Elder sister, p.1
By Hiranya Borah
Copyright 2017 Hiranya Borah
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It is a small tragic story of a P and a young doctor. The protagonist, a successful surgeon fail to reach in time for their first marriage anniversary due to an emergency operation to save a young P who was stabbed by a customer over a dispute of payment. Then what happened?
This is an imaginary story and far from reality. Any resemblance of any character is pure coincidence only.
Thanks to my readers and friends and above all my family for their constant support to write something usual and unusual. I love them all.
Chapter I: Marriage Anniversary
Anuradha Choudhury, wife of young surgeon Dr. Devendra Choudhury became very tense as guests started coming for their first anniversary party. Her parent and her cousins along with their spouses had also arrived. Devendra’s own cousin Bikram along with his petite wife also reached the venue. But, Devendra was nowhere to be seen.
Then Anuradha’s mobile rang. It was Devendra’s receptionist, ‘Madam, Pooja speaking; Sir will be little late due to an emergency operation.’
‘Is it a VIP operation?’
‘No, madam. It is an emergency operation of a P, stabbed by a customer for trivial dispute.’ The receptionist replied.
‘What? For a P, he is not coming for our first anniversary! Give your phone to Devendra, let me talk to him.’ Anuradha became extremely angry.
‘Sorry madam, he is already inside the operation theatre. As soon as he will be out of the OT, I shall connect to you.’ The receptionist snapped the phone.
From the face of Anuradha, her father guessed something went wrong. When she told about the reason for his delay in coming, Bikram commented, ‘Devendra is yet to know, how to prioritise his works; otherwise one day he will be known as the most unsocial person in the elite group of the society in the city.’
Bikram’s comment hit Anuradha’s heart like an arrow dipped in deadly poison.
Chapter II: Almost All Had Left
When Devendra reached the venue of his anniversary party, almost all the guests left except Devendra’s in laws and Bikram’s family. As soon as he entered into the venue, his father in law pounced upon him like a tiger on a hapless deer, ‘You should have respected Anuradha’s sentiment! She is very upset at your behaviour and she is justified for being upset.’
‘I understand, I should have come for the party in time. But saving the life of someone is more important than attending a party. Anuradha is justified from her point of view.’ He was too tired to discuss the matter.
‘It is not a question of upsetting only your wife; but it is also showing disrespect to your invited esteemed guests!’ Bikram commented.
‘But all were present to look after the guests. Only I was absent that too for an emergency operation.’ Devendra tried to pacify his relatives.
‘What an emergency! To save a P, you have dishonoured the respected guests. These guests will always be with you when you need some help from them. What you will get by saving a useless P?’ Bikram showed his anger.
‘Who will help me? These respected guests are only for attending parties in jolly times. They will be the first deserters when I need them most. I still remember our childhood days; when we were poor, nobody helped us even for our education; forget about inviting us for any party.’ Devendra retorted.
Devendra’s remark reminded Bikram about something which Bikram would never like to hear in public. Devendra’s remark squeezed away all the energy of Bikram for further argument. He along with his wife left the venue in a huff.
He then looked at his father in law and told, ‘Should I tell something on these party animals?’
His father in law, smelling something unpleasant retort from his son in law preferred to keep mum.
Chapter III: He Lost His Best Friend
Wife is a different breed of animal from other breeds of animals. Though other relatives made hasty retreats from arguing with Devendra, Anuradha had no mood to retreat from an argument.
‘So you are saving a P and ignored your wife who was preparing whole month for this event?’ She demanded to know.
‘You are right. I preferred to save a life rather than partying with some guests who are friends when your pockets are full of money!’
‘So you think only that category of people will be helpful to you. By the way, do you know her beforehand?’ She asked him obliquely.
‘No, I do not know the young lady. But I lost my best friend, when the attending doctors thought like you and your esteemed honoured guests.’ He retorted.
‘So you have a P friend?’
‘Yes, I had. She was also stabbed by a customer and none of the doctors available in the hospital attended her properly. She died of excessive bleeding. Her life could have been saved; had the doctor thought otherwise.’ Devendra replied to her wife.
‘That doctor knew whom to give importance and whom not to. In any case, if a P dies, society will be relieved of a bad person only.’ She defended the action of the other doctors.
