Posted: 11 January 2014 at 4:32am | IP Logged
Nidhi was clearing her table in the room for junior drs, she had given all the relevant case histories to dr priyanka n dr deepak,and was about to go to dr dubey to say goodbye as she would not be coming the next day..it was 9 feb n her flight was on the 11 early morning via delhi.Just as she was collecting things, in walked her friends jyothika, ahaana and thereafter dr priyanka.sharing with her the excitement of travelling abroad..each had a list of demands and nidhi laughedas she said"weight limit hoti hai flight mei..pata hai na"??and jyothika laughed n added"arre tu to business class fly karegi dr ashutosh ke sath..usme limit bahut zyaada pe hoti hai,..dont worry..bus humaare perfumes mat bhoolna.."as nidhi also laughed, they were all startled by the vicious voice of dr megha"haa...business class flights, five stars mei rehna...endless shopping...yeh sab faayde to honge hi...boss se shaadi karne ke...boss aur woh bhi dugni umr ka...wow kya baat hai..cheers"!!! As ahaana confronted her...nidhi stopped ahaana "chod de ahaana...dr dubey pareshaan ho jaayenge ..let her go..." and a defiant dr megha stormed out ...bit surprisingly nidhi felt tears stinging in her eyes...these days she came cl8se to tears v quickly...seeing her friends looking concerned..she wiped her eyes n smiled...dr priyanka came n hugged her"nidhi...tu to jaanti hai..she is a frusto..kisi ki khushi nahi dekhi jaati uss megha se...you take care of yourself...enjoy karna..khoob ..nishu bhi to excited hoga apne papa se milne ko...bus care le apni...you look v tired ..n jaded..."nidhi smiled...the previous 8 weeks or so had been a whirl wind..first dr ashutosh's preparations, then his departure followed by dr dubey's stroke...n then nishu's birthday...infact she was sorely tired after her one day trip to delhi for the visa...n the packing ...probably it was taking a toll on her...infact at times she felt ..she d just sleep in the trip...her eyes were sleep deprived and back almost splitting...but she smiled thru all this n hugged her friends back..twisting jyothika's arm when she joked good naturedly"dekhna agar mere liye london college ka dean ..suitable ho to...i dont mind"!!?
Nidhi entered dr dubey's cabin ..dr ranganath was also there.."sir, i have completed all my work..submitted all the reports to the concerned drs...may i go sir"?? Dr dubey smiled n got up.."by all means...jaao packing karo...ashutosh europe gayato saikron baar hai...per shaayad enjoy isi baar karega...bas khayaal rakhna..thand hogi kaafi...take care" nidhi smiled n said"aap bhi sir..n comvey my regards to kusum aunty...bye dr ranganath..."!!and she bent to touch dr dubey's feet...as she got up she felt strangely dizzy ..but regained her balance n no one observed...nidhi walked out..stopping n peeping in dr ashutosh's cabin...the haven of their love...her cell rang..it was dr ashutosh..."packing ker li"?? He asked ..nidhi replied"bas, ab ghar jaa rahi hoon..karoongi" ashutosh was surprised" abhi tak ghar nahi aayi..kaise hogi shopping...aur haan..zara market se do achche gifts le lena...fab india se..ya kashmir emporium se...one nice really nice shawl for mrs hudson...and a sweater n scarf for zaffar..my valet..plz " nidhi seemed a lil irritayed...why couldnt he have said earlier...she simply didnt seem to have the power to drive thru the crowds in hazrat ganj.."nidhi,..nidhi..sun rahi ho na"??repeated ashutosh..."jee...le loongi" she said ...in a tired voice...ashutosh smiled from over his laptop on which he was working..."bus less than three days...aur haan nishu ke gloves bhi lelena...aur apne bhi.."!nidhi responded with a tired smile"sab rakh loongi...ab jaane deejiye nahi to market close ho jaayega..." dr ashutosh smiled..n said"jaao...i will phone at night..."...and a fagged nidhi started her car...when her phone rang again...it was baba.."jee baba..."