Joined: 03 November 2009
Ashutosh gathered Nidhi from the back as she was folding the dry clothes tht she had jst pulled out from the clothesline and thrown on thr bed. His soft nuzzle tingled Nidhi sweetly on the sensitive part of her neck and made her automatically flinch with a soft giggle. Ashutosh laughed softly and applied a gentle kiss on her head jst above the ear. "seems like ur surgeries went extremely well today..NS!"Nidhi remarked, enjoying tht little tingle tht still lingered on her skin wer he had nuzzled her. Ashutosh smiled at her obvious inference and came around towards his side of bed adjacent to which stood a big dressing table. He loosened his tie from the neck and started unbuttoning his shirt. Nidhi placed his folded shirt in a basket tagged "For Ironing" and glanced up at him. His long and sturdy figure reflected itself back handsomely from the mirror. The angle at which she was sitting provided her two full views of her husband's unbuttoned torso to admire and ogle at! And she took all her sweet little time to do so! A naughty chuckle played on her lips and reddened her cheeks forming a rosy mound as he flexed his muscles to don the T-shirt over his well fitting vest! She shifted her eyes back on the clothes and tried to concentrate on the task at hand. She shrieked the very next moment as she was pulled and thrown forward onto the bed against him disarranging the different stacks of clothes tht she had made. In a flash, he had lunged onto the bed and had pulled her across the bed from the other side to cage her under him! A naughty smile played on his lips as he placed his hand to fit into the curve of her waist and slid it down to her lower back to pull her close. Nidhi tried in vain to maintain some decent distance, which he didn't seem to approve. He bent down and pecked on the cheeks tht had been blushing secretly a while ago. "u blush and I kiss!"he uttered softly and he inched towards her lips to prove his statement. He kissed thm softly and lingeringly. Again a sweet red color crept up on her cheeks as she tried to wriggle out of her strong muscular arms and wide chest tht she was jst admiring! He tightened the enclosure of his arms and mumbled,"I said u blush and I kiss!" he said again and tried to attack her lips again which she successfully dodged giggling and wriggling in his arms! "My naughty wife!"he cried and cuddled and embraced her warmly! "my naughty hubby!"she cried in reply and complained,"who has ruined all my hard work!" "huh..i m talking abt blushes and kisses and u r talking abt hard work!" he complained in reply. She smiled mischievously and tugged at T-shirt tht she had been clutching while he was kissing to pull him close. "A hard work so tht u can don this T-shirt over ur very toned torso!" she whispered huskily making him squeeze her and apply a naughty nuzzle in her neck to tingle her. She giggled again and he took her lips all over again. This time not wanting to go any softly or even lingeringly over her lips. He made it quick and pretty passionate! She smiled beautifully and blushingly over his lips wen he finished. She was still gathered in his arms and quite close to his chest. She looked up at him and his eyes sparkled as he asked,"a cup of tea wud enhance this sweetness of taste!" Her lips stretched into a wide smile as she nodded a naughty acknowledgement to his romantic mischief. "yeah' bt thr was no need of this special style of ordering.." She pushed him away gently and remarked. He caught her arm and laughed back softly in reply,"it aint a special style of some ordering..u shud know tht!" She pulled back her hand and nodded a yeah in style smiling and disappeared out of the door. Her smile kept stretching with every step towards the kitchen as his lips still seemed to linger on her lips. It had been long time since thy had this kind of romance!
When she came back to call him, he had already stacked the clothes back in its original arrangement and was jst putting the last piece very diligently on its respective stack. "my dear hubby this is not some neurosurgery and u do not need to b so finicky abt placing a simple thing as a cloth back in its stack as accurately as possible!" She joked from the door! He glanced up at her and beamed back at her proudly, however, at the neat way tht he had accomplished his task. "it shud've a stamp of a neurosurgeon!" he cried and Nidhi laughed as he approached her and she patted his back enthusiastically as he walked past her,"okay.. a very good Job..Mr. Neurosurgeon!" "Thnk u m'am!"he chirped and walked out of the room with a head held as high as possible and a gait put down as proudly as he cud! Nidhi cudnt stop her erupting laughter at his cute antic.
