I got distracted from my work by the phone on my desk. I guessed it should be either Gopi or my MD. I had a choice to ignore the call but if it is Gopi then I shouldn’t. He is more than a colleague for me. I grabbed the receiver.
“Hello” I said.
“Busy?” Gopi asked.
“No issues bro tell me” I replied.
“Shall we go to the Cafeteria” Gopi asked.
“Okay, I will be there in five minutes” I said immediately.
Gopi joined me when I was climbing up the stairs. Our cafeteria was in the roof top. Gopi ordered a Cappuccino for him and a double Espresso for me. He knew what I like.
Before our drinks arrived, we started our talk.
“I am restless Sab” Gopi said with a smile.
“I know buddy. I know. That’s the reason you called me here now. This is not our daily Cafe time” I smiled as if I knew everything.
“True. Today is Friday and next Friday is the date for Sahana. Doctor confirmed everything is normal and no need to worry. Everything should go well Sab” Gopi said patiently.
I observed the happiness, expectation and curiosity in Gopi’s face.
Our drinks arrived.
“Anything else Sir?” The waiter asked.
“No dude, bill please” I requested.
I looked straight into Gopi’s eyes and said “Bro, for God’s sake don’t worry about things too much or don’t get excited or don’t expect also. Let it be on the flow. So far everything is going fine, and everything is going to be fine. Relax and concentrate on your work”
I sipped the Espresso and continued,
“Ask Sahana to take utmost care. I thought to speak to her. Anyway, I will speak to her tonight after office hours. Hope she will be free?” I asked.
“Hey call her anytime. She will answer your call” Gopi said.
“Okay leave those things and tell me Girl or Boy?” I raised by eyebrows.
“Girl.” Gopi blushed. “I will take you for a treat wherever you want if it is a girl”
“Oh!!! If it is a boy, you won’t treat me? Fucker.” I showed my face. “A few minutes back I told you not to expect anything. Leave it to the flow. A girl or a Boy, you should be happy and think it is a gift” I raised my voice little more.
“Sorry dude” Gopi raised his arms like a namaskar and smiled.
Our bill arrived.
“I will pay for it” Gopi jumped to the bill. Before him, I snatched the bill and said “Don’t try to pay such small bills and get away. Lot more to come as your turn. You have to wait.” I smiled and paid the bill.
I went to Gopi’s cabin while leaving from office. He was working and not even turned to look at me.
“Gopi I am leaving and listen, you don’t know how many days you will need to take leave after Sahana’s delivery. Plan and finish off your works as soon as possible. So, once you are back after your holiday, you will not be surprised with loads of work” I advised.
Gopi again raised his arms as namaskar. This time we both laughed.
While driving back home, I was thinking about Gopi and Sahana. Gopi is a smarty, by means of look, at work and as a family person. Sahana is no less. She is bold and beautiful. A very attractive lady. Gopi and Sahana are a perfect couple.
When my mom inquired about Sahana yesterday, I told her that Sahana has become more attractive than before. Immediately she told, ‘then Sahana will deliver a girl baby’. I don’t know how she predicted. Let her words come true. But I didn’t mention this to Gopi because he is a man of expectations and I don’t want him to see broken in any situations.
Me, Gopi and Sahana joined office on the same day. We met regularly after office hours and one fine day Gopi opened saying he likes Sahana and he would like to marry her. Bold enough. Me and Sahana were shocked. But Sahana has no reason to ignore Gopi as she also liked him. She agreed to Gopi’s proposal after a week. So, the love story continued as marriage and now they are going to become parents. I smiled and parked my bike.
As a routine I did some workouts for half an hour, took shower, had dinner which was cooked by my maid. Spoke to my mom for ten minutes. Then I dialed Sahana’s number.
“Hello brother, so you made a schedule to call me for every ten days?” Sahana asked.
“Hey no, its about busy days” I laughed.
“You laugh for everything and you will never change” She said sarcastically.
“So? How are things?” She asked.
“Nothing much here. Same routine” I replied.
“Today me and Gopi had a talk. He is very much excited and told me he is not able to concentrate in his work. I gave him few advises and came home.” I said.
“Yes Sab bro. He called me few minutes back and told me everything” she giggled.
“Oh? He told you everything?” I asked.
“Yeah yeah. Also, he told me about your advises and his namaskar” She laughed, and I also joined her laugh.
“How are parents? Are they taking care of you?” I inquired.
