Friday, 14 September 2018

part 26 : To Err is Human

Kaise koi kaise kahe
Dosti kya hai
Kya hai
Zingadi ki dhoop mein
Yeh Dosti chaaon hai
Zindagi ki dhoop mein
Yeh Dosti chaaon hai


(from Shaurya)


SANJEEVGARH:


"Armaan? What are you doing here? At this hour?" Josh answered the knock on his door around 10 pm that night.

"Can I come in sir?"


"Sure….is everything fine?…sasurjee se jhagda hua hai kya?" Josh chuckled.

"No sir…it is more serious."

Josh had never seen the prankster Armaan so serious before; this was definitely a grim situation thought Josh.

"Have a seat."

"Who is it darling?" Simone walked out in her night gown, "Oh Armaan? Kya hua?"

"Tell us Armaan…what's up buddy," Josh pulled Simone on the sofa with him.

"Sir…" Armaan rattled off the events of the last two days-the accusations against Angad, his suspension from Sanjeevani, Kripa's mistrust, the drug testing and the pharmacist's statement.

"Oh my God! I can't believe Prithvi would stoop so low," Josh gasped in disbelief.

"Prithvi?" Armaan was surprised.

"I am pretty sure that Prithvi is behind this….when you all were here….we had suspected that Prithvi was doing drugs…but had no proof…I bet he has trapped Angad just to get rid of him!"

"Why would he want to get rid of Angad?" Armaan was perplexed.

"Love…jealousy….resentment….possessiveness….kuch bhi keh lo," Josh shook his head.

"Love? Jealousy?"

"I guess you all were too busy to notice…but I saw everything when you were here…Prithvi is madly in love with Kripa…now you get it?"

Armaan could not believe his ears, "that rascal! Jealousy thi tho…tho apne aap ko hi maar leta….mere dost par ilzaam kyun lagaa diya? And does he think Kripa will love him once she finds out the truth?"

"Kuch log jo khud khush nahin ho sakte….doosron ko bhi khush nahin dekhna chaahte…Prithvi is one of them….well…let's not waste time….let me call Sister Sweety…..she will be a big help too."


"Sister Sweety?" Simone asked

"Yes dear….sister Sweety was the first one to notice that Prithvi was onto something….she has the medicine log too…now we can explain those missing medications….let's go Armaan….we should get to Mumbai before morning…..Chief se subah subah hi milna chaahiye."

"Ok sir….thanks again."

"Thank me or blame me Armaan….how I wish I had caught Prithvi red handed while you all were still here….phir yeh naubat hi nahin aati….khair…let's go now."

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

GERIATRIC WARD:

"Dr Riddhima!" Her father's firm and stern tone was enough to tell her that she was in trouble this time.

"Y..yes sir," an alarmed Riddhima turned around to face her father.

"I did not expect this from you Riddhima……Armaan tho jhooth bolta hi tha…ab tumney bhi jhooth bolna shuru kar diya?"

'Sir…sir…main samjhi nahin."

"Armaan is not sick….wo kahin Angad ke saath mauj manaa raha hai ….aur tum uski duty de rahi ho?"

"Sir…wo…aap jaante hain na Angad suspend ho gaya hai….shayad usey ghar chhod ne gaya ho….Armaan aur Angad achche dost hain….even if Armaan is sick…he will do anything for his friend," Riddhima mustered some courage and answered.

"Na jaane is ladke ne meri beti par kya jaadoo kar diya hai…..I will make sure he has to pay for his callousness….we expect better behavior and morals from our interns……kal subah khabar leta hoon uski….goodnight now!"

"Good night papa…I mean sir," she lowered her eyes and silently prayed for Armaan's safe return. She thought of various ways to save Armaan from her dad's wrath. Perhaps there was only one way-the one intern Dr Gupta adored the most would have to be approached, "shayad Rahul mein thodi bahut insaaniyat ho….wo hi Armaan ko bachaa sakta hai……let me go to the lab."

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

THE GENETICS LAB:

As Rahul peered through a microscope, he heard light footsteps approaching the lab.

"Is samay kaun hoga yahan? It's really late," he got up and was surprised to see Riddhima at the door.

"Oh…aaiyie…aaiyie….yaad aa gaya aapko ki aap bhi is project mein hain," Rahul's snide remarks infuriated her more than make her feel guilty. Even though she wanted to lash out at Rahul, she knew she had to control her anger as she needed his help.


"Sorry Rahul….I have been dumping all my work on you…..I am a bad colleague," she batted her eyelids and smiled at him.

Rahul was a bit taken aback by Riddhima's overtly friendly gesture, 'Uh…that's Ok Riddhima…..I..I don't mind it…in fact I kind of enjoy working without distractions."

"Rahul," she held his hands and looked into his eyes, "I always knew you are a good man….you are a good friend…..very dependable….and honest." Rahul had never been complimented with such words; he had won many accolades in academics and praised by many for his intelligence, but no one had ever called him a 'dependable friend.'

"Are you kidding with me?" he asked hesitantly.

"Nahin Rahul," she let go of his hand and then looked at the microscope, "no doubt you are intelligent Rahul…but I know you will always help another person in need."

