Monday, 20 August 2018

part 22 : To Err is Human

"Oh God… head!" Riddhima woke up with a pounding headache next morning. She tried to get up but was still light headed from the hangover.

"Kal raat? Kal raat….Oh my God…..kal raat tho main Armaan ke saath thi…..hum shayad uske room mein the," sweat beads broke out on her forehead as she recalled the little seductive act she had put up for him last night. Riddhima had never been so embarrassed in life; with her heart racing, a guilt ridden Riddhima ran to the shower to cool herself down.


"Hi Riddhima…OPD jaa rahi ho? Aaj meri bhi wahin duty hai," Rahul met her on the way.

"Oh..Hi Rahul," she tried to act composed but wondered, "kal raat kahin Rahul ne dekha tho nahin mujhey?"

"So Riddhima….heard you and Armaan got drunk or something last night."

"What?" she exclaimed.

"Well….tum kal raat Armaan ke saath nahin thi? He carried you back late at night…..I..I am actually appalled Riddhima…tum jaisi shareef ladki aisa ..a..aa….kaam?"

"RAHUL! Tumhein koi dhokha hua hai!"

"Well," he smirked, "main tho hosh mein tha…..mujhey tho dhokha nahin hua lekin shayad tumhein Armaan ne dhokha de diya raat ko….I think he took advantage of you in that state….I always knew he is not a trustworthy guy…..socho tumhare papa ko pataa chal gaya tho?"

A mortified Riddhima excused herself and ran ahead. The thought of her parents, especially her father finding out how she had ridiculed herself the night before was enough to bring tears of humiliation into her eyes. She spotted Armaan walking into one of the OPD cells.

She took a few brisk steps and followed him into the exam room.

"Haan amma…..kab se dard hai?" Armaan was busy with a patient. He looked up and was pleased to see a sober Riddhima, "Hi….Goodmorning!" He gave her a sly smile.

"Beta 4 mahina ho gaye dard ko….kai dawaiyan bhi li…..injection bhi…." The old lady rattled off her ailments as Dr distractible admired his drunken lady from the night before at the door.

"Armaan….can we talk after you are done with the patient?" Riddhima asked calmly and stepped away.

"Sure," he winked at her. The poor old lady almost fainted at seeing the young handsome doctor make a pass at her, "beta…main teri maa ke barabar hoon.'

"Oh..sorry…sorry amma….wo tho main…" he grinned and resumed his work.


After dispersing his patient, Armaan stepped out to find Riddhima.

"Touch me touch me touch me…aaha kiss me kiss me kiss me," Armaan hummed behind Riddhima's back, startling her from her deep thoughts.

"Shut up Armaan!" she pushed him back to the room and shut the door behind them.

"Wow…..kitna achcha dance karti ho tum….kya moves the jaan-e-man….kya adaa thi…..hai hai….Dr Armaan ki tho chutti kar di tumney kal raat," he teased.

An angry Riddhima grabbed his lab coat and shook him vigorously, "you rascal! Kya kiya tha tumney mere saath kal raat?"

"Calm down Riddhima!" He pulled away, "mujhey rascal mat kaha karo…..ab…ab jo hona tha ho gaya…aakhir do jawan jism hain…..ek na ek din tho aisa hona hi tha," he turned his face away to hide his impish grin.

An aghast Riddhima clenched her fists and pounded his back with all her strength, "meri sharaafat ka naajaayaz faayda uthaaya tumney? Everyone had warned me about you…..ab main kahin mooh dikhaane laayak nahin rahi….tumney mujhey barbaad kar diya!"

"Waise back massage achcha karti ho tum….aur drama bhi!" Armaan turned around and handed her a tissue, "yeh lo naak aur aansoo paunch lo…..warna koi sochega Riddhima pregnant bhi ho gayi kal raat."

"AHHHHHHHHH!" she yelled hysterically and threw a tray full of medical instruments at him. Armaan ducked as fast as he could and hid behind the exam table, "my god…yeh tho Iraq war shuru kar di isney….missiles….scalpels….scissors….." he counted the instruments crash landing around him.

"Knock!Knock!" The door flew open and Kripa walked in, "what's going on guys?"

A stunned Riddhima turned around and froze at the sight of her friend at the door. Armaan popped his head above the exam table cautiously, "behna…apni saheli se bachao…..lagta hai champagne ka khumaar abhi tak utraa nahin hai."

"Riddhima! Yeh kya ho rahai hai?"

"Kripa!" Riddhima was in tears; she hugged her friend and buried her face in her shoulders, "K..Kripa….I made a terrible mistake last night….and Armaan took advantage…." She sobbed incessantly.

Kripa looked at Armaan quizzically but he just shrugged his shoulders and acted ignorant.

