Friday, April 9, 2010

Employment

Part 12


The day goes briskly. Veena had no time for any sundry considerations and so she forgets to invite her friends for the party of which she had planned. As the day is almost over and the girls had gathered in a corridor of the office for a cup of tea, she suddenly remembers of her plan of giving a party. She looks around to find her friends but they were not in the place. She enquires about that and finds that Rashmi had not come to the office that day. She looks out for Jyoti but on enquiry she comes to know that Jyoti has left office a little early. Veena now calls Rashmi on mobile and there she comes to know that Rashmi’s father had a stroke and she is in a hospital. Veena asks the whereabouts of the place, it is Dr. Purohit’s Hospital on bailnaka road. Veena had never heard of those names but then she phones to Jyoti to find out where she is and if she knows about the tragic incidence with Rashmi’s father. On phone Jyoti tells her that she is waiting in a queue for getting ticket for the show of some famous movie. After hearing about the news she tells Veena that she cancels her plan to see the movie and asks her to wait for her on a corner of the street so that they together will be going to the hospital.

Veena rushes out of the office premises and comes on the corner where she sees Jyoti briskly walking towards her. They get a rickshaw ask the driver for Dr. Purohit’s hospital and they reach in about twenty minutes to a narrow road with heavy traffic. The rickshaw driver tells them that it will be not advisable for the rickshaw to enter that jam-packed alley and the two girls get off the rickshaw and keep walking asking everybody about the place. Veena and Jyoti were new to that place and so they hurriedly moved further on that crowded passage way until they reach a place where the traffic and the crowd was thinning. Finally they see a big board showing the place called Dr. Purohit’s hospital. They enter swiftly and find a short fat man sitting on a counter, something similar to a receptionist’s table. There was nobody around and the man was busy talking to some body on his mobile. Veena approaches him and stands there but the man does not bother to look to her, he is busy chatting on his mobile. At last Jyoti shouts at him to get his attention. The fat man looks to them and apologizes for the negligence says he was talking to some other doctor. The girls conniving at his excuses ask him about Rashmi’s father. They could not tell the surname as they never had asked Rashmi for her surname! The man could not help them but then they tell him that the patient is admitted today and had had a stroke. On that the man smiles and tells them that all patients in that hospital are heart patients and they all come only when they get a stroke! On hearing that the girls decide to ask about Rashmi. Rashmi was a fairly beautiful girl such as that normally any body cannot miss looking to her twice. And that trick works on that fat man. He gives a sweet smile and tells that he had seen some girl of that description and guides them to the second floor.

The girls enjoy the way they had to reach up to Rashmi. Smiling to each other they climb the staircase so quickly that they began to gasp heavily. On second floor they see a narrow passage and on both sides were chairs and benches for visitors to sit. Quite a few people were moving in and around ambling slowly, each one showing pain on their face. Veena and Jyoti look on both sides of the passage and finally they see on one corner Rashmi sitting next to one room. They go near her and stand waiting for her to see them. Rashmi appears to be in great pain. Both the girls ask her mutely about the condition and on that Rashmi begins to sob. She points towards the door of one room and says by signs that hr father is in that room but nobody is allowed in there. Veena sees a board hung on side of the door as they do in hospitals, “ICU”.

They try to calm her down and that was the very first time in the life of Veena that she saw sorrow. Veena never had to experience such things in her that young life. She was feeling terribly frightened at the idea that some body was near death and that fixed her. She could not know how to react but she watched Jyoti who was more mature soothing Rashmi for the occasion. While they were sitting and Rashmi had recovered from her lapse; they saw a young man walking fast towards them. He was Rashmi’s brother, he came near her and in choking voice told Rashmi, unmindful of the presence of the other two girls, “We are short of funds the medicine is very costly. What to do”?

This stunned Rashmi and she again began to sob heavily. “What is the matter”? Veena asked her brother and at that time the brother noticed the two girls. He could not know what to reply and looking to Veena said nothing, he shook his head showing his helplessness.
“How much is short”? Veena asked spontaneously
“Two hundred”. Brother murmurs.
Veena opens her purse, takes out a five hundred rupee note, holds it to him, and almost orders, “Do not waste time go get it”.
Instinctively the brother takes the note and vanishes in the corridor.
Veena is surprised at what she did and feels great that she is helping her friend. All that was happening was as if guided by some unknown force of the providence.


This Story continues in the next posting.
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