Chapter Thirty Six


Parnika takes a long breath feeling the fresh air of her homeland as she steps on the land from the flight. She wanted to surprise Jay and confess her feelings for him in person hence she had planned a surprise for him. She heads to their usual sweet shop and to get Jay’s favourite sweet.

Kaka, aadho kilo gajar no halwo aapo ne. Gift wrap karjo please.( Uncle, Please pack half kg of gajar halwa and do gift wrap the box.)” She takes the box and places it in her hangbag carefully. Cheerfully she hops back into her taxi which was waiting for her outside while she made a halt at the sweet shop.

Her excitement was knowing no bounds today. She just desperately wanted to just go back and hug him tight. The Taxi halts at the gate as she drops off. Instead of going back home first to keep the luggage, she decides to see Jay first. She had been waiting all this time and now it felt as if she couldn’t just wait anymore. She walks to the porch and looks for the keys. To her surprise she finds none, it was very unusual for Jay to not hide keys for her beneath the porch in their usual hiding place. She ignores the clue and rings the bell.

Jay was cleaning up after the breakfast while Miral was helping him with the dishes.Who’d be at this early hour in the morning? he wonders as the doorbell rings. A girl just hops on him and hugs him tight before even he could see her face as he opens the door. He was about to push her off when he realises her smell. It’s her, she’s back. I can’t believe it. Why is so happy? First she throws me out of her life and comes back after a year and hugs me, wow! He slowly pulls out from her embrace as she looks at him confused.

It was very unusual for Jay to not hug Parnika back and just pull out from her embrace like this.  What happened? Did I make a mistake? Why is he behaving like this? Questions started popping inside Parnika’s mind. Before she could think of anything else or react she hears a voice from the kitchen. “Who’s it darling?” A female voice from the kitchen makes her heart just instantly crack and crumble into pieces. Whose voice is this? She doesn’t sound like Shriya to me. Could it be Anjani? How can she do this to me? How can she betray me? Anger starts to build up inside her and suddenly vanishes with an imaginary ‘poof’ as Miral comes into view.

Miral comes forward and wraps her arm around Jay’s arm as she looked at a beautiful girl on her doorstep early morning. Miral wondered if it was one of Jay’s exes as the expression on her face seeing Miral was making her jealousy quite obvious. Jay had removed all the pictures of him and Parnika from the house when Anjani had left her. He just wanted to be done with everyone in his life for once. He felt all their caring was just nothing but a mere formality and showbiz. Miral had no idea about Parnika being back into her life.

“Miral, this is Pari, and Pari this is Miral, my girlfriend.” Jay introduces both the girls who now had an equal ghastly expression on their faces as if both had seen a ghost. Jay pulls his hand from Miral’s grip and heads back as if nothing has happened. He just heads back upstairs to get ready for work.

Down at the doorstep, Parnika was shocked as Jay didn’t even invite her inside the house this time. But the presence of Miral, her old arch rival as his girlfriend in his house was a bigger and probably a devastating shock for Parnika.

Before Miral could pass a sassy comment, she just runs back to her house which was just adjacent to the Shah residence. Miral feels this was a really easy victory as both Jay didn’t even acknowledge Parnika’s presence, as if it doesn’t even bother him at all. As Miral was about to close the door, Jay climbs downstairs and heads for the work. Miral just keeps looking at him as he just walks out without even saying goodbye. It was the first time that he didn’t even bother to say goodbye.

Miral until how just had a hunch about situations between the duo being tense but little she had known it was really bad. She just smiles thinking that no matter for how long, she could enjoy her life in peace. As she goes on back to her room, her phone rings. “Yes Doctor… Yes… Sure, please!... Yes I’ll be there in an hour.” She places her phone back on the table and gets her files and other things ready.

Parnika had never imagined Miral being with Jay in her worst nightmares. She just so wanted to charge at her and drag her out of Jay’s life. But it wasn’t Miral that was hurting her, it was Jay. His cold reaction on seeing her back. He didn’t even welcome. Not even a hug. What have I done wrong to deserve this? Her mind was constantly buzzed with such questions when her phone rings.

