He had never expected that she would say ‘this’. Not even in his dreams. Neither did she ever imagine that she would speak like this with anyone. With him! But such words are not planned and articulated. They just spill out. Like emotions. Like tears. Like an overwhelming surge of a deeply felt pain. The way she didn’t think even for a moment before she ran towards him to ensure that he w...
Thank you for responding to my updates and posts. Life is hectic and busier in the lockdown period. My laptop didn’t become fine, but I had a separate keyboard so I connected it to the laptop. Working for now 🙂
I haven’t yet replied to some of the emails and messages that I receive in the inbox. Life is crazy right now. Consultations, household work, juggling between so many things 🙂
Thanks for everything. All I can say is that I am blessed and privileged to have all of you with me, through thick and thin. Stay blessed. Stay safe.
take care. love you all
PS – Watching Parth and Niti chatting like long lost friends is a different level of happiness. This insta-live will be remembered forever for the cuteness. May God bless them both with millions of reasons to smile, forever!!
He knew that her uncomfortable questions would keep increasing every day. And he didn’t want anyone to knock at the door of his safely guarded territories.
Anshuman cleared his throat, talked to the patient and finished examining him without replying Manasvi.
Manasvi had been waiting for his reply. After the patient left, Anshuman turned to her thinking of what he should reply to her when he saw Alex crossing their tent and waving to him.
“Hey, Alex!” Anshuman immediately called him. He looked like a perfect way to escape Manasvi and his queries.
“Hi!” Alex walked towards them.
“Where are you headed to?” Anshuman asked.
“I’m going for the morning round of patients in the female ward. We don’t want to keep them for long. So, I’ll just check if we can discharge them today.” Alex informed him.
“I was just wondering if you can give Ms. Rathore a tour of the entire camp after you have done the discharge formalities. She can meet the female patients, see the work, and the entire camp.” Anshuman said, adding casually, “Did I tell you that Ms. Rathore works for The Insight and is a talented writer. She is covering our camp for a story.”
Alex shook his head, and smiled warmly, “Oh yes! Someone was telling me. I even met her friend Krish at the male ward. It’ll be a pleasure to guide you Ms. Rathore.”
Manasvi was not happy. But since the men decided it, she didn’t know what to say. She closed her notebook and stood up. Alex walked away, out of the tent, to wait for Manasvi to join him. Manasvi took a moment more as she slowly got up and then she spoke to Anshuman directly, but in a low voice, “I thought I was writing about you.”
Anshuman feeling much relieved now, sighed deeply, and smiled, “I thought you are doing a story about PBB and the doctors working here.”
She cleared her throat, evidently embarrassed, and added, “Yeah! That too!”
“So, Alex is as dedicated a doctor as I am…maybe, more. Also, he will give you a tour of the camp. You will get to see more about your write-up.”
She helplessly looked at him for a long moment and pressed her lips in disapproval with a very subtle nod that only he could register. He shrugged in reply.
Manasvi left the breath she had been holding for a moment now and turned around to leave. Relaxed and pleased, Anshuman was back to his work again with his focus and concentration returned. He was fine when left alone. That is how it had always been. That is how he had intended to keep it. Always!
Manasvi accompanied Alex during the ward round of female ward, discharge and follow-up prescriptions and walked around the humble camp barely equipped to help the people who didn’t have access to facilities in their area.
Alex was a pleasing and affable personality, but in many ways he was in sharp contrast to Anshuman. He cracked jokes in every sentence, talked about everything and anything that came to his mind, shared insights about the camp and PBB, and was so friendly with both Krish and Manasvi that they immediately liked him. For the entire day, Alex kept them entertained.
In the evening, they were coming out of the main camp when they saw Anshuman and Amanda talking to each other, standing near the OPD tent of Anshuman. Manasvi attention was drawn to them and for a moment, she was distracted. Amanda and Anshuman looked so good with each other, she thought. They were both good looking, smart, dynamic, young doctors. They worked together and were friends. What was she even thinking when unknowingly she gave heed to her feelings for Anshuman? What had stayed buried for so many years, should have stayed buried. It was a mistake to try to talk to Anshuman. He didn’t want her to talk to him. How effortlessly, he pushed her away!