“Parents are fine brother. They are taking care of me very well. Poor mom, she is sleepless nowadays as I am unable to sleep properly. So, she also accompanies me” She said.
“I could understand Sahana. Lot more to go. Take care. Say my regards to your parents. I will call you tomorrow. Good night” I concluded.
“Yeah. I will wait for your call for next ten days. Good night” she smiled and said.
I laughed, said bye and disconnected the call.
It was five past eleven. I was not feeling sleepy. So, I started writing.
After my call, Sahana went at the backside of her house to use the bathroom before her sleep. Sahana’s parents live in a village in kumbakonam. It was an old house where the bathroom was built at the backside of the house. If the light is not ON, it will be pitch black where one cannot see if somebody is standing right in front of us.
Sahana kept her hand on the bathroom wall and started searching for the light switch. She heard a ‘hiss’ sound and she felt like something is moving. She immediately rushed to search the switch fast and finally the light switch stuck in her hand. She switched ON the light. She got shocked to see a dark black snake. It was a ‘common krait’ snake which is one of the most venomous snakes in India. It was about six feet long and the snake was lying very close to Sahana’s leg ready to bite. She tried to pull her leg off but of no use. The snake strongly bit her near her thumb and crawled quickly to the nearby bush and could be seen nowhere.
She screamed in pain and fell down. Hearing her scream, her father ran to the backside and saw Sahana struggling to get up. He got scared and helped Sahana to sit on the nearby stairs. She cried in pain and she told her father what has just happened. Her mother also came hearing the noise. Her father immediately tore a cloth which was hung for drying and tied on Sahana’s leg to ensure venom is not getting spread to her body. Sahana couldn’t bear the pain and she continued crying. Her mother couldn’t understand what was happening and she was also crying.
With the help of neighbor’s car they rushed to Tanjore for a good hospital. On the way Sahana’s father called Gopi and informed what has happened. He informed Gopi to come to St.John’s hospital in Tanjore.
It was ten past twelve, Gopi called me. I was still awake writing. I thought ‘this guy, he will not sleep’ and answered the call.
“Sab” Gopi cried.
I stood from my chair.
“Gopi. What happened? Anything serious?” I urged.
“Gopi speak something please” I shouted.
“Sab, a snake bit Sahana now” He managed to tell.
I got shocked and kept my mouth shut for a moment. I didn’t show up anything to him. “Wait in your home. I am coming there within half an hour. We will go there by bike. Don’t worry, everything is going to be fine” I said and while speaking I dressed up and rushed to the parking.
It takes seven hours to reach Tanjore from Chennai, but we reached in five hours and thirty minutes. No stops in between. For the whole journey we both didn’t speak but I could feel Gopi was crying. I was unable to convince him. We reached straight to the hospital.
We saw Sahana’s parents sitting outside the ICU. They busted crying as soon as they saw Gopi. I stood in the corner without uttering a word.
By 8.00 am doctor came and stood in front of us with sorry face. Sahana’s mother prayed to all Gods she knew.
“We are forced to inject a lot of antibiotics to Sahana to avoid the venom spreading over her body and kill her. She is safe now, but we couldn’t help the child”. Doctor said by putting his head down.
Sahana’s parents cried aloud that the whole floor started watching us. Gopi collapsed and fainted. We managed to make Gopi lie on the visitor’s bench. Sahana’s parents were trying to wake up Gopi. I went to the washroom and cried. Cried a lot. I was unable to control myself. I wiped my tears, washed my face and went straight to the doctor.
“I have a request doctor” I said.
“Please tell me. How can I help you?” Doctor asked.
“After taking out the child, please don’t show to us. It will hurt everybody here. Please doctor” I begged.
“Sab, its not legal. Somebody from the family has to ensure that they have seen the child and they have to sign the document” Doctor concluded.
“Then show the child to me. I am Sahana’s brother” I said without any choice. Doctor nodded and agreed.
I explained Gopi and Sahana’s parents about what I spoke to doctor. All agreed, and they were still crying.
Next day after operation, I was called inside. I don’t want to see, I went slowly into the theater. Nurse held the baby in her arm and showed to me. I closed my mouth with both my hands. I couldn’t control my tears. I could feel my spine becoming chill and my knees trembling, and I was unable to stand. Doctor found out that I would faint, and he made me to sit in the nearby bed. Again, I cried sitting on the bed. It was a girl baby.
A year passed by now after that horrible incident. Still we are unable to come out of it. Only thing we could able to do is ‘PRAYER’.