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Aaditya and Me by Aditya Joshi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Ward no. 2106 - SERIES 09

Disclaimer - The story is a work of fiction. The names of characters and places are imaginary. So are the incidents described.

The story till now: James calls up at Kanika's place and tells them about the accident. Dr. Umesh is sad as he will be shifted to another ward. Parvati Aaji is taking medicines when Kanika's father arrives.

Parvati Aaji said joining her hands to Kanika's father, "Namaskar. I am Parvati Damle. Nice to meet you. Kanika is a sweet girl and was quite happy when James called you."

He did not know how to react. He made an attempt to smile and joined his hands too.

Parvati aaji smiled, "Please sit Mr. Mukherji. Kanika is sleeping - and James is out somewhere. Do you want me to get water for you?"

Mr. Mukherji was still baffled - he did not know this lady. He plainly nodded.

Parvati Aaji walked towards the water cooler with a glass in her hand as she said, "You don't know me. I am just a patient here. I am admitted here. Yes, I don't look ill. But I am admitted here. Here's water for you..." She handed him the glass.

There were over fifteen minutes of silence. Kanika moved her arm. She opened her eyes. Her father sitting on Parvati aaji's bed got up. He was reluctant to move towards her - yet he did.

Kanika had woken up. Their eyes met. Kanika twitched her eyebrows. She began to breathe heavily, "You remembered me now, Mr. Mukherji?"

Kanika's dad surely did not like the way she was addressing him. But she went on speaking.

"On my college graduation day, you... you did not care to come for the convocation. The day I gave a treat to ..."

"Kanika, you are still into all those days? It's been so many years now. Grow up, child..."

"Grow up?!", Kanika screamed, "I grew up at the age of twenty. When I was sent to a boarding school. I kept begging to stay - but you! You were stone-hearted then. And the day I left Kolkata..."

"Kanika, you need to get out of the past. We are your parents..."

"..who have not done anything a parent should have?"

"What are you saying? What do you mean by that? If I didn't care, would I come all the way here?", Mr. Mukherji had a grimace now.

As the two kept rambling, the wardboys hurried into the ward. Parvati Aaji did not want to be nosey and so, she pretended to sleep while Kanika kept complaining to her father. One thing Parvati aaji could really understand was that Kanika was brooding more than upset. And she surely felt pity for the poor girl.

Some time later, Parvati Aaji fell asleep. She could not pretend to be asleep for long.

After some time, James entered the ward with a bag of fruits in his hand - Kanika loved apples and she had brought some for her. He saw two new people in the ward. One, Mr. Mukherji, Kanika's father. and second, a new patient.

The new patient was a man in his late twenties. He had stubble which was an indication that he had been unwell for atleast two weeks.
That night, when Dr. Umesh came for his daily round of checkup, he provided James with some information, "He is the person who was also a victim in the accident that happened with Kanika.", " He lost his child in the accident. And he lost his memory too."

As Dr. Umesh was done with all the checkups, he came back to James and told him in a hushed voice, "He remembers absolutely nothing. He is currently being funded by some NGOs. Let's see. He was in the ICU till now. He's been shifted here now."

James looked at that man. He could relate to him. The man's life had been connected to this stranger's life. This stranger wearing baggy jeans and a navy blue shirt was looking at him with concern. This stranger was James. The stranger knew that inadvertently, they had crossed paths in life. And this stranger did not know - that life was about to play a different game very soon.

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