"so hows baba doing?" he asked with some seriousness munching on his high-fiber biscuit as thy sat across each other on the dining table and sipped on thr tea. Nidhi sighed and shrugged,"as okay as a man with last stage of brain tumor cud do!" Ashutosh sighed deeply and a bit sadly as he placed back his cup on his tea coaster and revolved it round on its own axis and gulped down his bite of biscuit. Nidhi gently placed her hand on his worryingly playing hand and smiled sympathetically. He stopped and sighed and patted her back in self-reassurance with the other hand. Thy had came to a silent understanding regarding baba's poor prognosis and had started to accept the inevitable fate of his baba! "do u think Aradhnaji can make him change his decision?"she asked cautiously. She knew he was against baba opting for the surgery and against pressurizing him in any way to do so and was greatly displeased wen she had brot Aradhnaji to Mathur Mansion. And the last thing he wanted was baba changing his decision of not opting for a surgery! Bt it was a last resort in saving baba and Nidhi was very keen on it, tho its consequences were unpredictable and very scary for Ashutosh, as his son. Bt being a neurosurgeon, he knew the worth tht 5% of chance tht his baba had with this surgery and tht it was his only chance at a bit longer survival. Otherwise, his baba's had only 6 to max 8 months in hand with a rather slow decaying death! Or he cud take up this chance at surgery wer 95% meant an instantaneous on-table death if the surgery failed considering baba's age and if partially survived, he cud b disabled, affected by paralysis, or even go into a comatose state - the uncertainities infinite, giving him even more worse end days of life thn without a surgery! And tht was the part tht scared him most and held him back from agreeing with Nidhi. He looked up at her. Bt she was still pretty determined, optimistic, and believed in this 5% of hope! Wat chance a 5% of success can have against 95% of failure in an 85 yr old terminally ill patient! Nothing! Nothing at all! Bt she still wanted to cling to tht probability! And it was bt her nature, to b daring and to b clinging on to every possible chance at life, defying the odds and fighting cruel challenges! And y not, the hopes of ppl like Nidhi wer fed by those miracles tht happened tht defied every logic of medical science and all those statistical probabilities of poor success rates! And truthfully, he himself had witnessed at least half a dozen miracles in his long career span of 15 yrs, he cudnt deny tht and Nidhi had argued with same point! Rare bt those miracles happened and the thing was tht tht thy happened and gave ppl like Nidhi a hope! He sighed. "r u still upset with me tht I pulled Aradhnaji into all this mess of baba?"she asked hesitatingly looking at his deeply ruminating face with some worry lines gathered on his forehead. He jst sighed deeply and let his worrying thots drift away from him for a while as he nodded a no in reply and took his cup back to his lips for a sip. He let his mind divert over to the taste of her tea. He jst loved Nidhi's ginger tea. It stimulated him at times wen he needed it badly and it also provided him tht sense of relief wen he needed it equally badly! He looked at the tea in the cup and smiled faintly. Nidhi slid back in her seat making an annoyed face. "bt u r not even talking to me abt it!" she complained. A smile escaped his lips at his cute complaining voice and his eyes shot up at her from his cup,"Nidhi.. u have a knack of defying me.. and this time, even God seems to b conspiring against me' u found out abt Aradhnaji and she even agreed to come here.. wat can I say..!" He shrugged. "huh! thts not answer to my question!" Nidhi lunged forward from her seat seeking a clear answer bt he chose to ignore! "ur tea is ever so good anyways!" he took the last sip and raised the cup as a sign of appreciation and thn placed it back on the tray neatly! She huhed and pouted again and drew back in her chair with crossed arms,"if u r still upset jst say it!" she cried. She had already finished her tea and he put back his cup beside his on the tray and stared at her. "Nidhi, I know u want baba to live. U want him to fight back, bt at wat cost? U know his age rite?..u know the complications it can lead to. U know his body cannot bear the strain of these long painful palliative treatments!" Nidhi lowered her eyes,"one do not really have a choice of a better option here. We cannot jst sit back and do nothing. We cant jst watch him die a slow death without a fight!"she cried. He threw his arms in air,"its his choice Nidhi!..its much better thn to put him under tht physical as well as mental stress in this age with this disease. I want a peaceful life of him for watever time is left of him Nidhi. I do not want him under some wires and tubes and lying on tht bed in a semiconscious state! Even baba doesn't want tht for himself Nidhi! This only supportive therapy is the best therapy for his age and disease!" "Oh! how can u not fite!"she cried impatiently. "I don't want to fite and I wudnt want him to fite either.. and I wudnt want him to change his decision for whatsoever reason!" "Its his decision to change..he can if he wants!" "I don't want him to die tomorrow Nidhi!" he