Silver lining

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Sonu was playing in the garden. His mother Sunita was seeing him playing. She was worried about his son’s health. His health was deteriorating day by day. He was weaker than other children of his age. He is a seven years old boy. It was pleasant for her to see his son playing after about two weeks of his sickness.  She loves her son so much. He was her only son. He was the hope of her future.

 

Sunita was a widow working as a teacher in a school. Her husband was a bank officer in a metro city. After the birth of Sonu, their life was full of happiness and was going smoothly. Her husband was a generous and honest officer having a bright future. She was happy and proud of having a happy family. One day her husband was died in a car accident leaving her alone with Sonu.  

 

After her husband’s death, she returned to her home town and began to live with her parents. Her father was living on a pension. It took her months to come out of the grief. She got a job in a school as a teacher. Soon she focused herself on the bringing up of Sonu. She always tried that Sonu never feels the absence of his father. Sometimes, especially when Sonu saw other children with their fathers, he asked her where his father was. She replied to him, “he is doing his job far away from here. One day he will come to meet us.” Sonu had a strong belief in her mother and he was under impression that one day his father would come.

 

Sonu was a brilliant child. Apart from studies, he was interested in sports. After getting well, he began to go to school. Soon he picked up threads and got busy is studies and friends.

One evening, after returning home from school he told her mother that he was feeling unwell. Soon he began vomiting. There was severe pain in his body. Sunita took him to the hospital. After the initial check-up, a doctor advised her to admit Sonu to the hospital. By the night he got a fever and a cough. The next morning doctor took his blood samples for tests. There was no improvement in his condition. The Head nurse told her that the matter may be serious. She was waiting eagerly for the report of the blood test.

After looking over the report the doctor told Sunita that matter was serious and referred the case to Dr. Vishal in Delhi. She took Sonu to Delhi. Her father was with her to accompany her. When she reached to Dr. Vishal’s hospital, she got shocked knowing that the doctor was a cancer specialist. She looked at her father. He was shocked too. They waited for about an hour in the reception room. When their turn came, she along with Sonu entered the doctor’s chamber. Vishal said them to sit down on the chairs.

She was trembling and was upset. Vishal looked at both of them and said seriously, “cool down.” She brought out prescriptions and a reference letter from her carry bag and said in a low tone, “Sir, my child has been sick for a long time.”

  The doctor didn’t give much attention to her words and said to Sonu, “Come here close to me.”  He began to examine him. After examination, he looked over the previous prescriptions and reports.

Then he asked Sonu to go out of the chamber.

Vishal looked at her for a moment and said, “He has got Leukemia. It’s is Acute myeloid leukemia. We will do his blood teat and some other test to make sure of it.”

Hearing this from the doctor, her world plunged into darkness. She looked at him with a pale and grim face. Tears were about to fall from her eyes. The doctor gave her a handkerchief.

 “Don’t lose your heat, we have a treatment to this disease,” the doctor tried to pacify her.

She looked at him with blank eyes.

“We will have to begin his treatment as soon as possible,” Dr. Vishal told her.

But she had her own problems. She had no relative or familiar in such a big metro city.

She said with hesitation, “We had to manage a place to stay and money for the treatment.”

The doctor said to her, “by the way, have you somebody with you?”

She replied, “My father came with me.”

He thought for a few moments and then said to her, “Send him to your home to manage money and from tomorrow we must start his treatment. You can stay in a lodging facility near the hospital.”

And then began the treatment of Sonu. After several tests, it was decided to treat him with chemotherapy.

“Where is the father?” Sonu asked her mother a day before the first dose of chemotherapy. She had no answer to this question. She remained silent. He repeated his question.

“Don’t obstinate and try to sleep,” she almost shouted at him. But sleep was far away from his eyes. He remained silent for a while and then asked again asked her, “Why doesn’t he come in spite of my being so ill?”

