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The Titli...Part Three Page 14 updated 20 Aug

Suvika. IF-Stunnerz
Suvika.
Suvika.

Joined: 05 June 2012
Posts: 25871

Posted: 19 August 2013 at 1:09am | IP Logged
Hi Guys..Good morning!! I am posting a short story below and before you all ask, no..I am not the author. For now, I am not going to reveal who wrote it. Read and enjoy!! Comments welcome. 


                    The Titli...
Part Two:


Part Three:


Part One

The clock struck two in the night.

                The hospital would have been as silent as a tomb, save for the humming of the ventilators and other life support systems in the ICU. The lighting was as indifferent as ever, to the changing time outside, its glare reflecting from the polished tiles lining the wall.      

                Janki bai, the nurse in the night shift, paused in the corridor of the hospital, her eyes fixed on to the sole source of light which scattered from seams of the closed door. It was nothing extraordinary, nothing out of turn, as the cabin occupant was known to have made it his abode for the past three months. He hardly went home, and when he did, was only to have a quick shave and bath. And then return to his solitude.

                "He has taken it very badly..." A voice spoke behind her. Janki Bai turned around to the worried face of Dr Priyanka, her companion for the night. Priyanka had just wrapped up her work for the day and had observed Janki Bai staring at the door at the end of the corridor, framed in light.

                "Yes, if this goes on...he is going to fall sick one day..."

                Janki Bai was silent for a while.

                "Why don't you go and check on him, Janki Bai? I will get some coffee for him..."

                "Sure Dr Priyanka..."

                Janki Bai knocked cautiously on the door of the cabin, bearing the name of the famous neurosurgeon and received no reply. Again that was not out of turn in anyways, for most of the time, the person was observed to be a zombie, staring in space.

                Janki Bai sighed tiredly and peeped in the room after a while. Yes, true to her prediction, Dr Ashutosh was reclining in the chair and staring at the wall opposite. He turned at the noise of the door, his eyes blank, devoid of all recognition.

                "Yes?"

                "Sir...Coffee?" Janki Bai's normally cheerful being was faltering, at the sight of the blank eyes that confronted her at the intrusion.

                "No thanks...I think I will take a quick round of the hospital..." Dr Ashutosh erected himself and rushed out of his cabin, lest his emotions get the better of him.

                Janki Bai stared at the retreating figure for a long time. The normally cheerful Dean was a shadow of his former self today. She avidly remembered this Dr Heartstone, his reputation of discipline and absolute intolerance for mediocrity of any kind, when she had joined the hospital a decade ago as a nursing intern. All doctors, interns, nurses, wardboys shuddered when he came by, hoping against hopes, that their presence wouldn't register to him.

                OK, all that changed a couple of years ago, when a cheerful young intern, Dr Nidhi Verma had walked in the hospital. Dr Nidhi had single handedly achieved what nobody else could even have thought of attempting: capturing the attention of the poker faced Dean and ultimately, captured the fortress of his life. They had married shortly, after a long drawn affair which had raised the hackles of many.

                Dr Nidhi Verma...Janki Bai thought fondly, of the young, full of life intern, the beautiful wife of the handsome middle aged Dean, a person so childish and yet so mature, with a head fixed in its right place when it came to a professional interaction with her husband. Shopping was a weakness, one could say, almost a vice, when she had persuaded Dr Ashutosh to let her accompany her best friend, Anjali, for a shopping expedition to a mall at the outskirts.

                And then the news had started trickling in. There was a bomb blast at the mall, and many people were rushed to the hospital in an injured state. In a rush of professional enthusiasm, Dr Ashutosh had almost forgotten to check the whereabouts of his wife, when a voice had screeched and jolted him to reality.

                Nidhi was missing. And she had gone to the same mall, which had been gutted by the explosion.

                "Jeeja Ji... Nidhi..." Anjali was blabbering incoherently, drifting in and out of consciousness in the ICU.  

                "Shhh...take it easy, Anjali..." Ashutosh strained to hear as he sought to reassure the distraught friend. Anjali grasped his arm in sheer desperation as she mustered courage to tell him something which he didn't want to hear.