barked finally losing control over himself. "He is not going to die!"she cried back "u..u.. r not a neurosurgeon Nidhi..U r still an inexperienced intern and u don't know anything abt this! I have worked on 100 of such cases and I know better the prognosis of such surgical intervention!" he cried angrily. Nidhi disagreed with a strong vehement no! "I cant believe it.. how can u not take a chance with ur own baba." "its ur own baba dammit!" Nidhi cried in frustration! "baba's life is not some game to take a chance with Nidhi!" "bcoz its ur baba's life, my nana's life, I want u to give tht chance a shot.. I want u to give him a shot at life..!"she cried. "Nidhi.. bt u have to b always on the other side of me really!"Ashutosh cried in frustration. "I m not on other side of u Ashutosh, I jst want baba to live!" "I too want him to live Nidhi! bt as long as he can, the way he wants, the way he wishes. I do not want to snatch away his last remaining breaths abruptly!" Nidhi threw her arms in air,"y do u always think negative!" "I m being cautious and wary of the unforeseen results! Its not being negative okay.. rather its called being watchful and prudent and not being foolishly overoptimistic!"he said sarcastically "one needs to have blind faith to believe in something and to derive tht strength and march ahead with wat one believes in and I believe in surgery even if u consider it as a foolish overoptimism!" she retorted. Ashutosh looked at her with frown. It was jst no use arguing. Thy had lots of fights on the same issue already and wer repeating almost every point tht have already argued on! It was basically the problem of thr opposite and stubborn nature! Neither was wanting to relent, bt Nidhi had went a step ahead in this battle and invited Aradhnaji and was even hoping tht she wud make baba change his decision. He threw fisted frustrated hands on his hips as his frown deepened. Nidhi too stared back at him with a defiant frown. "Nidhi baba has already taken a decision on this and I agree with his decision!" "u r a surgeon, u ought to have more faith in definitive surgeries thn symptomatic treatments!" she cried. "Nidhi if he wished to have a surgery, I wud've agreed to tht too, reluctantly so, bt I wud've respected his decision, bt he didn't.. y don't u understand tht!" "his decision is wrong!" "Nidhi ur judgement of him is wrong..he is wise and has seen more of this world and such surgeries thn u have!" "u seemed to think u understand and know baba better thn me!"she cried. He drew a sharp breath in trying to make her understand!" it has nothing to do with who understands him better.. it's a practical decision on his part Nidhi!" "its..its.. not a practical decision.. No! he is not even giving himself a fair chance!" "bt to prove tht to him, one shudnt resort to any sort of tricks Nidhi!""okay, so u believe I m coercing him into changing his decision!" he twitched in reply,"yes I do!" Nidhi stared at him with hurt and thn looked away. "now don't u look hurt..u know its true!" he cried. "the thing is not wether its true or not.. the thing is tht u believe it to b true..u believe I m tricking him.. u believe I m coercing him!" "so is it not.. tell me?" "I jst want him to see the other side.. which he isnt even considering..wat is wrong if I make him see tht other side which he is jst not willing to see for watever reason!" Ashutosh gave up! "u r impossible Nidhi..seriously impossible!" Nidhi felt more hurt! Ashutosh stared at her for a while. Thr arguments always ended up this way with either one of thm feeling hurt! He sighed and thn gathering himself back, he breathed in deeply. "bt u wer always like this wernt u?" he said standing up from the table and picking up the tray,"forcing me to do things tht I wud've never thot of ever doing even in my dreams!" "wat do u mean!"Nidhi retorted back sharply following him in angrily. Bt he smiled as he heard her stomping feet behind him and said softly,"like making me fall in luv with u.." He placed the tray in the sink and opened the tap and turned towards her,"making me confess my luv and making me run after u all the way to Kerala!" he finished and crossed his arms against his chest with a wide smile after closing the tap. Nidhi jst stared back at him. "u wer running away from me and I was running after u..and u even forced me to come out of my exile wen I had failed miserably professionally after u turned me down! " Nidhi looked at him with a little guilty frown! He opened his armlock and pulled her close to lean her against his tall figure holding her by her waist. He gently pushed back hair behind her ears as he stared in her eyes tenderly,"u r always like tht.. arnt u?" "so' tht was a good thing!" she defended herself. He chuckled,"yeah.. tht was a good thing!" He tipped her face up and gazed deeply into her eyes,"I wish everything cud turn out well in the end as it did with us Nidhi!" he said softly and Nidhi upped herself on her toes, taking a support of his arms, she lifted herself and pecked his lips and uttered confidentally,"it will!" He smiled back instantly! She lowered herself down and pushing him away from the sink started rinsing the cups! He shrugged and said in resigned tone,"wat can I say!" tht made Nidhi chuckle. He kissed at her cheek and went to his study room.
