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Ashu barely had time to get up from the bed before DB sat on it and caught hold of Nidhi's both hands and said, "Nidhi yeh kya ho jaata hain tumhe? Apne na sahin apne bachche ka toh khyaal kiya hota. I never wanted you to become a doctor in the first place. Kept telling Yog the same thing but he didn't listen to me. He sent me to temple one day and took you to write the entrance without my knowledge. And you!! you were not very interested initially..just did the course to make your father happy and now you have forgotten everything except that you are a doctor. Aur yeh Ashutosh bhi doctor nikla. Iske peeche peeche tum bhi isi ki tarah bangayi. Now see how weak you have become. There are dark circles under your eyes. Arre honewali maa aise dikhti hain kya?" and she went on and on and on. Ashu rolled his eyes at Nidhi expressively and shook his head ruefully and told CV that he is going to talk to the gynaec and left the room. Better leave before DB directed her tirade at him. Nidhi finally stopped DB's flow of words and said, "DB shaanth ho jaayiye. I am absolutely fine. Nothing to worry about. Just tired so had some reeling that's all. And DB don't say why I became a doctor. After what happened today, and what I saw over there, I am thankful for the fact that I had enough knowledge to help at least some of those people. For the first time I know what it feels to see a life draining away and being helpless to do anything. And at the same time actually being able to save one's life. My mom had to choose her life with my Baba over her profession. But I never have to do that. Whatever dreams BB had for his daughter, now his grand daughter will fulfil them." BB hearing that has tears in his eyes and comes and hugs her. DB also smiles in understanding. CV adds, "and Bua why are you so worried about my grandchild? He is doing fine now and once he gets here, his Nana and Dada are there na." this cheers up DB quite a bit. "haan. And his par dadi will make sure he fed well all the time." Nidhi rolls her eyes and laughs at that. Armaan comes in with a hot pack and gives it to Nidhi. Nidhi opens to see some nice hot rotis and daal inside. Her face lights up. "thank you Armaanji. Wanted to actually eat go gappas but as you can see my kid takes after his dad completely in this and for him nothing beats daal." She makes a face and everyone laugh and she starts eating with gusto. After a while, Nidhi is still eating and Rohan walks in, if possible, looking more tired that Nidhi. He flops himself on the chair and leans back and closes his eyes. He is not a doctor. And the gore and the mutilated bodies and the pain of the victims he saw today made a strong impact on him. Even when he closed his eyes, all he saw was the rush of the ambulances and the cries of the victims and their families. Nidhi looks at him and understands what he is going through. DB is about to call out to him but Nidhi stays her hand and shakes her head as a "no"..Rohan needs to be alone now.
Ashu after leaving Nidhi's room goes to meet Dr Kothari once again. He wanted to ask if he promise her that Nidhi would be off her feet for 24 hrs straight, could he take her home. Dr Kothari is going through some reports when Ashu knocks and enters her cabin. She rises to greet him and both discuss this through. "ok Dr Ashutosh. Take your wife home. As far as I can see exhaustion is the only thing that caused her fainting and she is young so bounces back pretty quickly. Just make sure she takes lots of fluids and does no strenuous work. That's it. And one more thing, I was just going through Nidhi's scan report just now. Dr Ashutosh looks like your kid is going to be a big baby. Quite tall for that gestation period. Looks he or she is going to take after his dad. So Dr Nidhi would start showing a bit early too and there is nothing to worry about. Just bring her to the check up next month and in the meanwhile, Nidhi and me both are in the same hospital so she can contact me any time." Ashu thanks her and leaves, the doctor's words of taking after his dad ringing in his ears and bringing a smile to his face. By the time he reaches Nidhi's room, he is grinning from ear to ear. He goes inside and tells everyone that Nidhi is ready to go home. Rohan also gets up from his seat and smiles at Ashu and goes to Nidhi who is almost finished with her roti and dal and tells her to rest properly and he would talk to her later. He excuses himself and leaves after telling DB that he doesn't know what time he would be home and not to wait up for him for dinner. Ashu gives everyone the news that Nidhi can go home and that sends DB into a frenzy. "meri bachchi can go home? Then I am going to take her with me and make sure she rests well there. Ashutosh, your house still needs cleaning up after the wedding and all the hungama and if my bachchi goes back over there, she will start trying to get all that done by herself. So no matter what you say, she is going to come with me right now." before CV could intervene and say something, BB says, "samdhanji is correct Ashu. Let her spend a day or so in her maika. It will be good for her and in the mean while Hiraman and I will direct the cleaners and will get the house back in order." Ashu doesn't know what to say. He can't wholeheartedly say "yes" as that would mean both of them would be spending the night in separate houses and separate beds and he can't say "no" and have a confrontation with DB. He is still smarting from her "need to have more control" speech. The last 2 days all it took Armaan was to look at Ashu and he went into a fit of laughter remembering DB's dialogue. Everyone is discussing what to do but Nidhi is only looking at Ashu. His inner struggle to let Nidhi go is plain on his face for her to see. She finally speaks up. "DB I will come with you to Baba's house and Ashutosh will finish up at the hospital and come directly over there. Both of us will stay the night and will leave for our house tomorrow evening." Hearing Nidhi's suggestion,Ashu's face brightens up and both of them look at each other and smile. His look conveys that he knew she had just manipulated the situation to their mutual satisfaction and her look acknowledges the fact. They were going to be together and that's all that mattered in the end.
