Tuesday, 11 September 2018

part 23 : To Err is Human

part 1-22


After leaving the serene and laid back town of Sanjeevgarh, the interns were back at the cut throat environment of Sanjeevani.

Angad, Kripa and Prithvi were assigned duties on the surgical floor, the most demanding rotation at the SMI. Long hours in the OR, early morning rounds at unfriendly hours like 4.30 am meant sleep deprived, over worked and stressed out interns.

It so happened, that Angad spent more time assisting the senior surgeons in the OR, leaving Prithvi and Kripa in charge of the floor and post op patients.

Angad lamented being away from Kripa for such long hours but a little smile from her in the locker room every morning or a little peck behind the lockers was enough fuel for his soul for the rest of the day. Kripa missed him too but she knew how important it was for him to hone his surgical skills, so she made it a point to stay out of his way. Prithvi was of course in seventh heaven. He had Kripa by his side most of the day! His habit of popping addicting pain pills continued as they made him feel 'good' and 'happy.' Kripa was pleased to see him chirpy, talkative and less shy these days. He seemed more confident about his work, occasionally a bit too confident. She was surprised to see that change in him, but dismissed it to, "maybe he has gotten used to SMI by now….achcha hai Prithvi ab nervous nahin hota."

"Kripa….aaj kal Angad mein change nahin dekha tumney?" Prithvi startled Kripa one day with his question. She had been pondering over the recent change in Prithvi but his question threw her off guard.

"Hmm? Change?" Kripa smiled; blushing a little, "in what way?'

"He just seems lost….lost in his own world…..na jaane kahan khoya khoya rehta hai…..pehle jaisa nahin raha….kuch zyaada hi khush lagta hai….hamesha hansta rehta hai," Prithvi raised his eyebrows and sighed.

Kripa paused and capped her pen, "maybe he is enjoying what he is doing." She was too bashful to admit that Angad was madly in love with her and perhaps more content with life than he had ever been.

"Hmm….you are probably r…right," Prithvi said hesitantly.

"I think that accident was a life changing event in his life," she smiled and resumed charting.

"Ho sakta hai……..I am worried about him Kripa," Prithvi shut the chart and walked closer to her.


"Haan Kripa…..kuch din se ek baat share karni thi tumse," he whispered.

Kripa stepped back, a little awkward whenever Prithvi came too close.

"Haan bolo," she looked away, hesitant about his proximity. "Did he not get the hint last time?" She wondered.

"Haan Kripa….jab hum Sanjeevgarh mein the….I overheard Angad …..Angad…." he paused and looked down.

"Kya suna tumne?" Kripa's curiosity got the better of her.

"I think…he might be addicted to the drugs they gave him after surgery." Prithvi shut his eyes as if it was so painful for him to utter those words.

"Are you out of your mind?" Kripa asked angrily.

"I know…you would not believe me….aakhir pyaar andha hota hai."

"Pyaar?" she asked guiltily.

"Haan Kripa…..I know you both love each other…..and I am very happy for both of you…..after all everyone deserves love in their life…..but as your friend I wanted to caution you…..I don't want you to get hurt."

"You are right Prithvi," she blushed, "I love Angad…aur wo bhi mujhse…," she looked up and felt silly about doubting Prithvi's intentions, "thanks for the concern….but I think you are mistaken about the drugs part….balki surgery ke baad jab usey dawa leni chaahiye thi….wo tho lena bhi bhool jaata tha."

"Lekin Kripa…maine apni aankhon se usey dekha tha….he was enjoying taking the pain pills….and Josh also tried to stop him from taking too much medicine….he warned him that he could get addicted."

Kripa suddenly had a flash back from the day they were leaving Sanjeevgarh. Josh had cornered Angad and placed his arm around him. They had some type of serious discussion for a few minutes. When Kripa questioned Angad in the bus, he just smiled and said, "confidential madam! Tumhein har baat tho bataane ki kasam nahin khaayi hai abhi tak." He had laughed it off at that time and dismissed her curiosity.

"It's not possible." Kripa said confidently and glared at Prithvi, "Angad itna kamzor nahin hai…..wo addict nahin ho sakta."

"I hope you are right Kripa….but the pharmacist in the hospital told me that one intern has been prescribing a lot of Vicodin (strong addicting pain killer) for some patient….and apparently there is no patient by that name in the hospital."

"Really? Lekin tumhein kaise pata?"

"Main kal pharmacy gaya tha…room 203 ki medicine galat aa gayi thi…so I had to personally go and collect the medicine….wahan pharmacist ne mujhse confidence mein pooncha," Prithvi said seriously.