Aradhnaji was lying on the bed of the guestroom wen Nidhi entered after knocking with her tea. "Is everything comfortable?"she asked politely. Aradhnaji smiled and sat up on the bed and motioned her to come and join her on the bed with the tray. "well.. fine except the old dying man in the adjacent room!" she joked. Nidhi cudnt help smile. Offering her her cup, she asked aftr a bit of hesitation,"I'I hope u didn't feel I dragged u unnecessarily into this mess!" Aradhanji sighed,"it depends on which mess u r talking abt.. the one tht we had left unresolved yrs ago or the one wer we wer going to repeat our mistake of messing up yet again!" Nidhi twitched her lip understandingly and picked up the tray to put on her lap and sighed. Aradhnaji had erupted in anger at the mere mention of Dr. Mathur's name wen she had gone to talk to her. She had even taken his number from Nidhi and chided him severely without even listening to wat Nidhi had to say! Bt after learning abt his cancer, she had mellowed down significantly and agreed to come to meet him one last time! One last time! Nidhi had pondered on the fact tht how wud it feel to meet one's lover after so many years! And she cud see tht tht spark was still thr betn thm! "it has been a very very long time for u two.. isnt it?"Nidhi asked softly. Aradhnaji smiled knowingly,"u remind me of my young days Dr. Nidhi.. I was as romantic and as optimistic as u r.." she sighed,"bt guess life teaches u a lot..!" she said sipping on her tea and looking out of the window blankly! "bt I m extremely sorry.. bcoz.. bcoz.. u have ur own family and'and its.. u know awkward.." Nidhi's voice trailed off as she didn't find appropriate words to express herself! Aradhnaji laughed,"how does it matter at this stage of life Dr. Nidhi!... my husband had long known abt me and Mathur plus he wudnt want to take curse of a dying man!" Nidhi cudnt help smile again. She loved this fact tht Aradhanaji always found something to lighten the seriousness of the situation. "its brave of u to dig up and accept something abt one's grandparent's past.. I mean.. my children weren't able to accept this fact, even at this age, tht I had once ..u know.." Aradhanaji's voice became low and slow and she sighed before completing,"tht I had once loved some man so deeply and tht thr is someone other thn thr father tht still holds a special place in my heart!""and tht I came running down here to Lucknow from Allahabad leaving back my busy practice jst for him!"she lightened the moment yet again by an as-a-matter-of-factly statement! Nidhi shrugged and looked at her trying to understand her. Wat exactly was she?..She was gem of a woman tht Nidhi cud say bt thn Y did her nana broke up with such a fine lady?. Wat exactly had happened betn thm? Thr wer lots of questions bt the answers wernt thr and thy probably had no rite to seek those answers of thr private affair! "yes..it seems odd.. awkward.." Nidhi confessed," my husband too felt strange.. relating to a hidden romantic past of his baba.. I mean.. its hard for him to accept such truth about him.. he is his idol!" Aradhnaji smiled understandingly and commented,"men r complicated.. I tell u!" Nidhi chuckled again. It was so true! "I haven't seen a more complicated man thn Dr. Ashutosh!"she said. Aradhnaji smiled back and corrected her,"No thrs bt one.. Mathur!" and thy laughed at the joke and thr mirthful laughter filled her room.
