Sunday, 14 October 2018

part 56 : To Err is Human


"Uffo Riddhima…..apna alarm clock bandh karo," Armaan covered his ears with a pillow, hoping to catch a few more minutes of sleep before getting ready for work. They had just arrived late last night after Angad and Kripa's wedding, and he had stayed up late trying to upload all the wedding pictures on his computer. With Angad and Kripa in Mount Abu (a hill station in Rajasthan) for their week long honeymoon, Armaan really wanted to have their photo album ready before they got back.


The alarm clock did not budge.

In fury, he threw the pillow on the floor, and groped around to wake Riddhima, so she could turn off the most irritating invention on the planet!

"Riddhima? Riddhima?" He sat up once he realized she was not in bed, "kahan gayi subah subah?"

He got out of bed and searched everywhere. Finally, he heard a retching noise from the bathroom.

"Riddhima! Kya hua?" He burst open the door to the bathroom and found her standing over the sink with her head bent down.

"Kya hua jaan?" He asked worriedly. As soon as he touched her back, she heaved loudly and threw up once again.

"Oh my God Riddhima," he stepped back, "shaadi mein zyaada maal puye tho nahin khaa liye?"

She shook her head and looked up after washing her face, "nahin Armaan…please ek glass paani de do….I need to get ready for work too."

"Sure," he replied and came back with some water, "why don't you stay home? I think you have picked some bug at the wedding……chalo…..aaram karo."

"ARMAAN!" She glared at him, "I am fine….I need to go to work….I have a full schedule at work today."

"No way Riddhima…..I am not letting you go…..let me call Dr Shubhankar and tell him you will take a day off."

"Armaan…..abhi tho chutti lekar aayi hoon….ab phir kaise?" She could barely complete her statement and she was back to the sink.

Even though, he was used to seeing so many sick people every day, seeing Riddhima puke her guts out made him a little queasy.

 'I will ask mom to get you some medicine…abhi aata hoon." He held his stomach and walked out.

Riddhima walked back to her bed and collapsed limply.


"Mom….I need some help."

"Kya baat hai Armaan? Sab theek tho hai?" Gauri sat down with her morning cup of tea with the newspaper.

"I think Riddhima has food poisoning or something…..can you give her some medicine…..I am worried about her."

Gauri looked up and took out her reading glasses, "food poisoning? Are you sure? Could it be something else?" She gave him a suggestive look.

"Nahin mom….absolutely not," Armaan blushed a little, "abhi itni jaldi nahin."

"Why do you say so?"

"Because Riddhima wants to wait a year or two….abhi apne career mein busy hai wo," he fumbled a little as he understood what his mother was implying.

Gauri sighed, "Chalo oopar chalo…let me see what's going on."

"MOM! Just because you are an Obstetrician….doesn't mean all sick women are pregnant!" He followed her faithfully to his bedroom.

"Yes….I know Armaan," she turned around to face him, "but I am a mother….and a mother-in-law," and then smiled at him, "I can always hope for that…can't I?"

"Come on mom! Aap bhi na…." He protested but silently prayed that Gauri's wish would come true. His heart leaped excitedly at the prospect of the good news.

"Now you get ready in the guest room…..let me check her out….jao," she turned around and asked him to leave.

"MOM! Main uska pati hoon! I have a right to be here."

"I know you do…..but is waqt tum zyaada bimaar lag rahe ho….kahin behosh hi na ho jao…..just go and get ready in the guest room….i will let you know what's going on."

Gauri was right, as soon as Armaan walked out; he felt nauseated and dizzy.  Before he could get sick, he bolted from there. "I bet it was all that rich Rajasthani food!" He covered his mouth and was in the bathroom, heaving and gagging.


"Riddhima…..kaisi ho beti?" Gauri caressed her daughter-in-law's back.

"Oh mom…aap?" She tried to sit up but felt light headed.

"When was your last period?" Gauri asked matter-of-factly.

