Story Collection - Chaalbaaz

Lost and Fighting

The brightly lit room reminded Zeenat of the last time she had seen Rajendra. Three years had passed and as much as Zeenat missed him, she knew that it was for the better that the two of them were not together. She had been nothing but a rot in Rajendra’s life and the best thing he ever did was to throw her from his life. She did wish she could change but now, even she didn’t believe that she could change, let alone anyone else.

Zeenat picked up the medicines that were assigned to her and gulped them down in on go. She remembered the days when swallowing even one pill was impossible for her. Now, she was a pro. The medical facility had taught her this, if nothing else. This place where Rajendra had left her after the attack she had last time. When she had accidentally killed his mother. How could he forgive her for that?

She slowly moved back to the room assigned to her. For three years that has been her schedule and she had followed it diligently. If she couldn’t give Rajendra her mom back, the least she could do was penance.

“Hello. Rajendra here.” Rajendra picked up the phone. He was absent-mindedly working on some modifications on his earlier presentations. He wasn’t going to present them so he had to ensure that the person who was going to do it doesn’t make a mess of it.

“Hi Rajendra. Her reports are with me.” Doctor spoke from the other end. Rajendra immediately shot up.

“What does it say?” Rajendra said with a nervousness.

“I think it is time we shift her.”

“No doctor. I can’t handle that.” Rajendra said sweating. He had thought the doctor might say something like that. He had prepared his whole speech for the moment.

“Last three years have been hell for me Doc! I can’t increase the pain for myself. You will have to find some other arrangements.”

“But Rajendra, this is getting more expensive by the day. The alternate is going to be cost-effective.” Doctor tried explaining.

“Cost isn’t an issue doc. I can get the money. But I can’t… ever since mom died. You have to understand. She’s the one. Only one.” Rajendra said his voice cracking up.

“But…” Doctor said his voice faltering.

“Any other news. Any good news.” Rajendra said changing the topic.

“If you can take it as such. Her life expectancy has increased. If her care is taken properly, she should be able to live a long life. The medicines, while not able to treat her psychological disorder, reduce the physical burden on her body.”

“Hmm.” Rajendra grunted.

“Actually that’s why I was saying that expenses would increase more. And it seemed that shifting her would be a good option.”

“No doctor. Shifting her is not an option.”

“Ok. By the way, will you be coming today?”

“To see her?”

“Yes and take the report as well.”

“I will drop by the evening.”

“Alright. Bye.” The doctor kept the phone hoping to convince Rajendra in person. He then went to the room to check on Rajendra’s patient.

“How’s she?” Rajendra asked.

“Stable. Maybe someday you will have her back.” Doctor spoke. Rajendra smiled.

“If only I could get both of my women back in my life, it would be back to being perfect.” Rajendra said.

Doctor nodded unable to say anything. As a doctor, he had learned that sometimes people should be left with their hope, as impossible as it maybe.

“And you are still adamant about Zeenat?” Doctor asked.

Rajendra looked through the glass window longingly. Then he steeled himself visibly.

“Yes. That’s her place.”

“Alright.”

“Doctor. Can I hold my mom’s hand?” Rajendra pleaded.

The two entered the room they were standing in front of. Rajendra’s mother was attached to multiple tubes and machines. Rajendra held her hand gingerly as if trying to grab a hand made of sand.

“The tubes are mostly for feeding. Her recovery is almost complete. I don’t know what will happen after that. Coma is something even we doctors do not understand completely.” Doctor repeated this line for the hundredth time.

Rajendra kissed his mother’s hand. He could still vividly remember the day Zeenat had that attack. When Zeenat had blacked out and his mother had tried to save his wife. While she was able to save Zeenat, Rajendra lost both of them that day. Her mother almost died and Zeenat went into a complete psychotic breakdown. All she would utter is that she killed Rajendra’s mom.

“I still feel Zeenat should be here. We can take better care of her. And how long will you work from home Rajendra?” The doctor said.

“Home is my work place now Doc. I won’t leave Zeenat for a second. She’s the love of my life and my mother didn’t save her so that Zeenat spends her whole life in the hospital.”

“She doesn’t even realise that she’s at home.” Doctor insisted.

“No she doesn’t. But the day she wakes up from whatever it is, I’ll be there, holding her.” Rajendra said with finality.

Doctor sighed.

“I am getting one more nurse assigned to your house.”