Dr. Mathur cud hear the voice of the laughter from the adjacent room. One was unmistakably of Nidhi and the other tht he had heard after such a long span of time! The birthday card in his hand took him back to the days of his college. A smile spread warmth in his heart and a delightful voice burst a thousand bubbles of joy in his being! Bt alas he had known thn wat he wud miss by not acknowledging and reciprocating tht smile, tht delightful voice - tht luv. He sighed heavily and few tears travelled down his cheeks and dropped on the open card tht he was holding in his hand and smudged the letters written in blue fountain pen ink tht spelled.. Forever urs, Aradhna!. A few more tears dribbled down and washed away tht name completely! He wiped off his tears and looked at the card. Thr wer letters scribbled lovingly and thy combined to form words into a beautiful poem, and thr was a certain invisible ink tht filled up tht card more thn tht foutainpen ink, an invisible ink called luv! His eyes fell at the smudged spot at the bottom of the card and his heart ached painfully. Once, similarly, he had washed her away from his life and yet tht smudge had always remained to remind him of his wrongdoing!
"Mathur!" tht voice called him again and he hid the card below his pillow before turning towards the door. "Mathur.. I m leaving.." she said simply and Dr. Mathur jst stared at her, without blinking! Aradhna sighed and turned her gaze away from him and to outside the window. "Time doesn't stop!" she said softly. Dr. Mathur looked at her from his heavy-lidded eyes. Thy had hardly spoken since she had come down to his house at Nidhi's request. She had glanced at him, greeted him formally, and thn went on to her room to refresh. Thy met only at the table or on living room sofa and wen thy did, thy didn't talk abt wat thy needed to talk. Dr. Mathur smirked at himself. "I haven't changed a bit.. have I.. I never speak up.. I never spoke wen I shud've.." "Nor did u stood for us.. for me!" she completed his sentence softly. "Thr is no point in asking y u didnt, coz its bygone and its not going to change a thing and I don't want to dwell in tht past!" "Thn y did u come?" "To see u for one last time and to ask for one thing if u cud give me from ur life at least?" Dr. Mathur stared at her. "wat?"he asked softly. "Can u borrow some more time from God?" Tears threatened to brim in his eyes as he answered,"how can I promise tht!" "I know u cud never promise. U cud never promise to marry me in spite of loving me! U cud never promise to come back for me wen u chose ur career over me and went to London. u cud never ever promise anything..Mathur" Dr. Mathur looked away. "y do u even remember me?"she asked him and thn she smiled faintly at his silence and answered herself,"Guilt I suppose.." Dr. Mathur sighed,"career.. I always chose career over everything.. u... my life.. my mrg.. my family' my daughter' everything!" "U know I had lot of resentment aftr u left me and I even thot of taking a revenge at one point, bt the day I learnt abt ur mrg, I threw it in dustbin!" Dr. Mathur turned to her. "I picked myself up, gave myself a husband, a happy life, a sweet home, a successful career, luving children, adorable grandchildren..i promised myself a contended life and I.." she stared at him leaving the sentence incomplete. His eyes swarmed up with questions. She jst sighed heavily and said,"and yet I cudnt throw away those letters of urs!" She looked away from him as if accepting her defeat and her eyes fell on the card tht revealed itself from underneath his pillow. "and looks like u cudnt either!" She smiled softly and went over to sit beside him on the bed. She pulled the peeking card and opened it up to read it. Her eyes ran down the lines inscribed and thn got fixed at the bottom of the card wer thr now displayed a smudge instead of her name. She smirked and nodded,"and still I exist only as a little blur in ur life" Dr. Mathur closed his eyes and cudnt held himself back any longer. His hand went to hold her hand, bt she withdrew it quickly, got up from the bed and moved away. Dr. Mathur sighed very deeply and regretfully as two lone tears trickled down from each eye. "Can u not forgive me..please?" He cried painfully. She smiled back,"U have never left me with any choice.. have u.. ever?" Dr. Mathur sighed regretfully again. "y did u come'y did u come back for me?"Mathur asked. She gently walked up in front of him to answer,"initially'" she pursed her lips .. "truthfully jst to seek those answers... Bt wen I learnt abt u more, I realized God seemed to have already punished u enuf for me to repeat it on u again.. " Dr. Mathur smiled at her wry joke,"U haven't changed!" "Nope I haven't.. not a bit.." "so wat do u want from me?" "some more time of urs on this earth'" "how much.." "a year or two'" "y?" she smiled,"so tht I can let u hold my hand without any guilt Mathur!" Dr. Mathur stared back at her questioningly. Bt she chose not to answer and disappeared behind the door uttering,"U have to live..Mathur and this time u have to promise me and u have to keep tht promise to ur Aradhna!"