Riddhima was taken aback with the question and just realized she was overdue by a couple of weeks. The wedding and merriment around it had thrown her off schedule and lose track of her cycle.

"Wo…wo….mom," she fumbled.

Gauri smiled and after checking her out, gave her a cup of water, "yeh paani pee lo….and then just give me a urine sample," she handed her a specimen cup.

Riddhima obliged and gave her mother-in-law the sample hesitantly. It was odd to be treated like a patient rather than a daughter-in-law, but she knew that's the price one paid for living in a household with four doctors. Moreover, Gauri was right and Riddhima would have done the same thing if she were in her place.

Gauri returned in a few moments and was stunned to see Armaan, instead of Riddhima, bent over the bathroom sink. Riddhima was comforting him, "Armaan…..aaraam se….I think you are right….hum dono ko food poisoning ho gayi hai…..let's rest today." Armaan washed his face and stood up. He was pale as a ghost and if it were not for Riddhima and Gauri, he would have collapsed on the floor. The two women helped him back to the bed and fussed over him worriedly.

"Mom….aap jaaiye….aapko bhi kaam par jaana hai…..main Armaan ke saath hoon…..he is not feeling well."

Gauri frowned and took Riddhima aside, "have you ever heard of sympathetic pregnancy?"

"Medical college mein padha tho tha…lekin kabhie dekha nahin……par aap aisa kyun keh rahi hain….kya mera test pos-i-tive hai?" she asked softly, her heart palpitated anxiously.

Gauri smiled and kissed Riddhima's forehead, "congratulations dear….main dadi ban ne waali hoon." Riddhima turned a crimson red and hid her face in Gauri's shoulder and whispered, "thanks mom."

"Ab samajh aaya Armaan ko morning sickness kyun ho rahi hai?" Gauri smiled suggestively.

Riddhima nodded her head bashfully.

"Remember Couvade syndrome? Boards mein hamesha poonchte hain yeh sawaal." Gauri chuckled.

"Sympathetic pregnancy when the husband shows all symptoms of pregnancy?" Riddhima chuckled back.

Armaan, who had been writhing in bed all along, peered through half open eyes and moaned, "saas-bahu kya saazish kar rahi hain? Meri koi dekhbaal nahin kar raha! Please give me some medicine…..I really feel sick…..RIDDHIMA!" He jumped out of bed and rushed to the bathroom again.

The two women stood still, trying their best to suppress their giggles at Armaan's hysteria.

"Let me get tea for both of you….apne pati ko tum hi sambhaalo," Gauri caressed Riddhima's head and walked out of their room with an expansive and very satisfied smile.

"Psychiatrist saheb," Riddhima stood at the bathroom door with her arms folded, "ek mental patient ka consult hai….kya aap advise de sakte hain?"

A droopy Armaan emerged from the sink and stared at her in disbelief, "kaisi wife ho? Tumhara pati bimaar hai aur tumhein ek consultation ki lagi hai… heartless…..may be I should have married a human being rather than a doctor!"

"Sorry Dr Armaan Mallik….ab doctor hoon tho dimaag bhi waise hi chalega…..I have a patient with Couvade syndrome."

"That's all rubbish….you read that in books only….and exams mein aata hai yeh question….trust me I have never seen anyone with that….it's a myth….imagine how can a husband show signs of pregnancy just because he is sympathetic to his wife? It's all BS!" He dismissed her question and was about to sit down on the bed, when he felt queasy once again.

"Riddhima….kya ho gaya hai mujhey? Why do I feel so sick? You seem fine now… poisoning mujhey hi kyun huyi hai? Maine tho maal puye bhi nahin khaaye the." He plopped on the bed and asked her pitifully.

She sat next to him and put her arms around his neck, "I love you Armaan….thanks." She whispered and kissed his cheek.

He gave her a curious look, "is that how you treat your sick patients? Dawa ki jagah kiss? Sympathy ki jagah thanks?"

