Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Redemption....

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 45; the forty-fifth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Amrita checked her watch. It was 11.30 PM.

She looked at Rohit sleeping , his chest moving in perfect rhythm with his breathing. He was on a high dose of analgesics.

She shuddered as she recollected the phone call she had received early that evening, when she was in the kitchen, preparing dinner.

Rohit’s motorbike had met with an accident, and he had immediately been rushed to Nucleus, the new hospital that had started functioning in the heart of the city, the caller had said.
She had rushed to the hospital, praying fervently for the safety of her son.

It had been worse than what she had been told.
He had fallen off his bike when it collided with a speeding bus. His legs had been crushed under its wheels and he had suffered severe spinal injury.
He had been administered the initial treatment and was in deep sleep when she arrived.
The special panel of doctors including the Orthopedic Surgeon and the Neurosurgeon had recommended an urgent surgery to his Spinal Cord.

She had been made to sign the documents for the same.

That was when the nurse informed her that the Head Surgeon wished to meet her. “He’s the best in the country, Ma’m. This is his monthly visit to our hospital. He just informed me to tell you, that he’d like to have a word with you, Ma’m. In his room, at around 12.30 AM,” she had said.

They were now in a special room in the ICU wing of the hospital .She looked out of the window. Against the sky lit by the dim moonlight, she could see the falling droplets of rain.
It was unusually windy for a December night.  There had been heavy winds for the past few days, and storms were expected anytime.

Storms. They always brought her the ghosts of memories.
Memories that became more and more indelible with time.
One such stormy night had changed her life before.

“No, not now, I simply mustn’t”, she admonished herself, turning to look at Rohit once again.

“I’d warned him, I had”, she thought to herself, as she tried in vain to suppress her tears.
Rohit was her life, her purpose in life.
Seeing him in such a condition broke her heart.

The faint ticking of the clock in the room reminded her that she had an appointment to keep. Closing the door, she walked down the stairs to the Head Surgeon’s room on the ground floor.


The winds outside had turned furious, and by the time Amrita reached the Surgeon’s room, she was freezing to the bones. The rains had become heavier, and there were puddles of water in the grounds outside.
Amrita read the name board.

Dr Aniket Iyer. Specialist Orthopedic Surgeon.
Listed next to that were his credentials.

She knocked gently and entered on getting an approval, relieved to be in the warmth of the room.

Inside the room, sitting at his table, with a large hard-bound book open, and a pen in hand was a young man. He looked slightly more than thirty, his dark-rimmed spectacles awarding his boyish face an aura of maturity that belied his age. Curly hair neatly combed back, with sacred ash smeared on his forehead, Dr Aniket  looked impressive .

Amrita was surprised, as she had expected someone senior in age and experience, on that seat.

“Take your seat, Ms Amrita”, his calm voice addressed her.

She sat on the seat opposite to him. She was suddenly filled with a sense of foreboding. Something about the doctor was uncanny.

“So you know Rohit’s condition, I presume ? He needs a surgery for his spinal cord to be fixed, and it will be five to six months before he can actually walk around. He’ll have to undergo rigorous rounds of physiotherapy as well, I hope you’ve been told all this ,” Dr Aniket looked at her with calm eyes and a question in his voice.

Amrita nodded affirmatively.

“ It must be hard for you, handling all this alone, without your husband to support you,” he said.

Amrita looked up at him, surprised at how he knew her husband was no more.

“ A copy of his death certificate was found in Rohit’s wallet,” the doctor explained to her.

Yes, she remembered. Rohit used to carry a copy of that with him, along with her photograph.

“When will the surgery start , doctor?”, she asked.

“ Relax, Rohit is being monitored closely. We’ll begin the surgery once he’s stable enough.”

“ May I know why you wanted to meet me then, doctor?,” she asked. She didn’t want to waste her time here. She wanted to be with Rohit.

Dr Aniket looked deep into her eyes. His quiet gaze made her uncomfortable.

“Isn’t it a fantastic weather outside? The rains, the heavy winds, the stormy atmosphere,” he said, suddenly turning and opening the windows.

“ May be, Sir. But somehow I don’t enjoy all this and never at all, in the frame of mind I’m in now, ” she said.

“Perhaps, because it reminds you of something from your past? Thoughts can be ghosts, you know ”, Dr Aniket turned to look at her, the calmness on his face hiding the emotions in his voice.

She was startled.

 Did he know ? How could he ? She had never told anyone. And she didn’t know this person. Then how?

“And you still look very young, as if you’re still eighteen,” he said.

“ I’m sorry, doctor. I don’t see how my looks matter, and I don’t quite get what you say .I don’t believe in ghosts either,” she managed to say.

“You will , after I explain it to you,” his voice was crisp, yet calm.

“ Twenty years ago, one stormy night, a young girl of eighteen, decided to get rid of her young brother . He was eleven years old, handicapped and confined to his wheelchair. They had no parents, and her lover didn’t want him in their life after their marriage. She drugged him with sleeping pills, put him on his wheel chair, and took him out of their one-room home, into the rainy, windy, night to the railway station. She  left him sleeping on a seat in a deserted compartment of a train, his wheel chair folded and tucked neatly beneath the seat. ”

Amrita felt the ground beneath her slip away. So he knew. He knew the ghosts. But how ?

“How do you know ? How ? Who are you ? Who told you all this ? ,” she shook violently as she pointed her shaking finger at Aniket.