Janki Bai gets the discharge papers which are already signed by Dr Kothari and Ashu takes them and everyone gets ready to leave. Ashu stays behind to take a look at the other head injury victims and Nidhi leaves with DB and CV. Armaan and BB also make their way home. Just as Ashu moves towards his cabin, his mobile beeps signalling an SMS. Its from Nidhi. "come home soon. Me n Ur Son already miss U" Ashu loses all his tiredness on seeing that one sms. "miss U 2 n tell my daughter her baba will be home soon." He clicks the send button and gets to work with renewed energy of a man just starting the day, not someone who has worked for 20hrs straight. After a few mins, he is discussing one of the child victim's head injury case with Dr Yash in his cabin when there is a knock on the door. A lady from the canteen enters with a plate of samosas and a flask. "sir, aap ke liye yeh snack aur adrak wali chai." Ashu looks confused. "but I didn't order anything." "No sir. Dr Nidhi ordered it before leaving and requested me to bring it to your cabin." She puts the snacks and tea on the table and leaves. Ashu is overwhelmed by the feelings and emotions flooding him at that small gesture of caring. He puts his head back, closes his eyes and says, "God Nidhi! I love you" and opens his eyes to find Dr Yash trying his best not to laugh outright. He has completely forgotten his colleague's presence for a few seconds and Dr Yash, tries to turn his laugh into a cough and says, "Doctor, I think you better have your refreshments." And takes his leave and goes away. Ashu knew'he just knew that by evening KGH will be buzzing with the news of Dr Heart Stone being melted into a puddle.
Back at CV's house, DB is in a tizzy trying to arrange everything in Nidhi's room. She is changing the bed sheets and screaming at CS to remove the old curtains and put fresh ones. Nidhi is sitting in the chair and trying to calm her down.
Nidhi ' DB, why are you doing all this? I am not a guest here. Everything is fine as it is na.
DB ' arre beta yeh sab tere liye nahin..shaadi ke baad pehli baar damaadji ghar aarahe hain na.
Nidhi ' but DB, he came quite a few times to our house after the marriage na. he came for the pagphera and later on also a couple of times. First time thodi hi nah hain.
DB ' arre but this is the first time he would be spending the night here na. sab kuch tum dono ke liye achcha hona chahiye. You just keep quiet and let me do this. You want something to eat? I'll cook something for you?
Nidhi ' no DB. Don't want anything to eat. But would love a glass of fruit juice to drink.
DB hurries away to get the juice and CS grumbles that she left the bed sheets half done. Nidhi asks CS to get her a paper and pen. Its only 3 more days for the bday party and she wanted it to be memorable for Ashu. He is going to get the best surprise of his life so she already told everyone to keep quiet about it and that as far as Ashu knows, its going to be BB's birthday party. By late evening Ashu reaches his sasural. His only thought to go and give a hug to Nidhi. He is about to enter the house when DB's shout stops him in his tracks. He has one foot near the door and another hanging in the air. "arre damadji aagaye..ek minute ek minute wahi ruko Ashutosh! Arre Chote Sarkar who pooja ki thali laana jaldi se..wahi rukna.abhi andar mat aana." And she brings the thali with diya and flowers in to and does aarti to Ashu. Then she puts the tika and invites him inside. "DB whats all this? Why all this formality all of a sudden?" DB ' you have come to stay for the night at your sasural for the first time. So we have to welcome you accordingly na. Ashu feels very awkward at all this reeti riwaz and formal welcomes. But smiles and comes inside. His eyes look for Nidhi and in the meanwhile CV comes and says hello to him. He touches CV's feet and its followed by CV's usual dialogue of "please don't do that Ashutosh!" he observes Ashu's search for Nidhi and tells him that she is in her room. AShu nods and goes inside. Nidhi is sitting in a chair, feet propped up on the table, facing away from the door. She has ear phones plugged in and her feet were tapping in tune with the music coming from the ear phones and she is busy scrbbling something in a paper. He goes from behind, bends and snatches the paper from her hands. She is startled and looks behind her and Ashu by then comes in front of her. She again turns and finds his face close to hers. He is bending over the chair and his face is almost touching hers. He stretches out one hand and pulls away the head phones.
