“I was never a bad person - these were his lines and he was so right”, remembered Dr. Shastri while giving away honorary award to his bright student Sahil who was there because of that ‘OTHER ONE’
Anamika was happy to see his friend up on the stage, a friend who would not have been here if it was not for him – ‘the OTHER ONE’. Both friends met on a social networking group made for a rare blood type people. It was fun to see something new after name and birthdates!!
There were other people too, but well they were more or less silent ones. A message or two here and there in a while, that’s all. The group never clicked with merely 5 members but these two become good friends, may be because they were from the same city and there were chances of them to meet each other one day. Long talks on net made the friendship grew strong.
Anamika remembered that after a year, on Christmas, Sahil had called her to talk something very important, something which he can’t say online and needed to meet face to face. Anamika didn’t know that Sahil had some thoughts for them, after all they were just friends and with her condition the idea itself was wrong. But Sahil was there to tell her something shocking!!
Raju remembered the days when he uses to visit that Bungalow behind the big mall, around the corner with his mother who used to work there. While his mother cleans the dishes and washes the clothes, he tries to amuse himself talking loud opening the books in front of him upside down. “What were those days of my ignorance” a smile came on Raju’s face. His mother use to tell him stories of that flower bud that grew in dump and shallow water and other flowers on trees use to laugh at him, but the flower was not worried about them; it was worried about one of its leaf which had stuck. Raju too had a stuck leaf in his life.
Raju’s mother never had enough money, but she knew about her son well. But what can she do. She never cursed anyone, even god, for her bad life and taught the same to Raju. But that day, it all changed.
It was Christmas and also Raju’s birthday. She had been saving some money so to take Raju to mall’s ice-cream parlour and treat him with the ice cream. He has been a good boy, never troubled her mother had grown up way before his age but was still a kid. Raju was looking very nice in that bright yellow shirt.
The mall was all lighten up and since it was a Christmas Eve, a Santa Claus was sitting there for kids. On the 2nd floor coffee shop, Anamika was eagerly waiting for Sahil. She was all nervous; she never saw him and had no idea what is this important thing that he couldn’t tell her online. She looked down, where Santa was sitting and kids were standing in line awaiting their turn. She noticed that a small kid was sitting in Santa’s lap in a yellow shirt, when someone called her name.
“Hi Anamika, my name is Sahil. Recognised me?” It was Sahil, her friend. “He is so cute, but…” thought Anamika. “You must be wondering why I am wearing goggles in the night hours” inquired Sahil. “Oh No! I know it’s kind of new weird fashion”. Her heart was beating fast but what Sahil told her next, almost made her skip a beat. “The important thing that I wanted to tell you my dear is that I am blind”. “How is that possible, we used to chat” Anamika asked the 1st question after recovering from the shock to which Sahil replied that I’d this other friend of mine in cyber café who helped me.
“What do you want my boy on this Christmas” Santa was asking Raju. “I want happiness for my mother. Make me big and strong so I can learn and work hard to help my mother. Her hands have got blisters” Raju told Santa. Santa smiled and asked to call his mother. Santa asked her mother that he can help child to go to school because “his heart is pure which wants something for you – happiness. And the bigger thing is that he is not asking happiness, but the strength so he can work and bring that happiness to you. You are very lucky Ma’am”. “I’m lucky to have him as a child but he is not. He was born with only one kidney and that too will die out soon. This ice-cream might be his last one” Raju’s mother almost cried.
“I came today, because you are a nice girl and I thought that I must tell you this thing about me in person. I can’t afford to lose a good friend like you. I know that my condition will make u look at me in pity but I need a friend. The decision is yours” Sahil told her. Anamika said, “I am your friend Sahil irrespective your condition. It’s that heart that matters and there is something that you must know too.”
Sahil asked, “What is it?” “I’m dying. My heart is very weak and doctors have told me that I might not live more than 5 months. I thought that over the period of time, you might have developed feelings for me. And like you, I was also afraid to lose a friend but I think now you know that it’s going to happen anyways” Anamika told him sobbing.
Sahil told him, that there is this hospital where he is an understudy and this other friend of his who also helps him in chatting told him that there is a new facility coming up and that Anamika should come to take another opinion. The facility is new and hospital is checking the patients for free.
“You visit me tomorrow at this hospital and look for Sahil. We might be able to do something for you” Santa told the address to Raju’s mother.
26th December – Anamika walked in the cabin of the understudy Sahil. The senior doctor was talking to a lady in the attached room and she can see Sahil making notes with the help of one other person. A young kid was sitting on the chair looking at her. She smiled at him and he smiled back.
“Keep this machine with you. If we get a donor, we’ll beep you and you can come to hospital with Raju. Don’t worry about the money; he is taking care of it”. Raju’s mother couldn’t believe her ears. She left.
“Hi Sahil, I didn’t knew that you are that rich. It’s so nice that you will take care of that lady’s son’s operation” said Anamika. Sahil replied, “Oh no, no. it’s that other one who is doing it. Come let’s talk to my senior doctor”
Anamika left with a pager too, and Sahil got one too after much of persistence by Anamika and that ‘OTHER ONE’. All they can do was to wait.
“Happy new year Anamika” greeted Sahil. “A very happy new year to you too Sahil. I hope this New Year brings in good news to us or else you would enter in the next year without me”. Sahil felt the pain in her voice.
12 noon, the sound of ‘beep beep’ alerted Raju’s mother. She couldn’t believe her. She rushed to the hospital with Raju. Anamika and Sahil were excited too. They were also paged with a possible donor. All three were sent to different operation theatres. In the evening, all the three were lying on adjacent beds in the hospital.
“It’s remarkable and sad too. I am so happy that all the three operations were successful. You are the first success cases of this new facility. The organs are responding too” said the senior doctor. “What is so sad about it doctor” inquired all. Doctor replied, “It’s sad because I lost someone today”
In the party after the award ceremony, Dr. Sahil came up to Dr. Shastri with his wife along with Anamika and her husband. “Thank you sir. If it has not been for you and you have not took me as an understudy, I might not have been here where I am today”, said Sahil. “And you remember my friend Anamika here. Remember that she also got her donor for the heart the same day as I did”, remarked Sahil.
“Dr. Shastri, I was wondering if you can tell us who our donors were?” inquired Anamika to which Dr. Shastri replied, “Didn’t you know!! He was that other understudy of mine. You must remember Sahil!”
“Are you saying that there was one common donor?” asked shocked Sahil
“Not only you two, this kid here – Raju, our caterer for tonight was also donated his kidneys.” Dr. Shastri replied
Sahil is a recognized name in medical industry today and Anamika lived longer and healthier. Raju went to school because the Santa heard his request. Dr. Satish recalled remembered that Santa dress – “Doctor, I have not been a good but I was never a bad person”
‘the OTHER ONE’ is no longer one… and yes, he was surely not a bad person. The smile on three lives is evidence.
A tear roll out of somewhere in his tribute, or was it only ONE tear!!