"That's serious Prithvi….lekin aur bhi tho itne interns hain…aur doctors bhi hain…..how can you assume it is Angad?"

"I know Kripa….this is hard for you….but as your friend and well wisher, I feel you should know…..that medicine is being prescribed to the surgical floor…..aur yahan tumhare, mere….aur Angad ke siwa koi posted nahin hai."

A stunned Kripa could not believe what she had just heard, "Prithvi….I need to talk to the pharmacist…..kya naam hai uska?"

"Wo…his name is Manek Verma….aaj duty par bhi hai shayad," Prithvi's heart fluttered as he saw Kripa walk out of the ward.

Prithvi picked the phone, "Hi Manek…..haan…main…wo aa rahi hai……yaad hai na kya kehna hai……..haan….kal subah payment ho jaayega…thanks yaar." He hung up and smiled wickedly.



"Mr Verma….I need to talk to you."

"Dr..kya naam hai aapka?" Manek pretended he did not know who she was

"Dr Kripa Sharma."

"How can I help you doctor?"

"Surgical floor par kaun se patient ko itni zyaada Vicodin mil rahi hai?"

"Uh…wo…Dr Sharma…yeh tho…" Manek fumbled.

"Manek….please let me know…this could be serious….you need to be accountable about where these drugs are going?"

"Dr Sharma….actually…Dr Angad Khanna has been prescribing them for a patient called Mr Kanwar….I was surprised when I saw the prescription for such high doses …and that too for such a long time…wo tho agar Dr Prithvi us din nahin aate tho mujhey pata nahin chalta ki Mr Kanwar naam ka koi patient ward mein hai hi nahin." Manek lied blatantly.

"I…I…don't believe it," Kripa's face fell; she turned pale as a ghost.

"Dr Sharma! Are you alright?" Manek shook her shoulder.

"I am fine…thanks Manek….can I ask you a question Manek?"

"Yes doctor?"

"Are you going to report this to the chief?"

"Well Dr Kripa….you know if a patient's life is in danger…..we have to report it."

"Yes…of course….can I ask you a favor though?"

"Haan boliye."

"I know Dr Angad well…..let me talk to him first….I am sure it's a mistake on his part….I assure you it will not happen again….give me one day Manek."

"Ok doctor….I will wait."

"Thanks Manek."

Kripa left with a heavy heart, all the happiness of the last few weeks had suddenly vanished in thin air. Angad had changed so much since his accident and their confession of love for each other, but this news about his possible addiction had shattered her completely.

She walked into the doctor's lounge to get a cup of coffee. As she gathered her thoughts, she wondered why Angad would resort to such an escapist route, "Angad ne apni life mein itni pareshaniyan dekhi hain…..if he has survived all those perils….why does he have to depend on drugs now? What if it is all a mistake? His father was an alcoholic…..it is a well known fact that addiction for alcohol and drugs can run in families….it is a genetic trait…..but Angad told me how he hated his father's addiction…..kahin…kahin paise ke liye tho nahin kiya Angad ne? He might be selling these to make money?" She shut her eyes to hide the tears welling up, "Hey bhagwan…yeh sab jhooth ho….mujhey apne pyaar par vishwas rakhna chaahiye….aur agar yeh baat sach hai tho main apne pyaar se Angad ko is buri aadat se door rakhoongi." She wiped her tears, got up and took a deep breath, "yes I know what I have to do…..I need to talk to him and make him quit ASAP!"

As she walked out, she decided to make a call to the hospital de addiction clinic.


Rahul, Riddhima and Armaan were assigned to the Geriatrics (old people's illnesses) Unit after joining back. As always, Rahul preferred to work alone, leaving Armaan and Riddhima with each other for hours. Of course, the love birds had no objection to this arrangement, they spent most of their wake hours together- whether it was the ward, the cafeteria, library, after dinner walks, ice cream breaks and even late night coffee breaks at the Men's dormitory. She was aware that her father would probably not approve of her late night trips to the men's quarters, but it was hard for her to resist Armaan's earnest requests and invitations.

"Please Riddhima….aa jao na thodi der….hamara cook bahut achchi late night pastries banata hai ….we can even study together," his charming smile would render her helpless and she would give in.

"Study matlab study…OK?" she would laugh.

"Yes of course," his fingers would crawl along her neck as he would whisper, "ab kis cheez ki study karni hai….yeh mujhpar chhod dena."

'ARRMAAAN!" she would blush, slap him, get upset at his suggestive remarks but follow him to his room anyways. Armaan would tease and play around with her in his room, but never crossed the line beyond a little peck or a hug.