Nidhi ' aap kab aaye?
Ashu ' main aaya aur DB ne mera swaagat bhi kiya, phir Baba ne aashirwaad diya aur phir bataya kit um yahaan ho. And you didn't even hear me coming in. dus mein se pehla aaya nahin abhi se mujhe bhool gayi?
Nidhi ' if I forget you then how am I going to get the rest of the 9 kids?
Ashu throws back his head and laughs at that. "waise what is it that you are writing?"
He straightens the paper and sees that it's a list. And he realizes she is planning a party as it has balloons and streamers and cake among them. he smiles at the thought of Nidhi planning his birthday party. But puts on an innocent face and says, "phir se party? For what? We just got Anji married and she is not even in town."
Nidhi ' you forgot? 25th is Baba's birthday na. that's day after tomorrow. I am so excited. It's the first time I would be celebrating my Nana's birthday. I didn't know anything about him all these years and now here he is in our lives. Its almost like a double celebration. His return to our lives and his birthday. I was just thinking what to give him for his birthday. You are his son na. you know his tastes better. So think of something nice please. Tomorrow is an off for me so me and Rohan will go shopping and buy something. I won't exert myself I promise. Just buy the gift and I'll come back. Baaki sab you take care. I made the list and you buy these things on your way home tomorrow evening. Day after tomorrow evening is the party at our house and later from there we will go out for dinner at a nice restaurant.
She goes on about the details of the party and how Baba will feel and whatelse they should do. But Ashu keeps looking at her. His smile is still in place but the light in his eyes dims a little. She is so excited about having her Nana back and wishing him on his birthday. He is also very happy that his Baba is finally back with him but he expected Nidhi to at least ask when HIS birthday is. Even he himself didn't know the actual date but as per records, baba had given his own date of birth to Ashu too. So when he was young both of them used to celebrate their birthday on the same day. Nothing much. Just wishing each other and going out for some time and eating out at some place, that's all. But he genuinely thought his Nidhi would be at least curious about his date of birth esp since she was currently planning a birthday party. He keeps wondering.. "why am feeling like this? am I getting ready to crawl into my shell. Is it my ego? Or is it my feeling of not being wanted? Is it the fact that I am jealous at the thought that she has a life, a family apart from me? I am still the emotional orphan while she is cocooned by familial warmth. Has she finally discovered that she has no need for me? After all, my Baba is actually her Nana. Am I superfluous to her happiness now? Does she not need me as much as I do?" A thousand doubts plague him but he pushes them aside determined to do his best to make the day special for his Baba. He promises to do the party shopping the next day and called Armaan to give him an update. Armaan promises to help out Nidhi with decorations and Nidhi gives Ashu the duty of taking Baba out for some time that afternoon so that she and Armaan can get the decorations done at the house. He also names a particular author who is baba's favourite and since there is a latest book of his on the stands, Ashu suggests that they can give that as a birthday gift. Nidhi jots it down on the list and is about to move away when Ashu catches her by the waist and pulls her to him. "so what did my wife and daughter do all afternoon?" Nidhi ' your son and your wife had a nice light lunch, some juice and took a nap. What? You think I don't know what Dr Kothari told you about the baby's growth? See I told you na. he is going to be tall and handsome and will have the same killer smile of his dad. AShu ' who says girls can't be tall? You think just because her mom and maasi are so short, my daughter will also be short? She will be dad's in every way." Nidhi pouts at being called short and makes a move to move away but Ashu pulls her in again, this time holds her face between his palms and gives her a kiss that melts her down to her toes. She pushes him away and laughingly and says "you smell like antiseptic. Go and have a shower and change. DB will start shouting for dinner in a few minutes." That's when Ashu realizes that he doesn't have a change of clothes with him. No sooner than the thought enters his head, his wife is in front of him holding out his change of clothes and a towel. "I know you won't remember. So got them on my way home." She puts them in his hand, smiles and leaves. Ashu, his dark thoughts pushed away, smiles and goes for his shower.