??"beta ghar aaja..colonel aur samdhanji kab se teri raah dekh eahe hain...aa jaldi..aur raaste se thode samose le aana...baaki sab mai organise karwa rahaa hoo,..tu bus aa jaa meri bachchi"!! Nidhi smiled as she drove..stopping at ramasrey's famous shop to pick samosa...as she looked at the shop window...the fresh dhokla seem to make her mouth water..she had never been fond of it..infact it was always dr ashutosh's favourite..but today she found it irreresistable...and told the shop keeper"aadha kg dhokla bhi...mirch ke saath..plz"...as nidhi finally reached home..she was welcomed by dadi bua saying"aaja meri bachchi...ab to bees din baad milegi...kitni kamzor ho gayi hai...hai hai..kyun nahi chod deti iss mui nakuri ko..." and nidhi sighed as she looked at her father n baba..whose eyes reflected joy...but also concern for her...baba patted her "tu to jaanti hai apni dadi bua ko..." n nidhi nodded as she yawned...while maxi brought tea samosa n dhokla...col verma smiled"arre dhokla kaun khaayega..dr ashutosh to hain nahi..."!! Nidhi replied"aaj mera hi mann ho gaya..to le aayee"!! baba seemed surprised as nidhi bit into the dhokla...armaan also came in with nishu...carrying hi in his arms..."usse kyun godi uthaate hain ab..bigad jaayega...ab big boy hai"!!armaan smiled"chinta nahi kar..bigdega to pitaayee bhi karroonga...bhai chacha hoon..koi mazaak thode hai..."!!as nidhi yawned ..col verma patted"beta tu ab so ja thodi der..phir pack karna..hum log bhi chalte hain ab...bye...ab jab tu laut ke aayegi dr ashutosh ke saath...tab airport pe milenge...ja so ja..." as nidhi looked at her father...her first friend..n confidant..she seemed grateful to him..for having understood her needs..he always did...nearly always...but dadi bua retorted"yog mai yahii ruk jaati hoon..nidhi ki madad kar doongi..akele kaise karegi meri bachchi,." baba looked at nidhi...n then at col verma..who was form"nahi bua aaj chaliye...nidhi ko sambhaalne deejiye..hum 12 13 ko aayenge dr mathir ke paas...kyun armaanji"?? N armaan said with a welcoming smile"yes dadi bua..phir mere liye ek sushil sundar kanya bhi dhoond deejiyega...ok"?? n all laughed ...as cv n dadi bua departed.patting nidhi n kissing nishu...dadi bua repeating instructions a hundred times...the family came in...nidhi almost rubbing her tired eyes...nishu ran as the land line was ringing..."mere papa ka phone hoga..."!!n as nishupicked up..nidhi knew it was dr ashutosh indeed...all smiled as nishu talked excitedly...asking questions and saying yes when ashu asked him if nidhi had been telling him about london...nishu gleefully said"lap top pe we saw..photos..queen ka bhi..."and then finally he gave the phone to nidhi" mamma..your call now"!!n nidhi laughed as she took the phone.."jee..." dr ashutosh immiediately asked..."shopping ker li jaan..gloves n gifts...achchi quality li na..." n it suddenly dawned on nidhi that she had completely forgotten about all that dr ashutosh had said...she felt embarassed n irrotated at herself first...but when she admitted that she had forgotten...n dr ashitosh reacted by saying"come on nidhi...tum hospital se ghar tak drive karne me bhool gayee...this is really too much...ab kab shop karogi..kab packing hogi..Thoda plan karo..bachchon ki tarah nahi..."hearing it...a sudden inexplicable tornado of irritation...amalgamated with fatigue...n anxiety of the pending packing...made nidhi almost snarl..."haan mai to hoon hi immature bachchi..kuch kar hi nahi paati...irresponsible..incompetent..insolent...sab kuch ...mai hi to hoon..."and the rest was lost in her incoherent sobs...dr ashutosh sat up ...shocked n perplexed...nidhi never reacted this way...he tried assuaging her"hey doc..i am sorry...sorry..plz rona band karo..plz...i feel tum thak gayee ho...so jaao...sab kal ho jaayega...kya kuch aur baat hai...problem hai kuch...skype pe aaogi..."?? Nidhi shook her head..violently..saying..."nahi...mijhe nahi aana skype pe...kal sab kuch ker doongi..."n disconnected the phone...as a bemused baba n armaan and a wide eyed nishu kept looking at what had gone wrong...with someone who was the anchor of their lives n their home...had they hurt hrr...armaan looked at baba..n then put his arm around nidhi..as she sat sobbing on the sofa chair..."hey nidhi..tu thak gayee hai bahut...jaa so ja...aaj nishu ko mai sula doonga...tu ja...aur ashu ki baat ka bura kyun maanti hai..tu to jaanti hai uski aadat hai..hukum chalaane ki...you know it...come on..uth ab..."nidhi got up...and tears still streaming from hrr face...she went into her bedroom...as armaan lifted nishu...rubbing his nose with his he said"mamma tired hai...chal aaj hum log khelenge..."..