                "Jeeja Ji... Nidhi saw a red tie in the window..." Anjali hiccoughed slightly and Ashutosh went on full alert, "She went in the shop and then...the flash..."

                A dog howled outside and Janki Bai snapped back to reality. Tears prickled her eyes as a garlanded photograph focussed itself on her visual screen.

                The ever smiling Dr Nidhi Verma.

                Dr Ashutosh had written in his neat hand below.

                RIP, my Titli...finally you soared to the sky, to donate some colours to the beyond...

                Ashutosh had walked out of his cabin in a daze, his long legs carrying him rapidly out of his comfort zone to the harsh reality of the world outside. After roaming aimlessly through the corridors of the hospital, he came to his favourite place: the children's ward.

                Indeed, this was his favourite place, he thought wearily. The kids here never failed to lift his spirits in the bygone era. Even as a bachelor, who knew nothing other than commitment to work, this was a place where he could let his hair down after a tiring day. It was here that he had subconsciously realized his love for Nidhi...all through a fairytale version of the Raja-Titli story! And then the Tsunami called Nidhi swept him away in her love...he still maintained his anchor with the children.

                "Sir...what brings you here?" He turned around to the voice of Dr Juhi, the paediatric resident on duty. She had been updating the case files and had spotted him a long time ago, wandering aimlessly in the corridor.

                "Nothing Dr Juhi...I just came to check on the kids. Everything fine?"

                "Everything is fine, Sir..." Dr Juhi paused indecisively. Should she tell him? Well, her contemporaries had shared enough instances of Dr Ashutosh soothing troubled kids with his bedtime stories. And now there was this girl, Smriti...

                Dr Juhi remembered the day Smriti was admitted to the hospital. The day of the fateful bomb blast, her attention had been caught by this little girl who sat dazed in the casuality, as the injured people around her screamed for attention. This little girl who didn't let out a single whimper as her shrapnel wounds were cleaned, who didn't have anyone to attend to her...and nobody had visited her so far.

                "You were about to say something, Dr Juhi?" Dr Juhi suddenly remembered that Ashutosh had not yet left the scene.

                "Well, yes, Dr Ashutosh..."

                "Well, I am waiting!"

                "Sir, there is a girl Smriti, here..." Dr Juhi paused as Ashutosh frowned in recollection.

                "OK...I remember. What is the matter?"

                "Sir, she is restless in the day, doesn't sleep well in the night and has frequent nightmares..." Dr Juhi began cautiously, as Ashutosh nodded his understanding of the matter, "She doesn't eat her meals properly, maybe that's because of the antibiotics. I have also given her a mild sedative but even that doesn't work anymore..."

                "Ok...I get the point. Where is she?"

                "In there..." Dr Juhi gestured to a bed in a faraway corner in the ward.  Ashutosh cautiously made his way to the direction Dr Juhi had gestured and noted a frail form beneath the sheets, barely discernible in the glow of early moonshine.

                "Well, she is fast asleep...but you said..." the words were hardly out of his mouth when the frail form came to life and sat up bolt upright in the bed, her wide eyes indicating fear.

                "Smriti, Beta..." Dr Juhi tried to coax the girl to sleep again, but the girl merely shrugged the doctor's hand away and started shaking wildly. Dr Juhi sat on her bed and put an arm around the shaking girl, mainly with an intention of restraining her, but to no success, as the girl cowered away.

                Dr Ashutosh had been observing the girl carefully. The girl had been clearly traumatized.

                "Smriti, my dear..." He also sat on the bed and extended his hand to her. "Shall I tell you a story?"

                "Story?" The girl looked at the extended hand and looked confused. What the hell was this?

                "Hmmm..." Ashutosh nodded vigorously, "the story of a little princess who couldn't sleep?"

                The girl nodded with a blank expression. Ashutosh casually put his hands around her shoulders and began.

                "Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom, there was a little princess...very fair and good looking. She was the apple of the eye of her parents, the King and the queen...Everything was so perfect around her, only for the fact that she couldn't sleep in the night..."

                "She also couldn't sleep in the night?" The girl's curiosity aroused a little. Ashutosh pulled her gently in his lap and continued.

