Joined: 05 June 2012
29th March, 2012:
Nidhi's residence: a little past midnight: Nidhi's phone rings:
"hello Dr Nidhi? mein Jeevan Sandhya Nursing Home se bolraha hoon. ek patient ki tabiyat bahut kharaab hain.."
Nidhi: aap ghabrayiye mat. Mein abhi aati hoon.
Nidhi disconnects the phone and runs to wake up Rohan. Both go to JS right away and Nidhi checks over the patient and prescribes some medicines. Since it is past midnight, Rohan drives over to the 24 hr pharmacy and gets them immediately. The warden is grateful and thanks him profusely before running to Nidhi with the medicines. She administers the first dosage: ab tension ki koi baat nahi hain. I think he will be fine. I think he has some kind of food allergy. Please look into what he ate last night for dinner and make sure he avoids it in the future.
The warden nods: ji. And he had his dinner very late too. later than the regular JS timings. He said he was not hungry and it was only after 10.30 that finally we got him to eat something. mein dekhta hoon. thank you so much Dr Nidhi. aap itni raat ko..
Nidhi gives a half hearted smile (which is all she seems to be doing these days..ever since she broke off with Dr Ashutosh in Kerala, its as if a part of her is already dead): no problem. yeh meri duty hain. chalti hoon. zaroorat ho toh phir se phone kariyega. Ok?
Warden: ok. thanks again.
Nidhi walks out of JS and looks for Rohan and her car. He is parked on the other side of the street and is leaning against the door and straightens as soon as he sees her before giving her a wave as if to say that he is there. she nods and starts walking towards him. "isse achcha toh yeh hota ki mein uss accident mein marrhi gaya hota!" Ashu's words when she said good bye to him in Kerala suddenly pop up in her mind out of nowhere freezing her insides and she just comes to a stand still right there in the middle of the road. A speeding truck repeatedly honks but its as if the only thing she can hear are those words. Rohan notices and his shout of "NIDHIJI!" gets drowned in another loud blare of horn and screeching of tires as the driver tries his level best to prevent running over the woman standing right in the middle of the road. The truck slows down but stopping at that point is impossible and it ends up grazing her as the helpless driver tries to at least steer the vehicle away from her. that is enough to lift her up and literally throw her over on the side walk. her head hits the pavement with a sickening crunch and she loses consciousness. Rohan and the truck driver both run over to her and neither knows what to do for a second. Rohan makes rapid fire decision and takes out his phone, calls an ambulance and quickly makes another call.
Ashu is startled out of his sleep and sits up. What was that? a nightmare? Yes. must be a nightmare. Right on cue, his phone rings and he sees the caller id ' Rohan! At this hour? With a sense of forbidding, he answers: hello? Rohan?
Rohan: Dr Ashutosh..aap jaldi se KGH aajayiye. Please.
Ashu: sab teek toh hain? Nidhi..?
Rohan's breath shudders out: Ashutoshji, Nidhi ka accident hua hain. please come.
Ashu's whole world freezes and his heart comes to a stand still: acc..accident?
Rohan: aap please jaldi aayiye. The ambulance is here and we are on our way.
Ashu hears the siren in the background and swallows: aata hoon. I..i am on my way.
He has absolutely no memory of how he reached KGH but he starts running before his feet are completely out of the car. Rohan is already there..his shirt drenched with sweat and blood stains near his sleeve and on his arm. As soon as he sees Ashu, he stops his pacing and runs towards him: Dr Ashutosh! thank God! They just took Nidhi inside. Head in..
The rest of the sentence is left hanging as Ashu runs into the casualty ward and pushes the curtain aside. The doctor and nurse appear startled and move back: sir aap?
For a couple of moments, Ashu just stares at the still form of Nidhi on the stretcher. One side of her face is covered with blood and there are a few scrapes and bruises across her palm and elbow. He ruthlessly pushes aside all his fear and panic and lets the doctor in him take over. his voice is brisk and professional as he turns towards the attending doctor: have you examined her Dr Trivedi?
Dr Trivedi: yes sir. As far as I can say, it's head injury here (he indicates the side of her head where the hair is matted with blood) and a few cuts and scrapes. No fractures anywhere. I was just about to clean the wound to see is if she needs stitches.
Ashu turns towards the nurse: get me a pair of gloves please (the nurse immediately opens a sterile gloves pack and he quickly puts them on while she ties the face mask. The slight tremble of his fingers is the only outward indication of his inner turmoil. He carefully turns her head to the side and starts cleaning the wound. the nurse tries to assist but one glare from him, she quickly backs off.) I don't think this one needs stitches. I will do the dressing and lets get a CT done just in case.