She batted her eyelids and smiled, "of course…especially jab patient baap ban ne waala ho."

It took a few seconds for her words to sink in; he gazed at her lovely face in disbelief and replied, 'what did you just say? Koi baap ban ne waala hai? Kaun? Kahan? Kaise?"

"Kaise tho wo hi jaane. Kaun? Just guess……wo hi jo apni biwi ke saath saath morning sickness se suffer kar raha hai," she chuckled.

He was speechless; his queasiness and light headedness vanished in thin air as the reality of her statement just sunk in. Tears of joy rolled down his eyes as he held her hands and kissed them passionately, "I am such a fool."

"Wo tho ho tum," she teased him.

He bent down and kissed her tummy, "you have made me the happiest man on earth today….I love you Riddhima……and I love you little one." He patted her tummy lovingly and kissed it again, "this one is for you baby."

She placed her arms around his head and whispered, "nanha munha rahi hai ya rajkumari."

He sat up with a twinkle in his eyes, "shayad…..dono!"

"NO WAY!" She screamed, "I can't handle twins!"

"Jo bhi ho…I don't care," he lifted her up in his arms and twirled around joyfully, "I AM GOING TO BE A FATHER….THAT'S WHAT I CARE ABOUT!"

"Armaaaaan!" She laughed, "neeche utaaro….tum tho bimaar ho na."

"Bimaar? Kaun bimaar hai yahan? Bimaar ho hamare dushman…..Riddhimaaa…Ridhimaaaa….you have made me so happy I can't tell you," he placed her down and embraced her once again, showering her face with kisses all over.

"So now you believe in sympathetic pregnancy?" she asked.

"That's a myth," he looked up and winked at her, "it's called true love…and is not a mental illness…..they need to rewrite the medical textbooks."

"Does that mean my true love will have labor pains too?" She asked.

"Of course he will," he grinned, "saath saath sab karne ki kasam jo khaayi hai."

Then he picked the phone to call his best friend. Riddhima shook her head and protested, "they are on their honeymoon…..don't disturb them."

"Shhh! It's payback time for him….remember the number of times he woke me up?"



Entangled in each other, Angad and Kripa were in a deep slumber after another busy night. Angad's phone vibrated repeatedly on the night stand.

"Yeh kaun saala subah subah phone kar raha hai?" He stretched his arm sleepily; the other one was still under Kripa's head- her favorite headrest as she called it.

"Hello," he answered huskily.

"Goodmorning buddy!" Armaan replied cheerfully.

Angad sat up irately, "abe saale….goodmorning karne ke liye phone kiya hai? Don't you know I am busy here?"

"Kripa ko phone de!" Armaan answered excitedly.

"Don't you get the message man? We are busy here….we have no time for your bak bak early in the morning."

"Kripa ko phone de na….I need to talk to her….not with a khadoos like you man… jaane shaadi ke baad sab aadmi aise kyun ban jaate hain?" Armaan chided.


"Chipkoo….apni biwiyon se fevicol ki tarah chipak jaate hain….aur doston ko bhool jaate hain," Armaan teased Angad.

"Galti meri hai….I should have turned the phone off."

"Main tho apne honeymoon par phone hi nahin le gaya tha….serves you right buddy!" Armaan laughed aloud, "achcha Kripa kahan hai? I need to make sure she is being well taken care of….kahin tu meri behen ko pareshaan tho nahin kar raha?"

The commotion had woken Kripa up by now. She covered herself with a bed sheet and sat up, "Angad…kiska phone hai?"

Angad grinned, "it's your bro….he wants to make sure your husband is taking good care of you." He handed her the phone and collapsed into her lap as she spoke to Armaan.

"Hi Armaan…itni subah subah….sab theek tho hai na? Riddhima theek hai?"

"See how courteous you are… apne pati ko bhi theek se baat karna sikha do behna….now that I am officially his saala….he is acting all pricey….. such a khadoos!" He teased her.

