(Part – 1 )
As the nurse placed the paper on my lap, I gazed at Kris who was standing beside my bed. My mother touched my arm and kissed my forehead. Kris nodded approvingly.
“Okay. Am doing it finally. No big deal. There I say goodbye to my Dupli” I signed the paper with a wide grin.
“You are a brave girl indeed. God bless you.” The elderly nurse left the ward with a pleasing smile.
“But, mom, you will have to find me a good plastic surgeon.”
“I will. Don’t you worry” Kris replied, his face tensed, yet charming as ever.
My mother was already fighting with her tears. “Hey, Ma! Nothing will happen. I am going to be absolutely all right.”
“Yes you would be my angel”
As the ward boys carried me on the stretcher, I found several faces waiting for me. Especially, Captain Uncle and Richa Aunty. With eyes filled with tears, Uncle caressed my hair and Aunt Richa held my hand murmuring a prayer. Krish’s parents and some of my cousins looked at me as if they were not sure if I am going to emerge back alive from the OT. I gave them all a big smile and extended a piece of paper.
“Once you all are settled, please have a look at the list. These are the things that I want as soon as I am back home. Please try arranging them as soon as possible.”
What I said startled them for a moment and then they all burst into laughter. I felt relieved and entered the OT with a smile.
But, all my bravery soon evaporated, the moment I saw the crowd of monitors, surgical equipment and the big round light over my operation bed. Oh my God! I suddenly realized they will cut me open. I never before had a single stitch on my body and now they were going to take out one of the most important organs out of my body. A nasty taste in my mouth, a needle prick and a tingling sensation in my head and I lost my senses.
“The girl with twin heart” had become my second name since my birth. Always being a topic of discussion, my friends and teachers treated me as somebody special. My grades were average, I had no extraordinary skills, except that I wrote nice poems. But I got special attention wherever I went. Every year new teachers and new students would talk about me and I would feel like a celebrity.
But fortunately, I was blessed to have my levelheaded mom and confident dad, who helped me settle into a normal life. But my friends and outsiders continued pampering me and making me feel unique. And then came Krish. I fell in love with him head over heels and we made a great couple. He pampered me more than my parents ever did and my life went dreamily. Apart from regular checkups and few participations in medical research, I was absolutely doing fine with both my “Lovely” and “Dupli”, the names I gave to my twin hearts. But one fine day some activist friend of my mother, who worked for an NGO paid us a visit. And the moment she came to know of my unusual configuration, she advised my mother that I must donate one of my healthy heart to a needy.
“Who are they to tell me what to do with my body part. Extra or no extra. They are mine. And would remain so” I protested.
“Absolutely. They will remain so” Krish assured me tying his ski boots.
“You really think so?” I asked skeptically.
“Yes. It’s your heart and you have full right to decide about it.”
“Krish, are you sure you are ok with it?” I asked coming closer to him. I was confident about my decision, but sometimes wondered what he thought about it.
“Absolutely. I love you exactly the way you are. And anyway how many can actually boast that two hearts beat for them “He replied nudging his nose with mine.
“If the lovebirds are over with their coochie- coo, then could we please proceed?” Rajan appeared from nowhere in a shocking neon pink headband.
“How do you manage to put such thing on you Rajan?” I shrieked at his choice.
“Don’t they look awesome?”
“Oh yes, they do! Just that a neon green jacket is missing” I replied with a laugh.
“Is it?” Rajan walked towards the big mirror near the door and looked at his image intently, taking my advice seriously. Krish and I joined him laughing our heart out.
The white mountain welcomed us at the edge of the trail. Our love for skiing had brought us here in Manali at almost every weekend during winters. Rajan was my childhood friend and always made it a point to follow me everywhere like the moon. I sometimes felt crowded and pissed off especially when Krish accompanied me, but nevertheless, he was a sweetheart. We mostly ended up taking his help and missed him when he wasn’t around.
Pointing my skis downhill, I stood on them with knees bent and leaning slightly forward, putting some weight on my poles. And then in a moment, I lifted the poles off the snow and whoa I am sliding down the soft yet sturdy snow. I love skiing. I love the adrenaline rush that follows. Krish was ahead of me and Rajan Behind. We played in the dazzling snow for the entire afternoon and then headed straight to our guest house.
“What are you thinking so deeply?” Kris asked Rajan who was sitting, cupping his face like a Devdas. It was my turn to prepare coffee.
“Arrey yaar! life is a mess. No girl gives me a pass. You are a lucky man.” Rajan lamented in a melodramatic tone.
“Who do you think anyone will even befriend you with all those weird things that you wear and do” I teased him as usual.
“You did Eisha!” Rajan quipped.
“Oh Yes! I am doomed. I agree.”
“Hey! I have an excellent idea! Why don’t you give me your heart?”
“To you??? Rubbish! And anyway I have already given it to my dear Kishu”
“I know. But you have two. Give the extra one to me “
“You are going to get killed by me today …wait,” I said throwing the cushion at him.
“But what I said has logic” He shouted running to escape.
I looked at Krish and found him looking at me fondly. His eyes took my breath once again.
“If I had 100 hearts …. then also I would have given them all to Krish,” I said dreamily sinking deep into his eyes. Kris came closer to me and hugged me tightly.
“Oh my God! The love story has started again! Can someone please save me from all this!” Rajan shouted and we ran behind him with all that we could lay our hands on.
I think it was because of my daring to go around in spaghetti top in the chilling cold, I had a bad headache next morning. So, I asked them to leave me and carry on with their skiing. I took e a hot shower and slept like a log. Krish was reluctant, but for Rajan he went.
The shower worked wonder and I got into a deep sleep. I skipped my lunch but had to wake up when suddenly my mobile rang. I turned it off and tried sleeping again. But it rang again and again. It was an unknown number. Feeling irritated I took the call.
“Eisha….. come soon…. an accident ….”
…..to be continued
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