And from tht day onwards, Dr. Mathur received her letters as he used to receive wen thy wer in college. And he replied and her replies kept coming back and he cud not stop! He cud not stop writing to her and thts wen he decided tht he had to undergo this surgery and the following palliative treatment. If he had to keep his promise to Aradhna, he had to take tht 5% chance!
Nidhi was relieved to hear his decision, Ashutosh was angry initially bt seeing his baba's new found enthusiasm to live, he relented reluctantly bt still felt a bit apprehensive abt all this. As a doctor, it was of course his patient's discretion bt as a son, it pained him bt now tht he had changed his decision, he cud jst hope tht his decision was rite and he cud get to spend some more time with him. Bt once he got involved in planning and phasing out a detailed treatment schedule for him, he hardly got any time to sit and ponder abt his baba's changed decision. The first stage of this treatment included an open craniotomy for maximally feasible total resection of the tumor with resection of maximal tumor-free margins as possible. It wud b thn supplemented with subsequent radiation therapy and chemotherapy to suppress and slow this recurrent disease to prolong his survival. Nidhi was quite supportive in every way, b it encouraging baba or keeping his own hopes up! She tended to both of thm with care and love and lot more maturity and understanding for her age. He had called in India's top neurosurgeons to assist him in this operation and best oncologists, radiologists, and additional therapists were lined in for his baba. But a shocker came wen he was informed by Dr. Rangnath just three days before scheduled surgery tht baba didn't wish him to operate on him, neither did he want Nidhi or him to participate in any process of his treatment thrafter as doctors.
Ashutosh was at first shocked and cudnt believe, bt Dr. Rangnath admittedly confirmed tht indeed it was true and not only tht, he had requested management for the same with a written application already so tht thr was no option of turning back on his decision. He showed a copy of it to Dr. Ashutosh. Ashutosh slumped back in his chair with the letter in his hand. Dr. Rangnath consoled him stating tht he will make sure everything wud go accordingly as he had planned and scheduled and tht he rest assured ab tht and left to send Dr. Nidhi in. Ashutosh cudnt come to terms to accepting baba's decision and felt anger and resentment! Bt Nidhi took it more sportingly thn him. She talked to baba as if nothing had happened. Ashutosh displayed his silent protest by not talking to him. His baba had called him twice, bt he had deliberately cited different excuses and avoided him completely.
"Ashutosh u cannot do this!" Nidhi cried at last once thy wer back home. "how can baba do this Nidhi!"Ashutosh cried back and threw his tie on the bed in anger! "I m helpless u know tht!" he cried aloud his pain,"I m a surgeon and u know how it feels wen u know wat u can provide bt u r left handicapped by some emotional decision!" Nidhi sighed and looked worriedly at his agitated face! "bt he mst've thot of something if has decided on it. May b he doesn't want us to get involved!" He grabbed her shoulders,"Y Nidhi! how can v not! How possibly can v remain mere spectators!" Nidhi sighed and ran a tender hand on his face,"I guess he wants tht v don't get too much involved and fret over his health!" He stared at her face in pitiful state,"Its so hard..Nidhi..how can I b in KGH and not treat him and treat some other patient wen I know he is jst lying in some adjacent room!" Nidhi sighed and gently pecked his lips to soothe him. As if he was barely holding himself up, he grabbed her as soon as he pecked and took her lips furiously seeking the solace for his agitated angry and helpless nerves. Nidhi whined at his harsh attack bt thn gave in to his need to feel relieved. She ran her consoling fingers on him in trying to soothe him from his inner rage. He broke off and looked searchingly into her eyes. Nidh cupped his face and gave him a very tender and loving kiss taking his lips softly and surely. He clinged on to her. His hands ran over hers and pulled her close. His need to get relieved with something more was rising. He clasped her into a tight hug and thn his agitated mind took her lips again as he pulled down the zip on the back of her dress. Nidhi drew back and cried softly,"Ashutosh.." "please'" Ashutosh's heart thumped violently as he looked at her helplessly! Nidhi drew close to him and hugged him warmly. "everything will b alright..trust me.. everything will b alright!" she said gently. Ashutosh's hands ran over her shoulders as he pulled down her dress to bare her shoulders and back. He hid into her neck and brushed her lips over her shoulder back and forth as he sought her warmth. His hands ran on the bare skin of her back and he squeezed her repeatedly for comfort. She slid her hands beneath his shirt and stroked him affectionately as she kissed his chest and reaffirmed,"everything will b alright.. Ashutosh'it will b alrite okay.. we will make sure tht we will do our part properly. We will keep our baba healthy, fit, and fine while he takes those therapies and undergoes tht surgery. He wants us to tend him, to b sound enuf to care for him and not fret over him rite? So we will b by his side and encourage him watever way we can alrite?" She broke the hug and looked up at him. She gently wiped of his tears and tipped up on her toes with a smile and gently pecked his lips. "shall v have our dinner..v need to keep ourselvels fit and fine to support baba first rite!" She signaled him to zip her up. Ashutosh nodded and obeyed her quietly. Nidhi took his hand and led him out of the bedroom. "Then we will go and talk to baba okay. And we will take turns to stay with baba at nite okay!"
