Joined: 18 March 2012
Touch has memory.
"Why are you doing this?"
"What? What am I doing? And where were you?"
"I asked first…so I deserve an answer first."
"I am waiting!!!"
"I won't let anyone else touch me." (That caused her lips to lift up in a slight smile….He could be such a brat.)
"Now who is being stubborn? Listen to what you are saying…. You have already put the Hospital staff in a lot of trouble with your obstinacy. (sigh) Look, she is your nurse…she will have to give you a sponge bath if I am not there. In any case I am just a volunteer here…and not part of the staff."
"The modalities are not any concern of mine….I meant what I said. None of those...those...those giggly females comes near me. So remember that the next time you go missing, I'll…."
"Uhh…is that a challenge I hear in that sweet voice?"
(And then he heard what he wanted to since she came in, what he was missing for the past two days…that musical laughter. His heart did an involuntary flip.)
"You are incorrigible you know…(still laughing, she helped him sit up and took off his shirt for the sponging)….Hmmm….these cuts are healing fast. You are doing great!! You will be as good as new when your family comes….let's see…next week, right?"
"Yes…I don't want my mother to see me like this. She herself has had such a big operation…and…"
"And that is the main reason you didn't let them know about the accident….Are you always like this?"
"Protective…keeping things to yourself….not sharing your problems….not letting anyone in all the way."
(She bent toward the shoulder, careful not to brush against the wound there. He turned his head slightly and breathed in her fragrance….He lived with these stolen moments till the next day.)
"How do you do that?"
"Do what, Sir?"
(Know me…know who I am…In just a few days you have broken through all my defences.…What is it about you that makes me feel in a way I have never felt before? Makes me want to share myself…talk about myself just so I can hear you….)
"(Aloud) Be so perceptive…and don't call me that, I've told you so many times. Do you always get to know so deeply everyone you tend to here?" (That thought suddenly made him feel uncomfortable…he realized he didn't want to share her with anyone.)
"No, no…it's not that. Gosh, did I offend you? I am so sorry…It's just that you have such a loving family….I have heard you speak with them and know how attached you are to them….Also families are for sharing…right? Especially when one is in trouble." (A soft sigh…not gone unheard….)
"Why do you sound so sad suddenly?"
(Her hand stilled over his heart…and then started to move toward the shoulder. He stopped her by holding her wrist.)
"What is it, Mishti? You can tell me. Maybe I can help."
(No, Yashji….nobody can. The sooner your family comes, the sooner I can go away….I have already let myself drown deeply, and I know I won't ever resurface from this…and I won't ever want to also. At least I can go away forever, so that you never see me. It's for the best.)
"Now you are overreacting…nothing is the matter. Please let go of my hand…so that I can get you dressed. The doctor must be on his way."
"I can sense something is wrong…and if you don't tell me by tomorrow…before my bandages are taken off….I'll find out myself. I have my ways….And don't even think of going missing…."
"They come off tomorrow? But the doctor had said…."
"That was before you vanished….Yesterday he did a complete checkup and gave me the good news. Do you realize what this means, Mishti?"
"Yes…I do. It's wonderful….I am so happy. I…Yashji, I…I have to…."
"I am waiting!!"
"Ok…Tell me, suppose during the bandage opening I am not here and I have to urgently go somewhere and not be able to come back in time….and then we meet someplace else, some other time…maybe years later… will you recognize me?"
(His whole being tensed up.)
"What are you saying?"
"Please…let's just assume if this happens…I am so curious to know how you…."
"Your voice….I can recognize it from miles away."
"And if I don't speak, then…."
(He reached for her hands…and covered them in his.)
"These hands have saved me, given me a new life, taken care of me….They talk to my heart. To answer your question, your sparsh….I would know this touch as long as I live!!"
To be continued...
Part IX (Page 71)
Part X (Page 82)
Part XI (Page 95)
Part XII (Page 107)
Part XIII (Page 118)
Part XIV (Page 130)
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