Dr Trivedi: yes sir. Sure. I will just inform the radiology dept.
Ashu nods and continues to carefully do the dressing to the side of the head: has she regained consciousness?
Nurse: no sir. Not after she was brought here.
Ashu: ok. lets get this done fast.
The ward boys come to push the stretcher towards the scan room and Ashu goes to talk to Rohan.
Rohan stops his pacing: dr Ashutosh..Nidhiji kaisi hain?
Ashu: she is fine. sarr par chot aaya hain par zyaada nahi. she has not regained consciousness and I am a little worried about that. We are going to get a CT scan done and I will give more info after that. (a slight pause) ghar par inform kiya?
Rohan nods: ji. Abhi abhi. They are on their way.
Ashu nods and walks off towards the radiology. About 30 mins later, Nidhi is shifted to the room where CV, DB and Anji are there along with Rohan. All of them crowd around the bed and DB touches the bandaged side with tear filled eyes: Nidhi..meri bachchi!
Rohan: arre DB, kuch nahi hua hain. buss zara si chot hain. she is will be up and moving in no time.
Ashu: he is right. (everyone turn to look at Ashutosh with various expressions. Anji with a concerned look, CV with almost a suspicious look and DB a completely furious one. but Ashu seems oblivious to all those. Its as if he is just a doctor, come there to reassure the family of the patient and that's it) CT scan ke reports aagaye hain. There is a concussion in the cortex area of her brain. But since it's not involving any major areas, I don't think it should be a problem.
CV looks away for a moment before swallowing down his feelings towards the man who stole his daughter's heart and for all intents and purposes still has it in his firm grip: so what is the treatment Dr Ashutosh?
Ashu: there is no treatment required Col. Verma. Give it a few days and it will heal by itself. There is no medication required. Just rest. If everything is fine, she can be discharged tomorrow. But she should stay home and rest until everything is back to normal.
DB grumbles: aur koi aspataal nahi mila kya ki isko yahi par laana tha!
Rohan and Anji both intervene: DB!
CV raises his hand telling everyone to quiet down: Bua, yeh sab discuss karne ka ab samay nahi hain. (then he turns towards Ashu) thank you Dr Ashutosh. I will take care of my daughter now. and tomorrow morning we will take her home.
A slight movement from the bed makes everyone turn towards it and DB and CV rush to Nidhi while Ashu fists his fingers and stays back..almost out of the line of vision. Nidhi moves her head a little, wets her lips and slowly her eyes blink open, squint against the light, close and open again. she gives a dazed look around the room and her gaze falls on DB and CV: Baba..DB?
DB cups her cheek: meri bachchi..kaisi hain tu?
Nidhi frowns a little and tentatively touches her bandage: yeh..kya hua hain mujhe? Mein kahan hoon?
CV: ghabrao mat Nidhi beta. it was a small accident. You are absolutely fine now. aur subah hote hi hum ghar chalejaayenge.
Nidhi looks around the room: is this KGH?
Rohan: yes Nidhi. I didn't know what else to do so I brought you here.
Anji sits on the other side of the bed and holds Nidhi's hand: kaise feel kar rahi hain yaar?
Nidhi: teek hoon. I feel fine. kind of numb a little bit but fine..(her eyes look around and suddenly come to a stop at the figure standing almost near the door. A full fledged smile takes over her face and her eyes start shining like stars. She makes a move to get up but is immediately held back by both DB and Anji. Ashu, though, continues to look at her with impassive eyes) Dr Ashutosh!..aap? aap kab aaye?
Ashu does not make any move to come fwd into the room although his eyes do smile back a little at her. its as if her smile has brought an automatic response from within him: I came as soon as Rohan called. How are you feeling now?
Nidhi over rules DB's protest and with Anji's help sits and leans against the pillows: aap delhi se waapas kab aaye?
Ashu frowns: ji?
Nidhi gives a quick look at CV and DB: ji kuch nahi. mein toh buss aise hi..(then she fingers her bandage) yeh bandage aap ne kiya?
Ashu nods with a frown still on his face: ji.
Nidhi smiles shyly: thank you Dr Ashutosh. (then she looks at Rohan) Rohan..tumhaare mummy papa aagaye? We were going to pick them up right? Is that when this happened? (Pin drop silence fills the room and everyone starts looking at each other with various degrees of confusion etched on their faces) kya hua? Aap sab mujhe aise kyon dekhrahe hain?
Ashu starts coming fwd into the room..his laser sharp look locked on Nidhi's face: Nidhi..whats the last thing that you remember?
