Thursday, 13 September 2018

part 25 : To Err is Human

Ghum badhe aate hain qaatil ki nigaahon ki tarah
Tum chupa lo mujhey ae dost…..gunaahon ki tarah…

Kripa stood frozen as the elevator door shut on her face.


"Yeh sab kya ho gaya?" She felt dizzy as the events since last night swarmed her thoughts, "Angad ki bhalayee chaahti thi main….lekin kya maine usey hamesha ke liya kho tho nahin diya? Mujh se naaraaz kyun hai wo? Aakhir galti uski hai…..main tho sirf help karna chaah rahi thi uski. Itni kadwaahat kyun hai uske andar? Does he not realize that I love him….and want the best for him."

"Doctor Sharma….aap theek hain?" a ward boy came up at the sight of the distraught intern.


"Main theek hoon," she forced a smile and walked towards the doctor's lounge to clear her thoughts. She wiped her tears and resolved to stay brave through this crisis and help Angad out of this mess.

"Kripa? Kya hua?" Riddhima and Armaan, on a coffee break in the lounge were stunned to see a distressed Kripa.


The sight of her concerned friends broke her resilience.


"Riddhima," she broke down in her friend's arms. A confused Armaan poured another cup of coffee, "Hey Kripa…what's up? Have some coffee…..kya hua? Is Angad alright?"



"No…he is not," she shook her head hysterically and then wiped her nose and eyes with a tissue.


"Sit down Kripa….here you go," Armaan helped her to the sofa. Flanked on each side by her friends, Kripa narrated the events since Prithvi planted the seed of suspicion in her mind.



"And you believed him?" Armaan asked angrily; his blood shot eyes and clenched jaws reflected how enraged he was after hearing the whole story.



"I had no reason not to believe Prithvi….and the pharmacist too," Kripa defended herself, "and what about the drug test? Isn't that proof enough?"



"Kripa…..I thought you loved Angad." Armaan looked away; too upset to even look at Kripa.



"Of course I do….but what has love got to do with this?" her cheeks burnt with indignation. No one had the right to question her love for Angad-most of all, his best friend and the man she considered her brother.



"Armaan…why are you being so harsh?" Riddhima asked.



"Isn't love all about trust and faith?" Armaan asked sardonically.



"Of course it is!" Kripa retorted, "I know better Armaan!"



"So why did you not believe Angad?" he asked.



"Wo…wo," she was flustered, "Angad does not have the best track record in speaking the truth…..we all know how he can lie through his teeth….people who take drugs are usually in denial anyways."



"People who are in love….are usually in denial too," Armaan's nostrils flared, "in denial that their true love could ever lie to them….Kripa you never gave my friend even a chance…..not even a denial…..a denial in his favor…..us bechare par kya beeth rahi hogi….I need to be with him right now." He got up and dashed towards the door.


"ARMAAN!" Riddhima called behind him.



"Can I ask you for a favor Riddhima?" Armaan paused at the door, "please cover the ward for me….I might not be back for a few hours…thanks." Without waiting for her reply, he was out the door.




Armaan's words had hit Kripa hard. It was not too long ago when she had preached the value of faith and trust in a relationship, and there she was, having committed the biggest crime between lovers- she had not trusted him!




"Kripa…..I think you should talk to Angad…..I bet there has been a mistake….do you want me to talk to papa?" Riddhima placed her hand on Kripa's shoulder and asked.



"Riddhima….Angad does not listen to me….maine bahut koshish ki hai…..and Dr Gupta….wo kya karenge? Saare proof tho Angad ke khilaaf hain."




"May be it was a lab error….after all errors do happen in medicine."



"Should we go to the lab and ask them to run the test again?" Kripa asked.



"Chalo…let's go."


…………………………………………………………………………………….


ANGAD's ROOM:


koi hota jis ko apna, hum apna kah lete yaaron
paas nahin to door hi hota, lekin koi mera apna

aakhon mein neend na hoti, aansoon hi thairte rehte
khwaabaanon mein jaagte hum raat bhar
koi to ghum apnaataa, koi to saathi hota

bhoola hua koi waadaa, beetee huyee kuchh yaadein
tanahaee doharaatee hain raatabhar
koi dilaasaa hota, koi to apna hota


http://www.dishant.com/lyrics/song-12451.html


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nd09HjaazQ8&feature=related


As tears of humiliation, anger and a wounded heart poured down his cheeks, Angad packed his bags in his room. He stared at the guitar and was about to pack it with his luggage, but withdrew his hand and left it in a corner.



