Vintage clock, struck 2.00 am and Nayan started opening windows and door of the house. He laid on the bare floor and started to unbutton his shirt."I am feeling very hot and having burning sensation in my stomach, please do something " said Nayan to his parents. It was now midnightaround 2.30am. His parents increased the speed of fan and seeing Nayan's uneasiness, left them baffled. His trembling body was giving some odd sign. Worry lines started forming on their forehead.To understand his condition much better. Nayan's father knocked the door of Vijay,their neighbor. He was staying alone and was Nayan's best friend." Vijay! Vijay!"in restless voice, not bothering how loud the voice. He opened it, gauging his father's concern he rushed to their house. Startled with the situation, he called out, "Nayan! Can u hear me, look at me, let me hold your hands and take you to the nearby doctor ". Nayan was semi unconscious.Nayan held Vijay's arms with both his hands in semi conscious state but his try was failing because his left side of the body was not giving support. Trembling of his left body, giving an indication of paralysis.Vijay's presence of mind pricked him to call up his family doctor. Nayan was undergoing medical treatment past few days for his fluctuating blood pressure.Phew!! Almighty had his own plan, the doctor did not turn up. Waiting for few minutes, they rushed to nearby hospital. Being midnight, doctors were not available but nurses diagnosed his Condition and recommended to go to other hospital for emergency treatment.Nayan's condition was worsening every minute.He was loosing his grip and Vijay felt it . Vijay tried to encourage him, repeating "all will be ok" but Nayan had lost the control on his body.Nayan made it to the hospital with better amenities and facilities.Vijay started feeling the pain of loosing his very close friend. But still he felt some hope of recovery. Traveled in ambulance he was immediately taken to ICU. Doctor on emergency, checked his body and asked for various tests. Nayan was subconscious, he dint knew anything and was under ventilator.Tests were to be done on immediate basis. And Nayan was still in comatose. By the time, all the related tests were completed, Vijay sat besides him.. It was almost dawn around 6.00am. Nayan was slowly gaining it's consciousness with medications and treatment. His eyelids started opening with curiosity and saw his closest person beside him. He realized, his struggle for his life past few hours were pensive. His eyes moistened with gratitude and confession, took Vijay's hand into his palm and pressed it hard.Nayan said, "thank you!! Almighty have sent guardian to save me".Vijay wiped off his tears rolling on Nayan's cheeks and whispered "calm down and rest, everything is good right now and reports will come within an hour. Mummy Papa are at home now, they had called up umpteen times but since I was busy into all these, couldn't speak to them. I was waiting for you, to wake up so that they are relaxed after knowing your current condition"Nayan's hands were still trembling but he dint bother much because his treatment was still going on with the hope to get cure soon. His painful face reflected the pain of headache.He told Vijay, "can u do something for this headache, it's hurting badly. Or else apply some balm or give me medicine to cure the headache".It was almost 8.30am, Vijay was waiting for the reports near the corridor having a cup of tea. Reports got delayed for some reason. Nayan's headache started bothering Vijay. At 8.55am, reports arrived and so the doctor. Doctor told Vijay the reason of his headache. Nayan was asleep. Doctor said, "the headache is because of the blood clot on his right side of head, and to remove the clot, he will be given an injection which will cost Rs. 50,000/-"Injection was too expensive, Vijay was worried and his condition was not even improving. Doctor had given his diet which was to be followed strictly.His diet had liquid food and that too the food will be given in by saline pipe. Vijay bought watermelon juice and gave it to him. Nayan was still in subconscious state.Vijay called up his parents to update about his health and Medical expenses and injection. Hearing about the condition They were extremely worried.He was their only child and was unmarried. Nayan turned 48 last month,staying with his parents who are almost bedridden and their age is around 85.Vijay knew, now it was his duty to take care of Nayan. Two days went by, and Vijay was besides him all the time. Injection and medicines were timely given. Nayan's condition, showed some improvement but his headache still bothered same like before,inspite of giving injection.Third day morning,Nayan's health improved with good results and doctors recommended to shift him to the general ward. Vijay too was happy and thought to go home, freshen up and meet his parents for a while and get some food for himself. Nayan's parents can't travel. Those last two days, sleepless night and restlessness days, weakening their health.He left for home by the time Nayan was taking good sleep.It was now 11am , Vijay was back to his room with watermelon juice for Nayan. He sat besides him, removing a spoon and bowl from his bag and started feeding him. Suddenly Nayan gave a jerk to Vijay, he lifted his hand, held Vijay and said "sorry Vijay, Maa and Papa," his body shook three times and closed his eyes for ever.Vijay went in oblivion state, perplexed, dint knew what to do. He hit his head hard on the door of the room, and started crying. This was a sudden shock.Vijay called up his parents, told about Nayan . They went silent, this broke them badly and tears started rolling uncontrollably. They have no one now. Vijay completed all the formalities to discharge his body from hospital.He returned home in ambulance with his dead body. Nayan's parents were sitting near the door crying along with their neighbors. Vijay hugged them tightly and consoled them to be strong.Cremation formalities were all completed. Vijay stood by with Nayan's parents in all the moments.Vijay was an orphan and unmarried too. His liking for Nayan's parents made him spend most of his time with them. Days passed by with grief and months went by. Vijay got so much attached to Nayan's parents that slowly the emptiness of Nayan started refilling with the presence of Vijay.It's been an year now, Vijay is now staying with Nayan's parents and together they are living happily. Vijay takes religious care of his parents day and night.They all got their love back. Their house has transformed to home of love and compassion.
- CHAITALI AGARWAL