Nidhi frowns: ji..woh..Rohan keliye ladki ko dekhne uske parents aane waale the..we were going to pick them up from the bus stop
Nidhi: and you..you were in Delhi at that time. kyon? Kuch aur hua tha kya? When did I meet with this accident?
Ashu: last night. Its ok Nidhi. don't stress yourself. Relax and try to sleep for a while. Sab yaad aajayega. (he gestures CV to come out along with him and Anji and Rohan also follow) I think it's a case of partial amnesia due to the concussion Col. Verma.
CV: toh ab?
Ashu: same as I said before. No medical treatment required. Its like a blunt compression in the brain. Give her time to rest and she will get her memory back. don't push her too much. The more relaxed she is, the faster she has the chances of remembering. (and he extends the scan reports to CV) but if you want a second opinion from another Neurologist or Neurosurgeon, please go ahead. (and walks away. But anji and Rohan run after him)
Rohan: Dr Ashutosh..rukiye. please. Dr Ashutosh.
Ashu: yes Rohan?
Anji: ab kya hoga Ashutoshji? Nidhi ko kuch yaad hi nahi hain..mera matlab hain..
Ashu sighs and runs a tired distracted hand through his hair: She will get her memory back soon. Don't worry. I don't think its permanent.
Anji: baat woh nahi hain..i mean..can we tell her what happened?
Rohan: like fill up the blanks
Ashu starts shaking his head as in a no before they could complete the sentence: no. I would not advice it. additional stress at this point is not advisable. Let her remember things on her own but yes, if she specifically asks for some confirmation, you can give it to her..
Ashu shrugs: matlab..say "did I go to that shop?" you can say "yes or no" but she should connect the dots on her own.
Anji's eyes look at Ashu with understanding and sympathy: agar woh aap ke baare mein pooche toh? She thinks both of you are still together and that her baba and DB don't know anything.
Ashu looks away: for all you know, by the time you go inside, she would have remembered everything. No point in speculating too many what if scenarios. Lets wait and see. Aap dono Nidhi ke dost hain. so make sure she is relaxed and resting and happy. That's the fastest way for the brain to heal. Rohan..apna waada yaad hain na tumhe? (for the first time Ashu's naked pain is open for both Anji and Rohan to see and they quickly avert their eyes as if its too much for them to bear)
Rohan nods: aap befikr rahiye Dr Ashutosh. I repeat, aap ki amaanat ko mein apne jaan se zyaada khayaal rakhoonga. (Ashu squeezes his shoulder, nods at Anji and leaves. Rohan sighs and looks at Anji) toh ab?
Anji gives a small smile: ab? Ab lagta hain kismet ne inn dono ko ek aur mauka diya hain.
Rohan's own smile appears: yeah..great idea. Ab toh Verma uncle aur DB bhi kuch nahi bolsakte. Anjiji..lets plan and make sure these two are together as much as possible.
Anji nods and then quickly frowns: but what will happen once her memory returns? If she says no again?
Rohan: aisa kuch nahi hoga. Try karte hain Anjiji. Its so obvious that these two are made for each other. Ashutoshji Nidhiji ke bina adhoore hain aur Nidhiji Ashutoshji ke bina. Ab ki kismat ne jab ek chance dehi diya hain toh hum bhi kismat ka saath dete hain.
Both exchange high fives and rush back to Nidhi's room. Ashu comes into his cabin and almost collapses into his chair and puts his head on the table in front of him. God! what do I do now? is this Your twisted way of punishing me? what did I ever do to deserve this kind of torture? bringing me close to the people I love and then pushing me away? You took my parents away from me. pehle baba ko bheja, phir cheen liya, woh ghaav bhara nahi aur Nidhi ko bhejdiya meri zindagi mein aur mein uske pyaar mein sab kuch bhool gaya..apne aap ko bhi. Phir woh bhi door hogayi mujhse. "hum ajnabee bankar rahenge Dr Ashutosh!" Her words still have the power to cut his heart open and make it bleed until there is nothing left inside except emptiness and pain. Yet, when Rohan had told him about the accident, all he could think was nothing should happen to his Nidhi. HIS Nidhi. yeh kambaqt dil manne ko taiyyar hain hi nahi ki Nidhi meri NAHI hain. tod diya hain usne humaara rishta. Pyaar ka waada kiya lekin saath chalne ki himmat nahi kiya usne! Khud haar gayi aur mere pyaar ko bhi haraa diya! And now, here she is..again..again smiling..at him with all the love in her eyes. what do I do now? itni taaqat mujhme nahi hain Bhagwaan! Mein thak gaya hoon. please!
But the Gods above either are busy elsewhere or have plans of their own because a couple of minutes later, there is a soft almost tentative knock on the door and he raises his head from its resting place and rumbles: come in!
