Sourabh was rushed to a hospital with multiple injuries; Mostly, head injuries. He was alive but lifeless. He was admitted in a super-specialty hospital in the outskirts of the city. There were scarce chances of his recovery. And his family blamed that unfortunate orphan girl Neha for their son’s accident.
“She has killed my son, almost“, his mom said and warned everyone in the family to let not anyone know that her son still lives. But as soon as he got back his consciousness, he searched for Neha frantically. “Nn..eehaa? Where’sss Neha? Shheee must be waiting for me… Maa…?” He was too weak to express himself and his family members were too strong for him at that particular moment to suppress him down. “She is fine, Sourabh beta. You should not worry about her. She will wait till you become alright”, his Mom kept telling lies and giving him false hopes.
The accident destroyed Sourabh’s life. After spending a month in the hospital, he came back home, but he was unable to do anything. He became an invalid, a burden for his family with lots of complications. His injuries didn’t let him recover fast enough to get back to his normal life. His profession was to talk about history being a historian, but he was losing the sense about his history, about his present slowly as days passed by.
Sourabh’s accident not only destroyed his own life, but it nearly ruined Neha’s life as well. She suffered a nervous breakdown worrying her friends and acquaintances, especially Ms Shraddha Acharya, her mentor and well-wisher. Shraddha was a widow and had no one apart from her old mother. And she took it upon herself to take care of Neha as her own daughter. She accompanied her to the doctors, counsellors, psychiatrists and everywhere else with the hope to bring her back to life.
It was tough for her to spend so much time and energy after this young traumatic girl all alone, it was an onerous burden on her. But there was a ray of hope she could see in the form of Dr Rajan Tripathy when she took her mother to him for her ailments. Shraddha Ji was an amicable woman, and so was the young Doctor Rajan. They soon became good friends, especially on a project which they both had envisioned to start. And when she came to know that Dr Rajan was looking for a suitable match for himself, she brought Neha’s topic to his knowledge.
A compassionate man, a doctor, sold out to serve people through his profession didn’t reject her proposal right away but took time to think it over. Neha was not just a brilliant student in her college life but was also a very caring and efficient young woman who could honestly look after people at home. Dr Rajan paid a visit to Shraddha Ji’s house regularly when he found time, with the motivation to meet Neha and interact with her more often. He started to give small responsibilities to carry out to distract her mind from her past and pull her into the present, which was essential. Both Shraddha Ji and Dr Rajan’s constant effort to bring Neha out of her depressed, defeated disposition slowly bore fruit.
Shraddha Ji told Rajan about Neha’s family, her past and how she had suffered since she was just a seven years kid… but when she wanted to talk about her love life, Dr Rajan stopped her from sharing all that. “I would love to hear it from Neha, if she wants to share it she will or else it shall remain in her past, I have nothing to do with that.” He said.
Who would not feel happy to hear such a statement from such a young man like Dr Rajan? He was just 30 back then. Shraddha Ji neither rushed him or pushed Neha into the alliance, but allowed time, space and God to let things unfold and hoped for the best. And slowly, things started to change for the better.
Neha started to do mundane household chores at Sharddha Ji’s place as she was living with them since that traumatic day. She began to take an interest in talking with her mentor again instead of locking herself inside her room all day. She also took an interest in whatever Dr Rajan asked her to do for their upcoming project. And it was almost after one and a half years from the time of Sourabh’s accident that Neha and Rajan’s wedding was arranged.
The family members of Dr Rajan were as supportive as him, and no one really went against his decisions because they knew he always proved to be a good decision maker for the benefit of them all.
Neha was welcomed wholeheartedly by her in-laws when she was wedded to Dr Rajan. She wasn’t given much of the loads initially. She used to pass out from time to time for many months, having panic attacks and bouts of anxiety. But Dr Rajan’s careful attention and loving concern were too encompassing to put Neha’s fears to rest and bring her out of her trauma. He was not the poetic, passionate romantic, kinda husband; he never addressed her with endearments such as ‘Baby’, ‘Sugar; or ‘Honey’. But he made up for all that by his compassionate patience and sensitive nature. He always managed to find time for her, spending hours sometimes listening to her, letting her talk despite his tight schedule that took her heart away. She had given herself up to the will of Shraddha Ji and Rajan, letting herself drift away to the winds of time. It was almost two years after her marriage that she felt like herself again and desired to be the good wife and loving daughter-in-law.
Neha, a timid traumatized girl who had succumbed to her fears, taking refuge in denial, festering in darkness, had stepped into the light again. She decided to take the reins of her life back into her hands and took the responsibility of her home into her hands. From baby steps, she went to strides and was running finally. She took care of everything for everyone, from her Grand mother-in-law’s medication to making healthy mouth-watering meals for everyone. She won everyone’s heart, including her amazing husband, Dr Rajan.
“After the man I was about to marry, who died in an accident, I never expected to live a life again, a life of love and sanctuary but you pulled me out of that darkness. The dark past is gone, and you are my brightest present and future“, she said one day while having pillow talk with her doting husband. Dr Rajan didn’t insist on knowing more about the deceased lover from her past, he was more focused on the present, on the woman living with him every moment with a new zeal and enthusiasm.
Life seemed to move smoothly for Dr Rajan and Neha, and they were bonded more deeply with the arrival of Neeraj, the bundle of joy made her a mother and completed her in every way. She had love, she had a family, she had everything. For the first time in her life, she was in control of things. Six years of marriage made her felt needed, and cherished, her family depended on her.
Dr Rajan was happy and proud to have a wife like Neha who not only came out of a delicate mental state but also became a lifeline of his family and all the members at his house. But he was a bit apprehensive after yesterday’s incident. He regretted bringing up Sourabh, the patient with his accident history in front of Neha without being aware of the connection between his patient and his wife. He can’t afford to push Neha back to her previous mental state. And on the other side, Neha was struggling to cope with the very thought of Sourabh (her Rishi), literally distorting her thought process.