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Joined: 03 November 2009
Chapter 7: Fainting!
Dr. Ashutosh was still sitting by the window and glancing at the half-moon. Today, everything seemed pretty calm and peaceful out there. The breeze felt pleasant. The day had went by pretty peacefully in spite of the hectic schedule and emergencies post tht "moment." The days otherwise jst went by giving him a body ache and a very tired instant sleep but it was not coming today…he was tired all right and he knew it was way past his regular sleeping hour, but the sleep was jst wasn't coming. His mind wasn't feeling tired at all instead was feeling more at ease and peace. He had to drag himself to the bed. He cudnt afford not to sleep as he had to be up early tomorrow for a surgery scheduled. He reluctantly threw himself on bed. He tossed and turned restlessly on the bed for a while and then slowly fell into sleep. The most peaceful and undisturbed sleep he ever had in the recent times.
The next morning, Dr. Ashutosh was in pretty pleasant mood. He was humming his favorite tune of his fav yesteryear actor Devanand. 'Main zindagi ka saath nibatha chala gaya.. har fikra ko dhuyen mein udata chala gaya…".. Hiraman kaka gave him one of his most surprised looks. Dr. Ashutosh was pretty amused at his reaction, but he played along and left Hiraman kaka pondering over it and left for the hospital.
"Good Morning, Dr. Ashutosh" A cheerful voice greeted him as he entered his office. He luked at her face and it was even more cheerful and bright than her voice. "Morning Dr. Verma," he greeted back rather drily. Well, it didn't dampen her spirits and there was still a big bright smile on her face, observed he as he settled down in his chair. "Well?" asked he. "well?" answered she, looking back at him like a curious kid. He quickly ordered the coffees and ran through his scheduled appointments while Dr. Nidhi busied herself doing nothing, observed he. Now that he was calling her 1 hr early as a part of his Disciplining-Nidhi program, he needed to assign her some sort of job in that hour. He cant see her idling around doing nothing during the her excess time in hand. He made a mental note of planning her it for the next 21 days. Her daily shift wont start before 10, he had to keep her busy lest she might resort to her own ways of passing the time, thot he sarcastically. He planned on letting her accompany her to the operation theater today. It was first for any intern to accompany him and first and pretty early for any intern from her batch to do so, but he wanted to measure her talent as a doctor. He informed her of that and went on for a quick round before the surgery.
An hour or so later, in his cabin Dr. Ashutosh was yelling amusedly at Dr. Nidhi in disbelief. "You are a doctor, how can you faint in an operation theatre?" He had to throw his measuring up of Dr. Nidhi in the dust bin as apparently with the first cut that he had put on the patient, the zealous Dr. Nidhi had fainted instantly then and there. He was surprised and angry at first. Nothing of that sort had ever happened while he was operating, well certainly not with a doctor under him! But now in the cabin, he was more amused as Dr. Nidhi luked like a little lamb who was cot wrongly in the fence.
"Yes I m doctor but I m not a regular surgeon, besides it jst happens with me every time. I even fainted the first time I cut open a frog in an open lab and this was my first time with a patient in a closed operation theatre room. Wat do you expect of an intern?" Retored she. Ashutosh culdnt help himself laughing at her answer. Nidhi pouted. It made Ashutosh laugh even harder. Nidhi pouted some more and luked away disgruntled. Ashutosh had to stop. Finally, after getting a gud control, he walked up to Nidhi and said sincerely, "I am so sorry Dr. Nidhi, but if a doctor herself faints on seeing the patient's open cuts, then the patient will surely faint every time he sees the doctor." He chuckled. Nidhi cudnt hide her smile. True, but it doesn't mean he shud laugh at her.. like that.. and she pouted again. Her fainting wasn't in her hands. It jst happened every time.. jst like that. Dr. Ashutosh was still smiling. "Dr. Verma, a doctor cant b weak. The things he faces, he has to be strong mentally as well as physically. I don't need to tell you abt our profession." He said sympathetically. "but its jst happens the first time. Then I