Hawk eyed Dr Gupta noticed the growing friendship and fondness between his daughter and Armaan. Riddhima had become more jovial, carefree and less serious as a person. Even though the quality of her work never suffered, Dr Gupta was not too pleased to see the change in his daughter.

"Yeh ladka meri beti ko bhi bigaad dega….meri beti kitni susheel, serious, focused aur dedicated thi pehle….ab hamesha masti karti rehti hai is langoor ke saath….I will have to do something about this." Dr Gupta's jaws tightened at the sight of Armaan and Riddhima frolicking around in the ward one afternoon. Armaan was quite popular amongst the senior patients too. His bed side manner, cheerful disposition and willingness to listen to their problems, not only health related, but about their daughter in laws, son in laws, grandkids, made him 'Doctor # 1' on the senior ward.

Rahul could care less about their personal lives; he was more interested in the number of ailments they had so he could brush up his knowledge and appear 'smart' at rounds.


"Dr RIDDHIMA AND DR RAHUL TO DR GUPTA'S CABIN PLEASE!" The overhead page made an announcement one afternoon. It was rare for Dr Gupta to summon his interns this way. Riddhima, Rahul and Armaan paused and looked at each other- were they in trouble?

"Wow…what a miracle!" Armaan looked up at the ceiling, "Dr Gupta is calling you guys…..and not me! Lagta hai aap dono ki aaj band bajne waali hai…ha..ha."

"Har kisiko apne jaisa na samajh!" Rahul retorted, "there is no reason for us to be in trouble….chalo Riddhima!"

Riddhima glanced at Armaan apologetically and walked away with Rahul. Armaan smiled and resumed his work.

"Aao aao…Dr Rahul…please have a seat…Dr Riddhima..aap bhi baith jaaiye," Dr Gupta smiled and offered them seats.

"Yes sir," Rahul said confidently.

'Jee sir," Riddhima was a bit hesitant. She kept her fingers crossed under the table, a habit she had developed growing up whenever her father summoned her for any reason.

"Cystic Fibrosis!....Have you guys heard of this illness?"

"Sure sir….it is the most common life threatening genetic disease in the Western world," Rahul rattled off as usual.

"Good! Well….we all know how common it is in the west…but unfortunately it is not as uncommon in India as we have all thought for years."

"Really sir?" Riddhima's eyes popped wide.

"Yes Dr Riddhima," Dr Gupta smiled proudly.

"Riddhima…..there was a recent article about this….tumne padha nahin?" Rahul mocked at her.

'Nahin…sorry," Riddhima's face fell with embarrassment. She knew her father would disapprove of her lagging behind on current knowledge.

"Well Dr Riddhima….looks like we have become a little tardy in reading….I have high expectations from you," Dr Gupta said sternly.

'Sorry sir," Riddhima wanted to bury herself somewhere; letting her dad down was the most embarrassing thing in her life.

"Ok doctors…..i have a project for both of you." Dr Gupta sat up.

"Project?" Rahul asked.

"Yes…you both are the brightest interns I have…..and I have very high expectations from both of you," Dr Gupta glanced at Riddhima with the corner of his eyes, "iss liye main chaahta hoon…tum dono is WHO project mein participate karo…. WHO is giving us a big grant to study the genetics of this disease amongst our Indian patients….kyun?"

"Sounds great!" Rahul jumped up enthusiastically.

"This is a very prestigious project…out of all the Medical Institutes only Sanjeevani has been selected by them…..aur main chaahta hoon aap dono hamare institute ka naam aur ooncha karein," Dr Gupta beamed proudly.

"Jee…lekin….hamare paas time kahan hoga sir?" Riddhima asked hesitantly, "after all we are busy with our internship duties sir."

"Time tho harr kaam ke liya nikaala jaa sakta hai Dr Riddhima!" her dad smiled sardonically, "internship ki duty ke baad bhi bahut time hota hai…..ice cream aur coffee thodi kum kar dee jiye aap….time apne aap nikal aayega."

Riddhima was stunned; so her dad knew all about her after duty activities.

"Jee…jee sir…I will try my best."

"I know you can do it Riddhima….mujhey tumpar poora vishwaas hai….you are very bright…..bas apna dhyaan sahi jagah lagaana chaahiye."

"Jee sir."

"Ok guys….Dr Shubhankar is also working on this project….aap duty ke baad unse mil sake hain….that will be all…" Dr Gupta got up to open the door.

Rahul's dreams were coming true- a WHO project meant more recognition and a path towards moving to the west for further education. He thanked Dr Gupta profusely as he left.

"Riddhima!" Dr Gupta muttered after Rahul left.

"Jee sir," she looked back.

"Tumhare papa ki haisiyat se keh raha hoon…..abhi bhi sambhal jao….Armaan se zyaada apne career par dhyaan lagao."