"Kahan jaa raha hai?" Armaan barged into his room.


"Sanjeevani ke bahar bhi duniya hai Armaan….kahin na kahin tho jagah mil hi jaayegi."



"You are not leaving Sanjeevani!" Armaan removed the bag from Angad's shoulder.



"Armaan…..I have no choice."



"Yes you do….I will help you clear your name…..obviously this is a mistake…..stay with me till then."



"Why do you think it is a mistake? Saari duniya ke aage main gunahgaar saabit ho chukaa hoon…."




"Main saari duniya nahin hoon yaar…..Dr Gupta, unki labs, unke computers, unka staff ek jagah……aur meri dosti ek taraf…..I don't give a damn to what others say…..I know you and I know you are not the kind of person who needs to lean on things like drugs….in fact if you ask me….I can see Prithvi doing that…YOU…NEVER!"



There is always a silver lining to a dark cloud thought Angad. With a faint smile, he looked at Armaan gratefully, "shayad koi tho hai jisey main apna keh sakta hoon…..lekin main yahan Sanjeevani mein nahin reh sakta yaar."



Armaan hugged Angad and patted his back, "you have never run away from anything…..so don't give up man….and no need to go for rehab….I will take you to my house…stay there till we solve this."


"Your house?"


"Ok baba…..stay in the outhouse….wahan tujhey koi dhoondh nahin paayega…..and neither will mom dad question anything…chal…let me drop you there," Armaan picked his bag and also grabbed the guitar from the corner.


"Guitar nahin le jaana chaahta main," Angad protested.


"Meri behen ka gift hai….tera dil tho thod diya hai usney….kum se kum uska dil tho mat thod!" Armaan chuckled.




"I don't care about her anymore Armaan!"



"Ab yaar mujhse tho jhooth mat bol…..I know she has hurt you more than those drug abuse charges ….and that's because you CARE about her and CARE about what she thinks about you more than anything else in this world…chal let's go….." Armaan led the way out to his car.

……………………………………………………………………………..


IN THE HOSPITAL LAB:


"Hi…..humein lab tech se baat karni hai," Riddhima asked the window clerk.



"Kaun sa tech doctor sahiba? Duty par tho 3 lab tech hain."


"Oh…wo," Riddhima glanced at Kripa but she just shrugged her shoulders in ignorance.


"Doctor sahiba….aap dono andar chale jaaiye," the clerk let them into the lab.



"Excuse me," Riddhima asked one woman tech.


"Jee doctor," she smiled.


"Aaj wo Dr Gupta ke cabin se urine sample aaye the shayad…..wo kisne test kiye the?"


"Wo tho Damodar ne kiye honge doctor….wo hi is lab ke in charge hain," the lady tech replied.


"Kya hum unse mil sakte hain?" Kripa asked.


"Jee…wo shayad bahar ward mein gaye hain…..aap wait kar lee jiye."


"Nahin…hum wait nahin kar sakte….it is very important!" Kripa was impatient.


"Jee," the tech was startled a bit, "can I help you doctor?"


"Can you run those urine samples again….they were sent in for a drug screen," Kripa asked.


"Jee doctor…wo tho Damodar hi kar sakte hain….it is confidential you see."


"THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! CAN YOU PLEASE DO US A FAVOR? Main Dr Gupta ki beti hoon…I NEED THE RESULTS RIGHT NOW!" Riddhima raised her voice. She had never used her status as the chief's daughter to obtain any favors around the hospital, but today she did not hesitate in flaunting her status to get her way.




"Jee do-octor," the tech hesitated and then led the way to Damodar's desk, 'yeh rahe teen samples…inpar sirf initial likhein hain…AK, PB, KS….yahin hai shayad."



"Initials?" Kripa was surprised. She remembered labeling the sample cups with her entire name. Obviously, new labels were pasted on the cups-may be for confidential reasons but that process was certainly not error proof.




"Haan….shayad confidential samples hain…iss liye," the tech answered, "let me run the tests again doctor….I will be right back."



"Ek minute," Kripa interrupted, "can you add aspirin detection to the drug screen too?"


"Aspirin?" the tech was puzzled.



