Chapter 2: Rescue
He went on “My mother has been admitted after she fainted last night and Dr Mehra recommended you as the best nutritionist to take care of her. Could you tend to my mother asap?” Sonakshi argued back, her voice stronger this time “I cannot give you favours just because your mother is admitted. There are other patient waiting here for equally important reasons. I am really sorry to hear your mother’s condition, but I cannot overlook those who have been waiting for their call for hours and push you up the list. If there was an emergency in the hospital I would have attended to it at first call, but it seems that you are here on Dr Mehra’s referral for your mother’s case which I would be happy to take up. For that purpose, you have to wait and ask the receptionist to get you a token to be placed in the line. Just by barging in my cabin will not get you anything. Now would you please leave and let me do my job?”
Meanwhile at the lobby the crowd is quite agitated with the partial behaviour towards patients and have turned rebel claiming an answer for the unjust biasness. The staffs explained that the man in the question is the trustee of the hospital and when a family member of the trustee needs help, any doctor or staff at the hospital is bound to attend to it as a priority.
Dev Dixit the name behind the famous telecommunication company “Ishwari Tm”, is not only the tag every business firm wants to collaborate with but also the most eligible bachelor sought after. Dev started his ventures at a tender age and after years of hardship successfully founded a company after his mother’s name and undoubtedly is the most talked about man in the world of IT, networking and telecom. His achievements over such a short period has listed him among the top five inspiring young entrepreneurs of the nation.
Inside the cabin, Sona who is totally unware of the identity of the business giant has bluntly pointed him to the door to leave. Dev was listening all the while without any word trying to control his rising temper. He clutched the medical reports in his fist and clasping it firmly turned around and stormed out of the cabin. “Would you please…” Sona could not complete before the angry form showed his back and left. “How rude! I would have advised him yogurt two times in his meal to keep himself calm” said Sona in irritation to herself before calling in her long awaiting patient.
The day has been very tiring for her as she had all the drama happening at the same time. A very eventful day indeed, thought Sona while packing her bag to head off home. Little did she know, that the day wasn’t actually over. A Peon knocked on the door and peeped inside to check if she is around.
“Mishra Ji, aiye, kuch chahie apko?” asked Sona.
“Dr Mehra ne apke lie yeh bheja hai” saying so he handed an envelope to her.
Sona confused with the unexpected arrival of the envelope looked at it closely to find her name and confidential stamped on it.
“Thank you Mishra ji, aap ja sakte hain” said Sona before opening the letter.
Suddenly a thought struck her. “Mishra ji, aapki biwi ab kaisi hai? woh chart ke hisab se khana kha rahi hai na? asked Sona. Mishra turned back on hearing Sona.
“Dr Bose apka banaya hua chart se uski sehet mein tarakki ayi hai. Apne chart hamare budget ko dhyan mein rakhte hue banaya, isliye meri biwi ab pehle se bohot achi hai. Apko bohot bohot thank you” said the peon with hands folded in a respectful Namaste. “humlog bohot abhari hai apke. Aap to hume charge bhi nehi karte”
“Yeh to achi khabar hai. Itna thanks ki koi zaroorat nahi hai Mishra ji. Bas dua kijie ki me aise ap logo ko help karti rahoon.”said a similing Sona. “Bilkul Dr Bose, hum sabki dua apke saath hai.” Mishra cheered her with a pleasant smile and left.
Sona diverted her attention back to the envelope.
Sonakshi blowed into the envelope to open it and pulled out a letter. She slowly unfolded the letter and started reading. What followed was the most dramatic turn out of events ever happened to her.
“What?” cried a startled Sonakshi and stood up in disbelief, her eyes still fixed on the letter.
Her nails dug deep into her skin. Her face flamed in anguish at what was written. Hot tears rolled down her cheeks and she kept staring at the letter in shocked widening eyes. She collected herself from the sudden blow, reached the cabinet drawers to pull out a packet and charged out of the chamber.
Dr Mehra seems to have foreseen the circumstances of the letter he has asked Mishra ji to deliver and was already prepared for the cyclone raging towards his cabin.
The sharp knock on the door alerted him of her arrival. Before he could even answer the knock, Sonakshi was already inside.
“Do I need to ask?” asked an outraged Sonakshi, slapping the letter on the table.
“I knew this was coming” Dr Mehra murmured softly avoiding eye contact with Sona.
“Dr Bose, please calm down” he tried to pacify the agitated lady “We can settle the matter amicably. I got orders from the board of trustees to issue you the layoff letter. The board had to take this decisions based on the complaints against you. I tried to defend you as …” He stopped to look at her. He was disheartened to see the otherwise bubbly young girl, looking back at him with moist baffled eyes.
“I have served my patients selflessly, I always make that extra effort to…” Sonakshi found it difficult to complete the statement. The accusations of ignorant and unprofessional behaviour was too much for her to bear. Her voice choked to supress the intense pain growing inside her. Her contorted face reflected how humiliated she felt. She shut her eyes to release the pooled tears, hoping the terrible moment would pass. Regaining a semblance of control over herself, she continued, “I have always treated my patients will full integrity and diligence. I never had any complaints so far and who knows that better than you Dr Mehra? And what I get in return is a letter stating I am careless and display irresponsible attitude?” asked a disbelieving Sonakshi.