Dinner is a boisterous affair with CV, DB, AshNi, Solanki and Shyama. Both were missing Anji and CV invited them over for a change. DB made so many dishes along with CS that Ashu is ready to burst and the way DB forcefed him is hilarious. After dinner everyone retires and Ashu and Nidhi finally get a chance to be together ' undisturbed! At least that's what Ashu thinks! Both of them are on the bed, Nidhi's head at her usual place on his shoulder and Ashu's arm around her. Ashu picks up her hand and kisses her fingers and turns towards her. She looks at him and removes his glasses and puts them aside and covers his beard with her palms. "you know I think I love you more ever since you grew your beard back." Ashu smiles and is about to kiss her when there is a knock on the door. He gets up and opens the door to find DB with 2 glasses of milk in her hand. "Ashutosh beta, I thought I would give this to both of you. Nidhi said you drink milk before going to sleep and aise haalat mein toh doodh Nidhi ke liye bhi achchi hain na." he smiles and opens the door. She comes inside and gives the glass to Nidhi and says she will not go until Nidhi gives her the empty glass and starts chatting with Nidhi while she drinks her milk. Ashu is wating at the door with his hands folded and a small smile on his face. Finally Nidhi gives DB the empty glass and she leaves after telling Ashu to have his. He closes the door and exhales. Nidhi ' come na. you didn't hear what DB said? You are supposed to empty the glass too. Ashu ' yeah, but I find it more tasty if you help me in drinking it. Nidhi ' help you? how? Ashu sits beside Nidhi and gives her the glass, and brings her hand holding the glass to his mouth and is about to sip'there is another knock on the door. Ashu just closes his eyes in despair. Now who? He again opens the door to see CS carrying a note book. "saabji..woh kya hain na Nidhi memsaab ne humse kuch recipes maange the'hum ne woh sab iss kitaab mein likhdiya hain." And he comes in and gives the book to Nidhi and proceeds to show her which recipe is in which page. Nidhi is having a hard time controlling her laughter at the look on Ashu's face. Finally CS says good night and leaves. Ashu firmly closes the door and comes back. Both look at each other and burst out laughing. Then the laughter dies to be replaced by desire and Nidhi opens her arms to Ashu. He walks towards her, sits and bends and puts his head on her chest. Her arms come around and hold him close. "Nidhi, I used to be obessessed about Baba's house before. I always felt that is the only thing that I can call "home" and the rest were all just houses. But after marrying you, I have realized something. I have realized that THIS is my true home. In your arms bound by your love. It doesn't matter where I am, but as long as I have this, I have my home." Nidhi pulls his head up and is about to give him a kiss..there is another knock on the door. Ashu gives a growl of frustration. What the hell!! Does no one sleep here? He roughly goes and opens the door and sees Shyama outside. "aunty, aap? Is everything ok?" Shyama ' "yes Jamai babu. Everything is fine. Sorry to disturb you at this time. Nidhi wanted some wool. She is trying to learn to knit from DB since this morning and asked me to get some for her. I forgot to give it when I came for dinner. So I thought I'll give it now. tomorrow me and Anji ke papa are going out so I won't get the chance." She comes in and goes towards Nidhi and gives her a bag and asks her if she has spoken to Anji. Nidhi says no but pomised to call her the next day morning. Ashu is trying his best not to look impatient but Shyama sees his look and says goodnight to both of them and leaves. Ashu again closes the door, turns towards Nidhi and says, "may be we should just leave the door open. At least i will save my energy and everyone can just walk in. Nidhi by then is holding her stomach and laughing so hard that tears were running down her face. AShu looks at her laughing face and gets on the bed, pulls her to him and imprisons her hands above her head and says "now where were we? And before you laugh again, let me tell you..i am NOT going to open that door again no matter who comes knocking." Nidhi nods her head, looks at his face and starts giggling again. He knows only one way to silence her and he makes sure the only sound she makes is his name, long into the night.
Next day starts early for Ashu and Nidhi as there is an emergency call for him from KGH and he rushes, gets ready and leaves by 7. Nidhi still going through the morning sickness barely has a chance to say bye to him before rushing into the bathroom. Once feeling better, she comes out to find Rohan having his coffee at the dining table. She greets him and sees that his smile is back. Wordlessly he passes on the 7Up can and she gulps down a few sips. Then both of them start making plans for birthday shopping. She told Ashu that she would only shop for the birthday gift and that was true. But that birthday gift included both BB's and Ashu's and Ashu's gift purchase is going to take time. Both of them continue to chat non stop about Anji's wedding and other things that Rohan missed out on when he was not there and they also plan the shopping trip in parallel. They assure DB that they will be back by lunch time. While Nidhi is getting ready, she gets a call from Anji.
Nidhi ' hi Mrs Ranganath! How are you?
Anji ' Nidhi! I miss you yaar! Nidhi frowns at the sad tone from her friend.
Nidhi ' Anji, kya hua? Are you ok? How is Dr Ranganath?
Anji ' both of us are fine. Yaar I can't do this any more. I swear I am going to become mad before I am back in Lucknow.
Nidhi ' yaar just calm down and tell me what happened. How is sasural?
Anji ' sasural is ok. Everyone here is so nice. That's not the problem. But there are so many people yaar. In this house alone right now there are 14 kids and their parents. can you imagine 14 kids in one house? And I have stopped trying to remember all the names and their relation to my in-laws. And many of them are staying in other houses too for the night. But morning they come here for the wedding celebrations. Nidhi I have not worn so much jewellery in my whole life. And don't get me started on the saris. I seriously think saris were invented by men to torture women.
