We all wish for many things in life. But dying soul can only have a hope.
It was rainy season again. And it was also the end of the month. As I stared out of the window, the rain drops fell upon the window pane, leaving a trail behind as it descended down. I still remember the question I had asked my mother once,
“Mamma, these rain drops, are they tears of cloud? Is the cloud crying because thunder is screaming at it? Or is it because its eyes are burning because of the lightening?”
And I still remember her laugh at my question. She was beautiful, my mother.
“Its time to go sweety..” My nurse called out as I started to touch the window pane.
I sighed at her voice, goosebumps slowly crept up to my arms and legs. Would it be painful like always? I asked to no one in particular. May be if there was some other person in my place, they might have gotten used to the pain, but I didn’t, and I wish no one feels this pain either, its hurting, very very much.
As I looked up to the nurse biting my lips, I asked her one question that I always ask before the therapy,
“Has anyone come for me?”
She smiled apologetically. I knew that smile very well. Adults use that smile when they can’t form hurtful words. She knows to hear “No” would be hurting for me.
“Its okay. Lets go..” I said hopping up to my feet. I stumbled but the nurse caught me instantly.
“You should be careful!” she warned me as I tried to stand on my feet steadily.
I didn’t have an answer, what could I possibly say? Oh, I could say I am always weak? But she knew that!
“Should I get the wheel chair?” she asked me after I struggled to stand still. I shook my head. I hated wheel chair. She would drag me in the wheel chair after the therapy anyway! Atleast I would like to walk by myself before the therapy. I am not that weak either.
“You are a strong girl!” Mamma used to say.
Operation theater, like always was dimly lit. I wanted to tell my doctor that dim light irritate my eyes, but I chose not to. She would be worried otherwise. She always gets worried when I am uncomfortable. I wonder whether my mother would get worried for me too? She would, she is my mamma after all.
“Are you ready baby?” My doctor whom I have been seeing for past 2 years asked me with a smile.
I smiled back, “Yes!” I said little more enthusiastically. I didn’t want her to know, that I had overheard her conversation. She had once scolded me saying ‘eavesdropping is a bad habit’. I don’t want to be a bad girl.
She fidgeted for a while before kissing me on my forehead, “You have to stay strong throughout okay?”
I nodded biting my lips. There was a kind of fear that jolted across my body. I didn’t know whether to run away or hide somewhere or just tell her that I am scared.
“It will be hurting today…” she said looking away.
When was it not? I wanted to ask. But she kissed me again, “You are one of the best patients I have ever had. I really wish you weren’t a patient at all. You should live long, you deserve to.”
I didn’t understand much, but I knew she meant that she wished that this operation didn’t kill me. Well I didn’t know about that, we would find out after operation right?
“Do you want anything before the operation baby?” she asked me as I put my gown.
I slept on the bed looking at her, would she give me what I asked?
“Yes. I want to see my mother.”
She stared at me for a while before she let a deep sigh. She came closer to me, brushing my little hair, there wasn’t much hair left in my head. I had a great hair loss in past few months. I almost looked bald, even though not completely. But I had seen other patients with complete bald head. Guess mine was better.
“I am sorry darling.. I have no idea..-”
I interrupted before she could feel guilty, “I know.. I was just hoping you knew where she was” I said.
After a moment of silence, she said “you want anything else?”
I thought for a while. Past two years I have been living in the hospital bed with two pillows, one large window-side sofa, and floral blanket which nurse had specially brought for me. I didn’t have anything that I brought along with me before I came to hospital except for my,
“Can you bring my teddy bear? Its in my bed.” I told her. My mother had gifted it to me 4 years ago. It was pink in color. My favorite color pink.
She smiled. I could see a tear in her eyes. I didn’t want to cry so I looked away. Was I really going to die today?
“Stay focused. Its going to be difficult. And I don’t want you letting her down. She dotes upon you, you know?I really hope she survives this!” I could hear the male voice. He was the surgeon, nurse had told me once. He was a very big doctor in the town. He was talking to my doctor, she probably might miss me after I die. But what is death? I don’t know. Mamma had told me my father had died in an accident. He never came back. When I asked where he went, she told me he went to God, and he shall never return.
“Its time sweetheart. Lets start with your chemotherapy okay?” my doctor told me as she handed me my teddy bear. I hugged it tight. Would teddy miss me? Would mamma miss me?
“Keep hope. Trust God okay?” nurse told me before she went set up the monitor. I nodded. If anything I hoped it would be to see my mother. I have been going through these therapies for almost 2 years now. Mamma had left me here saying she would come back in a while 3 years ago. She never came. Initially the doctors in this hospital told me they would send me to Ashram, but on the way to ashram, I had fainted. After several tests, doctor asked me if I had any health issues. I told them about how often I fainted and some wounds in my skin. They told me I had cancer and I had to be treated. I agreed only on the hope that when mamma comes back, I could go back home.
I hope mamma is eating well. I get good food in the hospital. Nurse told me I have been given healthy diet all cancer patients gets in the hospital. She also told me I am very lucky because there is a donor who paid lots of donation to my operation. I never got to thank the person. Mamma would have been very happy.
I have been given injection, as I drift to sleep, I recall my small home. I and Mamma used to live there. Kids in my school called me ‘poor’, but I didn’t mind.
I recall mamma’s face. She is beautiful. I remember her smile and I remember her cry. She had once told me, “I can’t live like this. I can’t see you starve. You should have been happy. I will make you happy”
I recall uncle. He is my mamma’s boss. He used to come home too. But he didn’t like me much. He used to tell mamma, that she should leave me and go with him. Mamma used to scold him.
I wonder if mamma is with him.
When the pain started to enter my body, I shut my eyes close. It was painful, very much.
For 3 long hours, I silently cried. Doctor kept consoling me. I held my teddy tightly. Teddy was very comforting. But there was darkness. Darkness everywhere, I wondered if I am dead.
My whole body was paining terribly. It was very difficult to breathe. I couldn’t open my eyes either. I couldn’t hear anything around me. The sounds of the machines slowly faded away.
May be I was dying. I wondered mamma would have been very happy if she married her boss. Uncle had proposed her once but she had said no. Uncle was nice except that he didn’t like me, because i wasn’t his daughter.
If I wasn’t there, mamma would have been happy. Am I dying?
I really hope I see mamma before I die. I felt there were no bones in my body. My body was so light, that I felt I was floating. I hope I see mamma. I can’t recall her face. I can’t think. Everything is blank.
Until, the light suddenly appeared in the room. Did doctor open the door?
I could hear hushed voices, it is not clear. The sound of machines wasn’t fading away anymore but I couldn’t hear it clearly either.
From the light that was illuminating in the room, I could see someone walk inside. There were two people actually. I wondered whether it was my doctors.
I tried hard to open my eyes, I could now see, not clearly but partially.
She walked closer to me; her palms touching my cheeks lovingly.
I blinked up at her, I was now staring at dark brown eyes. My mamma’s eyes. There was a man behind her. But I didn’t want to see him. I stared at mamma for a long time before darkness engulfed me again. A tear drop, probably mamma’s fell on my cheeks. But I couldn’t feel anything anymore.