"Bolo kya chaahiye?" He chuckled; Riddhima was definitely going overboard with her praises he thought.

"Can you call Dr Gupta in the morning and tell him that Armaan was really sick today and you asked him to leave the ward early?"

"Oh…tho apne boyfriend ko bachaana hai?"

"Please Rahul…please…papa tumhari baat kabhie nahin taalenge….it's my humble request."

"Ok…ek shart par," he smiled sardonically.

"Shart? Bolo," she was agreeable though hesitant.

"When we finally publish our paper…..I will be the primary author….and you…you will just be the co author….manzoor hai?"

A relieved Riddhima could not believe her ears; his condition was easier than she had thought,"sure Rahul…of course…..bilkul manzoor hai mujhey." A few months ago, being the primary author on a prestigious publication would have been her dream, but Armaan had changed everything. His well being and his love mattered to her more than anything else now. Perhaps seeing Kripa and Angad drift away had also sent jitters about separating from Armaan one day.

"Good….apni baat par palat mat jaana phir," he smirked.

"Of course not Rahul….Armaan is more dear to me than….," she paused shyly and looked away.

"Oh God! You guys are crazy fools…theek hai theek hai…I will tell Dr Gupta tomorrow….by the way Armaan hai kahan?" Rahul asked.

"Oh…well…did you hear about Angad's suspension?"

"What? Yeh kab hua?" Rahul sat up; sensational news always caught his attention even if he was in the midst of a most interesting experiment.

"Well…he has been accused of taking drugs…but we know he has been framed," she uttered.

"Framed? By who?"

"We think someone else who is taking drugs has conspired against Angad….…Armaan has gone to find some help for Angad."

"You know Riddhima," Rahul smiled, "Prithvi….Prithvi takes drugs…kahin usney tho?"

"Humein bhi uspar shaq hai…..lekin tumhein kaise pata?" she was startled by the Rahul's statement.

"Well….we shared a room at Sanjeevgarh…..aur yahan dorm mein bhi wo meri wing mein rehta hai….I am pretty sure he is into some hanky panky stuff."

"Why did you not tell us before?" she was upset with Rahul.

"I stay out of other people's business," he shrugged his shoulders.

"Rahul….this is not other's business…..this is serious…Angad is our friend…..and he could lose his career….how can you be so callous?" Riddhima fumed.

"Sorry Riddhima." It was unusual for Rahul to apologize to anyone but now that he was a 'dependable friend'-that label came with responsibilities.

"Rahul….can you please help us get Angad out of this mess?" Riddhima pleaded, "tum chaaho tho poora research paper likh lo….I won't be the co author either."

"No…that won't be necessary," Rahul smiled, a friendly smile for a change, "I will help you guys out….I like Angad too…..he is smart….but certainly not that smart that he would be a threat to me…..so…yes…I can help."

"Thanks Rahul….you are the best," she smiled and bid goodnight to him. A she walked away, she wondered, "Rahul is indeed strange…..but he is not a bad person at heart…..hmm…maybe he should find a pretty girl who can set him right!"


…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

4 a.m IN THE MORNING:

Kripa was wide awake, anxiously waiting for the morning in the surgical call room. Riddhima had filled her on the details about Armaan's visit to Sanjeevgarh and Rahul's statement regarding Prithvi. They had all planned to meet in the cafeteria once Armaan and Josh were back in Sanjeevani.

"BEEP!BEEP!" Kripa jumped up as soon as her pager went off, "It's them!" She put on her lab coat over her surgical scrubs, stethoscope around her neck and ran as fast as she could.

"Kripa…kahan jaa rahi ho? Cafeteria jaa rahi ho tho main bhi chalta hoon….I am tired after an all nighter," Prithvi interrupted her in the hallway. She cringed at the thought of Prithvi accompanying her anywhere. How she wished she could lash out at him and reveal the truth in front of him, but Josh had warned them to stay quiet till they had presented all proofs to the chief. Prithvi was too sly; he was capable of doing anything to save his skin.


"Sorry Prithvi," she composed herself, "I am going to have a shower in the ladies locker room….I am sure you don't want to accompany me there."

"Oh…sorry," he said shyly, almost blushing at the thought of Kripa in a shower. Kripa cursed him mentally and ran away as fast as she could.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
CAFETERIA:

"Hi guys….OK….let's see what evidence we all have," Josh led the mini-meeting in the quiet cafeteria in wee hours of the morning.

To everyone surprise, Rahul strolled in with a cup of coffee and joined the group too, "can I join in too?"

"Sure Rahul….Riddhima told me you have some evidence too," Josh smiled.

Armaan, Riddhima, Kripa, Sister Sweety and Josh huddled around the table and discussed strategies on how to present the case to Dr Gupta that morning.

"Sir…aap Manek aur Damodar ka kya karenge?" Kripa asked.

"Manek ko pharmacy school maine hi bheja tha Kripa….aur Damodar hamari Sanjeevgarh lab se promote hokar yahan aaya hai…..I know how to press their buttons," Josh grinned, "you know everyone has a price….if Prithvi could buy them…..I know how to make them confess…after all their families are both in Sanjeevgarh."