‘Who says they are bad for the society? Without their service, society would have been more volatile. No doubt they are not given due respect by the society what they deserve.’ His argument gave Anuradha more fuel to fight back.
‘So you know many things about Ps. You must have a Girlfriend also from that community. Why did not you marry her instead? ‘Anuradha was furious.
‘None marries a P. Even those visit them regularly, they also think them less human. That is the tragedy.’ Devendra answered thoughtfully.
After a pause Devendra said, ‘She was two to three years older than I. She always treated me as her younger brother. But I never thought she might be my elder sister till that particular night. On that night everything had changed between us, particularly for me.’ He stopped there.
Chapter IV: Help Came From an Unexpected Corner
For the first time Anuradha realized, Devendra had a chapter in his life, which was never discussed with her. She was no more under the influence of anger. She understood, the P, her husband was mentioning had no physical relation with her husband, but there was some emotional bond between them. What was that?
Before she asked something on the P, her husband started saying, ‘Have you seen how Bikram made a hasty retreat today when I replied back on his comment?’
Then he told his wife about one of his untold chapter of life.
It was 1995 when he was selected for a medical course in Delhi. Despite of the fact that, he was offered a stipend for his study, he was dire need of Rupees forty thousand for meeting the initial expenditure. Anuradha also knew that, his father was a Clarke in Guwahati Municipality Corporation. With five children in tow, he was able to provide food for their subsistence only. He was not able to bear the expenditure of higher education of his elder brothers and sisters. However, as both his elder brothers and sisters were intelligent enough to secure seats in Government colleges, the burden was lessened for his father up to some extent. When his turn came, as all his brothers and sisters were in college, his father was not in a position to arrange another Rs. Forty Thousand for his studies outside the city. From GPF he took some loan and took some personal loan from other employees working with him. All came together was Rs. Twenty Thousand only; still short of another twenty thousand.
Having no alternative,
When Devendra reached their home, it was about five in the evening. His uncle’s family was ready for going for a marriage. On seeing him with an irritated voice his uncle asked him, ‘Why you have come at this hour?’
‘I have been selected for a medical college. Father sent me to meet you. I need some money.’ Devendra told with fear in his voice.
Instead of giving a straight answer, his uncle told him to sit in the drawing room till they come back from the wedding reception of a rich relative. That relative did not prefer to invite Devendra’s father and his family as they were not fit in their class. Without waiting to see his reaction, his uncle’s family left for the wedding reception.
Having no other alternative, Devendra sat at their drawing room without even taking a glass of water, till his uncle came at 10 PM. His uncle asked him, ‘Oh you are still waiting, how much you want?’
‘I need forty thousand, father arranged twenty thousand. So—’ He could not complete his sentence.
‘I cannot spare so much for you. Come tomorrow morning and take Rs.500/ - from your Aunty.’ His uncle declared.
Devendra was about to cry. His uncle even did not bother to tell his driver to drop his nephew at his residence.
Devendra started his way back to his residence which is around three KM away from his uncle’s residence at 10-30 PM all alone. He was thinking to surrender his seat. He was moving like walking in a deep sleep.
‘Hey Debu, from where are you coming at this hour?’ A female voice brought him to the reality.
Devendra saw, Madhuri, a young lady with a dubious character was calling him. She was two to three years older than him and she was from the same locality of Devendra’s. Devendra had talking terms with the young lady, but without any intimacy. On that day Devendra wanted to ventilate his sorrow.
He told his misadventures of asking money from his uncle.
‘How much you want?’ Madhuri asked him.
‘Twenty thousand. I have decided to forgo my seat.’ He said with full of sorrow.
‘How can you do that? Your, this sister is still alive. Come with me.’ She took his hand and led to her own residence.
She opened her trunk and counted her money. Then she gave him Rupees Twenty Five thousand and said, ‘Do not tell your father that I am giving you the required amount of money. Tell him that your uncle has given the amount for your studies. Do not keep a burden on your mind for this money, I shall take it back when you will be a renowned doctor. For the time being, take this as a gift from your elder sister. I always consider you as my younger brother. Will you treat a P as your elder sister?’
Tears were coming from Devendra’s eyes. He embraced Madhuri as his own elder sister for the first time.
