He went blank and was unable to think as he saw her in that dolorous condition.He sank on his knees near her and gathered her in his arms,began sobbing like a child.In no time,an ambulance reached there.Two men rushed out,picked her up on a stretcher and took her to the hospital.
IN THE EVENING
Jeevika opened her eyes slowly and found Viren sitting near her bed. His hair were messy,eyes moist and there were dried tears on his cheeks.It was clear that he had been crying for quite long time.
"Are you all right?"she asked him.
He gave a short laugh and said,"You yourself have come out of the jaws of death and you are asking me if i am all right.You almost killed me today!"he said looking very grim.
She was covered all over with plasters and bandages.
"Aaahhh,"she squealed as she made an effort to move her hand.
"wait,wait !!"he almost screamed in concern."Do you need anything?"he asked,coming closer.
"Nothing.I am alright."she replied,trying to adjust her hand a bit.Suddenly she remembered his match and asked,"Hey...what about your match?"
He didn't say anything,just kept smiling,looking at her face.It took her no time to understand everything."Oh my God ! You missed the chance?"she shrieked with a big question mark in her eyes."It was the biggest chance of your life,a lifetime's chance...Oh my God,a lifetime's chance..."she was on the verge of tears.
"Calm down!"Viren said and placed his hand on her forehead.A sense of satisfaction was peeping through his eyes,which were saying"nothing is more important than you my love,neither my career nor I and I can sacrifice hundreds of chances in my life to see smiling and happy"
"You should not have done this,"she said softly.Tears rolled out of her eyes.He wiped them before they could wet her cheeks.
They looked at each other from time to time.Few silent glances were being exchanged and without uttering a single word,each one understood what another one wanted to say.Lips were silent but two pair of eyes were talking to each other silently and conveyed each and every emotion which words would have failed to do justice with.
She was silent but a cyclone was raging in her heart.Grief and agony filled her mind,grief at the fact that he had lost a chance to get selected for the Ranji team and the agony of being the cause this loss...She kept asking herself...why did this happen to us? Why did he sacrifice his career for me?What should I do now?How can i make good this loss ? How ?? she felt weak with the turmoil wracking her insides.
Days passed.She was recovering slowly in the hospital.Her wounds were healing well,but deep in her heart,she was not at peace.Day and night,she thought about Viren. And the more she thought about him,the more deeply she fell in love with him.She had grasped that Viren had loved her for sure,reasoning that otherwise he would not have made such a big sacrifice for her,but she also sensed that probably he would never propse to her directly.She would have to take the initiative.And she was all ready to propse to him and confess how much she loved him and needed him.Finally,se made up her mind to open her heart to him and zeroed in on a day!!
That day she learnt from Subodh that Viren had been selected for the Bendigo Cricket Club,Australia.She was very happy for him.God had granted him a second chance to shine as a cricketer and realise his life's ambition.She felt relieved as if a big burden had been taken off her,although this good news came lugging along with a fear that he would go far away from her but she consoled herself rationalising that there was nothing more important for her than his success...
"So when are you leaving?"she probed when he dropped in to her at the hospital that evening.
"Leaving for where?"he shot back.
"Australia yaar !!!To join the cricket club which has made you an offer."
"I am not going anywhere"he replied,a bit sadly this time.
"But why?"she probed further,shocked.
He pulled up a chair and planked himself on it heavily.He appeared progressively more glum; she kept looking at his changing expressions,waiting for him to speak."They have demanded ten thousand dollars as security deposit and that is beyond me.You know my family condition.I have been managing my studies and sports with my part-time job but arranging that big a sum,which almost comes to six lac rupees,is not possible for me,"he revealed in a melancholic voice. "Dad tried for a loan,but it too didn't work out as the bank was demanding of mortgage.Oh God ! " He breathed heavily and continued,"it seems like my fate does not want me to pay,I...am...such a loser."His voice broke.
She extended her hand and touched his face,"Don't worry dear,there's always a next time...Please don't lose heart."she murmured lovingly,dropping all her carefully prepared plans to propose to him that day.Though she was trying to console him,a few tears leaked out of her own eyes as well...
Viren left after an hour but now Jeevika was in an even more agitated state of mind,wrestling with questions that needed to be answered,dilemmas that had to be cleared and a few tough decisions that would have to be taken.She reasoned that there were two options before her-one was to reveal to him that she too loved him and to secure his love for lifetime and the other was one to...'i will not let him to spoil his career...she though and resolved to herself firmly.She had taken the decision,not only for herself but for Viren too,a decision which was going to change their life completely,for bitter or better,only God knew !!!!!
She asked for a pen and paper from a nurse and started calculating her FD's,her PPF balance,her piggybank money,the worth of her jewellery and every single rupee that she had been saving for the last three years since she had starting working.It worked out to approximately four and a half lac which was not enough , it was not a satisfactory figure.She again counted the total value of all her assets and came up with the same figure...which was not sufficient.
What if i sell my laptop,my favourite Nikon D5100 SLR camera and my cell phone,she thought and calculated further.These would add another sixty to seventy thousand bucks to the total but she wouls still be short by eighty thousand.After mulling over the issue for quite some time,she decided she would borrow the rest from her friends.She was also worried about what she would say to her parents when they would ask her the reason of coming back home,but she was determined to send him,her love...her prince... Viren to Australia to achieve his dreams and to get what he deserved,at whatever cost...
She knew that she would lose him forever,they might never meet each other in future,but she had understood the fact that love demands sacrifice...love doesn't mean to get someone,it rather means to be happy in the happiness of the one we love !!!!