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

8 am OUTSIDE DR GUPTA's OFFICE:

"Arrey…aap sab yahan kya kar rahe hain?" Dr Gupta was surprised to see a crowd outside his office. He could tell none of them had slept all night and if Josh was there, it was definitely something serious.

"Sir ….we need to talk to you," Josh approached him.

"Ok….come in….are the wards covered? Aap sab yahan hain tho duty kaun de raha hai?" Dr Gupta scanned Armaan, Riddhima, Kripa and Rahul's faces.

"Sir…it's all taken care of," Josh reassured him.

They followed Dr Gupta and took their seats.

"Ok…doctors…shoot….kya baat hai? I don't have much time….I have a full schedule this morning."

"Sir….it is regarding Angad!" Josh sighed.

"Angad? Is that it? That chapter has been closed….why do we need to drag it any more? Don't waste my time!" Dr Gupta was offended.

"No sir…..there has been a mistake!" Josh folded his arms, "a grave mistake."

"Mistake? Sanjeevani mein aur Sanjeevani ke chief se kabhie mistake nahin hoti…samjhe?" Dr Gupta yelled irately.

Riddhima clenched Kripa's arm as the sight of her dad's anger always sent shivers in her spine.

"Here is the report sir….aap khud padh lee jiye….and there are the confessions from the lab tech Damodar…and Manek the pharmacist," Josh handed over the file to Shashank Gupta.

As he flipped through the report, the color on his face drained completely, "a..are you sure Josh?" he whispered and sat down on his chair, "Oh God….yeh kya ho gaya? Mere institute mein Manek aur Damodar jaise log kaam karte hain? Aur Prithvi…that innocent looking face can be so deceiving?"

"Sir….aapke institute mein bahut kuch aisa hota hai jo aap shayad nahin jaante….in fact I found out that Prithvi had not only bribed these two men….they had also formed a nexus within the hospital to sell these drugs in the market.....this was much bigger than any of us thought," Josh explained.


Dr Gupta took a deep breath and sat up, "good work doctors…and sister Sweety….aap log sab jaa sakte hain….Riddhima…..I forgive you for last night…..Kripa….good detective work in the lab…Rahul…I wish you had spoken up earlier…..and Armaan…..aaj bach gaye tum!"

Dr Gupta's acknowledgment of their hard work was indeed welcome. Armaan did not mind if he did not compliment him directly. Rahul was a bit taken aback as he had gotten used to receiving loads of praise from Dr Gupta. Riddhima was pleased that her dad was still the fair man she had always known. Kripa was pleased that Angad was free of all charges; tears of joy flowed from her eyes as she hid her face in Riddhima's shoulder.

"Sir….can Angad join today?" Josh asked.

"Yes of course…..Josh…why don't you all bring him back to Sanjeevani with honor….I feel bad for the boy," Dr Gupta sounded apologetic.

'Sir…aap chaliye na," Armaan could not help asking.

"kahan hai wo?"

"Mere ghar," Armaan replied. Kripa glanced at Armaan and thanked him silently for taking care of Angad. Till now she had been kept in the dark about Angad's whereabouts. Armaan nodded gently as he acknowledged her gratefulness.

"Oh," Dr Gupta's expression changed again, this time a bit stern, "no Armaan….tum log hi jao." Dr Gupta shut his eyes; how could he set his foot into Abhimanyu Mallik's house? NEVER!

"Thanks sir," they all replied and left the office in good spirits.

Dr Gupta paged his secretary, "Rose…can you please ask Dr Prithvi Bose to come to my office?"

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

A FEW MINUTES LATER:

"Good morning sir…can I come in?" Prithvi stepped into Dr Gupta's office.

"Sure Prithvi…andar aao…come in Dr Bose," Dr Gupta placed the lid on his pen and handed him an evleope, "here…this is for you."

'Yeh kya hai sir?" Prithvi asked nervously.

"Don't worry Dr Bose….this is a new award we have instated ……given to the most honorable, honest, ethical intern of the year…..I am sure you will understand why you have been awarded this," Dr Gupta smiled slyly.

"Really sir?" Prithvi smiled and took the envelope. His smile vanished in this air when he read the contents of the letter.

"You will have to vacate the premises by noon today….that includes your hostel room too Dr Bose," Dr Gupta stood up and stared down at Prithvi.

Prithvi broke down into tears and fell at his feet, "sir….please mujhey maaf kar dee jiye….I am sorry sir….ab aage se aisi galti nahin hogi….main apne maa baap ka eklauta beta hoon…wo toot jaayenge sir…please….please forgive me sir."

"I know Prithvi….I know your parents very well too…they belong to a very prestigious and cultured family of Calcutta…..I met them last year at a Classical music function….and they were very proud of the fact that their son was joining Sanjeevani….but I am sorry son….this is it…..your road to Sanjeevani ends here…….I feel sorry for the Bose's…..but rules are rules…..GOOD BYE DR BOSE!"



……………..to be contd………….

bheegi

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