Alex observed Manasvi looking at Amanda and Anshuman. He raised a brow and snapped his finger before her eyes. Distracted out of her thoughts, obviously embarrassed, Manasvi tried to dismiss his questioning gaze with a feeble smile.
“They are the only two people here who have known each other for the longest period of time.” He mentioned.
“Hmm. Yeah!” Manasvi nodded, trying to shut the conversation.
Alex walked ahead, speaking in the way he always did, “Whenever I irritate Amanda, she goes to complain to Anshuman. And whenever she needs anything, she goes to him. Sometimes, I feel that they don’t need a reason to be around each other. They find one.”
With that, he laughed. Manasvi didn’t even smile this time. She needed time to get over this phase of the time she was going to spend here. This was something she knew even before she met Anshuman. He had told her about his girlfriend. This was something that she had to face. No matter how hard she tried to run away from it.
When they walked ahead, Amanda and Anshuman turned towards them. Amanda grinned welcoming them. Alex spoke to Anshuman, “I’ve given a complete tour and details of the camp to your guest. I hope I get brownie points for that.”
Anshuman jovially patted his back while Amanda started asking Alex about the emergency cases and discharged patients in the female ward. Manasvi felt out of the place between these three who were already working together for a long time. She already felt like an idiot when she was around Amanda and Anshuman. Quietly, she excused herself.
“Excuse me! I need to go.” Before giving anyone a chance to ask or say something, she turned around and left.
If she thought that no one noticed her face, then she was seriously mistaken. Ever since they had come, Anshuman’s eyes were on her. He knew what she had been going through and he couldn’t understand why it tore him apart. He felt as distraught as she was. He might have sent her away from him but he wished there was a way to send someone’s thoughts away too. Since morning, he had been thinking only about her. So much so, that he couldn’t concentrate on anything else. Even when Amanda called him to ask about the scheduling of operations, his mind refused to co-operate and he found himself constantly wondering about what Manasvi was doing and whether she was comfortable with Alex. When they came near, he was the only one to notice her confused look that openly declared to him, how the chaos inside her mind was playing with her. When she turned around and left, she stole away a part of him to take with her. Leaving him clueless with the pang of detachment. He sighed. He wished he could do something to ease this pain. But he couldn’t. He could only see her going away.
If only, he could run behind her and stop her… If only!
After dinner and changing her dress, Manasvi walked out of the tent, like always, and Amanda went to sleep. Manasvi walked towards the semi-constructed road away from the tents, where the lights dimmed and the cool breeze touched her skin to make her feel alive, all over again. She loved this late-night breeze. This solitude. This calmness.
Anshuman left his tent too, like every night, and when he walked for a few steps, he spotted Manasvi walking away towards the edge of the cliff, near which the tent was located. He could easily figure out that it was ‘her’ because of her small, petite shape, short kurta, and palazzo, and with her dupatta carried over her head, the way she wrapped it, always!
He turned away and decided not to look at her, or go to meet her, or talk to her. He even tried to take a step in the opposite direction. Somehow, his heart was beating hard, his legs refused to give up, and his feet tapped the ground below them. It was getting colder. He thrust his hands in the pockets of his jacket and turned to face Manasvi.
‘Maybe, she is feeling cold and she needs something warm. I should ask if she needs a jacket.’
Immediately his mind corrected him. ‘None of your business, Anshuman. You are getting divorced, remember? Her problems are not your problems. Turn around and leave.’
He tapped his feet, trying to find another reason or justification that made it look like it was okay to go to Manasvi. He had none. No reason, no excuse, no justification to follow her, or try to be with her. Talk to her. Or ask her if she needed anything.
‘I don’t have a reason to see you at this time. But the fact that I want to see you at this time, is a reason enough to do so!’