The next day tension was building up in one of the rooms of Bhasker eye hospital. Shobhna could not sit contained in the corridor. She walked to and fro outside the cabin impatiently, her pace increasing with the time passing by. Inside, Ria’s heart was pounding in anticipation of the results and also from an unexplained feeling which was lingering within since yesterday. The ecstasy was mutual. Her heart was slipping away dissolving her in the oneness of the moment in which she embodied the upsurge of her emotions. Dheer was also feeling flushed with the ongoing fight within. The microscopic examination needed his professional precision and he tried his best.
The lights in the examination room went off. Ria blinked her strained eyes. Dheer poured few drops of a soothing eye drop, helped her to get down from the examination table and move to the adjacent consultation room. Shobhna moved in with weakened steps. The silence in the room felt ghostly for a moment and waited for the expert prognostication. ‘It is the rarest of the rare case kaki, but it can be treated. I have personally attended few of such cases. I am sanguine Ria will be able to see after this surgery.’ Dheeraj spoke in a firm but low voice. ‘You can get ready. We will go to Mumbai tomorrow only. The surgery will be done in a month after some medication and treatments.’
Things were happening too fast. It was difficult to understand what overwhelmed Ria. Her dream to see through all she wanted to coming true or the charm of an inadvertent feeling which was too capturing and spreading all over her.
They stayed in Dheeraj’s official flat which was a sprawling bungalow. Shobhna took over the kitchen responsibilities and soon got accustomed to the way of living in a metro. Dheeraj appointed Rabia from the hospital for administering the medical requirements of Ria in his absence. He spent his evenings with Ria in the garden. They spoke for hours together and Shobhna watched them quietly, her heart growing ambitious for Ria. They drew closer to each other but an unexpected fear gripped Dheer. He feared of losing her after the surgery. He could never gather enough courage to concede the mark and the reason for it. The feeling of an anticipated devastation would possess him in lonely nights and he felt like holding Ria tight and never letting her go. Oblivious to Dheer’s fears, Ria was happy with the blessings life was showering on her.
Finally the day arrived. The surgery was about to begin. As Ria slips into the effect of anesthesia, gaining consciousness and losing it again, she hears him whispering into his ears. ‘I was not wrong Ria. It was just an accident but I have been punished far beyond. I didn’t mean to hurt her, yet she pounced on me with a burning stick. I know you would feel betrayed seeing my face after the surgery and I can’t hurt you.’ Dheer voice withered away as Ria became unconscious.
It was the first thought that came to her as she woke up. He was gone. And, soon, this bedroom, the house in whose eastern corner it sat, and the tiny garden outside with its gnarled old red hibiscus and the half-grown mango tree they had planted together, all those would be gone as well. It was the strangest feeling ever. As she stepped out in the blurred world outside the dimly lit room, her head throbbed with heaviness and eyes pained. She couldn’t see anyone around, not yet with the bandages still intact. Dheer,’ she called for him with feelings of anxiety and delight but her voice muffled. ‘You need to rest ma’am.’ Rabia took her back to the bed. ‘Where is Dheer?’ Ria was anxious. She closed her eyes inside the white rolled cloth and stuffed cotton pads as pain gripped her again but her thoughts wandered in imagination of the unexplored world outside and Dheer. ‘He shall be visiting you soon. He is not at home right now. Not since morning.’ ‘He is gone. I know he is gone.’ Ria muttered and faded, as her slender body started reacting to the drugs infused. The prick didn’t pain but the separation did. Dheer’s words reeled into her subconscious mind all this while after the surgery. She didn’t hear from him since the day of her surgery.
The day had finally strolled in. Today Ria’s bandage are going to open. She asks aai whether Dheer would be around but Shobhna is not sure. Dheeraj hardly came home these days. The bandages start getting rolled out leaving the heart pumping with an increased pace keeping up to beat the anxiety building up within Ria and everywhere else. As the cotton swabs get removed and Ria opens her eyes slowly to step into the world of her dreams, the eyes strain. There is a bright haze. She blinks, rests the eyes to overcome the strain as instructed and opens them again. The haze continues and refuses to fade. She closes the eyes impatiently and opens again. Tears stray down uncontrollably and she shouts, ‘I can’t see anything.’ Dheer smiles from the edge of the door and rushes past everyone. Ria sobs in his arms. Outside the unpredictable Mumbai rains rolled down the curtains.
So that’s how I crafted the story. But would love to know your twist in the tale. Write down how you would have ended this story.