Threateningly huge yellow flames-an image that will haunt her for the rest of her life- was the last thing that Maria saw before she collapsed onto the floor of her burning house.
Maria tried to open her eyes but she could not. It was too much of work and anyways her eyes would not open.She stopped the on going war with her eyelids as she became aware of other things around her.There were parts of her that she could not feel and there were others where something terrible had happened.Excruciating pain would erupt without a warning and she would scream hoping someone would come and just do something.
Then , in some time the pain became too regular or maybe Maria had too little energy left to scream so she lay there moaning painfully.
There was that distinct smell of spirit, there were voices around her, she could hear people walking by .Why wouldn't somebody help her.She tried to scream for help but there was little energy left.
Victor County Hospital.The doctors never lost an opportunity to tell anyone who would listen that they dealt with over 200 patients each day with resources and staff not sufficient for even a hundred.There weren't enough beds, there wasn't enough medicinal supply , patients were poor , nurses irate .Most young doctors came here because they had no choice.All of them left gladly when the compulsary interships came to an end, thankful to have gotten out of the gutter that was called Victor County Hospital.
Nurse Irene stood behind the desk. She kept hoping that the Indian doctor's shift had come to an end for only then would the quiet doctor come to her and sign the register.
Nurse Irene ,45,as usual , could not take her eyes off Dr. Dixit's tall, broad frame approaching towards the desk. She,like most of the nurses at the hospital,was fascinated by the young Indian doctor. He was obviously a mini genius ,his credentials proved that. Why he had chosen VC hospital for his internship when Harvad was an option , no one could figure out. What everyone could easily figure out about the dimpled doctor was that he definitely had a way with patients.And his hands worked wonders.
Dr Samvat R. Dixit, passed a hand through his already dishevelled hair.It had been a long and hectic shift;he had not slept for the past 30 hours and the 5 hour break meant atleast 4 hours of sleep.
As the doctor looked about while Nurse Irene clumsily fiddled with the many registers on the desk, his eyes fell on a young girl, burnt and bruised, on the floor near one of the wards a few feet away.
"Mexican girl, house burnt down, neighbour saved the girl's life, we dont have enough beds, you see, nothing can be done till tomorrow morning, we have given her the painkillers but they wont be of much help,eyes have been badaged so she cannot see, she has to bear the pain , no one can do anything about it,you see.'
Nurse Irene never lost an opprtunity to speak to Dr Dixit.
A case of burns, lying on the floor , a groaning , moaning bundle of flesh.
From where Samvat stood, he could see that the face was disfigured, one hand was almost blackened while the other looked alright.The girl looked scared ,her eys were bandaged with gauze and tape ,she was alone and was obviously in great pain.As Dr Samvat looked at her, Maria ,in the throes of extreme pain once again groaned louder than ever and extended her good hand , as if hoping someone would hold it.
The pain was becoming unbearable.If only someone would be with her.If only someone would tell her it was going to be okay.
"Will you tell me your name?", a kind voice asked.
Maria , delirious, extended her hand murmuring something incoherent.The warmest feeling of reassurance engulfed her as her good hand was clasped between two large, soft and strong hands.
"It will be okay...dont worry, do you hear me?"
Maria groaned a yess.
"Just this one night, we will get you a bed in the morning, just bear it for one night"
Maria , never believed that the neighbour saved her life. It was the voice and the hand that saved her, she would often say later.
Maria would always say that the Hand held hers for a long time.She will never be able to recall that her hand was held for 5 long hours till the wee hours in the morning when the doctor concerned finally arrived.
For the next three months Maria stayed at the VC hospital; always hoping to catch the same slighlty accented voice.Maria underwent four operations during that time; 3 on her face and one on her hand yet the only thoughts in her mind during those 3 months were those of the man who had held her hand that night .A stranger was with her when she most needed someone.
A day before Maria was to be discharged from the hospital, she stood in the gardens outside the hospital looking at a group of young doctors. Apparently one of them, the Indian one,had finished his internship and was leaving.The doctors were a cheerful lot, much unlike the serious ones they were inside the hospital building.
As Maria was about to leave the younsters and head inside she suddenly rememberd something.
Was not the Indian doctor the same guy who had twice or thrice visited her quietly just before and after some crucial surgeries.
He had never spoken but had just looked at her clip board to assess her situation, would smile at the attending nurse and leave.
It had seemed strange then but she never gave it much thought.But at that moment , something struck and she inched closer to where the doctors were standing.
Doctor Samvat R Dixit, who had in a rare demostration of loquaciousness been positively verbose during those couple of minutes waited till his friends were gone and then turned to leave .
ON doing so he stopped in his tracks.In front of him was a girl , with a queer expression on her face , tears flowing uncheked.
Not a word was spoken by either of them.
The girl quietly, smiling in between tears, extended her hand.
A warm, strong hand clasped Maria's as tears of gratitude continued to flow unabated.
Deemagi halats not theek hoying.isilye ekta kapoor type drama likhing!
bye bye hoying!