Joined: 31 March 2012
Joined: 31 March 2012
"Come in!!!" Ashutosh snapped out of his reverie as there was a knock on the door. Dr Bharati came in and Ashutosh stood up slowly in anxious trepidation, fearing the worst.
Dr Bharati stood still for quite some time...as if trying to assess the situation in the room. Then she turned and called out, "Nidhi!! Come in, my dear..."
Nidhi came in with her head bowed and nervous eyes darting with uncertainty intermixed with guilt. Dr Bharati caught her hand and pulled her close, and began, "Dr Ashutosh, well, I talked quite a lot with Nidhi, understood her anxieties and concerns, and..." Dr Bharati paused, and Ashutosh's heart went into an overdrive of arrhythmic contractions coupled with hyperventilation. Every stroke of his heart sent blood rushing to his brain and this was highly audible as a pounding sound in his ears. With each passing moment, this only increased in frequency and vigour and when his heart relaxed, after a beat, a little blood remained, which was tangible as a feeling of heat in his earlobes. Furthermore, the capillaries of his face appeared to have a mind of their own, as they relaxed without his permission and blood flooded his face giving it a flushed appearance.
All this was not missed by Dr Bharati as she cleared her throat and continued, "Nidhi has decided to go ahead with this pregnancy!!! Congratulations, Dr Ashutosh, and to you too, Nidhi!!
A variety of emotions flooded Ashutosh's subconscious mind ranging from utter disbelief to sheer relief and finally ending with an eternal delight. He stared at Nidhi with undisguised love and tenderness as she shyly smiled back at him.
"Yeh tumhari file baad mein dekh lena...excuse me..." as she waved the file across Ashutosh's line of vision, which was hopelessly locked on to Nidhi. "OK, SEE YOU BOTH LATER..." Dr Bharati sighed inwardly, shook her head in exasperation and forced the file in Ashutosh's hands; the action and movement hardly registered to either of them.
Dr Bharati smiled indulgently at both and quietly left the room, banging the door behind her. The effect of the banging door was electric; it served to awaken both lost souls from their respective trance; Ashutosh dropped the file in haste as his fingers unflexed themselves. Both dropped to their knees simultaneously with an attempt to retrieve the file, the net result of this action was a collective thud as their craniums collided with a substantial momentum.
"OUCHHH..." Nidhi cried, rubbing her forehead.
"Lag gaya kya? Ashutosh asked sheepishly, rubbing his own head. He offered her his hand to help her stand up, finally collecting the file and depositing it on the table.
"Aap mujhse naaraaz hai na..." Nidhi began with a guilty note in her voice.
"Woh kyoun bhala? Takkar maari isliye?" Ashutosh felt his own forehead gingerly, there was a big bump. He wondered whether pregnancy resulted in an extra dense skull in some females.
"Maine aapko pata nahin kya kya keh diya gusse main...Aur phir takkar maari...Aapko bhi lag gaya na..." Nidhi was worried, that bump was definitely discernible now. "Ha, ab tumhare dimaag mein itni garmi hai to...yahi hoga na? Ashutosh burst out laughing as Nidhi looked alarmed and suddenly grew serious.."Uss baat ke liye naaraaz nahin, kissi aur baat ke liye bahut gussa houn...
"Kiss cheez par?" Now what was that? Nidhi was apprehensive. Ashutosh gathered her in his arms, cupped her face, looked deep in her eyes and continued, "Nidhi...I know I have blundered in the past...almost killed your career when I sacked you from KGH for no reason...I hated myself that day. And then you confronted me in public in Armaan's show, I just wanted to..." Nidhi's eyes brimmed over and she put a finger on his lips, "Ab yeh sab kehna zaroori hai kya? "Nahin Nidhi, aaj to kehne do...Nidhi I know...I could see the hurt, the betrayal in your eyes at the Mumbai convention; I tried to apologize to you...and failed miserably. Woh kehte hai na, hum jisse pyaar karte hai, usiko chot pahuncha sakte hai...ekdum sach hai...I was madly in love with you then... " Ashutosh continued, "Aur phir meri kismet ka sitara chamak gaya...Baba ki mazaar par...tumne yeh kabool kiya ki you also loved me..."
"Nidhi...today we are married happily... marriage to me implies being together through thick and thin... partners for life. You know what that means? You smile, I feel happy...I get hurt, you feel the pain...There has to be a certain amount of trust in between us, please...How could you even think that I was set to sabotage your career? I am never going to seek any pleasure at the cost of your happiness. Tum yeh soch rahi ho na, ki uss din tumne jo jee main aaya keh diya...I can understand. Life suddenly put you in a situation totally unprecedented...and you have to choose between two not-so easy options... you were stressed out.
Par yeh tumhara udaas rehna, raat bhar na sona...crying the whole time, becoming hysterical... I am hurt, Nidhi...did you even ONCE think about what it would do to me to see you in that state? Nidhi main tumhara pati houn... ek pal mein main tumhara dushman ho gaya? Theek hai,mujhse share nahin kar sakti thi to BB se to keh sakti thi na? And then I had to choose between the life growing inside you, my child and your happiness? Do you think that was an easy decision for me to take?" His throat clogged up with the mere thought of the eventuality.
"Sorry..." Nidhi had tears streaming down her cheeks. She had never thought of Ashutosh in this perspective...Never thought about his pain had she decided to go ahead with the abortion. After all, the child was their joint creation, and he was supposed to have an equal right on that, didn't he? And he had willingly given it up!!! She couldn't take it anymore and collapsed against his chest, her body racked with sobs, "Mujhe maaf kar dijiye...sorry...sorry..."
Ashutosh let her cry for a while, his fingers roaming in her hair...when the tide subsided, cupped her chin and looked at her with the Dr Heartstone gaze, "to ab aage kya? iss tarah gumsum rehna, akele akele kudhna, raat bhar na sona, apne khane-peene ka koi khayal na rakhna, YEH SAB NOW ONWARDS ...NOT ALLOWED. IS THAT CLEAR, Dr NIDHI? Nidhi swallowed hard, as his words, said in the Dr Heartstone manner, chilled her to the bone.
Ashutosh burst out laughing at Nidhi's shocked face, "Aur itni badi khush khabar ke liye, muh meetha nahi karaogi kya?" Nidhi was surprised, Ashutosh just hated sweets. "To phir, kounsi mithai pasand karenge aap? Ghar chaliye, banaa deti houn..."
"Main uss mithai ki baat nahi kar raha tha...yeh jo tumhare labon se tapakti hai na, woh sharab kafi hai mere liye..." Ashutosh leaned towards her in a suggestive manner.
"Woh bhi aapko ghar par hi milegi...shayad aap bhool gaye ki yeh hospital hai?"
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Joined: 31 March 2012
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