                "Yes, you see...even she couldn't sleep in the night. Even with everything so perfect around her, a doting mother and father, the softest bed and the softest quilt...and the softest stuffed teddy. You know why she couldn't sleep?"

                The girl looked at him with a query written large on her face.

                "She couldn't sleep because whenever she closed her eyes, one big demon came to her dreams and she got scared!!"

                "Yes, Uncle, I see the same demon... I feel so scared..."

                Ashutosh patted her gently, "Actually you know what? She was hungry...she hadn't had a proper dinner!! And because of that, her stomach grumbled all the time. And the demon came whenever her stomach cried for food! So one day, when she just couldn't sleep, the queen got her a big glass of milk with a magic potion mixed..."

                Dr Juhi had quietly left the scene a little while ago and returned with a glass of milk with a sedative tablet mixed in it, having received a cue. Ashutosh picked up the glass and handed it over to the girl in a matter of fact way.

                "And you know what...the princess also took the glass in her tiny hands like this, and a fairy appeared from nowhere!! And then the fairy told the princess to drink the milk and sleep, she would keep the demon away!

                "Uncle, you know what...the fairy will come here, and she will drive the demon away, right?"  Smriti handed the empty glass to Dr Juhi and Ashutosh continued with his story.

                "And then, the princess put her head in her father's lap and slowly drifted away to sleep..." Ashutosh continued patting Smriti, who had now grown drowsy with sleep. "And then the fairy sat right next to her, throughout the night, protecting her from the demon..."

                "Sir..." Dr Juhi whispered, interrupting the story, "She has slept off..."

                Dr Ashutosh settled the sleeping girl cautiously in the bed, arranging the covers around her. He then stood up and stared at the sleeping profile for a long while, well aware of the fact that Dr Juhi was watching him curiously. What next?

                "Dr Juhi?"

                "Yes Sir?"

                "This girl Smriti..." Dr Ashutosh paused with uncertainty, "Who is she? and how...?

                "Nobody knows, Sir...she was admitted the same day as the bomb blast..." The words were out of her mouth before she realized the impact on the senior doctor.                                     

                "Ok...Good night, Dr Juhi..." Ashutosh's eyes grew vacant and he walked away in search of a much needed solitude. As a part of the hospital since the past year, Dr Juhi was fully aware of the tragedy that had afflicted the handsome surgeon a couple of months ago. Even now, the lost and forlorn look was quite evident in the unsettling eyes; his smile was more out of a compulsion that did not reach his eyes.

                Dr Juhi stared at the empty corridor for a long time, mentally berating herself. Why couldn't she be a little tactful? Why did she have to mention the fateful day? Well, let me check on the children one last time before breaking for coffee, she resolved mentally and stepped back in the ward.

                "Hi Dr Juhi!! How are things today?" Dr Priyanka looked up from her perch at the sight of Dr Juhi approaching the coffee machine. Dr Juhi took her time to draft a reply.

                "As fine as they could be, Dr Priyanka...how is the ICU today?"

                "Fine...the machines do the job of taking care of the patient here. So unless something goes out of turn...You seem upset?" It was then that the downcast eyes and the fidgeting fingers of Dr Juhi registered with Dr Priyanka.

                "Yes...actually, Dr Ashutosh had come sometime back..." Dr Juhi related the incidence that had occurred a little while ago, "So you see, Dr Priyanka...I carefully observed him with the girl...the transformation was amazing. I almost saw the old cheerful Dean till I accidentally mentioned the day of the bomb blast and something flicked off instantaneously! I am feeling so guilty...Can't we do something to get him back? at least bring a smile on his face?





Edited by Suvika. - 21 August 2013 at 4:39am

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saibanu IF-Dazzler
saibanu
saibanu

Joined: 06 September 2012
Posts: 2516

Posted: 19 August 2013 at 1:22am | IP Logged
Thank you for this story Sujatha di ...but what happened to nidhi ? CryCry

And Ashu is in pieces here Cry...I read it in hurry , let me read once again and I wil come back with review 

Nicely written ...


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Suvika.

Suvika. IF-Stunnerz
Suvika.
Suvika.