"Good Morning baba!" Ashutosh said cheerfully bringing him his cup of tea personally, wanting to share some moments with him. Dr. Mathur hid his letter to Aradhna below the pillow tho Ashutosh caught eye of it and smiled meaningfully at him. Dr. Mathur smiled back acceptingly,"u know she writes beautifully.. its hard not to reply!" Ashutosh raised his hand to convey he doesn't intend to pry in thr affair! Dr. Mathur laughed off frankly. "Bt u seem more happy baba!"Ashutosh said satisfactorily. After his miraculous successful surgery, he had been pretty joyful and optimistic all the way thru his follow-up treatments. "y wudnt a person b. I got some additional life to live..as I wish!" He laughed joyously. "yeah..baba.. miracles do happen afterall!" His baba laughed again and joked,"and sometimes thy happen with some skeptics of doctors!" His baba joked and Ashutosh joined him! Nidhi came chirpingly with some snacks. "wats going on?" "oh.. baba was talking abt miracles!" Nidhi went and hugged her nana dearly,"oh nanaji..its not miracle its answer to our true prayers..from me, from Aradhnaji.. from Ashutoshji.. and everyone who luved u..!" Her nana sighed,"thnk u sweetheart.. bt I mst thnk u for bringing Aradhna back in my life.. really I owe u tht!" "really u owe me?" "yeah!" "so I can ask for anything?'" "yeah.." "okay thn I ask u to get out from tht bed ASAP!"she cried in authoritative tone and both her nana and Ashutosh laughed. Once again thr house was filled with laughter!
And in nxt 6 months, Dr. Mathur recuperated really well. Both for his age and for his disease, it was an astonishing feat, bt wat kept making him fight all the way thru remaining life were those letters from Aradhna. His urge to live increased with her every letter. And tht desire kept him alive for almost two years, giving him those extra breaths, to love Aradhna, tht he had lost earlier in his life. Distance cudnt dampen thr spirits and it seemed as if thr love had rekindled and he was eagerly waiting for the day wen Aradhna wud keep her part of promise. He didn't knew wat she had meant bt he had but one wish before dying, to held her hand for once. He sighed as he looked at her last letter. It said it was her last letter and he was now eagerly waiting for her to appear anytime from tht door and surprise him. Bt instead a teary-eyed Nidhi appeared from the door and handed him her cellphone. The cellphone slipped from his hand on hearing the news. It said tht Aradhna had jst breathed her last breath and had left a message for him before dying. She was sorry tht she cudnt keep her promise. She had been suffering from a terminal metastatic breast cancer. Her last letter flew away from his hand as he sat staring blankly into nothingness. His tears too seemed to betray him. Nidhi ran to collect his precious letter. Her eyes fell on one sentence tht stared back at her.
Promises betn us wer neither meant to b made nor fulfilled Mathur!
Nidhi cudnt control herself and broke into a heavy sob. A teary Ashutosh gathered her in his arms and took her away as his baba wanted to b left alone with tht letter and laid down on his bed. Nidhi weeped over his chest and mumbled,"she had said she wud make baba do wat he wud never ever dare otherwise!.. She wud make him promise and she wud not let him betray her this time. She had promised me.. Ashutosh.. she had promised me'"her voice trailed off in hiccups. Ashutosh ran a tender soothing hand on her back to console her. "Thank u Aradhnaji..thnk u soo very much!" he cud jst say as he gathered his wife dearly and planted a soft kiss on her head.************Do put in ur bits and tell me how it was.. **************
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