"Oh I got it!" Kripa chuckled and let go of Riddhima, "silly girl…..he is just teasing you…..kuch nahin hua tha kal raat."

"Kya?" Riddhima looked up, "how do you know…you were not there."

"Thank God I was not there!" Kripa laughed, "mujhey apne bhai par aur apni saheli par poora bharosa hai… are crazy Riddhima…..learn to trust your love," she held her hand and pulled Armaan out, "come here bhaisa…"

"Bhaisa?" Armaan asked

"Haan…Rajasthan mein bhai ko bhaisa kehte hain…..wipe her tears….and don't you dare tease her again…..bechari ke pait mein ulcer ho jaata aaj," Kripa gave Riddhima's hand to Armaan and shook her head, "now kiss and make up guys….I am outta here."

Kripa dashed out as fast as she could, leaving the love birds in each other's arms.

"I am sorry…..maine tumpar shaq kiya," Riddhima buried her face in his chest.

"Waise sach hota tho kitna achcha hota…haina?" he teased her again.

"ARRMAAAN!" she hit him playfully, "ab door hi rehna mujhsey….don't you even dare touch me!"

With a wicked smile and a twinkle in his blue eyes, he grabbed her closer and started humming….touch me touch me…..touch me….kiss me …kiss me…kiss me….

She smiled bashfully and buried her head in his chest.



Angad was back at work a week after his surgery. He never missed an opportunity to corner Kripa wherever he could-in the ward, medication closet, bathroom, exam room- to steal a kiss, hug or a peck. The nurses and most patients were aware of the blossoming love between the handsome tall doctor with a deep voice and the petite fair lady doctor with a husky voice. Fortunately, they made a popular team on the wards and received blessings from all their patients. Angad had never heard so much praise for himself in his life. Being nice, friendly and sweet to people was new to him. There were definite benefits of smiling and laughing with people; he hated no one…..he had no grudges against anyone……he had forgotten his caustic tongue and lost his cynicism. He had never been happier in life…..perhaps that is why he wanted to see everyone happy.

"Kripa…..tumney mujhey ek nayi zindagi hai……you have taught me how to love… to be happy…..I promise…I will always make you happy…..always give you everything I have." An emotional Angad held her in his arms one night behind the walls of the hospital.

"Angad….surgery ke baad bahut emotional ho gaye ho tum," she rested her head on his chest, "I think I fell for the macho, angry, sharp tongued, no-nonsense guy…..yeh tumhein kya ho gaya hai?" she shut her eyes and inhaled his warmth.

"That macho guy has suddenly discovered his heart……and his reason to live," he caressed her hair gently, "but don't get used to it," he chuckled, "I can always become my old self whenever you want."

"Na baba na….I prefer my lovey dovey, sweet talking macho man." They held each other in an embrace; their bodies bathed in the warmth of the full moon as they stood there for hours.

Despite all their well wishers and blessings they received, there was one man whose evil eye wandered behind them day and night. Every kiss and hug of Angad and Kripa was etched in his resentful mind. The more he saw them together and happy, the unhappier he became. Just as an empty mind is a devil's workshop, an unhappy and jealous lover's mind is more malicious than a malignant cancer which eats away the mind, body and spirit. And such was the case with Prithvi. From a helpful, shy, pleaser he became a vicious angle of the triangle and soon lost focus of his career goals. In order to decrease his pain, he found solace in stealing strong pain killers from the hospital pharmacy. His shelter would soon become his addiction and a man who had been brought up in a conservative, well educated family would soon be lost in the world of self medication and drugs.

Rahul, on the other had could care less about Armaan and Riddhima's closeness. As long as Armaan was not a threat to his career, he did not consider him a rival. At one point, he had harbored feelings for Riddhima, especially after they had won the dance competition on the opening night, but since Dr Gupta had recognized him for his work, intelligence and aptitude, he felt Riddhima was of no use to him. He had elevated his status without the aid of the Chief's daughter. Why bother impressing a woman when the top man at the Institute was already impressed?


"Ok guys….tonight is your last night here….you all have done a fantastic job here as interns….I cannot help but give glowing reports to each one of you," Josh addressed the interns.

"Thanks sir….we really enjoyed ourselves…." Armaan beamed

"We will never forget Sanjeevgarh….." Angad seconded and smiled at Kripa.

"Hum bhi nahin bhoolenge," the girls reiterated.

"Rahul…what do you think?" Josh asked.

"It was OK….not as challenging as I would have loved it…..but I guess every doctor has to work in places like this…..I did get more time to catch up on my journals and reading…so I guess it was not too bad overall," Rahul shrugged his shoulders matter of factly.

"Prithvi?" Josh perceived the sullen expression on Prithvi's face.

"Yes….yes…of course sir," Prithvi almost slurred.

"Are you OK?" Josh was concerned, "you seem a bit lost."