"Yes please," she smiled and pleaded with the tech. It was hard for anyone to ignore Kripa's enchanting smile. The tech nodded and walked away with the samples, "ok doctor…I will run aspirin levels too."


"Kripa….why aspirin?" Riddhima was confused.



"I remember Angad took aspirin for a headache…he wrote it down on his form too….Prithvi and I left that line blank….in case there was a mix up with the samples….the one with aspirin would definitely be Angad's," Kripa said confidently.


………………………………………………………………………………………



"Ok man….here you go…this is your new home till we clear this mess," Armaan unlatched the door to the outhouse behind his parent's palatial home.


"Wow! Yeh outhouse hai tho 'inhouse' kaisa hoga?" Angad chuckled a little.



"Very stifling man….I love the outhouse better than the real house," Armaan chuckled back, "main bachpan mein zyaada waqt yahin guzaar tat ha."



'Wo tho lag raha hai," Angad scanned the walls covered with cartoons and sketches made by Armaan, "yeh plastic surgeon ke bte ka nahin….ek artist ka ghar lag raha hai."



"Yup…you can say that…this place is the only place where I feel I can be myself….now you take it easy…I need to go," Armaan arranged Angad's bag in a closet and walked towards the door, "kuch chaahiye ho tho Fredie ko buzz kar dena...he knows you are here."


"And your parents?"


"They are probably too busy with work…they will never know," Armaan winked and walked out.



Angad took a deep breath and slumped onto the twin bed, "now what? Ab mere bachpan ka sapna kaise poora hoga? Maine Dr Dilip Aggarwal ko promise kiya tha ki badha hokar main ek bahut kaamyaab doctor banoonga…..lekin yeh sab kya ho gaya? Dr Aggarwal hamesha kehte the ki apne alaawa kisi par bharosa mat karo…phir kyun maine Kripa par apna sab kuch luta diya…why did I trust her so much? She never loved me….she just had pity on me….she wanted to change me…reform me….wo mere andar ke shaitan ko bhagwan banana chaahti thi……she is so WRONG! Ab main kisi ko apne itne kareeb nahin aane doonga…no one can come between me and my dreams…..even if I don't go back to Sanjeevani…..I will fulfill my dream…..I will fulfill Dr Aggarwal's dream….and I will make sure Damini Aggarwal and her good for nothing son, Shabbir know how successful and well off I am one day….wo sab mere darwaaze par bheekh maangte nazar aayenge…..aur Kripa……..I will never let her come near me again….ab wo mere jism kya….mere dil ke kareeb bhi nahin aa paayegi."


………………………………………………………………………..



"Armaan? Thank god tumhara phone mil gaya," Riddhima walked out of the lab and whispered into the phone.



"Riddhima….I was going to call you anyways….tum itna dheere dheere kyun bol rahi ho?" Armaan asked.


"I need to tell you something important." The urgency in Riddhima's voice was evident.


'Pehle meri baat suno Riddhima…..I am going to Sanjeevgarh right now," Armaan interrupted.


"Sanjeevgarh? But why?"



"It's regarding Angad….please cover for me tonight Riddhima….meri aaj night duty hai…please…please..please…..I love you…bye sweetheart!" He hung up without giving her a chance to respond.



"Armaan! Armaan! Uffo….apni baat keh di…..aur meri suni hi nahin," Riddhima tried to call him again but could not reach him.



A frantic Kripa walked out of the lab, "Riddhima….Angad ka phone nahin mil raha…please try Armaan's….we need to talk to them."



"I can't reach him either….Armaan said he is going to Sanjeevgarh," Riddhima stated.



"Sanjeevgarh….wahan kya proof milega?"



"No idea Kripa…may be he will try to convince Dr Josh to defend Angad."



"I hope we can clear his name as soon as possible….I feel so foolish…..and so guilty," Kripa's voice cracked as she recalled Angad's parting words. No doubt, he had felt betrayed by her. She had never given him even the benefit of doubt!




She was thankful to the lab tech for running the urine drug tests once again. To her pleasant surprise, the urine sample with the aspirin had tested negative for the drugs. So, Angad had been framed and by none other than her good friend PRITHVI! She was shocked beyond belief and wanted to confront Prithvi at that moment but Riddhima had warned her, 'abhi nahin Kripa…let's get the guys here too…we need to get some more proofs against Prithvi….his motive….his involvement with the lab guys and pharmacy guys….abhi usey kuch mat kehna…just act normal for now."