Much later..after maxi had taken a sleeping nishu to his room..n covered him with a quilt...having had a look at nidhi..fast asleep...she came n reported to a tense looking baba"so gayeen hain...ek dum gehree neend mei...thakee lagtee hain bahut..."n baba nodded as he looked at armaan n said"armaan..zara ashu ko phone laga.."
Dr ashutosh had also been extremely worried...n guilty after a sobbing nidhi had put down his phone...as he had walked back from the research lab..to his apartment..he was agitated...at himself..why was he never able to understand how haed it must be for nidhi...being away from him...discharging duties at kgh...looking after dr dubey..singlehandedly..taking flak from dr nagpal...working at home..looking after the family..his family...he had to understand her better...after all she was only 28...as dr ashutosh absentmindedly sipped tea that mrs hudson served...his phone buzzed...it was baba..a worried ashutosh took the call.." jee baba...nidhi kaisi hai..ab..sab theek hai na"??baba nodded n said"haan..so gayee hai woh...per ashu ..thoda sainyaam rakh ...us bechari pe bahut kaam raha hai jab se tu gaya hai...hospital..ghar dr dubey ki beemaari..phir nishu ki party..delhi visit...ek dum thaki lagti hai...issi sab me bhool gayee hogi jo tu ne kaha tha...kal le aayegi...per usse aaraam chahiye..mai to suggest karoonga...wahaan bhi bahut hectic programme nahi rakhna..jitna ghoomna relaxed way mei...arre phir chale jasna..europe kaun si badi cheez hai..."...dr ashutosh sighed"jee baba..i understand...actually mai naaraaz nahi tha...per bus woh ro padi...i will take care..." baba smiled as he ran his fingers thru his beard..."beta aaj kal thodi jittery to rehti hai...thodi akeli bhi hai tere bina..khoyee khoyee see rehti hai...khair ab to aa hi rahi hai...tere paas...sambhalna usse beta..."ashutosh smiled ..understanding baba's concern..."jee baba...aap chinta nahi kariye...i will take care...aap bus apna khayaal rakhiyega..."as ashutosh sat...he reflected...was nidhi in depression..was the loss still eating into her...ashutosh seemed worried...had he dome the correct thing in coming to london..leaving her behind...was anything in his life..even half as important as nidhi...??a thoughtfull ashutosh looked at the elm trees outside...and then closing his eyes seemed to resolve..he would do everything in his power to make nidhi smile...her smile was like a thousand splendid suns in his life...
It was a rejuvenated nidhi who had just almost completed her packing..calling dr ashutosh"kaise hain aap??naaraaz hain...i am sorry woh kal...buss mai bahut thak gayee thi...back dukh rahi thi...bahut..." dr ashutosh gulped..looking at his hands...wish he could bring her comfort...how she must have been hurting...he thought of all the nights when his large n firm hands had brought relief to her tired aching back...she had never probably recovered fully after nishu...n then the miscarriage..had wrecked her...but his thoughts of worry bordering on guilt were interrupted by nidhi...almost chirpy.."ekdum lovvvely gifts liye hain...zaffar aur mrs hudson je liye...aur mr mrs mallik ke liye bhi..aap unhe kaise bhool gaye the"?? Ashutosh smiled ...the clouds lifting...he could feel his nidhi..always thinking about everyone else except herself...he had to think of her...nidhi continued"baba ke paas sab kuch hai..cash bhi withdraw ker diya hai..cheque book to aap deke gaye the..medicines...essentials..sab kuch...mere baba aur dadi bua bhi aa jaayenge 12 ko ..baba ke paas for the week end,..." ashutosh added"now relax...aaraam karo..kuch snacks rakhne ka mann ho to u can carry...aur haan dubai mei exit instructions dhyaan se gollow karna..luggage thru n thru book karwaana...and plz plz carry the passports carefully...main yahaan heathrow pe wait karoonga tum logon ka...aur cell on kerna dubai me..try calling otherwise i will..."nidhi smiled"aap chinta nahi kariye...itti bhi irresponsible nahi hoon main...pahunch jaaoongi aapke paas..uske baad...aap jaanein..."!!dr ashutosh responded.."bye now...aur haan...brufen carry kerna flight mei..back ache ke liye..."as the call was disconnected...nidhi n dr ashutosh both at their respective ends smiled..nidhi rolling in bed...watching dilwale dulhaniya le jaayenge in bits n pieces...determined to go to all the places where the leads had . been...and dr ashutosh sat..looking at the conclusion of his thesis...but nidhi's face emerged on the screen of his mind...humming in his deep voice...
TUMHAARA INTEZAAR HAI..TUM PUKAAR LO..
DIL BEHEL TO JAAYEGA ISS KHAYAAL SE
HAAL MIL GAYAA TUMHAARA APNE HAAL SE
MUKHTSAR SI BAAT HAI..TUMSE PYAAR HAI..
