All The Best
Aditya was working very hard for his Board exams that were just around the corner. Soon after that he was to sit for his Engineering entrance exams. He had his dreams and he was putting his heart and soul to fulfill them. He was pretty much satisfied with his preparations but, there was a big BUT. It was “Chemistry”. He was just unable to get enough confidence in this subject. This would always keep playing on his mind and he would come to Riti and grumble, “Mom, what if I mess up in this subject“? Riti would give him a tight hug and assure him that nothing of the sort would happen, especially since he had already put in so much of hard work. Riti’s assurances would have some temporary effect on Aditya, but not for too long. Riti was also worried for him, and did everything to keep boosting his confidence.
The Board exams started. Suddenly Lady Luck went for a toss and Riti was taken seriously ill. She had to be hospitalised, and out of the blue came the diagnosis that she needed to be operated upon immediately. Riti was in pain but what was causing her more pain was that she was not by her son’s side, when he could very well have done with all the love and comfort that was possible. He was writing his exams, taking care of his little sister Ria and his mother was fighting for her life in the hospital. With her husband, Nikhil, by her side. What a trying time it was for each one of them, but God had wished so.
Riti’s surgery had gone off well, but she needed a rather longish stay in the hospital for recovery. In the meanwhile Aditya was taking his exams and very soon it was time for his last paper - Chemistry - which was scheduled for the following day. Lying on the hospital bed, Riti was getting restless. She forced Nikhil to go home and spend some time with Aditya that day. Nikhil was reluctant to leave Riti in such a weak state but he knew that, his going home now would only give Riti some comfort. Leaving her to the Nurse’s care, Nikhil left for home. After spending the day with the children at home, Nikhil returned to the hospital by evening. The children had sent hand-made cards with heart-touching messages for Riti. Ria had sent two small soft toys - two pups - as her lucky charms. All of these filled Riti’s heart with joy. But still she knew no peace. Cell phones, in those days, were the privilege of only the very few. She was confined to bed with needles and pipes all over her body, and saline going continuously into her veins . There was a telephone just outside her room, in the corridor, but there was no way that she could reach there. Riti felt helpless.
Later in the evening the doctor came for his rounds. He was satisfied with Riti’s progress. Filled with hope Riti pleaded with the doctor if she could now be spared of further saline intakes. The doctor was surprised, but after hearing why she wanted so, he gently but firmly asked her to be patient for maybe a day more, when two more bottles needed to be pumped into her body. He explained that the speed of the drip could not be increased, because that would be painful for her, more so because, on account of prolonged usage, most of her veins were blocked. The doctor patted her hand, and went away. Riti had already made up her mind. The next twenty four hours had to be compressed into ten!
Riti looked around. Nikhil was reading a book. No one else was there in the room. She slowly increased the speed of the drip, herself. It hurt, but the excitement had begun. She had a race to win and that kept her from being overcome by pain. Riti did not have a wink of sleep the whole night. Aditya was to leave for his exam at seven in the morning. Riti had just a few hours, and the liquid was steadily pouring inside her body through the vein. She had her gaze fixed on the solution level. At ten minutes to Seven, the sister came in. She saw the bottle and smilingly turned the knob before removing the bottle. Nikhil was standing by her bedside. Riti was overcome with happiness. Nikhil gently held her in his arms and carried her to the telephone outside the room. The phone was ringing on the other side. Riti’s whole being was praying ,”God please make him pick up the phone” and then “Hello”?
“All the very best beta“ came a feeble voice and Aditya stood there smilingly, with tears rolling down his eyes.
“Mamma , I love you”.
“I love you too, beta” and Riti fell down in her husband’s arms. She had done it. She had wished her son.