"You are right Riddhima…..pehle mujhey Angad se milne jaana hai….Riddhima I will see you later," Kripa ran as fast as she could. Her heart pounding against her chest, nervously she walked into the men's dorm and headed for Angad's room.




'ANGAD! DARWAAZA KHOLO!' There was no answer. She unlatched the door and was stunned to see an empty room, "Angad! Hey bhagwan…..kahan chale gaye tum?" She was overwhelmed with guilt and fearful about his whereabouts, "I am sorry Angad," she sobbed silently and buried her face in her hands, "please wapas aa jao….I will never doubt you again…..meri choti si galti ki itni badhi sazaa mat do….please come back." She tried calling him once again but there was no reply. Even Armaan did not pick his phone, "I need to call Dr Josh!" She walked out of Angad's room in search of Dr Josh's number.




…………………………………………………………………….



"Dr Riddhima….aaj raat aapki duty hai?" the charge nurse on the Geriatric ward asked.


"Haan…wo Dr Armaan ki tabiyat theek nahin thi…iss liye main aaj raat duty par hoon," Riddhima explained.



"Oh…I see…Dr Gupta was looking for you….I will tell him you are on night duty," the nurse nodded her head.



"Papa? Papa kyun dhoondh rahe hain mujhey?" Riddhima's heart fluttered fearfully. As she pondered, her gaze fell on the tall figure in front of her, "P-apa?" she looked up apologetically.



"Tho yahan ho tum? I went to the lab looking for you…wahan tho sirf Rahul akele kaam kar raha hai….yeh night duty kaise kar li aaj?"



"Wo sir…wo…Armaan ke saath exchange kar li duty maine," she cleared her throat.



"Kyun? Armaan ko kya hua hai?"



"He is not well sir….so…so I am working for him tonight."




"Ok….that's fine….after all duty comes first…..but make sure you let Rahul know where you are…..wo bechara kab se wait kar raha hai tumhara….you know how important that project is?"


"Yes sir….jaanti hoon….kal se roz shaam ko lab jaaoongi," she bowed and waited for him to leave. She did not mention anything about her knowledge of Angad's case, Kripa and her investigation in the lab earlier that day and Armaan's trip to Sanjeevgarh. It would be wise to confront Dr Gupta with all the evidence together instead of presenting it piece meal.


………………………………………………………………………….



"Good evening sir," Prithvi bumped into Dr Shashank Gupta in the hallway.



"Oh…good evening Prithvi….how is the surgical floor?"



"Good sir…..bas kaam thoda zyaada ho gaya hai ab….sirf main aur Kripa hi hai na hamare group mein," Prithvi answered politely.




"Yes…I know…hopefully Angad will come back soon after treatment," Dr Gupta replied.



'Well sir…I don't think so."


"Why?"


"He has left the campus….he is not planning to come back to Sanjeevani."



"Oh really? That's alright….we don't need doctors like him at our institute anyways,' Dr Gupta scoffed at the thought of a mere intern leaving a golden opportunity like Sanjeevani, "he does not realize that no one has ever succeeded after leaving Sanjeevani mid way through their career….he is making a mistake!"




"I agree sir…..but maybe he just does not belong here sir…..a man with such values and morals should not be in this institute sir," Prithvi provoked Dr Gupta further. He was making sure that no door would be left open for Angad to ever step a foot inside Sanjeevani again.



"You are right Dr Bose….this would be a good lesson for all other interns too," Dr Gupta patted Prithvi's shoulder, "by the way…I heard Armaan is sick…kya hua hai usey?"



"Armaan? Nahin sir…he is just fine….I saw him drive off with Angad in his convertible this afternoon…..and I have not seen his car back at the dorm….so I have a feeling they are somewhere together sir."




Shashank Gupta turned pale as he heard Prithvi's reply. So, did Armaan trick Riddhima into doing his work? Or was his daughter lying to him.


"Excuse me," Dr Gupta left a gleeful Prithvi in the hallway and walked back to the Geriatric floor.


Prithvi had no hard feelings towards Armaan, but earlier that afternoon, when he had overheard Armaan reassuring Angad that he would 'clear' his name, he had started detesting Armaan too- after all an enemy's friend is an enemy himself!


………..to be contd………….

bheegi

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