TUMHAARA INTEZAAR HAI...
Nidhi touched baba n kaka's feet ...as she n a sleepy eyed but excited nishu sat in the car with armaan at 4.30 in the morning to be driven to the airport...nidhi had double checked the passports tickets money, her credit card,cell...n yet she was a lil nervous...but as baba hugged her...he said"jaa..khoob enjoy karna..yahaan ki fikr bilkul nahi karna...main hoon na..."she put her head on his chest...feeling once again like a tiny sparrow that had built its nest in the branches of yhis banyan tree...n today it seemed tough to fly away from this protection...even if it was only a temporary flight...nishu pulled"chalo mamma...papa wait ker rahe honge..."n the car started...At the airport...armaan kissed nishu ...n put his hand on nidhi's head..."nidhi...jaaa...per ...jaldi waapas aajaana..." nidhi couldnt stop herself as she hugged him...armaan was much more to her than dr ashutosh's friend..he was her guarding angel...her friend...her sibling...her support...a man who hsd so much pain in his life but filled thevhome with so much joy n laughter...
In london, zaffar had got the apartment arranged to perfection, a room adjoining the master bedroom had been done up for "master nishooo"as mrs hudson practised..ashutosh had instructed zaffar to stock the kitchen with indian groceries, veggies n nidhi's favourite samosas...he had shifted his clothes to one side to make space gor her aris..n churidaars...infact he had visited marks n spencers to get a lovely wine coloured coat for nidhi...and a jacket n gloves for nishu ...he had taken care to see that the wash rom had all that nidhi might need...now it was really difficult to wait..moments seemed to be crawling...ashutosh looked at his watch...nidhi must be in her international flight...by now...
Nidhi had checked into delhi n was now ready to board the emirates flight to dubai...nishu was mesmerised seeing so many aeroplanes ..and as nidhi n he boarded they were ushered to the business class..and as nishu gleefully smiled , nidhi herself felt like a kid who had got the moon!!as they settled and nishu fiddled with the seat belt before nidhi put it forhim..the plane screeched on the runway...and as it took off , nidhi felt a strange tremor...n discomfort in her abdomen...but as the plane stabilised..the discomfort disappeared...n she began to point out to nishu the buildings looking so tiny from that height...as the airhostess gave nishu..a lovely toy aeroplane n he got busy in that...nidhi began to reflect on her long lasting desire of visiting europe finally coming true...she n europe were always a mismatch..so it had seemed..always fascinated by the tales told by col verma..seeing pics..reading books nidhi had yearned to go to the continent..but then the first trip was aborted because she chose to be with dr ashutosh recuperating from a fracture n thesecond plan ..a lonely bleak one...running away from the memories of dr ashutosh ...till things fell into place n she in ashutosh's arms...and now finally she would see westminster..n londoneye..stand atop mt titlis...n take the euro rail...and all this with dr ashutosh...as she closed her eyes...she could not help thinking..what was giving her greater joy..the fact that she was on the verge of fulfilling her long standing dream or the fact that she d be seeing her husband after 6 long n lonely weeks...nidhi looked outside...the clouds were far below...and the wide expanse of her dreams n desires extended all around..as boundlessas the blue sky...but what made that sky shine brilliantly was not the sun...yellow n bright..but the face n love of dr ashutosh..illuminating her yesterdays todays n tomorrows...nidhi smiled to herself as she recalled the song that seemed to have been written for her..
AAJ KAL PAAON ZAMEEN PAR NAHI PADTE MERE ..
BOLO DEKHA HAI KABHI TUMNE MUJHE UDTE HUE..
NEEND SI REHTI HAI HULKA SAA NASHA REHTA HAI
RAAT DIN AANKHON ME EK CHEHRA BASAA REHTA HAI..
PAR LAGI AANKHON KO DEKHA HAI KABHI UDTE HUE??
she was awakened by the airhostess for lunch...a wonderful assortment of veg cutlets, fried rice , cake n juice...but nidhi suddenly felt full...n took only one for nishu...as she fed him , he asked"mamma..tum kyun nahi kha rahi.khaao na plz ..and put a piece of cutlet in her mouth...nidhi suddenly n unexpectedly found her eyes moist...she caressed nishu's hair as he slept...she too reclined her chair and was almost as comfortable as a bed...she closed her eyes...n what emerged ion the canvass was neither mt titlis nor the london eye...but the face of dr ashutosh...raising his eyebrow...and saying"hey doc!!"
Note..tomorrow..nidhi's arrival...n the big realisation...of the impending good news