks from constantly digging her
nails. How he wanted to hold her hands and re assure her….."sab kuch
theek ho gaya…..chinta mat karo….main hoon naa," He wanted to hold her
and comfort her….let her know that Ishaan was in no danger but he had to
resist himself.

As he gazed at her from a distance, he could not help noticing that
there was no one else to support her at that moment. It was then that it
struck him……was she as lonely in this world just as he was???

Riddhima ran to him as she saw him standing at the door.
"Ishaan..Ishaan…theek hai naa…..is he alright?" She was like any other
worried mother he had encountered many times. Now he could understand
why a mother would behave this way….he always thought mothers
unnecessarily worried too much about their kids….but seeing Riddhima
like this made him realize what it takes for a mother to express her
feelings about her child in front of everyone.

"Don't worry Riddhima," he smiled at her, "Ishaan is alright…bas
thodi der mein hosh aa jaayega….we got the whole tumor out….I think he
should not need any further treatment at this point…baaki biopsy ki
report ke baad pataa chalegaa…..they have taken him to the post op
area…..I can show you where that is….come with me," He touched her
shoulder gently and guided her to the post op area.

"Thanks …Armaan….mein tumhara ehsaan kabhi nahin bhuloongi…." She said tearfully. She was dying to see her little boy.

"You are welcome….that is my job….by the way….tumhare parents ya koyi aur family nahin hain yahan?" He asked.

"Mere parents….wo bhi Aditya ke saath the…uss accident mein," she could not control herself as her tears started flowing.

Armaan felt bad as he should have not mentioned them at this point,
"Oh…I am sorry Riddhima…..I had no idea." He was about to hold her but
she turned around and went inside the post-op area. His gaze followed
her till she found Ishaan's bed. He could genuinely feeling her
pain….all his anger at her had somehow melted…..he wanted to be there
for her….she had no one else….just like him….at that moment he knew he
still loved her a lot…..and had never forgotten her….and perhaps could
never forget her all his life.

Armaan turned around with a heavy heart and headed to the lab, "yeh
blood test ka DNA report chaahiye aur yeh ek aur sample hai." He made up
some fictitious names for both the samples –one was actually Ishaan's
and the other one was his own blood sample!

"Sir…kal tak mil jaayegi report." The lab technician said as he took the tubes from him.

After he was done with rest of his surgeries, he went back to the
post-op area to check on Ishaan. Ishaan was awake now but bawling
loudly. Riddhima was trying her best to console him, "beta
Ishaan….beta…sab theek ho jaayega…..please don't cry beta." Ishaan did
not budge and kept flailing his arms and yelling incessantly.

"Kabhi kabhi anesthesia aur surgery ke baad bachche thode emotional
ho jaate hain….we will give him something…don't worry" Armaan reassured
Riddhima who looked distressed by Ishaan's behavior.

Armaan hung around the post-op area at the pretext of checking out
other patients. His eyes kept wondering to Ishaan's bed. Finally, he was
relieved to see that Ishaan had gone back to sleep after the nurse gave
him an injection. Riddhima looked relieved once Ishaan had settled

"Madam…aaj raat Ishaan ko ICU mein rakhna hoga…wahan parents nahin reh saktey," the nurse informed Riddhima.

"Oh really?" Riddhima was dismayed at not being able to stay with Ishaan that night.

"Tum chaaho tho main staff quarters ka intezaam kar saktha hoon…" Armaan came forward when he heard the nurse's comment.

"Nahin….wo…main Sapna ke yahan chali jaaoongi….uska ghar paas mein hi hai…campus mein ….i mean," Riddhima replied softly.

"I can walk you there…..mujhe bhi ghar khaana khane jaana hai…"
Armaan lied as he usually ate in the hospital itself, but his heart
ached to be with Riddhima at this time in her life.

Riddhima kissed Ishaan, "sister, please mujhe aap phone karr dena
jab yeh uth jaaye….he is not used to being without me……I will come
back….main zyaada door nahin jaa rahi…." She said with a heavy heart as
she would rather spend the night with Ishaan but she was not one to ask
for favors or break the hospital rules just because she was a doctor

Armaan and Riddhima walked out of the hospital on the familiar
streets of the SMI. It was like old times. The light of the moon guided
them through the darkness of the night. Armaan had his hands in his lab
coat pocket. Riddhima walked with her hands folded….both walked quietly,
lost in their own thoughts…..

Song in background… 'kuch is tarah' by Atif Aslam as Armaan yearned to hold Riddhima and comfort her that night…..

Kuch is tarah teri palkein meri palkon se mila de

Aansoo tere saare meri palkon pe sajaa de

Kuch is tarah teri palkein meri palkon se mila de

Aansoo tere saare meri palkon pe sajaa de

Tu har ghadi har waqt mere saath raha hai

Haan yeh jism kabhi door kabhi paas raha hai

Jo bhi gham hain yeh tere unhein tu mera pataa de

Kuch is tarah teri palkein meri palkon se mila de

Aansoo tere saare meri palkon pe sajaa de

Mujhko toh tere chehre pe yeh ghum nahin janchta

Jaayiz nahin lagta mujhe ghum se tera rishta

Sun meri ghuzarish ise chehre se hataa se

Sun meri ghuzarish ise chehre se hataa se

Kuch is tarah teri palkein meri palkon se mila de

Aansoo tere saare meri palkon pe sajaa de

Riddhima finally broke the silence, "Anjali kaisi hai?"

"Achchi hai…." He sighed and answered.

"Koyi bachche hain?" she asked

Armaan had a wicked thought in his mind; he glanced at her with the
corner of his eyes and on an impulse said, "Haan…ek ladka hai," and
smiled to himself.

"Oh!" she felt a little pang in her heart, "Kitna badaa?" She felt
silly at feeling a little jealous. After all, he was married to Anjali
as Sapna had informed her a while back. Why was she feeling upset about
Armaan having a child then?

"Yehi koyi 5-51/2 saal kaa," he grinned.

"Ishaan ke baraabar?….kya naam hai uska? AAHHHH!" before she could
complete the sentence, a fast moving car passed by, splashing dirty
water on Riddhima from a nearby rain puddle. She almost fell down but
Armaan promptly caught her. She was in his arms again.…her hair brushing
against his face….he could smell the same fragrance like before…..her
warm body leaned against his muscular frame. Their eyes met just like
they did six years ago. Even though they did not exchange any words,
their silence spoke volumes to each other.

"I am sorry….." she regained her composure and adjusted her sari.

"That's OK," he stepped away and looked a little embarrassed himself.

They were at Sapna's house now. Armaan bid them a good bye and
walked back to the hospital to complete his work. He decided to stay in
the ICU that night. He had no plans of going back home. He would just
make some reason…..no one would question him , it was not unusual for
him to attend to Neurosurgical emergencies all night….no one would even
notice….but he wanted to be there just for Ishaan. He wanted to stay in
the ICU near Ishaan and be there for him all night.

to be continued..................

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