“Hurry”, “please hurry up”, says a worried, bleak squishy voice, uncertain for the events to be unfolded. It was a clear Summer Monday morning, where the world was running towards their own respective workplaces amidst the blues & unwillingness with which they go. It was certainly not as calm a morning for this lady who was hurrying constantly.
The stretcher dragged into the ward, guarded with the a couple nurses, and arranging the best possible facilities to soothe the painful ordeal the person lying on it was facing.
How do I describe him he is just a very normal looking man in his early 30s lying on the stretcher, stressed in pain and fear of what it might lead him to clearly visible on his face. He was wearing a red shirt. Probably that’s what he had worn last night. Wrinkled and tamid.
And within seconds, Emergency ward of the hospital began to diagnose the criticality of this man in red shirt. I was sitting there, just as curious as anyone else to find out what was wrong with him, and when would he be recovering. But above everyone else, there were two worried eyes, juggling between doctors expressions and this red shirt man’s pain ordeal.
She would probably be his wife. I couldn’t ask. But the care, the fake comforting smile she was giving every now and then to him could vouch for that. And then she was sent out. To the waiting room. The dreadful room where you just have to kill your time. Second by second. Knowing somebody you love is killing their time & pain too. A battle which both the patient and his loved ones have to fight. One fights the battle to disease, no matter how serious or placid as it may be. There is no giving up, no time outs, either a win –win or lose-lose situation.
She was sitting at the corner of the seats, uncomfortable and alert. No expressions on face. Probably so firm that even a hug from a stranger couldn’t have broken her spirit. She had faith. In him. In the doctors. In destiny.
Condition got worse. Red shirt person started oozing blood. Doctors scattered. Nurses rushed for more medicines. More tests. More treatment. More pain. More Fight. More wait.
She was just listening to all the instructions every hospital person was giving to her. No family person apart from her. But yes, Occasional phone calls she received. She spoke. She listened. She didn’t talk to anyone.
After almost unbearable 14 hours , a distant voice called out her name, Mrs. Malhotra, to which she jumped and responded. There she is, she is his wife. Afterall, we know something. He is Mr. Malhotra.
She was called to meet him. He wanted to tell her some important information. What could possibly be as important after a 14 hour endless numb wait. He shared with her the insurance policy details. She started writing. She was calm. She was firm. They had money. From where else he would have mentioned three medical policy details and a hundred more instructions to avail them.
But why did she have to take it all now. She could have taken it already from him. May be there was never a good time to think of such bad times. May be they thought its not probable enough. May be. Just may be they thought 30s is not a time to deal with heart attacks. When the only fear they are facing is the fear of ultimate separation. Biggest Ordeal.
He never came back from the hospital. He did what best he could. Fought for another 89 hours. Probably more. But those were the last support he could give to her. Some money. Some claims. A million thousand memories. And a lifetime of separation.
She accepted the defeat. Only this time, she was not calm.