Priya had not got the opportunity to come back in the same town of her own when Priya was of the desire to work where her father and Vijay were staying. But now, thanks to her father’s efforts, it was now she had got the opportunity to come back in the same town when Vijay was no more a goal to be achieved for her and when her earnest desire to come back had vanished. But now she was of the keen desire not to be in the close proximity with Vijay and was trying to be as much away from him as possible although she had not been able to overpower her father’s desires. Besides that her father’s health too was not keeping well because of his old age. At such a critical age of his life, when Priya was his only child, it was her moral duty to be in his close company. She had requested her father to get herself transferred to some other town but her father was not completely accustomed to this town only and therefore he had opposed this idea which naturally meant that even Priya was destined to begin her medical practice in the same town and get settled there itself. Moreover, Priya too was unable to discuss about her state of mind with her father and was therefore being forced to accept whatever that was happening in her destiny against her willful desires as though giving her a feeling that she was only a puppet stung to the strings of the fate. Probably, this is what people must be calling it as luck. Priya would curse all such people who would put the blame on their fate whenever anything wrong may happen but now she could see the destiny’s hand in anything happening. In fact, now if anybody would behave wrong, she would not get angry as might have she been angered before because now she had come to believe the role of her destiny in any such untoward happening and would accept it willingly as somebody’s way of behavior.
Till such time her practice had not settled, Priya continued working for a brief period at Dr. Nadkarni’s clinic itself. Even while working there the thoughts about Vijay would keep coming to her mind but they would never trouble her as much as they were troubling earlier. But she was finding it difficult to control them since Vijay too was staying in the same town. One she had sensed a very strong desire to meet him but somehow she had managed to curb them and had avoided meeting Vijay. The only remedy she could see to eliminate this troubling thought process was to get herself deeply engrossed in her work. Therefore eventually she buried herself so deeply in the work that it was as though the time had stopped for her and she could never know how many days, weeks or even months were passing by. She was thus deep with her work, work and work alone.
Several such days passed without any knowledge of Vijay’s whereabouts. It was actually the fact that Priya had herself not bothered to find anything about Vijay. Not that she had any anger against him hidden in her mind but all she wanted was to never interfere between him and Nayana. She avoided meeting him because unknowingly she would reveal her feelings after having gone to meet him under some or the other pretext. She was exactly afraid of this particularly because that day when he had exposed his true feelings about Nayana before her even she had felt tempted, at a point of time, to reveal her dreams in front of him in the stroke of overwhelming emotions but only she was aware of how defiantly she had restrained herself even at that critical moment. On the other hand equally true that neither Vijay had ever looked upon her anything more than a good friend nor did he ever have any selfish interest in their mutual friendship and therefore there was no point in blaming him for anything.
Then what went wrong on her part?
But one day all those thoughts did explode in her mind at least.
Was she suppose to have clearly express her feelings before him vividly much earlier?
But was she not behaving in the same manner sufficiently indicative?
How much clearer expression was necessary on her part?
Or had she fallen anything short in her intimate feelings toward Vijay?
Neither was there any element of truth in this question too!.
Finally she had reached a conclusion to settle all the blame on her fate and continue living the harsh realities of everyday life. But unfortunately the ill shadows of the bad past were not willing to get out of her mind completely and she had done everything necessary to forget the past. She had severed contacts with all her old friends especially because after meeting them the topic of Vijay would invariably emerge but even then her emotions were not stabilizing much. She thought that perhaps time will prove to be a best medicine for all her wounds to get healed but unfortunately with each passing day her emotions were becoming all the more intense and the shadows of Vijay’s image were getting more and more thick.
After a long spell Priya happened to meet Rajesh. Of course, even he had not come to meet her with any specific purpose but rather only to get the medical check-up of his wife done from Priya on her clinic.
‘How nice to see both of you together after such a long time!’, Priya welcomed Rajesh and his wife.
‘Actually it was impossible for us to come at your clinic any time before?’, Rajesh cunningly said.
‘What do you mean?’, Priya asked.
‘If we were to have come to meet you much earlier than today we would have had to get married much before!’, Rajesh mischievously remarked looking at his wife making that poor lady feel blushed.
‘Oh! Is it? That means the development is serious! Congratulations anyway!’, Priya endorsed.
By this time, Rajesh and his wife had settled down in both the chairs kept in front of Priya.
‘How is everything else?’, Priya asked in an enquiring tone.
‘We are doing fine. How about you?’, Rajesh asked Priya.
‘Of course I am fine!. I am so busy with all my ongoing work!’, Priya pretended to be happy with her life.
‘But after my wedding none of you seem to be visible anywhere!. It was me who got married but you all have vanished!’, Rajesh pretended to be angry.
‘It is not that Rajesh but don’t you know a newly married couple is not to be disturbed!’, Priya stood up from her chair holding her stethoscope in her hand.
While requesting Kamal, Rajesh’s wife to come along for the sake of check-up, Priya said, ‘Kamal! Please come here!’.
Rajesh’s wife got up and even he too started following her as though he was so happy for his wife turning pregnant. His wife signaled him with big eyes but it did not even occur to him and he continued following her. Then Priya laughed at Rajesh and instructed him, ‘Please wait here only!’.
Suddenly Rajesh realized his mistake and he felt extremely awkward to say, ‘Quite right! What am I to do inside?’. He sat down on the chair again.
‘Are you facing any trouble?’, Priya asked Rajesh’s wife while going behind the curtain of the partition.
Without uttering a word Kamal, Rajesh’s wife started going behind which made Priya aware that she probably wanted to say something but was finding it awkward to disclose in front of Rajesh. During the course of the medical check-up Rajesh was getting hear a whispering sound of both the women talking but was unable to understand what was going on and hence he had to wait sitting there for a long time.
After the check-up was over Priya came out with Rajesh’s wife, Kamal and assured her by saying, ‘Just like we the women feel anxious whenever any new guest is to come, the same way a woman’s body too needs time to get adjusted with the new entrant in her family and the whole of her body starts preparing itself to meet the challenges of the new situation since that new member of the family is to first blossom in her womb only and therefore many harmonic changes keep taking place in a woman’s body because of which such small troubles can possibly take place unavoidably’.
Rajesh was listening to all this intently and was feeling proud of his erstwhile college-time friend Priya having become a full-fledged medical professional.
In the meantime even Kamal had settled in the chair kept next to Rajesh and Rajesh said, ‘In fact we both were tremendously worried because sometimes Kamal behaves as though she is tremendously frightened and worried’.
‘There is nothing to be anxious or worried about’, Priya assured saying, ‘During this phase of a woman’s life not only physical but emotional changes too take place through the harmonic changes’.
‘Did I not tell you there is nothing to be worried about!’, Rajesh assured Kamal and said, ‘Don’t you think my friend like any other doctor!. She is really an expert now!’.
‘I am not any prominent doctor or like that’, Priya replied courteously, ‘but it is necessary that certain things be told to a woman undergoing pregnancy for the first time since they are completely ignorant about them’.
‘I will just prescribe you some Vitamin and Calcium tablets’, Priya whispered while opening her writing pad, ‘which you need to be consuming regularly’.
Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Girish Katre (GirishKatre@gmail.com)