The door opens a peek and a pair of wide naughty inquisitive eyes look back at him before the door opens wider and he is faced with her full blown, if a little tired smile: hello Dr Ashutosh! (Ashu locks his jaw and just looks at her) mein andar aasakti hoon?
Ashu nods and quickly looks away from her: tum yahaan kya kar rahi ho? Tumhe toh aaraam karna chahiye Nidhi. go and take rest.
Nidhi's smile turns into a pout: Baba and DB went home for the night leaving me and Anji and Rohan. Baba will come in the morning to take me home. I thought I could come and say hi to you. aap aise kyon hain?
Ashu starts rearranging his desk just to keep himself busy and give himself another reason NOT to look at her: aisa? Kaisa hoon? mein toh hamesha ki tarah hi hoon.
Nidhi comes a little closer and puts her uninjured hand on his shoulder. A shudder passes through him: kya hua? You got worried when Rohan said I was in an accident? Is that it?
Ashu closes his eyes: haan..nahi..no..i am fine. buss..thak gaya hoon. I think I will go home now and get some sleep. kal surgeries bhi hain. (finally he sighs and looks at her) tum bhi aaraam karo Nidhi. your body needs rest.
Nidhi: but my heart needs you Dr Ashutosh.
Ashu gets up: chalo..tumhe tumhaare kamre tak chod deta hoon. (Nidhi tries to catch his arm but her elbow protests bringing out a soft "ouch" from her and makes Ashu swirl towards her) kya hua? Haath ko laga? Dikhaao
Nidhi gets her smile back: kuch nahi. the elbow is protesting a bit that's all. (he turns and puts his hand on the door knob to open the door) Dr Ashutosh?
Nidhi comes and hugs him softly from behind making his grip on the door tighten until his knuckles turn white, grit his teeth until his jaw starts aching and squeeze his eyes tightly shut: I missed you Dr Ashutosh. if it weren't for the surgery, I wouldn't have allowed you to go to Delhi for the 2 days at all. Pata hain? mujhe yahaan inn do dino mein kuch bhi achcha nahi lagraha tha. I missed you so much Dr Ashutosh.
Ashu carefully extracts her hands that are wrapped tightly around his waist: pehle aaraam karke teek hojao Nidhi. phir baat karenge.
Nidhi sighs and takes a step back although the disappointment is clearly visible on her face: ok. par kab? Ek baar mein ghar chali gayi toh baba aur DB mujhe baahar nahi aane denge. Hum kab milenge? Kaise milenge? (then her face lights up) may be you can come to my house on the pretext of changing my dressing.
Ashu looks at the most beloved face in his world as if memorizing every inch of it: shehar ka sab se bada neurosurgeon ek intern ka dressing change karne keliye uske ghar aayega kya?
Nidhi sulks: kyon nahi aasakte? Uss intern ka dil toh neurosurgeon ke haath mein hain na. achcha teek hain. mein hi kuch sochti hoon. lekin raat ko phone karoongi ok? aap apna violin sunaake mujhe sulaayiyega. (she grins at him as if mightily pleased with that idea)
Pyaase hain naina
Tarse saari raina
Jinme tu hain rehta
Haal kyon..tu jaane na..
Haal mann ka kyon tu jaane na..
Saiyaan..nainon ki bhaasha samjhe na..
Naino ki bhaasha samjhe na..samjhe na..
Nidhi's sulk now holds a hint of anger: see..i got hurt in so many places..aap mere liye itna bhi nahi karenge?
Ashu sighs and starts making her walk towards her room: aisi baat nahi hain Nidhi..tumhaare gharwaale kya sochenge..
Nidhi leans in as if sharing a secret and whispers: raat ko sab ke sojaane ke baad phone karoongi. Ok? kissi ko kuch pata nahi chalega. Aap tension mat leejiye. Aur phir Anji aur Rohan hain na. woh log sambhaal lenge.
Ashu brings her to her room where Anji and Rohan are sitting and yapping. He gives them a glare as if they are personally responsible for whatever is happening and they respond with equally helpless looks. Wordlessly, he guides her to the bed and makes her lie down: its almost 4 am now. thodi der leliye sojao. You will feel better in the morning.
Nidhi's eyes drift shut as soon as her head touches the pillow: Dr Ashutosh..mein phir se aap ko kahi jaane nahi doongi. Bahut dard hota hain. Hameshaa apne aankhon ke saamne rakhoon..(her voice drifts off in sleep. wordlessly, Ashu covers her with a blanket and leaves the room. Both Rohan and Anji exchange glances and secret thumbs up signs)
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