Chapter 1

‘Arnavji, you are over reacting.’ exclaimed Khushi.

‘Over reacting? Yeah, right. If that is what you feel, so be it. ‘ declared Arnav.

‘Hushhh. Talk softly. We are in the hospital. And stop pacing up and down the waiting room. It is making me dizzy.’ said Khushi and sat down in the chair.

Hearing that, Arnav immediately softened. ‘Dizzy? You ok, Khushi? Let me get you some water.’

‘No, I am fine. It is just that’ I don’t understand why did you want me to take so many tests. I told you, if I took a day’s rest, I would be fine. You know how it has been for the last two weeks. Jiji and Jijaji had to suddenly leave for the US , and I had to help Jiji in the shopping, packing, etc. Then, the Diwali festival preparations. With Jiji too not being here, I had to help Naniji and Di in everything. So, obviously I was tired. And I just need some rest. But, you wouldn’t listen. You’ve seen me doing extra work before, but you’ve never reacted like this. Why now? ‘ asked Khushi.

Arnav did not reply.

He had seen Khushi work hard before. Even if she got tired, it wouldn’t take her long to take rest and be back in action. But this time, it seemed Khushi was getting more and more tired day by day. And the day before, when he brought her favourite jalebis, she didn’t eat more than one. She said she didn’t feel like eating as she was missing her Jiji. That surprised Arnav, because whenever she was worried she would eat more jalebis. So, to cheer her up and make her relax, he took her out to lunch today. All her favourite food was ordered and served. But Khushi, unlike normal times, couldn’t eat much. That was it. Arnav immediately resolved and brought her to the hospital to get a check-up done. After the check-up, they were now waiting to meet the doctor, who had the reports.

Arnav could not reply to his wife why he was doing this. Instead his thoughts went back to a few weeks before when an employee of his had applied for a long leave.

~ ~ ~

‘Long leave? Why? Are you going out somewhere?’ Arnav asked his employee.

‘No sir. Actually ‘ I’ well” he hesitated and stammered.

Arnav asked him to relax, made him sit and asked him what the matter was.

‘Sir, actually my wife is suffering from an ailment. For the past one month she had been feeling very weak. We thought because of her office work, she was getting exhausted. So, she took a few days leave to take rest. Meanwhile, her sister, who is a doctor, decided to take some tests of her as a precautionary measure. That is when this ailment was discovered. It is in the first stage and completely curable. So, I wanted to take this leave to accompany her for her treatment.’

‘Oh, that’s ok. You can take the leave. And if you need any help, do let me know.’ said Arnav.

‘Thank you , Sir’ ‘ Actually, Sir, I was thinking, what if we couldn’t detect the ailment in time? What if we discovered only in the 3rd or 4th stage when the chances of recovery are very less. My sister-in-law says that we are lucky we got to know this early. If she hadn’t done those tests, then’ I even fear to think how bad the situation would have been.’ he confessed. 

~ ~ ~ 

These words of the employee, who then thanked and bid goodbye , had been haunting in Arnav’s mind ever since. What if’ ‘ no, he didn’t even want to go there. But, watching Khushi for the past few days, he became fearful. Owing to his diabetes, he had been having regular check-ups. Di and Nani too had their check-ups regularly done. Khushi never had any check-up. She ate well, slept well, was always active and hardly fell sick. Even if she did, she would recover quickly. So now, after observing Khushi for the past few days, Arnav did not want to take any risk.

Just then, the door of the waiting room opened and a nurse peeped in.

‘The doctor is ready to see you, Mr. and Mrs. Raizada, the nurse informed.

‘Ah, finally! Let’s get this over and go home’ said a relieved Khushi and got up.

Arnav’s heart skipped a beat.

… To be continued … 

Chapter 2

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