Kripa smiled and bit her lip as Angad's fingers crawled up her naval, "haan Armaan…mujehy bhi pareshaan kar rakha hai."

"Main pehle hi jaanta tha," Armaan babbled.

An impatient Riddhima rolled her eyes and snatched the phone from him, "Hi Kripa…..tum dono ki baatien kabhie khatam nahin hoti kya? Armaan will keep beating around the bush….sorry to disturb you guys….but we have some good news for you."

"Really? Main bua ban ne waali hoon kya?" Kripa's eyes lit up. Angad, who was busy nuzzling against Kripa, was pleasantly surprised and sat up on hearing the good news.

"Yes buaji!" Armaan took the phone back, "congratulations to both buaji and khadoos phuphaji!"

Angad snatched the phone from Kripa, "saale saheb….pehle nahin bataa sakte the? Congratulations buddy! So you will finally enjoy the fruits of your labor." He chortled loudly.

"Yes man! I still can't believe I am going to be a dad."

"I am happy for both of you….finally a real kid will be born at the Mallik household."

"What do you mean real kid?"

"Apne aap se poonch….Dr senior Mallik aur unka beta koi bachchon se kam hain kya?" Angad sniggered.

"Teri tho…." Armaan laughed and hung up. He stared at the phone and then at Riddhima, "Angad has a point….there are too many kids in our house."

Riddhima smiled back, "jo baat main nahin keh paayi Angad ne keh di."

Armaan kissed Riddhima's cheek and fled downstairs to share the good news with his dad and see his mom's reaction.

Just as Riddhima stepped away to get ready, the phone rang again, "Hello…Kripa? Kya baat hai?"

"Riddhima… might think I am superstitious…..but keep this news a secret till you complete 3 months."

"Kyun Kripa?"

"Bas aise hi kehte hain…."

"Theek hai…waise bhi riti-riwaaz tum zyaada jaanti ho."

"Yeh riti riwaaz tho nahin…..lekin badhe boodhon ka kehna hai…….and please tell Armaan too….you know he can't keep his mouth shut," Kripa laughed.

"Don't worry…..wo tumhari baat zaroor sun lega."

"Bye….and congratulations again."

"Thanks Kripa."


Well, before Riddhima could pass on Kripa's message, Armaan, dressed in his night suit, had taken off in his convertible to spread the joy of the big news. He picked up boxes of sweets and chocolates from the local stores and merrily drove to Sanjeevani to make the big announcement and distribute sweets amongst all the patients and staff……

subah subah ye kya huva
na jaane kyon ab main hawaayon mein chal raha hoon
nayi subah nayi jagah
nayi tarah se nayi dishaayon mein chal raha hoon
nayi nayi hain meri nazar ya hain nazaarein naye
yaa dekhate khwab main chal raha hoon

subah subah ye kya huva
na jaane kyon ab main hawaayon mein chal raha hoon
nayi subah nayi jagah
nayi tarah se nay nazaare main dekhata hoon
ye gungunaata huva sama, ye muskuraati fiza
jahaan ke saath main chal raha hoon
subah subah ye kya huva
na jaane kyon ab main hawaayon mein chal raha hoon

jo abhi hain usiko jilein, jo diya wo ji liya
wo nasha pi liya
kal nasha hain ek naya jo, na kiya to kya jiya
har pal ko pi ke agar dil na bhar diya
subah subah ye kya huva
na jaane kyon ab main hawaayon mein chal raha hoon
nayi subah nayi hava
nayi tarah se nayi dishaayon mein chal raha hoon

subah subah ye kya huva
na jaane kyon ab main hawaayon mein chal raha hoon
nayi subah nayi jagah
nayi tarah se nayi dishaayon mein chal raha hoon
ye gungunaata huva sama, ye muskuraati fiza
jahaan ke saath main chal raha hoon
subah subah ye kya huva
na jaane kyon ab main hawaayon mein chal raha hoon

…………to be contd……….


No comments:

Post a comment