Nidhi ' anji, its only for a week na. but tell me, kuch hua ki nahin?
Anji ' kya hona yaar! I haven't even seen him properly yesterday. Didn't know there were so many traditions and poojas involved and kuch hone ke liye jagah toh honi chahiye na. there are so many people that we are sharing the room with 3 kids.
Nidhi was dumbstruck! What? And she started laughing.
Anji ' I am crying here and you are laughing? Please kuch karo Nidhi.
Nidhi ' ok ok but its just for 3 more days na. finish it off and come here and phir kuch sochthe hain.
Anji ' and you know what? Aaj na mera vrath hain.
Nidhi ' kaun sa vrath?
Anji ' everyone in Ranga's family follows this itseems. It's a lot like Karwa chauth. Subah se leke raat tak we have to fast. Only water is allowed. Then in the evening we have to do some lakshmi pooja and then break the fast. My mother in law says doing that ensures long life to our partner and agle saath janam tak ka saath. Hey listen I have to go now. Ranganath is calling. Will talk to you later again ok? Bye
Nidhi also says bye and puts the phone down and starts thinking about everything Anji has said. She calls Ashu.
Ashu ' hi Nidhi
Nidhi ' hi how did the surgery go?
Ashu ' touch and go. Patient in the ICU. Can't say Nidhi. Morning sickness better?
Nidhi ' yes. had my 7Up so better. You had your bfast?
Ashu ' just on my way to the canteen. You?
Nidhi ' actually na I just spoke to Anji. Her mom in law told about a vrath where if the wife fasts from morning to evening it will ensure partner's long life and saath janam ka saath. So I was just thinking'.
Ashu ' stop! Whatever you are thinking, stop! You are NOT going to do any vrath now. its not good for you and defo not good for the baby. If you insist so much we'll see about it next year.
Nidhi ' but a newly married woman is supposed to do it.
Ashu ' no Nidhi. Think for once. Is it good for you in this stage?
Nidhi ' but don't you want us to have saath janam ka bandhan?
Ashu ' that we anyway have Nidhi. You don't need to fast for that. Nidhi, Nidhi, are you listening to me? Come on Nidhi don't act so unreasonable.
Silence is his answer. He could just see her pout. He gets an idea.
Ashu ' ok Nidhi tell me..whoever does this would be ensured of their partner's long life and saath janam ka saath, right?
Nidhi ' yes.
AShu ' ok then. I will do it on your behalf. I will fast whole of today and go to the temple in the evening and come back and break my fast. That's ok right?
Nidhi ' but why should you fast?
Ashu ' whats wrong in that? And how does it matter who is doing it as long as you believe that would ensure our togetherness? You can't do it now so I will.
Nidhi ' but how will you stay so long without eating anything?
Ashu ' its just for a day Nidhi and you are willing to do it when you are carrying a baby inside you. so why can't i? now its decided. I will fast and you go and have your bfast. Promise me Nidhi. And this one is just between you and me. No one needs to know about this. Ok?
Nidhi ' promise and Ashutosh, thank you. I love u.
Ashu smiles, says bye and turns back towards his cabin, away from the canteen.
The day passes quickly for both Ashutosh and Nidhi. He with his patients and she with her shopping and making sure Ashutosh doesn't get to see her bday gift to him. By evening Ashu wraps up his work, finishes the shopping list given by Nidhi, goes home and freshens up and goes to pick up Nidhi. After saying bye to everyone, they go to the temple and pray and return to their home. Nidhi immediately asks HK to get the dinner ready and feeds Ashu herself to break his fast. She gets emotional when Ashu starts eating and has tears in her eyes. Ashu sees this and wipes away the tears and hugs her and both end up having their dinner by feeding each other. She tells him about Anji and her sad state of affairs with Ranganath. Ashu thinks it over and says, "they are both coming back to town on Friday, right? I will extend Ranganath's leave till Monday and we'll send them to some place like Manali for the weekend. They will have time for themselves and get a break from everyone. Don't tell her that yet. We'll tell them once they get here." Nidhi gets jubilant over this plan and smothers his face with kisses. They spring apart when they hear a discreet cough. Both of them look up to see BB moving quickly towards his room. Ashu looks back at Nidhi and laughs and says,"yahan bhi?!"