“If this letter is to be believed, then does the board have answers to these? She raised the packet in her hand to draw out a stack of papers and thrashed it on the table. Dr Mehra closed in to have an intent look at the papers.
“These are the testimonies that my patients have left for me as memento which I have preserved all these years as token of love. Some of these are just thank you cards, some signed photos and drawings and there are more hung on the walls of my cabin. Would the board be able to justify this, the love my patients shower over me?” questioned Sonakshi, wiping her eyes.
“I know, Sonakshi, the allegations against you are not justified, but I am helpless to go against the decisions made by the board of directors. Actually Mr Dixit happens to be one of the trustee and his mother….”
“Ok, Now I get it…” trying to recollect the encounter “Just because I refused to give his mother advantage over the other patients, he used his influences to sack me on wrongful grounds. That’s hitting me below the belt. Fine, I think everyone should be aware of this unfair judgement”. declared Sona with firmness.
“But Sonakshi. We are a reputed hospital, We..” Dr Mehra was cut in.
“Dr Mehra” said Sona, reverting to her usual tone. “I respect you immensely and I also have great regards for the hospital and its board of directors. I love working here! The hospital has built my career as a nutritionist. But if people in the management are playing foul games in the name of bureaucracy with their own doctors for being impartial and honest, then how do you expect me to care about the reputation of the hospital?”
Dr Mehra alarmed at the reputation of his beloved hospital in stake came up with a solution.
“I suggest you to have a chat with Mr Dixit before you jump into any decision. He might have answers to your questions.”
“He better does” said Sonakshi sharply.
The receptionist informed Sonakshi of Dev’ whereabouts. She headed towards the ward where Dev’s mother is admitted. She came to know that Dev has been around all day.
“What does he think of himself? If he thinks that everything would go according to him, someone has to bring him out of his trance.” Sonakshi hissed in her mind. She has already chalked out a plan to face him. She was in no mood to bow down silently to his superiority and made up her mind to fight back with logic.
Sonakshi was about to enter the room. Just then, she saw Dev sitting quietly next to his mother’s bed holding her hands tightly, restraining himself from making any noise that would disturb her. She woke up and tried to get up.
“Dev why have not left for home yet..” asked a worried Ishwari “You have not been home since last night beta,,,Neha must be waiting for you, Tune kuch bhi nehi khaya subha se”
“Do you know, how much you scared me Maa?” Dev complained with moist eyes totally ignoring Ishwari’s request.” His vision blurred struggling against the torment inside him that needed a release. “I will not leave you here alone, you don’t love me” sobbed Dev. He could not control anymore and tears poured down his hard face.
Sonakshi was lost in their conversation totally forgetting the reason she was here for. Initially she would have eaten him alive for the mental turmoil he made her go through, but this is not the person she has expected. He was someone else, he was a protective son scared to see his mom in this condition. His voice was broken, his shoulders were tired of the mental distress, his eyes were hopeful to see his mother hale and hearty again.
“No no beta, you are my life, Agey se mein apna dhyan rakhungi. Thik hai?” said Ishwari caressing her son’s face.
It is hard to comprehend for Sonakshi that this polite and generous gentleman in front of her eyes who is also a caring and loving son is the same cut-throat, cold, intolerant businessman, she had to face hours ago. They are not compatible in any way.
“Does he suffer from split personality disorder? thought a diagnostic Sonakshi. “Possible, work related stress are the main reasons for all mental problems”
“Stop Sona, stop thinking about this Mr rude! Don’t forget he fired you on unreasonable grounds. Do not empathise with such morons” she reminded herself and hit her forehead with an open palm.
However, she still did not wanted to break into the mother-son time. Unknowingly the view gave her a satisfaction as if this moment should not be disturbed, it was pure, it was serene.
She turned back to leave. This is the first time in her life she is leaving a problem as grave as this midway and retreating. But her gut instinct strongly suggested that was not the right time to talk about it. She hanged her head in dismay and returned back to her cabin only to fetch her bag. She decided to return the next morning to collect her belongings in the office before finally bidding good bye to her job.
Dev has decided to head home on Ishwari’s insistence, but has made sure she had dinner before he leaves. “Bye Maa, the Dr has agreed to discharge you tomorrow. I will come and get you first thing in the morning” said Dev rearranging the quilt to his mother’s comfort. Ishwari nodded in turn with a broad smile.
Sonakshi walked lazily along the quiet Delhi road hoping to get a cab back home, munching on the samosas she bought from the road side stall two streets back. She had already finished one packet of chips and one vadapao on her walk of more than a kilometre and yet no sign of transport. She has missed the last bus as this uncalled hassle has taken most of her evening. People listens to music, or watches movie when saddened, but a contrarily fitness-freak Sonakshi resorts to junk and unhealthy food to kill the blues. She remembers the last time she was depressed, when her brother Saurabh faced huge losses in his business. She had gained 4 kgs in that week of all the pakoras and samosas she indulged into from Nakul’s bhandaar. In turn, Nakul made fortunes off the increased sales that week and came to visit Saurbabh with a box of sweets to glorify his profits. Saurabh was so pissed off that people are banking upon his losses, which later on became a mocking sensation in the household. She smiled thinking of the old times. She checked her watch to realise it was very late and she might not get any transport at this hour. She grew impatient kicking a small stone out of the way “Where the hell have all the cabs disappeared?”