"Wo…kuch nahin sir….I will miss this place…..yahan aakar meri aankhein khul gayi hain," Prithvi gave a dirty look to Angad and Kripa. Fortunately, they were too lost in each other's eyes to notice the venom spewing from Prithvi's eyes.

Josh cleared his throat, "I am glad Prithvi…..ab apni aankhein hamesha khuli hi rakhna….aur ho sake tho kaam par zyaada rakhna."

The interns chuckled at Josh's remark but kept quiet as they did not want to offend the supposedly nice man, Prithvi.

"Ok guys…we will have a little campfire this evening…..with singing …dancing….and lot's of fun…alright?" Josh raised his hands in mid air and thanked the interns once again.

Later, Josh worked on their performance reviews and was pleased to see Armaan's work over the last 1 week. Dr Gupta's departure had helped Armaan work at his own pace, his own way but the way he had handled each case was definitely commendable…..koi baat nahin Armaan…quantity nahin tho quality hi sahi….you are a good doctor…and that's what matters…..

At the end of the reviews, Josh was a bit concerned about the sudden deterioration in Prithvi's performance over the past 1 week, "kuch tho chakkar hai….I need to talk to Angad about this too….he needs to keep an eye on Prithvi."



After dinner, the interns gathered around the campfire. They roasted corn, peanuts and popcorn in the fire.

Kripa and Riddhima sat in between Angad and Armaan respectively as Prithvi and Rahul sat across the fire. Angad crawled his fingers and grabbed Kripa's hand under her shawl. Armaan took cue and did the same with Riddhima's hands. Their intertwined fingers played sensuously against each other. Simone noticed the girls blushing against the heat of the fire and smiled to herself.

"Josh…yaad hai pehle pehle hum tum bhi aise hi chup chupkar haath pakad te the," she pinched his waist as he loaded more firewood.

"Jaan-e-man….kaho tho aaj bhi pakad loon haath," Josh grinned romantically and laughed aloud.

"Tum tho ho hi paidaishi badmaash!" Simone blushed.

"We want a song!" Riddhima and Kripa requested.

"Ok….here is a new one," Josh sat with the guitar in his lap and strummed, "come on Simone… start…"

"This song is dedicated to all the lovers in this world….true lovers….who are destined to meet……chaahe koi chaahe ya na chaahe," Josh swayed to the music after parting the sarcastic shot at Prithvi, "jinko milna hai…wo mil hi jaate hain….Ok Simone….start…"

Venga yahogate un este amor
Mora si querea, pero uneste amor —– (2)

Jinko jinko bhi, milna hai likha
Ishq milwayega,
Jinko jinko bhi, milna hai likha
Ishq milwayega,
Door door se dhoond dhoond ke
Pass le aaye ga

Kahin bhi jaake chuppo, ishq wahin aayega,
Kitna bhi na na karo uttah ke le jaayega
Maano ya na maano, yeh saari hi duniya
Isi ke dum pe chala
Oooo ooooo
Jee le jee le, jee le ishq mein
Marna hai toh aa mar bhi le ishq mein
Jee le jee le, jee le ishq mein
Marna hai toh, aa mar bhi le ishq mein
Esloy enarnorada, te quiero baila baila
Jaate jaate hum in palon ko bhi, saath le jaayenge
Saath le jaayenge,
Baaton batoon mein, jo bani hai woh
Baath le jaayenge, le jaayenge
Zara bhulakkad hai dil, yeh bhool jaye agar
Yaad dilana humein, yeh paaniyon ka shaher
Yeh pal na kam na ho, kabhie khatam na ho
Waqt kahin bhi chale
Jee le jee le, jee le ishq mein
Marna hai toh aa mar bhi le ishq mein
Jee le jee le, jee le ishq mein
Marna hai toh, aa mar bhi le ishq mein
Que pasa senorita, venga yahogate ahogate
Ahogate un este amor, mora sisliennes que
Morir pero un este amor, baila baila
Venga yahogate ahogate, ahogate un este amor
mora sisliennes que, morir pero un este amor
Jab sahil pe, hum pahonchange
toh kidhar jaayenge
Apne apne ghar jaayenge yaar,
ho apne ghar jaayenge
Issi safar mein se hee, naya safar lenge hum
Jahan bhi bolenge tum, wahin uttar lenge hum
Gaali bhi doge toh, gali na chodenge
Aise padenge gale…
Jee le jee le, jee le ishq mein
Marna hai toh aa mar bhi le ishq mein
Jee le jee le, jee le ishq mein
Marna hai toh aa mar bhi le ishq mein
Aa mar bhi le ishq mein, aa mar bhi le ishq mein
Aa mar bhi le ishq mein, aa mar bhi le ishq mein
Jee le

By the end of the song, everyone was on their feet and danced away into the wee hours of the morning….

…to be contd…….


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