Monday, August 11
Jai and Janki waited there outside. Besides them was a well dressed man, with a moustache which had grey hairs here and there, a navy cut hair style which clearly showed the baldness, in his early fifties. He was not as calm as they were. His eyes were wandering here and there. The phenol smell, a typical hospital thing, was in the air. The air conditioning was doing its best part, but still, his forehead was filled with sweat drops and two rivulets of sweat were running down alongside his face.
They three looked towards the door impatiently, whenever someone opened the electronically locked door. In five minutes after their arrival many people passed through those iron doors. An old man seated in wheel chair was guided by the male nurse. Another old man in a moving bed assisted by few staff holding some fluid containing bottles was struggling to look who is waiting for him outside. An old lady with her son, maybe, came through that door. They rushed towards the general ward section of the hospital. Then came a lady in her thirties, dressed completely in a check gown and this flow was continuing.
Six eyes were waiting for the door to open and someone to call their name. Seconds were passing like centuries. Heartbeats were pounding like a bullet train. Thoughts were streaming wild. The every moment the door opened, their eyes read anxiety. The extra cool air from the ICU gushed out through the door when it opened. It tried hard to lessen the sweat that perpetuated on their face.
Jai stood in the same place, his hands inserted in his worn out jeans. Jiya, her hair plaited well, was supporting her body on Jai’s shoulders. Her one hand was firmly affixed to his. The other one carried a mobile, which was a source for her to check the minutes crawling.
“Anyone for Janvi”, the voice shrieked through their ears. They didn’t even wait for the fat lady, a nurse, to complete the sentence. “Yeah”, all three chorused. She led them through the narrow walk way, made them wear the special attire, sandals. The air conditioned breeze smelt anti-biotic. The moment they entered the highly sophisticated ‘Intensive Care Unit’ their heartbeats accelerated. Two beds away there she was, Janvi.
The charm which always used to spritz from the exuberant face had hidden somewhere. Dressed up wounds covered her face. Her eyes were filled with tears dripping down her cheeks and were apologising for her mistake she made. She never expected to meet with an accident in those slippery roads when, together with her friends, she made plans for an outing without informing her family.
Jai and Janki stood near to Janvi holding her hands. The man with them stood there, near the bed with his hands covering his mouth. His wide opened mouth was unable to utter anything. His shivering fingers tried hard to close his mouth, failing terribly. Eyes moistened in a jiffy.
“Sorry Dad”, was what all everyone over there heard before him breaking into tears. The sight of his daughter curled up with all kind of plastic tubes supplying required Saline and other supplies to her body, her watery eyes and her penitent words were enough for him to forgive her small mistake. When their eyes got entangled, the dam of emotions exploded. He stood there, crying like a baby.
Janki noticed; the staff were trying hard to control their tears. Who said, a mother loves their kids more. Who said, men don’t cry. She went near her father; hugged him tight. She felt the whole world embracing them.