She got irritated at this and slapped him. He began weeping. At that time Vishal was passing the ward. Hearing the weeping sound he came in.

He asked sweetly and gently, “What is the problem?”

Seeing the doctor Sonu stopped crying. Sunita told, “Nothing doctor. He is refusing to sleep.”

The doctor looked at him and asked, “Why?”

Sonu replied briefly, “daddy...”

Rahul smiled and said, “Oh! Tell me where your daddy is.”

Sunita said in low voice, “he was coming next week.”

She took Sonu in her lap and tried to sleep him.

Dr. Vishal was upset over something. He remained in the ward although he didn’t need to stay there.

Sonu was about to sleep. She laid him on the bed and covered him with a blanket. He asked her, “It took Sonu about six to eight months to get well. The presence of his father would give him morale support.”

She replied, “His father had died in an accident when he was two years old. I tell him a lie for he is a very sensitive boy.”

“Oh, I am very sorry,” Vishal said to her. He wished her good night and took leave of her.

She couldn’t sleep that night. She was missing her husband and was feeling alone. Due to their old age, her parents couldn’t help her as much as she needed. She didn’t know how much money would spend on the treatment. She was worried. Her mother also was a sugar patient.

In the morning, Dr. Vishal and two nurses reached at the right time to give Sonu chemotherapy. They took him into the treatment room. Sunita was waiting outside. It took four hours to complete the chemotherapy. After the first chemotherapy, Sonu’s condition was down. She couldn’t see his plight.

Vishal came to her. Seeing her worried, he gave her a smile and told, “He will get well soon. Don’t worry. He is a brave boy.”

They passed the corridor together. At the gate of the hospital, he told her, “You can call me in case Sonu feels unease.”

Sonu didn’t take any food at night and by midnight he began vomiting and got a fever. She had to call Dr. Vishal. He reached there within a few minutes. He gave some medicines to him. Soon Sonu fall asleep.

Sunita was standing near him. She wanted to give him thanks for coming late night to treat Sonu but before she could say a single word, he said, “If you don’t mind, may we take some tea together?”

She replied, “Why not? It’s my pleasure.”

He asked the nurse to arrange tea. During the conversation, he gave her many pieces of information about chemotherapy and its side effects in simple words. He told her that Sonu was giving a positive response to the treatment. He would certainly survive. She felt confident after this meeting. After this first meeting, a sequence of meetings began.

Sonu was given chemo twice a week. Soon he became like a friend to Vishal. Whenever they met, they talked just like friends. There was no formality between them.

Her father returned after managing the money for the treatment. He met Vishal to give him thanks for the treatment and support. When he offered a fee, Vishal didn’t take fee saying, “Sonu is a brave and intelligent boy. He is like is one of his family members. No question is arises to take the fee.” After this meeting with Vishal, her father said to her, “I never saw in my life such a generous doctor.”

The results of the first round of the chemotherapy were good. Sonu was responding well to the treatment. With each passing day, they were coming close to one another. Vishal, apart from treatment, began to meet Sonu every evening. Sometimes he brought gifts for Sonu. One day, when Sunita urged him not to bring gifts for Sonu. He says, “He loves children very much and unfortunately he has no issue. Gifts are just an expression of his feelings.” It filled Sunita with curiosity about Vishal. She wanted to know all about him, who was an earnest doctor and their well-wisher, who was not taking a fee, he who was giving selfless love to her son. So she urged him to tell her about himself. That day he told her all about himself.

He was the only child of his parents. His father was an army officer who wanted him to be an army officer. But his health and physique were not as good as he can be a good army officer. His mother wanted him to be a doctor. He was good at science subjects so he decided to be a doctor. When he completed his studies of medical science, his parents found out a medico girl for him to marry. His wife was a good-natured and caring lady in addition to being a good doctor. Two years after their marriage they got a baby child. He felt proud of being a father of a cute baby child. He was leading a happy and prosperous life. But their happiness not lasted for a long time. One day a truck hit their car when they were going to the picnic. They got seriously injured in this accident. Later his wife and child got succumbed to the injuries in a hospital. He, too, had to spend several months in the hospital.

