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Thursday, 16 April 2020


Read the previous part here
Vinay was startled by the voice. For a moment he thought was it the mystery woman, but no. Nisha was standing with one hand resting across her waist the other behind her back.

'Are you looking for this?' Nisha asked bringing forward the hidden hand. Vinay was shaken to the bone with fear. A gush of wind blew and the entire skeleton that Nisha was holding shuddered. Vinay even heard its jaw clutter.

'Nisha, you scared me. Where did you get it?' Vinay asked composing himself. Nisha cast a glance across the pit.
'Here? Sulabha had spoken of a skull. This is a complete skeleton.'
'I dug a little further. You don't know how valuable it is. Only a medical student knows its true worth. There are very few who get to lay there hands on a complete set of bones, others have to rely on models.' Nisha was bubbling with excitement on her discovery.

Vinay disliked it and just walked into the kitchen. Nisha followed him.
'Vinay. This is the skeleton of a man, aged about sixty. It was approximately thirty years ago that he died.'
'How can you be so sure?'
'I have studied anatomy and forensic science during my medical school days Vinay. Just an error of five years here and there, but not beyond that.'
'This is turning crazier.' Vinay said.
'and even more interesting.' Nisha.
'Will you please hide this thing? I am.. I am..'
'Ok. I will.' Nisha said and walked inside with the skeleton still in her hands. The question whether the skeleton was in anyway connected with the mystery woman nettled Vinay, but he brushed it aside. The rattling skeleton was scarier than the woman.
Vinay and Nisha had a simple lunch of dal chawal.
'Have you packed lunch for Sulabha?' Vinay asked.
'No Vinay. I forgot to tell you that Satish had called.'
'What did he say?'
'He said he will be bringing the lunch and would even stay in the hospital up to the evening.'

Vinay didn't speak a word on hearing this. So Nisha continued, 'So kind of him to be so considerate. Otherwise, in today's times who does so much?'
Nisha cleaned the table and placed the dishes into the sink. Vinay went to his room and laid on the bed. He was fatigued. Soon he fell asleep.
'Satish do you believe in paranormal stuff?' Sulabha asked as she sipped the coffee.
'Absolutely not. There is nothing like that.'
'How can one be so sure?'
'Sulabha since when you have begun to believe such things.'
'It's not that I believe, but...'
'But what?'

Sulabha then went on to narrate Satish all about the discovery of the skull.
'That's it? Some cultures bury the dead and some cremate. Everything else decomposes or burns, but the bones remain. Nothing unnatural or what was the word you used? Haan..., paranormal about it.'

'Here comes Vinay.' Sulabha said.
'Satish, thanks for filling in.' Vinay said.
'Come on Vinay, what are friends for? Feel free to call me in case you need anything.'
'Thank you Satish.'
Satish waited for some time and then left.

Dr. Vaid came for a round, checked Sulabha's blood pressure. He said that there was an improvement in her condition and if the same subsisted he would discharge her the following day. He wrote a prescription in his illegible handwriting and handed it to Vinay. 'Get these medicines.' He said.

Vinay went out to get the medicines.
'I have the first two, but the third one is out of stock.' Said the wiry thin chemist at the medicine shop situated within the hospital premises.

Vinay started his car and went to fetch the last medicine on the list. He searched for it in almost four medical stores and but couldn't find it anywhere. Finally, he called Dr. Vaid and the doctor recommended a substitute. Fortunately, the substitute was easily available. Vinay looked at his wrist watch. It was almost an hour that he was scouring for the medicine. He drove a little faster than usual and reached the hospital within ten minutes.

Sulabha was fast asleep. A bouquet of fresh red roses was kept besides her. Vinay took it in his hands and looked at the roses earnestly. He had never seen such beautiful and fresh roses. Perhaps, Satish had fetched those. The thought of Satish made Vinay shove it aside. He involuntarily placed the bouquet back in its place.

'When did you come?' Sulabha asked gently opening her eyes.
'Couple of minutes back.'
'Beautiful flowers.' Sulabha said and gently caressed the flowers. 'Thank you Vinay. Where did you get so pretty flowers from? Is there any florist around?' She asked.
Vinay was perplexed. He found it hard to convey to her that he had not brought those flowers. So he kept mum.

'Sulabha, I have to go. I will come back with the dinner. Nisha will stay with you in the hospital.' He said and found an excuse to get out of the room. The moment he was out of the room, he called Satish and thanked him on behalf of Sulabha for the beautiful flowers.
'But I didn't bring any flowers.' Satish said.
'Are you sure?'
'Of course Vinay. Why would I deny if I had brought them? Why what happened?'
'Nothing, there appears to be some confusion.' Vinay said and hung up.
Read the next part here
Read my short read My Spiritual Journey 

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