Saturday, October 22, 2005
I talked… Lekha listened..
We were walking along the winding path in the campus.
I remembered the scene I had witnessed as I had gone in search of Lekha and Ullas.
Both had been sitting by their favorite window..Lekha was looking out at the lovely garden..Ullas was trying to tie her hair together with a piece of ragged cloth he had torn from his bed sheet..
I finished speaking.. I waited for her response.. Nothing.. She continued to walk. Fast..
I had to strain myself to keep up with her pace.
We must have walked for hours. I noticed that it was getting dark.. It had started to drizzle. But Lekha didn’t seem to notice anything..
I started to panic.
“What if her condition worsened..?” I shouldn’t have asked her choice. As to what she wanted out of the situation.
I could leave the institute.. Take up residency somewhere else.. This was not the end of my world.. I had other choices.. I was more concerned about those two..
My eyes filled.. I gave thanks to my parents.. They had brought me up with proper values.. I wouldn’t cross certain bottom lines..
It was simple.
I would never choose career over guilt..
My choice was clear to me.. To do the best possible for them..
I wanted to know what Lekha’s choice was..
Finally Lekha sat down into a bench.. She sat there.. Her body was bent.. Her face was buried in both her hands..
She was sweating.. Breathing fast..
“ I don’t think I have a choice.” She whispered....
“Now that I am declared fit I can’t stay here..”
“ True.. it was not possible” I thought..
“A huge inheritance awaits me outside.”
“Yes.” I whispered back.
“The trust for the new block shall be operated by me..
I will have an office here..”
“Hmmm.. possible..Dr Gidwani would permit anything for the new block.” I knew.
“I can do my best for Ullas.. The best treatment.. The best care..
I can adopt him.. As my son… “
Her voice broke..
She was silent for some time..
“But Rajeev..? “I prompted..
“I am not bothered..” She replied shortly.
“I have to get a good lawyer.. Pay Rajeev a monthly allowance. As long as he behaves properly......We shall live as husband and wife.. Rajeev’s father will never support him.. He has more confidence in me..”
She was silent again..
“ I know it won’t be easy..” She whispered.. “But I have to..”
I was silent.. I let her words sink in..
Yes Lekha was right.. This was the best option.
Difficult.. But the best..
Lekha was cured.. Only a stable strong mind could take a decision like that..
In fact she was stronger.. More stable than me..
We sat there silently for some more time.. The drizzle had stopped.. The moon shining.. The mist was rising up the valley. A soft breeze played with our hair and silently went away..
We got up to walk back to the institute..
Lekha had made her decision..
Now it was my turn..
(To be continued)