“Can we come to any help?” a voice came from behind her.
Dev was driving back home when he caught a sight of a group of guys trying to tease a woman. As he drove closer, he realised it was more than just taunting, one of the guys held her against the lamp post and the other two were passing sleazy comments while taking turns to take sips from a bottle. She tried hard to free herself from the clutch, but groaned in more pain as the guy twisted her hand at the back. Dev could not held back his patience, soon he got off the car and charged towards him in full force. He leapt high to strike a hard blow on the guy’s shoulder and freed the woman from his grasp. From the corner of his eyes, he saw the second guy approaching raising up the empty bottle to hit her. Just in time, Dev pulled her into his arms to let the guy crash into the lamp post.
Dev glanced down at the petite figure in his arms to find the most beautiful pair of brown eyes he had ever seen staring up at him, patronized from the sudden shock. She was holding onto his shirt to balance her feet. Her lean body froze out of sheer anxiety. The flickering light of the lamp clouded their vision a bit. Soon, the panic-stricken eyes became fiery with the realisation and she flared back “Mr Dixit?” The familiar voice dawned upon him and before he could blurt out, he turned around at the call of “look out” and was joined by another pair of lanky arms to block the blow of the bottle. Together they knocked down the attacker.
“Dr Bose, what are you doing here this late? Trying to teach these goons ways of life?” Dev snapped out at Sonakshi.
“What do you mean? Do I look to have invited the trouble purposely?” she fumed backed.
“And by the way, how does it matter to you, whatever I am upto?” her voice defensive this time.
“Is this how you thank people who comes over to help?” he huffed.
“I did not ask you for help. I could have managed, infact I was..” She didn’t get far into her sentence, because she was grabbed by her neck and dragged away. They did not move far as Dev was swift enough to move behind and using his foot tripped the guy to the floor.
Sona escaped from his hold and reached to Dev’s side. Two guys were already knocked down and the third one fled for his life.
Dev turned towards Sona “what did you just said about handling yourself?” Sonakshi recognised the smirk on his face and the mock in his tone.
“Yes, I could have managed without you unless someone attacks from back. I can perfectly take care of myself” she replied heatedly
“Yes we can see that. You can’t even stand without support.” replied Dev coolly glancing down at Sona’s hold on his arm.
She immediately let go and backed away.
“I knew you don’t help people in need but at least learn to acknowledge if someone is helping you,” sighed Dev.
“Are you always this demeaning, or only to people whom you know you can dominate?” exclaimed Sona
“I am not the one loitering around at night asking for troubles” answered Dev fixing his shirt
Cutting her off “Listen, I don’t have time for all these. I need to get home. I have work in the morning. So do you. Would you…” claimed Dev in a patronising voice before remembering that he has snatched her job.
“I don’t have a job anymore to report to in the morning. All thanks to you Mr Dixit. Look I have learned to admit the credibility. You have left no stone unturned to achieve that” sighed Sonakshi in a tired voice.
“Dr Bose, I did not mean to hurt you. I lost my cool in the morning. I was feeling restless at my mother’s condition. I am sure you would have acted the same way if your mom’s health was at stake” said Dev with guilty regret.
“This is not about how much you love your family. Even I love my family and I can go to any extent to help them. You could have requested me to help your mother and left me to take the decision, rather than demanding the service from me just because you are the trustee of the hospital. I would have come to your mother eventually after I was done with my patients, but your impulsive decision has denied me that right to decide for myself. Do you even have any idea how much would this affect my career? You have accused me of being careless and unprofessional. But would you be able to justify your actions as ethical and fair? Enquired Sonakshi, her eyes swam across his face desperately for an answer.
“Your mother must be a very noble person Mr Dev, and would have taught the same morals that my mom taught me. But yet I understand, by taking advantage of the position you hold to get someone do something against their will, must not be your mother’s way. Right?” Sonakshi spoke her heart out.
This simple question tore apart his subconscious self and he did not dare to look back into her eyes.
Sonakshi slowly collected her stuffs and got into a cab that has shown up after so long. Dev gazed at her from back. What was in those last few words that dumb-folded him?
Jaise koi kinaara, Deta ho sahaara
Mujhe wo mila kisi mod par
Koi raat ka taara, Karta ho ujaala
Waise hi roshan kare woh shehar
Was it the impact of the suddenly arose guilt inside him or that first time ever in his life his valour faded in front of a woman other than his mother.
Main parinda besabar. Tha uda jo darbadar
Koi mujhko yun mila hai. Jaise banjarey ko ghar
There was something about this girl that has sparked a realisation alien to him.
Naye mausam ki sehar. Yaa sard mein dopahar
Koi mujhko yun mila hai. Jaise banjarey ko ghar
The song added is Banjaara from Ek Villain.
Credit to: Raily