After telling her his life story, he said to her, “There are many similarities in life stories of yours and mine.”

Sunita said, “Why don’t you marry again?”

He said, “It is hard for me to forget my past.”  She murmured, “The same is true for me.”

Now it was time for the second round of chemotherapy. When Sonu came out of the treatment room, he was in a semi-unconscious state. He looked at his mother with eyes full of pain. He wanted to say something to her but he was unable to open his mouth. She got shocked seeing her son in such a bad plight. Just then, Vishal put her hand on her should from behind. She turned back and put her head on his shoulder. She began to sobbed and said, “I don’t want to lose him. Please, save him.”

He said, “Don’t lose heart. He had to suffer but in the end, he will get well.” But it was a mother’s heart. It took her a long time to control her sobbing.

He said, “Muster up your courage. It happens to all cancer patients when they undergo chemotherapy.”

He urged her, “Let’s go to a temple and pray for his getting well soon.” 

He deputed his assistant doctor to take care of Soun. Without saying anything she went to a temple with him. They prayed for several minutes in the temple. After praying, she felt a calmness.

“God listens to us if we pray with heart,” he told while returning from the temple.

On the way to the hospital, the stopped at a coffee house to have a coffee. They talked for about an hour sipping hot coffee. She was so impressed with the personality and thoughts of Vishal.

When she reached the hospital, she found Sonu sleeping. Sonu had to face fever, nausea, vomiting, and tiredness as a side effect. He awoke late in the morning. He was pale, tired and silent. When Sunita was feeding him, he told, ”Daddy will never come.” She looked at him and told, “He will surely come, my son.” He replied seriously, “He died years ago.” She asked him with anger, “who told you?” He replied, “Grandpa was saying so to the nurse. I listened to him. She fell silent and kept on feeding him. She thought sometime or the other and anyhow he came to know that his father had died.

With passing time Sunita and Vishal gradually got attracted to each other. Actually, they were facing the same problems in their life.

 

One evening Vishal told her, “I have good news for you. After the third round of chemotherapy, I found that Sonu doesn’t need bone marrow transplantation. It means that within about three months he will get well.”

Hearing this she felt relief and a fine smile came on her face.

Vishal was also happy. Seeing a smile on her face, he said, “For the first time I am seeing a smile on your face ever since I met you.”

She said, “I am a mother. How can a mother be happy, if his child is seriously ill? I don’t know which words I offer you my thanks.”

“As a doctor, it’s my duty to treat patients,” he said.

He said, “I have lost my wife and daughter and I know How much painful it is to lose someone we love. I don’t want someone to lose one’s near and dear. I do my best to save the patients” All of sudden he became serious.

She put her head on his shoulder. Both of them were silent but their hearts were listening to each other. They were looking something beyond the setting sun. They wish the evening never come to an end. They could live on this pleasant evening forever.

Sonu’s condition was improving week by week. And the sixth round of chemotherapy was the last round. Now he needed no more chemotherapy. Now he had to spend some more days in the hospital.  Sunita and Vishal were in love with each other. Sunita was so happy because Sonu was getting well and she had Vishal in her life. Now, she was hopeful about her life.  

It was unforgettable moments of her life, when Vishal, One day proposed her for marriage. She was so happy with the proposal. Her father was an open-minded and honest person. He was worried about the future of her daughter after his death. Hearing from his daughter that Vishal wanted to marry her, he said to her, “You are very lucky to Vishal as a life partner. My blessings are with both of you.” And the day came when Sonu was discharged from the hospital. Now, he was free from cancer.  It took him some months to recover from the side effects and begin his normal life. He was happy being free from cancer and having Vishal as his father.  

 


Submitted: April 20, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Sumit Kumar Arora. All rights reserved.

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