Of peanuts, missed calls and those ten minutes! ~ Entry post for Blogadda's WOW contest (Fiction Series)
She was getting ready for her office. As she struggled with her blackberry in one hand, and her handbag in the other that slid off her lithe shoulders each time she held it back from falling off, she pushed her feet into the brand new black stilettos she had purchased from an online store just a couple of weeks back. It was Samantha's first job as a technical writer with MediaFireWorks, an MNC. The first day, the first job, the first whiff of independence! And with an ecstatic feeling, she left for office at 8:30 sharp by the regular local.
Samantha boarded the train from Malad, where she settled down in the ladies compartment with a book in her hand. The train started moving sharp at 8:45. After some time, at Jogeshwari, a huge crowd barged in. And within a few minutes, it was even difficult to catch a breath of fresh air. A thirty something female came and sat next to her. The female was busy checking her phone every now and then and then clutched it tightly in her hand, as the train strolled forward. The cacophony increased as a string of vendors came by, selling roasted peanuts. The woman sitting next to her, bought one. Samantha too felt like having one, but the excitement of her first job suppressed her hunger. And after ten minutes, the train came to a halt at Vile Parle. A huge chunk of the crowd got down here, including the female sitting next to her. It would be only ten more minutes, before she reached her destination, Santa Cruz. And then the phone buzzed......
Samantha checked her phone. It was not ringing. The buzzing sound continued. The source was not from her handbag but was the phone lying next to her. There was no one around to claim it was theirs. Samantha was first reluctant to pick it up. But then, she followed her instincts and picked the phone. It had 38 missed calls...... 38 missed calls in the............... past 10 minutes!
And then she remembered, this phone belonged to the girl sitting next to her. She wondered what was going on! Perhaps, in all the noise and the crowd, the buzzing sound of the mobile had not been heard. And then, the poor girl had forgotten to put it back in her purse after she bought her snack of peanuts!
The phone rang again! Samantha picked it up. “Hello.”
Came an anxious voice from the other end: “Hello Reema beta! Your father has suffered a heart attack. The doctor has asked us to get him admitted in City Hospital. Can you come to the hospital directly?”
Samantha was confused. She took a deep breath and responded, “Hello! Who is this? There has been a mistake.....I......This....”
And the voice came over the phone again....."Reema beta! You are coming na? Rishi is in college.....Raj uncle is in Delhi and all the neighbors here have gone for a sat sang program! I am taking your father to the City hospital in a rickshaw. You too reach there directly. As soon as possible!”
And then the caller hung up. Samantha got down at Santa Cruz with the phone in her hand. As she proceeded towards the exit, she stopped. About ten minutes later, she was in a local moving towards Jogeshwari, from where she took a taxi to City hospital. And then she realized, she only knew the girl’s name.
She went over the reception and addressed the person sitting on the other side,"Mam, I wanted to know about a patient, who happens to be my friend Reema’s father. May I know which ward he has been admitted in?”
“Name of the patient please?”, asked the receptionist without looking up.
“Well....hmmm....just check......if there is a heart patient who has been admitted here within the last 10 minutes!” (She only knew the first name of the girl, after all!)
The lady on the other side gave Samatha a quizzical look for a second and then proceeded,“Let me check, mam. hmmm..........well, there happens to a sixty year old man admitted in the general ward, who just came in a while ago, complaining of severe chest pain. Mr. Alok shinde, Bed number 12, General ward.” The lady continued, “Well they need to pay the entire admission amount to shift him to the special ward as his condition is serious......The doctor will be here any moment.............Please pass on the message to them.....”
Samantha was not listening any more, as she rushed to bed number 12, general ward. There was a frail man taking deep breaths, and clutching his chest tight as he writhed in pain. The lady next to him, was in tears and desperately trying to call someone on the phone again. Samantha approached them and asked, “Are you Reema’s parents?”.
The lady nodded, thinking that Samantha is a doctor. And then, Samantha further asked, “Did you call your daughter Reema on this phone, some ten minutes back?”.
The lady now stopped sobbing and asked, “Who are you, beta?"
Samantha then narrated as to how their daughter’s mobile landed in her hands, by chance. The lady sensing the good Samaritan in Samantha broke down, as she continued, “We are from a lower middle class family, beta. Reema is the sole bread winner. She is a sales girl. We have a son who goes to college. And my husband who has been a heart patient for a long time, has about 90% blockage in his heart. Now, operation seems to be the only way out. The hospital has asked us to pay about 7000 rupees for getting him admitted here, in the special ward, where the heart specialist can treat him soon. We have already paid 5000 rupees that I have been saving for the past few months. We are still 2000 rupees short of the admission amount. And so, I had called Reema....And now, she is not aware of what has happened. How will I contact her? How will I manage the remaining amount?” And the lady started crying again.....
Samantha took the lady along with her and went to the reception. She took out her debit card and made the extra payment that was needed. Then, she asked the old lady to accompany her ailing husband as he was wheeled into the special ward. One of the nurses explained to the now composed wife that, the heart specialist has come and he would take a look at the patient anytime now. About fifteen minutes later, the lady's eyes searched for Samantha but, Samantha had already left. She was on her way to her office. She was late. About two hours late now. But she was happy. Happy that her timely intervention helped in saving a man's life whose fate was unknown till the moment she stepped in. She also knew, her boss, whoever he may be, may or may not understand her reason for being late. But that did not bother her. Because, those crucial ten minutes taught her the importance of life. And, nothing can be larger than life.
Disclaimer: The above post is a piece of fiction and is an entry post in WOW contest of Blogadda.
Labels: Fiction series