She couldn’t face them. The ghosts of her memories.

“ Isn’t it obvious , Amrita ? I’m the very same boy, who woke up and found himself in a hospital.”

“ No !! Never !! You can’t be. He wasn’t called Aniket. You’re lying,” she  shouted breathlessly.

“ Yes, he wasn’t called Aniket. He was Anubhav, wasn’t he ? And yes, twenty years isn't a small chunk of life, is it ? "

Amrita gasped. Her knees gave away as she sank to the floor. Tears had begun to flow and soon she was sobbing uncontrollably.

“The sleeping boy was saved by an Army Doctor, Dr Hariharan Iyer,  who boarded the train, and discovered him unconscious. He ensured that the boy received treatment at the next railway station, and he adopted the helpless child. He learnt about the boy’s past from him, and renamed him Aniket. A loving home, proper care and nutrition and good education made him Doctor Aniket. Yours truly, here.”, he paused and looked at Amrita, who was now on her knees, crying, her head cupped in her hands, her body shaking violently.

“ I’m sorry, sorry….I…would’ve never….couldn’t ...recognise you....when I saw.....….”, she spoke in between sobs.

He waited patiently for a few minutes for her to calm down.

“ None of the apology is required now, Amrita. Your mistake can never ever be justified , that’s true. But that particular stormy night changed my life. To something better. And in one way, you’re responsible for my good fortune.  I wouldn’t have told you any of this, had I not seen your photograph in Rohit’s wallet. I was surprised at the ways of fate. Seeing my own nephew in front of me, waiting for the gift of life, I couldn’t hold myself back. And you couldn't have recognised me now. I've changed a lot, haven't I ! ”

Amrita looked at him, tears still streaming out of her eyes.
How selfish had she been !
She had repented for her action for many years after that. Her efforts to find Anubhav hadn’t worked out. All that she could do was to hate herself for what she did.

Now, she felt relieved. The one she had feared she’d killed was alive. Alive as a life-giver.

“I’ve forgiven you for everything. I’m mature enough to think that you would’ve been hurt, ashamed and sorry for that act of yours. I just thought that revealing the truth might help you make peace with yourself.”

Amrita got up on her feet with folded hands. She tried to say something.

Aniket wheeled his chair out of his place. He came to Amrita and took her hands, trying to silence her.

“ Relax, I’m soon starting the surgery. Rohit will be fine. I’m going in to the theatre now. I need to get dressed and be ready on my special chair, as I cannot stand during the surgery. Sit here for sometime, and then go back to your room. Be peaceful. I’ll meet you after the surgery,” saying this, he left the room and took the elevator to the Operation Theatre.

The rains outside had died down, the raging storm defeated.

The night was soon clothed in a surprising calmness that descended with a still silence.

No one would ever know that the storm that had blown inside two human minds for the past few years had been quelled.

The storm of guilt , conquered by the rain of forgiveness.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: 03

32 comments:

  1. Nice plot, lovely narrative as well. Loved how you managed to get the past and present all entwined with each other.

    In fact you just might have given me an idea for a story of my own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG, What a pleasant surprise !! Welcome to my humble blog :) That was so nice of you !
      Waiting to read your story now.... :)

      Delete
  2. This is such a riveting story with a fab narrative, Sreeja. I didn't breathe till I read the last word. way to go. All the very best for BAT :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot, Shilpa ji, for the nice words !!

      Delete
  3. lost and found always a hit,well narrated

    ReplyDelete
  4. Interesting read; well written.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The story has been narrated so beautifully. Great work! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome to my humble space :) Thanks a lot for the kind words, Nandini :)

      Delete
  6. excellent as always, Sreeja :)

    inspiring tale of the doctor, and serendipitous that he should find his family like that too.

    well written!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot, Leo :) Congrats on the Gold :)

      Delete
  7. "Storm of guilt, conquered by the rain of forgiveness."

    Aah, such a beautiful and heart-rendering post.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Poignant! I loved the narration and the lines towards the end... Very very well written Sreeja!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot, Khushi :) :) Welcome to my blog :)

      Delete
  9. Couldn't pause for a second till I finished your story Sreeja, such was the narration. A really gripping tale, I am glad Amrita got a chance to redeem for her wrong.
    All the best for BAT :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words, Kirti :) Congrats on the Silver !

      Delete
  10. excellent! I don't know what else to say :)!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome to my blog, Nabanita :) Thank you for the nice words :)

      Delete
  11. The strong of guilt, conquered by the rain of forgiveness.. A beautiful plot narrated well. Loved it Sreeja!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sreeja beautiful plot. And how uncannily life comes a full circle my friend...beautiful..

    Richa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot, dear :) I'm just waiting to see how Devyani's life comes a full circle , too !

      Delete
  13. Replies
    1. Thanks a lot, TTS :) Welcome to my space !

      Delete
  14. That was so well scripted, I could imagine and relate!!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot, S(t)ri ... Welcome to my space !!

      Delete
  15. Sreeja, I felt choked after reading this awesome story. I read it in one breath.It is really unique!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Woohoo....you made my day, Usha Ma'm :)

      Delete
  16. What a powerful story ! Had me glued till the end! The best part was aniket decided not to let someone's misdeeds affect his judgement of what is right and what he must do! Very well written!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Fab story, well-constructed & narrated very well:-)).

    ReplyDelete

Speak to me here :) :)