Next morning both of them get up and wish BB on his birthday and take his blessings. The party is that eveining and it's a surprise to BB. Armaan would come in the evening and when BB and AShu go out, help Nidhi with the decorations and stuff. BB is about to comment on it being Ashu's birthday too but ashu shakes his head as a no. then both get ready leave for work. Nidhi is again wearing a sari. This time a light blue one with a silver border. Both leave for KGH soon after that. Rohan is waiting for Nidhi and as soon as she enters, calls her into the conference room to discuss the next stage of promotion of KGH. She tells him to wait for 30 mins and finishes off her rounds and gives medication to all the kids and goes to the conference room. There Rohan shows her the brochures he had designed. Each brochure had the KGH logo on the front page along with the snap shot of the hospital and inside one side had the list of doctors speciality ' wise and the other side had a list of all the facilities the hospital had and the various services like X-Ray and MRI, C T scan, a pathological lab etc. Rohan's next step is to make sure these brochures reach as many people as possible. Every company and school these days wanted annual health check ups to all its employees and students and they usually started in August/Sept. Nidhi is very impressed and loves the idea. Now all it needs is the go ahead from the Dean. Both of them go to Ashu's cabin and show him the brochures. Ashu doesn't even understand what they are for and when Rohan explains the purpose he just sees RED!!
Ashu ' you want to distribute these to get more patients to KGH?
Rohan ' yes sir
Ashu ' Rohan, if less people are coming to a hospital, doctors should be happy because that means lots of people are healthy and free of pain.
Nidhi ' no Dr Ashutosh. If less people are coming to KGH, that means they are going to some other hospital.
Ashu ' so let them go. It's the patient's choice.
Rohan ' but sir, patients should know that they would be getting a better treatment here.
Ashu ' so you want to sell KGH like a tooth paste or a noodle pack?
Nidhi ' we are not selling KGH. We are promoting it. Basically finding a way to make sure KGH becomes more profitable.
Ashu ' profitable? Just listen to yourself. You want KGH to be PROFITABLE? Whats this? A business of buying and selling?
Nidhi ' its not about buying and selling. But you have to accept that we cannot run this hospital if there is no money coming in. you were the one who introduced a new surgical technique recently in KGH, right? Where did you think the management got the money to buy all that equipment Dr Ashutosh? Agreed that this is not a business but its not a charitable hospital either.
Ashu ' so what are you saying Nidhi? That you give these to whoever comes to KGH and make them undergo needless tests just so that they know we have these techniques and faclilities?
Rohan ' no sir. That's not what we are saying. But if we don't tell them, how will they know what we can and are doing?
Ashu ' they will know the same way they have been doing all these days. Patient has a problem, he comes to the doc, doc suggests certain tests and tells him that they can be done here and that's it. Patient is informed.
Nidhi ' But Dr Ashutosh'
Ashu - and you Nidhi! I can understand Rohan thinking all this but you? if you are so interested in this buying selling and advertising, why did you become a doctor? You should have done an MBA. At least then your thinking would have been justified.
Nidhi ' one need not do an MBA to know whats good and whats bad for KGH Dr AShutosh. I am modern enough to accept that certain changes need to be made with the change of time. I am not rigid.
Ashu - you mean to say I am rigid? Ok. Fine. Answer me this question both of you. the day before yesterday there was a bombing in the city. More than a 100 people were brought to KGH and are still under going treatment here. There are still unclaimed bodies in the morchory here. Relatives are coming in to identify the bodies. You want to stand near the KGH gate and give those relatives this brochure and explain to them the services we are offering and how KGH is better than the other hospitals in Lucknow? Is either of you willing to do that? Answer me!
Neither of them were able to look at him after that. The timing of this particular campaign and the situation sunk into both of them.
Rohan ' you are correct Dr Ashutosh. I am really sorry. I didn't think about it from that angle. Neither of us did. It was very insensitive of us and we apologize.
Nidhi ' I am sorry too Dr Ashutosh. I was there during all this and I should have thought of this before approaching you.
Ashu nodded in acceptance and everyone exhales in relief. Rohan tentatively smiles and says, "sir, I am stoving this as of now. for now me and my team will approach the companies and educational institutions and cover that angle. That should be enough. Ashu nods his approval and tells Rohan to send the consent form and that he will sign it. Rohan shakes his hand and leaves. Nidhi is still there with her head bowed and tears running down her cheeks. Ashu silently hands over his hanky and she wipes her eyes. "Nidhi, why are you crying?" Nidhi ' I don't know. I just feel like it. He comes near and puts a hand under her chin and rises her head. Ashu ' I am sorry that I shouted at you. Nidhi ' no I am sorry that I didn't think this through. Saying this she goes into the chair, sits down, puts her head on the table and bawls out. Ashu gets genuinely worried. "Nidhi! Come on Nidhi! Don't do this. You will make yourself sick." Nidhi hiccups a little and says ' no. I am not good at anything that I do. Am not a good doctor, am not able to help Rohan properly and am not going to be a good mom reither. Ashu ' hey why do you say that? You are a great doctor and of course you will be a great mom. Nidhi ' no. I won't. yesterday DB tried to teach me to knit. I tried and tried but couldn't do it. I even got new wool from Shyama aunty and tried again at night after you fell asleep. I still couldn't do it. I can't do a simple thing like knitting what kind of a mom am I going to be? Ashutosh is flabberghasted. What brought this on?? How did the topic go from KGH brochures to knitting? He is about to call Dr Kothari for some advice when it suddenly struck him. Pregnancy harmones! Crying and being emotional for no reason, the mood swings..he read about all that during his MBBS but when it came down to reality of his own wife, everything just flew out of the window. He smiles and pulls up a chair and sits beside Nidhi. "Nidhi please meri baat suno please chup ho jaao. Dekho, your daughter is also asking you not to cry." At that Nidhi wipes her eyes and says "not daughter. Son." Ashu ' daughter. Nidhi ' son. Both of them laugh and hug, happy to have crossed another small hurdle.