get used to it. Its not a problem after that. Its jst the problem for the first time with the new patient." She repeated herself asserting her problem. Dr. Ashutosh came closer to where she was standing. With an intent gaze, he asked her suddenly in a deep sincere voice, "Tell me wats bothering u, Dr. Nidhi?" "hmm, ?" replied Nidhi abruptly, clearly taken by surprise. She looked back into his intent eyes. He really luked sincerely concerned. "Thers nothing." Answered she lowering her gaze and nodding her head, quite puzzled. She really didn't know wat to say and she did not understand why he thot her fainting had to do with something. She didn't know why it happened but there wasn't ever a need to get into deep of this matter, as most certainly, she did come around strong after the 1st round of this… whirling, thot she in her defense. Except for her being a laughing stock for this apparent irony, it didn't bother her much. She was so engrossed in her thots at his abrupt question tht she didn't notice that Dr. Ashutosh was observing her reactions closely. "Okay," Said Ashutosh giving in. "See you then," he said with more indifferent voice. Nidhi was left confused. She greeted him a good day and walked out of his office still unable to comprehend his sudden transition from a concerned tone to an indifferent one. Dr. Ashutosh on the other hand realized it was too early to ask. Something surely was the matter with her fainting, may b a more personal one and he had no right, no authority, nor was he in a position to ask abt something so personal and perhaps she herself wasn't aware of the reason judging by her surprised and thoughtful look. It was better not to rake it up if its not bothering her much now. There wud b a time wen she wud need to face it, but surely it wasn't now. As much as he thot he was starting to know her well, he actually knew nothing abt her. They wer still very much strangers, jst met a few days back and now professionally acquainted. There mite b something unpleasant or even hurtful behind it. From his own experience, he has known that deep rooted scars r difficult to heal. Thy remain somewhere down there and slowly become a burden, weighing you down, but he had weathered it all.. but she.. she was too young.. too innocent… jst too nice.. He cant imagine her turning into someone like himself. Luk at wat he himself had become. Whenever he looked at her, she reminded him of the carefree, free spirited life he had led when he was young and one thing had left a scar so deep tht it changed his world completely. Instead of letting it go, he had kept it close.. so much so that it had become a part of him.. his life.. he jst couldn't let it go and recently more than once he had wished he could. Sometimes ignorance can be a bliss. She luks so happy right now that he felt afraid tht he wud wipe off that sweet smile, but as a responsible mentor, he has to. Of all the unpleasant and tuff tasks tht he had put up to, add one more. He sighed and looked at his doctor's degree certificate put on the wall of his cabin for a while and then at the name plate on his desk that read Dr. Ashutosh, the Dean. He took out his wallet and touched his baba's picture. He stared at it for a long time. At last, he gathered himself and prepared himself mentally for the surgery scheduled next.
For Dr. Ashutosh, the day passed on as it had come keeping him pretty busy all the time. For Dr. Nidhi, this was her 1st day actually as an intern and she thoroughly enjoyed her day. While bidding good bye to her colleagues in the parking lot, she saw Dr. Ashutosh walking towards his car and his concerned look flashed across her eyes. She quickly cleared it away. Dr. Ashutosh returned her gaze and with a brief look at her, he drove past her nodding to her "bye sir." Nidhi looked back at his car driving away for awhile. She didn't quite understand Dr. Ashutosh, but suddenly she had a strong desire to know more abt him. He was like a closed book and it was difficult to read him. No body knew much abt Dr. Ashutosh's personal life except perhaps Dr. Mallika who thy say was with Dr. Ashutosh in college and is associated with KGH under Dr. Ashutosh for last 10 years and apparently Dr. Rangnath who had joined KGH some 5 years back and who seems to know pretty much about everybody and everything in KGH. She thot abt digging more abt Dr. Ashutosh from Dr. Rangnath. Somehow she was wary of Dr. Mallika.