After joining in the medical college, he sent a letter to Madhuri thanking her for timely help. During next two vacations, he met Madhuri at her residence. But third time when he went to meet her, her neighbour broke the most unexpected news. Madhuri was stabbed by a customer and she died of excessive bleeding as doctors refused to treat her in time free of cost and nobody had come forward to bear the cost of the operation.
Chapter V: It is not Your Money
After few years when Devendra passed out as surgeon, all the relatives who once avoided him and his parent started flocking around him on one pretext or the other. Now they are invited for all the parties where they were never invited when they were either students or yet to be established financially.
In one of those parties, a discussion was started on helping of relatives, particularly one brother to another one. Till that day, Devendra’s father was under the impression that his elder brother helped him by giving twenty five thousand rupees when Devendra was selected for medical college.
Therefore he commented, ‘I do not know about others, but I am proud of my elder brother who had given Devendra twenty five thousand Rupees when he was selected for his medical college.’
Though his comment surprised Devendra’s uncle little bit, he did not want to contradict his younger brother’s statement for obvious reason.
Devendra was waiting for this opportune moment for the last ten years. He told his father loudly, ‘Papa, your brother did not give that amount. He told me to come on the next day to take only five hundred Rupees. But on that day, I met Madhuriba (elder sister Madhuri) who gave me the amount. She told me to tell a lie so that your false ego would not be hurt. I am waiting for so many years to tell her greatness before some mean-minded relatives including our uncle. Am I right uncle?’
There was pin drop silence for next few minutes. Nobody could see each other’s eyes for the next few minutes.
Chapter VI: Realization
Devendra’s wife also could not see eye to eye with her husband Devendra for next few minutes. She also felt, she and all her guests who came to attend their first marriage anniversary are too small in stature compared to Madhuri, the deceased P. She imagined all her guests on that day were nothing but some ants who came to suck some sugar which was thrown on the floor of the venue by a great lady, Madhuri. For the first time, she realized Ps might be better human being than the customers who pay very little in lieu of what they are getting from the Ps.
The author is a Government servant and a man of vivid experiences derived from his official postings across the country, travels across India and numerous visits outside India. He is presently placed at New Delhi.
His earlier publications are:
1. Random Thoughts through a Coloured Prism
2. Dilemma of a Young Mind
3. Funny Statistics and Serious Statisticians
4. Melody of Fragrance
6. Few Cities through the Lens of Hiranya Borah
7. Guilt: Gift of Winter Spring
8. Beautiful Ghost
9. Great Fighters: Grace of God
10. All Blurred
11. Putting kids to sleep
12. How to become unpopular
14. My grumpy Face
15. Love and Worries
16. Discussion of own Birth: A Taboo
18. Indecent Love Affairs
19. My Fair Lady
20. Waiting time
21. Two Stories
22. My Mother: Dashami Borah
26. First Attempt
27. A father
28. The Portrait
29. Snapped Thread
30. Only He Knows
31. The Stupid Mother
32. The Same Old Story
33. The Old Scoundrel
34. Third Attempt
35. Some of my First Days and First Nights
36. Snubbed Twice
37. Have You Met the God
38. Frequent Flier
40. Forgive and Forget
41. To Win or to lose
42. Call Girl
43. Beyond Blood Relation
44. Lady with a Black Car
45. My wife
46. Complete Woman
47. Diwali Gift
48. Romance with a Lady
49. Open Hear Surgery
50. My First Love
52. Pebbles on My Way Home
53. My First Bengali Book
54. Murder Mystery
57. Make a Habit to Thank God
58. Killing of a Bird
59. The Hero
60. Fantasy versus Reality
61. The Party
62. Road Rage
63. Death of a Friend
64. Cannot Live with Memory Only
65. None Cares for Me
66. A Tribute to My Guru
67. Two Professionals
68. The Choice
69. The Elusive Spouse
70. First Encounter with A P
71. Plane Crash
72. Plane Crash Part-II
73. Plane Crash Part-III
75. A Bag of Currency
76. Suitable Groom
77. Head Hunters
78. My Dear Sister
79. Selection While Waiting at the Airport
80. Oh Shit
82. He Got Back His Wife
83. Beautiful Faces
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