AshNi leave early for home that evening and Armaan is already there along with Rohan. Ashu freshens up and takes BB for a visit to Jeevan Sandhya to distribute sweets and have a chat with his old friends. As soon as their car leaves, all 3 get busy with the party preparations. CV, DB, Solanki and Shyama arrive and after some time the special orphan kids that Ashu takes care of at KGH also join the party. Nidhi wanted to include everyone who can make the day even more special to her husband. a couple of hours later, everything is ready and everyone is waiting. The sound of the car signals their arrival. As soon as BB and AShu enter the house, everyone in chorus shouts "HAPPY BIRHTDAY!"
Ashu still under the assumption that everyone is wishing BB, smiles and turns to his Baba and says, "happy birthday Baba!" Baba has a delightful smile on his face as he hugs AShu and says, "Happy birthday to you too beta!" and asks him look at the crowd. Ashu's first glance falls on the banner which has ' HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABA N ASHU! Then his startled eyes see the group which includes his whole family and the kids from KGH. Shehenshal is also among them and he comes running to Ashu and says "Happy Birthday Dr AShutosh! Nidhi didi told us all that its your birthday today and she took permission from the hospital for the rest of the kids to come and attend the party. I bought this gift for you. Nidhi didi helped me in selecting it. Open it and see it na please. Abhi!" Ashu is still speechless and stunned. Nidhi did all this for him?! How did she know about his birthday? Who told her? His glance automatically searches for his wife and finds her standing beside Armaan and looking at him. Her smile held her joy that she has succeded in surprising him. When did she even plan all this? Shenshah pulls his hand again to open the gift and he tears open the gift wrapper to find a t-shirt. Dark navy blue one with red and white strips on the chest. He puts his hand on the kid's head and says "it's a lovely gift. I like it very much." Then all kids make a chorus asking him to wear it and say that he can't cut the cake wearing an old dress. He goes inside and changes quickly and come. Everyone is waiting and CV and DB pull him along towards the cake. BB is already there and both of them hold the knife to cut the cake. It was a rectangular butter scotch favoured cake with choco and vanilla icing on it and has the words "Happy Birthday ' dad n son" written on it. He looks at Nidhi and stretches his free hand towards her. She joins him and he cuts the cake amidst everyone singing Happy Birthday to you song. The first piece he feeds Nidhi who eats half and takes it from him and feeds the rest of the half to him. Everyone claps and Rohan and Armaan give wolf whistles. Then both Ashu and Nidhi feed the cake to BB and give him their gift and he blesses them. there are tears in his eyes which he wipes away quickly and hugs them. then its everyone's turn for their bday gifts but it was CV's gift that grabs everyone's attention. To Ashu he gives a beautiful formal wrist watch and to BB he gives a framed photograph of Nandini (Nidhi's mom) along with Nidhi as a baby. She was cradling the days old baby and smiling at the camera. BB looks at the photograph and hugs his son inlaw. All the kids and the rest of the family finish off the cake and snacks and after repeated byes, all the kids leave in the KGH van. In all this hungama Ashu hardly got a chance to look at his wife. She was busy catering to the kids and other family members. But now everyone has settled down a bit and Ashu wants to talk to his wife. Only he doesn't know if he would be able to say anything at all. He was not the best of the communicators to begin with but now emotion has lodged in this throat and there are no words to convey the feelings surrounding him. He is sitting on the sofa and Nidhi comes in and sees that all the places to sit are occupied. Ashu observes the same thing and stretches his hand out to her and once she is near enough, pulls her down on his lap. DB gives them indulgent looks and Armaan gives another wolf whistle and says "oye balle balle!!" everyone laugh!
Armaan ' so whats the plan now Nidhi?
Nidhi ' we'll go out for dinner. I have already made reservations at a restaurant.