"Wo..wo papa….we are just good friends," she looked down.

"Friendship bhi aise logon se karni chaahiye jo hamare intellectual level ke ho."

"Papa….Armaan is very bright….he..he is just a bit playful," she defended him.

"Yaad rahe Dr Riddhima…this is a hospital….not a race car arena or a football stadium…..I hope you understand what I mean!"

Riddhima could not refute her dad's anger; there were a few times in her life she had seen him so enraged and she knew it was best to walk away at that moment.

A tearful Riddhima walked back to the Geriatrics ward…..papa Armaan ko sach much pasand nahin karte kya? Kaise kahoon unhein ki Armaan mere liye kya hai…..ab duty ke baad project par kaam karna padhega tho Armaan se kaise miloongi?

"Bahut daant padhi?" Armaan asked softly as he found her lost in her thoughts.

"Oh…Uh," she turned around and saw him looking at her soulfully.

"Nahin….nahin….papa had just asked us to join a new project," she swallowed her tears.

"Tho ro kyun rahi ho?"

"Nahin nahin…ro kaun raha hai?" she hid her face.

He lifted her chin with his finger, "meri qasam?"

Riddhima shut her eyes as a tear escaped from them. Armaan let the tear drop on his finger and kissed it gently, "tumhara har aansoo mere dil ko cheer deta hai Riddhima….apne aansoo chupa sakti ho lekin mere dil se jhooth nahin bol sakti."

"I am sorry Armaan," she sniffed and looked at him tenderly.

"Ok…let's go to the doctor's lounge." He placed his arm around her as they took the elevator.

"Ok…garama garam coffee….here you go," he handed her a cup and sat next to her, "so what's the problem?"

"Armaan….papa wants me to work with Rahul on a new WHO project."

"Wow!" He sat up excitedly, "that's great!"

"No Armaan…I don't want to do that."


"Kyunki…kyunki…..phir main tumhare saath time nahin spend kar paaoongi…..after duty, I will be with Rahul in the lab all evening."

"Bechara Raoool!" Armaan sighed sympathetically.

"Kya kaha?" she slapped his back, "bechara Rahul?'

"Haan…..abhi tho wo aadha paagal hai….lekin tumhare saath itna time bitaayega tho poora pagal ho jaayega," he chuckled.

"Armaaaaann!" she pounded his back with her fists, "you are so mean."

He sat back and placed his arm around her, "kya apne pyaar par bharosa nahin?"


"Tho kya hua agar shaam ko tum mere paas nahin…..mere saath tho hamesha rehti ho," his disarming smile melted all her anger.

"You won't be jealous?" she asked.

"Jealous hota agar insecure hota……but I know you are crazy about me…..and only a crazy person like me can love you so much…..Rahul mein itna dum nahin hai jo hum deewano ke beech aa sake," he winked at her and kissed her hand.

"You rascal!" she laughed and smacked his thigh playfully.

"Phir se mujhey rascal kaha?" She escaped before he could crush her in his arms. He chased her all the way to the elevator as they giggled and laughed all the way back to the ward.

Please enjoy this VM by Krina on "Falak tak"


Falak tak chal saath mere
Falak tak chal saath chal
Falak tak chal saath mere
Falak tak chal saath chal
Yeh badal ki chaadar
Yeh taaro ke anchal
Mein chup jaye hum, pal do pal
(Falak tak chal saath mere
Falak tak chal saath chal) — (2)
Dheko kahan aa gaye hum sanam saath chalte
Jahan din ki bahon mein rathon ke saaye hai dhalte
Chal woh chowbare dhonde, gin mein chahat ki boonde
Sach kar de sapno ko sabhi
Aankho ko neeche neeche, mein tere peeche peeche
Chal du jo keh de tu abhi
Bahron ke chaat ho, dua oon ka haat ho
Padthe rahe yeh gazal
(Falak tak chal saath mere
Falak tak chal saath chal) —- (2)
Dheka nahin mein ne pehle kabhi yeh nazara
Badla huwa sa lage mujhko aalam yeh sara
Suraj ko huyi hai rarat, raaton ko kare shararat
Bheita hai khidki pe teri
Is baat pe chand bhi bigda, kathra kathra woh pigla
Bhar aaya aankho mein meri
Toh suraj bhuja doon, tujhe mein saja doon
Savera ho tujh se hi kal
(Falak tak chal saath mere
Falak tak chal saath chal) — (2)
Yeh badal ki chaadar
Yeh taaro ke anchal
Mein chup jaye hum, pal do pal
(Falak tak chal saath mere
Falak tak chal saath chal) — (4)

………….to be contd……………


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