Sudha was struggling to get back to sleep. She glanced at Dr. Lal, he was asleep. There was a kind of nervousness which she had never experienced before. The memories of her kids are coming back again and again. She always wondered if she would ever see them again before leaving this world, at the same time if something happens to her, what about Dr. Lal, who would take care of him?
Two blocks down the lane, Raman was also lost in similar thoughts. Would his parents ever accept him back? He is their only son, there is no one else who could take care of his parents. All his attempts to get back in touch with them have failed. “What if they never allow me to express what I feel? This guilt isn’t letting me live peacefully. What did I do with my life?“, he slowly walked into the garden. It was almost 4’O clock in the morning.
Suddenly Sudha felt too sick, her body was completely sweating. She shook Dr.Lal to wake him up as she pointed at the water jug on the table. Dr. Lal served her water. Sudha was breathing heavily unable to keep her eyes open. “Sudha, Sudha, please look at me. What happened? Should I call for an ambulance? Please talk to me, please“, Dr.Lal was scared as hell. He grabbed his phone to call Raman. Raman’s phone was ringing but he isn’t answering the calls. After two vain attempts, Dr.Lal gave-up on him and called for an ambulance.
Raman was shaken out of his thoughts when he heard the siren of the ambulance. The ambulance entered Dr. Lal’s house. Involuntarily Raman ran towards their house. The paramedics have checked Sudha and recommended to shift her to the hospital as her heartbeats were abnormal. Dr.Lal accompanied Sudha in the ambulance holding her hand tight. “Raman, please bring Sudha’s medicines which are kept on the bedside table, also the bag kept in the cupboard to hospital. Please come as fast as you can“.
Raman went inside the house, collected the bag and her medicines, locked their house. He went to his house and started searching for the car keys. He took some money, water, glucose and his wallet. He opened the bag he brought from Dr.Lal’s house to keep the items he thought would be useful. Opening the bag gave him a shocker. The bag contained Sudha’s clothes, money, some papers and glucose too. Dr.Lal was very much prepared for the emergency situation, a doctor he is by profession, no wonder thought Raman.
He grabbed his phone, rushed out of the door towards his car. He started driving and wanted to make a phone call. That is when he noticed missed calls from Dr.Lal. He cursed himself to have been negligent and not keeping his phone along with him. “God, please forgive me for making another mistake. I could not have been available to Dr. Lal in time of need. Please save Sudha mam.”
Sudha is admitted to the emergency ward, nurses were running around her arranging the oxygen mask and preparing for IV fluids. The duty doctor came in, checked the vitals and injected a couple of medicines into the saline water. Dr. Lal felt helpless standing outside the emergency ward.
“Dr.Lal, is this the first time or has she ever had similar problems ?” asked the doctor.
“No Doctor, this is the first time. She has arthritis and is also suffering from depression. I gave her a double dose of anxiety reliever today. Raman must be coming any time, he has the list of medicines Sudha takes” Dr.Lal responded.
“OK. Please don’t worry, she would be fine. I suspect it could be a mild attack or just stress. I would get the tests done so that we know what caused it. Be strong Sir” said the doctor.
A couple of hours later, the doctor returned to Dr.Lal, “Sir, she is very weak. It was a very mild attack. I will give some medicines for a few days which would help her. Keep her happy and away from stress. You could take her home…”
Raman and Dr.Lal looked at each other feeling relieved. All three of them reached home. Dr. Lal helped Sudha lay comfortably on the bed. He sat beside her caressing her hair till she fell asleep. Once she was asleep, Dr. Lal joined Raman who was waiting in the living room. “Ah, you made tea. Thanks a lot, Raman, you have been a lot of help today. Otherwise, how much can this old man do? I thought I am going to lose her. I know such thoughts are stupid, but I couldn’t help” said Dr. Lal.
Raman could sense the pain in his words, “I am extremely sorry Sir. I could not attend your call when I should have. I would have unknowingly done the same mistake I did with my granny. As they say, life repeats itself until we learn the lesson”, he broke into tears, uncontrollably sobering.
“Raman, you should not be guilty about your granny. Even today, it wasn’t your mistake. Things just happen. We should take them as they come. See us, have we ever thought our kids would leave us? Today, they don’t have time for us. When Sudha was in an emergency also, I have not thought about them. I don’t know if they would come if I call them, but I am not too sure if I would reach out to them for help. I have got an insurance done for me and Sudha, that should suffice if need be. The documents are in the bag you brought to the hospital today. Are you wondering why am I telling you that? If I forget some other time, please remember to use them in time of need“, Dr.Lal gave a faint smile.
Raman came back home, he felt too tired. Was it lack of sleep or the burden of missing Dr. Lal’s calls, he wasn’t really sure. On one side are his parents who refuse to forgive him for the mistake he made as a teenager, on the other side, there are Mr. and Mrs. Lal who love their kids so much. Maybe if their kids take a step forward, that family can reunite together to be a happy family, just like the pictures on the walls. He picked up his phone to make an important call he has been waiting to make.