“Hello, Dr Parnika here…” She picks up the phone.

“Hello Pari! Welcome back! How are you my child?” Dr Chunawala’s voice from other side calms her sobs.

“I am fine Doctor, thanks! Just landed and haven’t even unpacked anything yet.”

“Uh Pari, I know you are just back but this was something couldn’t wait any longer. I am sorry but can you come to hospital in an hour? Don’t worry, it’s just for the meeting. It’s really important and without your word I can’t continue further.” Dr Chunawala’s voice made it evident that its something urgent and important.

“Sure! I’ll just change and be there in an hour. Don’t worry, anyway no one is waiting for me here.” She hangs up the call before the sob could escape her mouth.

She walks down the hospital corridor reaching there before time. The familiar smells of cleansing chemicals and other medicines fill her nose as she passes by the patient wards upwards to her cabin. She pushes the door open with the name plate, ‘Dr. Parnika Mehta ( MBBS, MS(Neurosurgery)) written on it. She smiles looking at her cabin. It was just like she had left it. She couldn’t believe it had been a year being away from this place. She sits on the chair diving deep reminiscing all the memories when there’s a knock on the door. “Come In please!” She calls out wondering who’d be here at this moment. She didn’t inform anyone about her arrival back to work yet. She wasn’t in mindset to attend any patient right now. A smile spreads across her face as she finds Dr Chunawala opening the door. But the smile drops when she finds Miral following behind.

“Please sit here doctor.” She hands over her chair to the doctor who refuses and sits on the patient side of the table. “This is your chair dear and I am here for something else. The nature of this matter being so urgent I couldn’t afford to waste even a single day.” Dr chunawala really hated getting the environment serious but the pin drop silence and the depth in his voice was shouting ‘it’s serious’” 

“What happened sir? I have never seen you this serious before. No wonder you called me right at this moment.” Parnika leans in resting her hands on the table as Dr Chunawala opens the file. He starts explaining the details and the plans decided to Parnika who was just as serious now as her senior. Miral just sits beside on another chair and keeps looking at both of them shower a gazillion jargons and talk in almost indecipherable language. She was shocked finding the Dr. Mehta she was hoping to see was none other than Parnika. The one she hated the most had choice to save her life or just rot and die. She shivered at the later thought as it brought her back to the present from the thoughts.

“So what do you plan to do? We can use the GKT on smaller ones but it’s not safe enough to use two procedures at once. Don’t you think it would be a huge blunder? The chances are as low as 10%.” Parnika lays back on her chair and rubs her forehead.

“I know Pari, but we don’t have any other option. I can’t do this without your help and expertise. Usually, I would refuse taking on such cases but seeing her perseverance and hope to live I decided to give it a try. She has already agreed to take this plan forward no matter what the result.” Dr Chunawala tries to convince Parnika who wasn’t in a state of mind to decide anything yet. Her mind was filled with all sorts of thoughts from, Should I let her die? Why to save someone who just tried to ruin my life? Anyway, she has no time to live even if I refuse. I won’t have it in my guilt even if I refuse. As there’s no chance for it to turn of successful even if she agrees on it. But on the other side, I can’t just refuse my duty as a doctor just because I hold a personal grudge with patient. Patient is just a patient and nothing else for a doctor. How can I be so selfish?

She moves her hands through her hair in frustration and sighs. “I know we have something that would stop you from making the decision. I know I have always been nothing but trouble for you. But I know you so much that you won’t let your personal feelings come in between. I know there’s little to none chance of me surviving after this procedure. I am taking this plan ahead only because it just benefits me either way. If I live its great, kudos to both of you and the teams but if I die, it’ll be just quick death for me. It’d be a lot better than dying slowly and gradually day by day. I hope you don’t hate me that much to let me die the later way.” Miral places her hand on Parnika’s and looks at her in the eye.

In that moment, all of Parnika’s hate feeling vanished into thin air and all if was left was sympathy and care. She smiles at her and agrees for the procedure. Dr Chunawala wonders what Miral just blabbered but he decides to ignore it for now and heads straight back to work.

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