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Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Meddling with ...

Read the previous part here
A gleam of light entered the room through the gap between the stiff green curtains of the hospital. The smell of the disinfectant so peculiar to hospitals filled the air. The IV slowly dripped the medicine into Sulabha's system.

Sulabha slowly opened her eyes as she gained consciousness. She squinted her eyes to adjust to the light. She was about to get up from her bed, when Nisha rushed to her, kept her hand across Sulabha's left shoulder and said, 'Relax Di. The IV is on.' Sulabha too weak and unable to comprehend anything just nodded her head and then turned it towards the wall and closed her eyes again.

'She has gained consciousness. Hadn't I told you not to worry.' Nisha said to Vinay. Vinay was relieved. The moment he had entered the hospital various evil thoughts had swarmed his mind.
'What's wrong?' He had asked Nisha.
'Nothing. We just need to rush her to the hospital at the earliest.' Nisha had replied.

Vinay made a few calls and arranged for the ambulance. Nisha who was consistently monitoring Sulabha kept mum. Doctors don't give any opinion unless they have all the investigation reports before them and Nisha was no exception.

After sometime Sulabha opened her eyes and again and asked Nisha in a meek voice, 'Since when we have been here?'
'The last afternoon. Don't think too much. Have ample rest and you will be fine. Are you hungry? Do you feel like eating anything?'
'A cup of coffee would do.'
Vinay bought the coffee and some cookies. Nisha helped Sulabha with the coffee and then handed over her three tablets one blue, one yellow and triangular and one large and white. Sulabha watched those colours and shapes in great admiration and then gulped them down.
'Will anyone tell what is wrong with me?' Sulabha asked.

'I am the doctor on duty here and let me answer your query.' Dr. Vaid said. He adjusted the strap of the arm cuff around Sulabha's arm and checked her blood pressure, and then looking at the display he said, 'Still slightly on the higher side, but nothing to worry. The ECG and thyroid reports are normal. Let us keep her under observation for another day and then I will be able to tell if she requires any regular medication for blood pressure or not.' Then he turned his gaze slightly towards Sulabha and said, 'We will discharge you only if relax. If you don't, then unfortunately your stay here will have to be extended.'

Dr. Vaid left with the stethoscope hanging around his neck.
'You two go home and relax. I am fine here.' Sulabha said.
'How can we leave you alone Sulabha?' Vinay said.
'At least go home, eat something.' Sulabha said. Only a woman knows how guilty she feels when owing to her illness the routine of the house is upset.

Finally, it was decided that Vinay would drive Nisha home, drop her and return to the hospital. Nisha would cook the meal and relieve Vinay for a few hours in the afternoon.
'Do you think that she spotted something and that was the reason why her blood pressure shot up?' Vinay asked Nisha on their way back.
'I am a doctor Vinay, and there are many reasons why blood pressure shoots up. Her age is certainly one of the factors.'

Once at home, Vinay had a quick shower and change of clothes. Nisha had laid the breakfast on the table – toasts and omelets. Vinay finished the breakfast in a hurry and left for the hospital.

He fed Sulabha the soft cooked rice which Nisha had made for her. The IV was still on and hence Sulabha couldn't eat with her own hands.
'It is so bland.' Sulabha complained.
'That is because your tongue has lost all taste due to the medication.'
'Vinay would you believe if I tell you something. I can't share this with Nisha because she will chicken out on hearing it.'

Sulabha went on to narrate the incidents of that afternoon. Sulabha had done the dishes and was spending her time in that place of the house which she liked the most – her kitchen garden. The earlier night there was a storm and the wind had strewn a carpet of dried leaves in her garden. Sulabha cleaned the garden and gathered the leaves in a corner. She tended her plants with great affection. She felt like they were talking to her, reciprocating the love that she showered upon them. Sulabha caressed the leaves and was happy to see that the pumpkin vine had a big yellow flower sitting on its lap. She was excited on seeing the flower. Only a gardener understands the joy of seeing the plants, which he has nurtured with great love, grow, blossom and fruit. Then her eyes fell upon the heap of dry leaves which she had gathered in the corner. She knew that they would make an excellent manure for her kitchen garden. She got a shovel and began to dig the ground. A compost pit has to be at least one feet deep.

She dug with great efforts and then her shovel hit something brittle. Something had broken with a tinkling sound. She shoved aside the mud and there it was … a skull, a human skull. Sulabha was a rational thinker. Yet, she was terrified. One doesn't come across skulls and skeletons daily. She passed out in the kitchen garden. Nisha who had come to the kitchen to make some tea, found her unconscious and she was brought to the hospital.

'Such things are petty common Sulabha. The cities are growing and houses are being built on places those were once graveyards. Who knows who was buried where hundreds of year ago? Just forget it.' Vinay tried to console herBut the first thing that he did on returning home was to dash to the kitchen garden the shovel was still there. So was the partly dug pit. Vinay removed the mud with his hands. But the skull was nowhere to be seen.
'What are you searching Vinay?' Came a voice. 

Read the next part here
Read my short read My Spiritual Journey 

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