Danisha’s world had come tumbling down. She lay there, in the hospital, in the bleach tinctured cabin,on the crisp white sheets.Lifeless. She had no inkling of what was transpiring in the world, yet inside, she was dying repeatedly. She couldn’t smell the idoform smell that emanated from all quarters of the hospital.She couldn’t see the monitor beeping and showing haphazard lines, a testimony to her being alive. Was she alive? The tubes were vying with each other to sprout from her nostrils and arms to reach either up to the dangling bottle containing life inducing potion or to the cylinder, pumping her with oxygen. The catheter slithered and sloshed all her urine in a bag that tucked in one corner under the bed. A Jackson-Pratt drain tube ran from her abdomen to collect post-operative bodily fluids from the surgical site, the grenade-shaped bag also lying under the bed.
While Danisha lay unconcious in the hospital, Vikram was being cremated with full military honors. It was a very TURBULENT DAWN. The skies hollered ominious rumbling and the wind blew frantically,propelling the leaves to be severed from their benefactors-the trees. Abhimanyu sir was inconsolable as he sat near the place where Vikram was cremated. The fumes that hovered all around the place, had the misty fragrance of Vikram’s body. Abhimanyu sir’s child had turned into ashes, grinning at him from among the clouds.But, it was a painful grin. An exasperated grin. His eyes had questions about his Danisha, about his unborn child. Abhimanyu sir looked into the hollowness of some grey clouds which augured doom.
Dinesh, Jackie and Shorrey ambled up to him and asked him to leave the crematorium.
” We need to attend to Danisha, uncle.” Dinesh attempted to speak.
Abhimanyu sir felt the pieces of his body and soul, cleaving and disintegrating. He limped and slumped , his conduct, an aberration from the conduct of an officer of his stature, but, then, this was the third time, his child had been separated from him.
His soul was battered when Karan died.
His life was battered when Raghuveer died.
And, today his whole existence was battered when Vikram died.
Heaving himself, he left the crematorium with the boys.
Her fingers quivered. Her nails all blue. She felt a tension in her nerves. The insides of her mouth wore a parched look, the corners of her mouth dry and crusty. O…the eyelids. She wasn’t able to open her eyelids, as if, thousands bees had stung her. She needed to ward off the bees, swat them out, but, her hands were frozen. She couldn’t move. She purred.
” She has gained conciousness”, a nurse, in her thirties, sprinted out of the cabin.
Soon, doctors and nurses swarmed in her cabin pumping in some more life into her.
She was given water. Few more shots were administered in her I V.
” Papa” Danisha murmured.
Soon, Abhimayu sir was called in.
” She is out of danger now. You can have a few words, but, not much. She will have to take good rest to recuperate soon.” the main doctor stated.
” I understand.” Abhimanyu sir answered.
Soon, the army of doctors and nurses left the cabin.
” Danisha…how are you feeling?” Abhimayu sir struggled with his words.
Danisha opened her eyes gingerly. She felt a sharp sting in her abdomen, a revolting feeling, as if she would vomit anytime. What was this hollowness in her pit all about? Her eye balls, tired and helpless navigated toward Abhimanyu sir.
” Papa…Vikram.” She uttered those words. Her world had come crashing down. She realized, there was no Vikram. Oh..she will never be able to feel him. Never be able to talk to him. Why was she alive? What purpose did she have in life now? Was it the child that she carried in her womb? Lightning of thoughts clambered in her mind. She lifted her arm, feebly. Her hand had transformed into an iron arm or what. She felt delibitated. Her hand felt her womb. A flat womb.A barren womb. She felt herself up, in all directions. She touched the bandage which secured the sutures in her abdomen as she felt a tinging pain.
Abhimayu sir caressed her head, trying his best to stifle his mumbled cries.
” Danisha..your child..your child is no more, Danisha. You had bled a lot in the ..skirmish. Doctors had to operate you. They tried saving the child, but.”
Before Abhimayu sir could finish his sentence, Danisha interjected.
” I have no remorse, papa. I’m..I’m happy that I lost the child.” she muttered as stiff as a stone.
” Danisha.”Abhimanyu sir was shell-shocked.
“Yes, papa. Because of it, I couldn’t save my Vikram, papa. I was so helpless, so heavy that I couldn’t save my Vikku…Vikku…My Vikku…” Danisha was now howling and weeping. Her cries reverberated in the skies. The winds too howled. The birds chirped clamorously. The trees swayed frenziedly. The grass blades cowered. In the din of all the clamour, her cries shot out, as if it will sunder the staunchest of the heart.
” Danisha..Danisha. My baby.Control yourself.Your stitches are still nimble.” Abhimanyu sir wept like a child.
Hearing Danisha’s screeches, the doctors barged in the cabin and administered a sleep inducing shot in her IV.
Dinesh, Jackie and Shorrey too sprinted in and were by the side of Abhimayu sir, holding him, providing him with moral support.
Danisha’s eyes beat a few times before they settled on Shorrey and she muttered
” Shorreyyy..Shorrey. THE ROMEO DIED WHILE SAVING HIS..HIS..JULIET.”