Armaan ' ok then lets all leave. What are we waiting for? Waise bhi I have an early flight tomorrow to go to Bangalore. We are thinking of opening a store over there.
CV and BB congratulate him on that and everyone gets up to leave for the restaurant. Nidhi pulls back Ashu and says to the rest of the crowd, "aap log chaliye, hum 10 minutes mein aate hain." Everyone amidst gentle teasing to ribald jokes leave the couple and make their way out. Nidhi closes the door and pulls Ashu along with her upstairs to Ashu's study.
Ashu ' Nidhi, wait. Where are we going?
Nidhi ' everyone gave your birthday gift. But what about mine? You don't want me to give you a birthday gift?
AShu stops her and pulls her close ' what more do I need Nidhi? I can say nothing now except thank God for sending you into my life. I don't want or need anything else.
Nidhi smiles and immediately pouts a little. "so you won't take the birthday gift I bought for you?" Ashu smiles ' birthday gift toh I will take but I am still wondering how you managed to do all this without me knowing about it. Nidhi ' I have special talents of my own. Now come on! Saying that she takes him into the room and gestures him to look at his table. There on the table is a huge pile of gifts. There are so many that Ashu at glance couldn't even count them. he turns towards Nidhi with a amused and surprised look and says, "itne saare? Have you given me birthday gift for this year or for the next 42 years?" Nidhi ' no not the next 42 years. But for the last 42 yrs. For every year that you missed out on till now. all 42 years..all 42 gifts."
Ashu slowly turns and goes near the gifts. 42 gifts for 42 years. And he starts opening them and realizes how much thought she has put into each gift. They included a doodle pro which kids and can write and erase for the 1st birthday, the 5th one a cricket bat and ball, a lego set for 10th birthday, Enid Blayton novel for 14th birthday, a tie for the 18th birthday, a sweatshirt for 25th, a pair of cuff links for 30th, Rayban sunglasses for 35th and the latest a tab for this year. He turns and spots her still standing at the door. She sees a myriad of emotions on his face. Pain, surprise and then great happiness. Nidhi realizes he was hurt that she didn't remember or want to know about his birthday. He thought she was so tightly encased in the circle of my family that there would be no space for him. Little did he know that for her, her world encompassed only of him now. they read hunger, burning passion and unstinting love in each other's eyes.he comes towards her and stops with just a few inches between them. they are not waiting for the other to make the first move. They are just feeding their hearts, soulds and eyes with the presence of each other. They are just breathing the essence of each other into their lungs. His arms go around her and she burrows into his chest and he rests his chin on her head. This is enough for now. all else can wait!
Nidhi is almost ready for the party. She runs the brush on final time through her hair when the phone rings. Its DB! "aap log abhi taka aye kyon nahin meri bachchi? Hum sab wait kar rahe hain. aur tera doctor...uska toh main kya karoon...tere Baba ne toh usko do teen baar phone bhi kar chuke hain...par woh phone utaye tab na...kaisa damad paya hai humne!" Nidhi - "Dadi Bua, chup hojayiye...woh mere saath hi hain...hum donon bas abhi wahan aarahe hain!" DB - " Phir phone kyun nahi utaraha hai woh...aur tu ne bhi abhi utayi...kar kya rahe te tum dono? " Nidhi's eyes involuntarily look towards the bed with its tangled sheets at that last question and she feels a heavy blush coming on!
"Bas ready ho rahe te, Dadi bua...aur kuch nahi...aur woh phone bhi silent pe ta...isliye dekha nahi...ab aap phone rakhiye...hum bas nikal rahe hain...10-15 minute mei pohanch jayenge!" she cuts the line and looks up to see him standing at the doorway to the restroom, looking at her through the mirror...
He looks so delicious! Nidhi blushes harder. He looks at me and raises an eyebrow and asks, "Ready ho rahe te?" she wrinkles her nose at him. "To phir sach bolna chahiye ta?"she looks meaningfully at the bed and this time it is his turn to blush. Nidhi ' chaliye chaliye hum already bahut late hogaye. They had lost all sense of time, space and occasion. The peace they had found in each other's arms had given way to a raging hunger, a need to replenish their vows in the most basic way possible. they could not have gone without. It was fast and furious for they were racing against time as well. It felt borderline illicit almost and, to be honest, there was a whole new thrill. they were doing something they had no business doing, for there were people waiting for them. But, their mutual passion just could not wait and would not let them out of its clutches unless they had fed it just a bit at least. Nidhi has already done her face and all the remains is her necklace.She picks it up and struggles to fasten it around her neck when he places his hands over hers. She withdraws her hands and allows him to do the honours. God, what sensitive fingers he has! They could turn a simple task into sensual torture. At last both are ready and hand in hand they leave the house and make their way to the restaurant..to their impatiently waiting family!!!
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