Dr. Mehta looked at the report, and started his quest for something in the drawer, with such an insouciant manner as if the report that was lying in front of him was of trivial importance. There is something about these doctors I believe I could never understand. May be this is inherent in them, may be they are taught to behave this way or may be they learnt it with time. With Dr. Mehta’s age and the numerous wrinkles that occupy his face, I believe it must have something to do with the experience. I never saw him tensed about any of his cases. I could hardly spot any difference between the person sitting right in front of me and the person I first saw four years back.
It was raining cats and dogs that day when suddenly a rush of acute pain ran all across through my head. I never realized what happened my next. Only thing I remember that I woke up to find myself in an alien place. There was this fat lady who was sitting on a chair next to me and looking at me suspiciously. She was the lady who broke the mirage I had created in my mind about all the beautiful and sexy nurses one finds in the hospital. At some distance I saw my father following this particular guy surrounded by some four or five people of his very kind. I decided to follow the suite and slid from the guard of the lady, who apparently was very busy with her magazine.
That was the first time I saw Dr. Mehta. I peeped through the window to find him having a conversation with my father. In a matter of seconds I saw my father fell down into the chair, looking aghast, while the doctor stood there as calm and composed as ever.
Whenever I visited him during the course of my treatment he always looked more jovial and cheerful than the last meeting. Surrounded amidst so many cases, so many deaths and so many losses, I wonder how he managed to remain unattached. He stood up with the report in his hand and said,” Rahul. I believe this is time you should inform your family and friends about all this.” And as expected I didn’t notice even a slight hesitance in his voice. I asked him” How much time doc?” , to which he resolutely replied,” Any moment now”.
So the verdict was done. And it was time. At this time all I could think of was the one and the only person who knew this apart from the two of us. My father. He has stood like a pillar by my side the entire way. He took the fact with all his heart when Dr. Mehta broke to him for the first time that his son was suffering from a brain tumor. He was strong enough to explain to me everything, once I managed to get hold of the reports he kept in the almirah. He convinced me as how it was a wise decision to not let my mother know about all this. He was the ultimate source of inspiration for me all the way. I wanted to stay at home for the rest of the time, whatever minimal it might be, but he was determined to allow me to live a normal life, go to the college, mingle with people and enjoy it to the very core. He has been the only reason I have never felt sorry for myself. In spite, I have tried to live my life to the fullest.
Four years I have concealed this secret from everyone. And now I have to break this all of a sudden. I can’t even imagine how am I going to face them. How would I tell this to my friends. We have been together for so long and never did I allow them to doubt that there is something wrong with me. May be I could just bid them a goodbye and just leave. But that won’t do. They will keep calling at my place and one day they will come searching for me when there will be no one to answer for me. And what if I tell them. No I just can’t.
How would I tell this to my sole confidant, who is constantly praying to the God for few months to add to his son’s life, even if it was a share of his own? Just for giving his son the support, he has wore a layer of mask on his face, just to prove to his son that everything is normal and there is absolutely no reason to worry. He has stood firm for such a long time. Will he continue to be so this time too, when he finds out that God has finally rejected his application to grant an extension in the service tenure and the time for retirement has finally arrived? Will he give me a shoulder or will he finally break down? I seriously don’t know. I don’t have the courage to face him either.
And how would I face the person I love the most? My mother, who is dreaming to see his son reach heights of success? She will be completely broken and I am sure she will never recover from this shock I have planned for her. Can’t I plan some way out of it. May be an accident would do. Or may be her son was lost somewhere and could not be found. At least a single ray of hope would keep her alive. May be. At this point all I could do is Hope.
Right now the fear of death doesn’t trouble me as much as the fear of the trouble I am going to cause to my dear ones. All the faces are running across my mind at a tremendous speed. All the incidents are surfacing up. The time when I suddenly fell down and my father took care of the entire situation by accrediting the cause to my weak eyesight. The time when I used to lie down on that hospital bed for days and my mother would believe that his son was appearing for his exams. The time when I used to bunk my college for weeks and it appeared to everyone that I was at home, busy with my preparation. The time when someone close to me found me in despair and I would blame it all on my breakup.
All those times, all those lies.
All the prayers, all the hopes.
All the strength, all the courage.
All the deception, all the masks.
And most importantly, all the life.
It has finally come to an end. I can again feel the resurgent of that same pain I have been so accustomed to. But unlike all the other instances, today I don’t wish for this pain to go away. Today I am thankful to God for springing this tremor in my head. This one is the most painful yet the most sweetest of them all because I know that this one is the last one. I don’t need to worry about all these things now. After a long long time, I know I could RELAX.