As Dr. Nidhi turned around the corner she drove past the mall where she had her first coffee with Dr. Ashutosh. She drove back to it. She felt like having a coffee there. As she approached a table, to her utter surprise, she noticed Dr. Ashutosh sitting alone by the window facing the road below. She pleasantly walked to his table and greeted him. Dr. Ashutosh returned a surprised greeting. It was unusual for Dr. Ashutosh to come for such lone coffee without any particular purpose, but he jst felt like having one. Never had he thot that he wud come across Dr. Nidhi.. again! Even before he motioned her to take the seat, she had already occupied one and had enthusiastically begun admiring the view below and the fine evening…. and the good coffee.. and the great mall.. and the fantastic bargains.. and well… the list kept getting longer and …longer. Well, he wasn't complaining. He hadn't uttered a single word. He didnt feel there was any need anyways. He smiled in reply occasionally and nodded a yes or no here and there and even Dr. Nidhi was seemed quite satisfied with his jst that. He smiled to himself. Soon he had finished his coffee and was listening to her blabber quietly with a hand on his chin. Wat she was saying didn't matter to Dr. Ashutosh, but her ways interested him a lot. Her talk was live and animated. Her eyes sparkled with joy every now and then and she had a habit of gesticulating with her hands as he had observed earlier too. He wud look at the traffic rushing below occasionally and then back to her. There was some loud music playing in the coffee shop and ppl were pouring in at that peak hour. Amidst all these chaos, he still found it quite peaceful and quiet. He laid his back on the chair and got into more comfortable position. He looked back at Nidhi. Overall, she looked quite cute thot he, but the most amazing thing he found was her wonderful smile… almost infectious, thot he. If he wasn't so deliberately restrained, a smile wud've automatically crept up in response to hers. "Would you like to have a burger?" Asked he suddenly. "hmm," she was caught by surprise. "Erm.. No.. thank you." She felt a little embarrassed and then there was a sudden silence betn thm. Dr. Ashutosh cursed himself. "Err.. I am sorry.. I took too much of your time.. well apparently discussing nothing." Said she with a sheepish smile. "Oh, no.. absolutely not. Well, I loved… err.. you know.. I never knew this place.. errr.. that it had so much.. so much of .. you know.. beauty in store... really".. replied he most awkwardly, lost at words he tried to re-start the conversation, but she apparently got the clue wrong. After a brief moment of silence again, she excused herself, offered an apology, and bid him good bye. Dr. Ashutosh didn't really know wat went wrong there. He wasn't good socially and certainly not with these kinda more informal talks. He had apparently spent his whole evening listening to well.. nothing important in particular for that matter and on the top, he was blaming himself for the abrupt end of this rendezvous. He needed to get up and going. He had more important things to do than to dwell on this evening and this … rendezvous.. if you can call it that.
Dr. Nidhi was feeling utterly embarrassed. She had behaved like a complete fool infront of her senior... She got so carried away with herself tht she didn't realize she had been a nonstop chatterbox that evening. She shook her head in dismay. Oh, wat Dr. Ashutosh wud think of her?. Why he had to be there and why she had to blabber all the way..? One shud always leave a good impression on one's senior, her baba had advised her on her first day at her job and here she was. Firstly, she gave an impression that she was a spoilt and crazy girl. Secondly, she gave an impression of an undisciplined, careless, unresponsible, messy, and perhaps a psycho who had phobia with open cuts inspite of being a doctor herself!... how utterly embarrassing.. ! It wudnt have been so embarrassing if had asked him abt his personal life instead!!.. Nidhi made a dejected face. Nidhi bit her nails anxiously. She had behaved completely naive.. so.. soo crude may be!!. As she glanced herself in the mirror, she exasperated even more.. wer was the grace, the elegance, and the poise tht is expected of a lady on such a meet with such a dignified person. Earlier she wasn't aware, HE was his senior, but today.. wat was the matter with her.. Why she got so overexcited that she just swept it away immaturely. Wat mst Dr. Ashutosh think of her? She had already blundered in hospital and now she was doing the same outside the hospital too. Nidhi sighed heavily while shaking her head disapprovingly as she paced heavily in her room. She was pretty restless on bed too. Whenever she closed her eyes, Dr. Ashutosh's laughing face flashed. She was sure he mst laughing at her somewhere in a corner of his house at this very moment. She gave a cry and buried her face in pillow. She was wat she was, she asserted to herself firmly later and Dr. Ashutosh had not right to laugh on her. Her embarrassment chngd to disapproval and she firmly resolved to take up this issue with him tomorrow and she went into a self-assuring sleep.
Dr. Ashutosh deliberately tried to avoid revisiting tht rendezvous as he was pacing in his room after his meal. It jst did not make any sense and he didn't understand why his thots wandered there. He shoved thm off repeatedly till he was able to concentrate wholly on his work at hand.
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