Joined: 05 June 2012
Posts: 25871

Posted: 19 August 2013 at 1:24am | IP Logged
Originally posted by saibanu

Thank you for this story Sujatha di ...but what happened to nidhi ? CryCry

And Ashu is in pieces here Cry...I read it in hurry , let me read once again and I wil come back with review 

Nicely written ...



i know that you don't know who the writer is Sai...but since i am posting it, please trust me. wait for the next part. you will know soon enough. 

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neelimapn4saibanu

KamnaSharma Senior Member
KamnaSharma
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Joined: 03 February 2013
Posts: 809

Posted: 19 August 2013 at 1:27am | IP Logged
Wow nice story...I can guess who has written it...if my guess is correct a tight hug and a sweet peck on the cheeks of the most adorable cutie pie in this threadClap

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jayasree.raoSuvika.

ttrocks IF-Stunnerz
ttrocks
ttrocks

Joined: 09 August 2012
Posts: 46004

Posted: 19 August 2013 at 1:33am | IP Logged
Awesome story!! Very sorrowful yet lovely!! Brilliantly written!!

Loved the most, the story telling to the child. Feeling very sorry for her... Hopefully next part would throw some light on why is she all alone here... Were her parents victims of bombblast or for any other reason, she happened to be in the premises at the time of tragedy & so got injured??

But Most nagging part to me: was the deadbody of Titli found?? She could very well be missing... After all this was a huge tragedy...

Dr. Ashutosh's pain is so palpable... Could visualize him in all the scenes. Dont know how I would go back to sleep again with such sad Ashuji & perhaps-no-more Titli in my mind...

Thanks for posting this story SujathaDi. Next part asap please...

Edited by ttrocks - 19 August 2013 at 1:34am

The following 6 member(s) liked the above post:

aarti1303neelimapn4jayasree.raobc123456rajanigandha26Suvika.

Suvika. IF-Stunnerz
Suvika.
Suvika.

Joined: 05 June 2012
Posts: 25871

Posted: 19 August 2013 at 1:40am | IP Logged
Originally posted by arpitajaan

Wow nice story...I can guess who has written it...if my guess is correct a tight hug and a sweet peck on the cheeks of the most adorable cutie pie in this threadClap

Big smile 
Suvika. IF-Stunnerz
Suvika.
Suvika.

Joined: 05 June 2012
Posts: 25871

Posted: 19 August 2013 at 1:41am | IP Logged
Originally posted by ttrocks

Awesome story!! Very sorrowful yet lovely!! Brilliantly written!!

Loved the most, the story telling to the child. Feeling very sorry for her... Hopefully next part would throw some light on why is she all alone here... Were her parents victims of bombblast or for any other reason, she happened to be in the premises at the time of tragedy & so got injured??

But Most nagging part to me: was the deadbody of Titli found?? She could very well be missing... After all this was a huge tragedy...

Dr. Ashutosh's pain is so palpable... Could visualize him in all the scenes. Dont know how I would go back to sleep again with such sad Ashuji & perhaps-no-more Titli in my mind...

Thanks for posting this story SujathaDi. Next part asap please...

you are welcome Tupu..

next part same time tomorrow...hopefully. will let you know..

The following 1 member(s) liked the above post:

ttrocks

ttrocks IF-Stunnerz
ttrocks
ttrocks

Joined: 09 August 2012
Posts: 46004

Posted: 19 August 2013 at 1:43am | IP Logged
Originally posted by Suvika.

Originally posted by ttrocks

Awesome story!! Very sorrowful yet lovely!! Brilliantly written!!

Loved the most, the story telling to the child. Feeling very sorry for her... Hopefully next part would throw some light on why is she all alone here... Were her parents victims of bombblast or for any other reason, she happened to be in the premises at the time of tragedy & so got injured??

But Most nagging part to me: was the deadbody of Titli found?? She could very well be missing... After all this was a huge tragedy...

Dr. Ashutosh's pain is so palpable... Could visualize him in all the scenes. Dont know how I would go back to sleep again with such sad Ashuji & perhaps-no-more Titli in my mind...

Thanks for posting this story SujathaDi. Next part asap please...


you are welcome Tupu..

next part same time tomorrow...hopefully. will let you know..
Okay Big smile

The following 1 member(s) liked the above post:

Suvika.

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