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Life takes a full circle. Harish came face to face with this harsh reality of life when Anvita's medical file accidentally fell down from the closet. He was dumbstruck and started weeping right there, in the living room. The wounds of losing his wife were still fresh and there he was, reading into the medical papers of his two year old granddaughter, who was diagnosed with a serious heart condition and needed a donor at the earliest. Much to his chagrin and disdain the news was true. He read the file over and again until the bitter reality sunk in.
Sujata, his wife and soul mate, had suffered a fatal stroke a few months ago and had succumbed on the way to the hospital. Her death had shattered him completely. Her loss was a big blow to his existence. Ever since, he felt incomplete without her, as if a part of his own soul was gone far away. Without her, his children were the only hope of his survival and Anvita was his life line! It was after a long time today that he was overcome with tranquility. As if the time to reunite with his beloved wife was not too far away!
He was in a state of trance and jolted himself back to reality, wiping his tears . He had drawn a mental plan but unfortunately did not have much time to execute it. Thus, he had to get moving fast to save his little angel from the clutches of death, and that's a promise he made to himself!
Aashirwad, Shruti and Anvita arrived home a little after sunset. They were visibly tired and stressed. His son and daughter-in-law had kept Anvita's medical condition a secret from him. They were concerned about his deteriorating health after Sujata's demise. Little did they know that Harish had opened the Pandora's box and the secret was out. Harish was now a man on a mission.
They greeted each other with pleasantries as usual but Shruti sensed an unsettling silence in his eyes. That night when they sat for dinner, he wanted to shower a volley of questions but opted otherwise. There was a peculiar quietness between them and none had the heart to pour out their anguish and pain. On his part he was deeply pained to think about the physical trauma Anvita had to endure and the emotional torture his son and daughter-in-law had to bear. His helplessness smirked at him but he had no choice. He was a loving grandfather and doted on his little princess Anvita, who was all that mattered to him from tonight!
Post dinner he left for his customary evening walk and no sooner did he settle on the bench, he broke into a violent fit of sobs. He allowed himself the luxury to cry like a new born baby, something he had refrained from doing even when he his last farewell to his late wife. The pain trickled down through his eyes and he made no efforts to contain it. He was burning with fury within, which was quite apparent.
He closed his eyes. Memories and nostalgia flashed past. His vivid imagination plunged him down the memory lane. Suddenly he had that long lost smile back on his lips. His life played like a series of bitter sweet events that captured him one after the other. It was getting too overbearing for him and he forced open his eyes to break the spell. He looked at the stars above and remembered the times when he and Sujata would sit on the same bench, fingers entangled in each other, gaze transfixed at the sky, enjoying the silence and each other's company.
But today even Sujata couldn't hold his thoughts back that drifted towards Anvita. There will be a new beginning for her and soon, he thought to himself. Then, he dialed a number and a long animated conversation followed, after, which he headed home.
Harish followed his evening routine of stroll and animated call for the next one month. During the day, he would spend ample time with Anvita and fulfill all her silly demands, even if they were beyond his reach! This was strange but Aashirwad and Shruti were too consumed with their search for a heart donor that they failed to take notice.
Aashirwad and Shruti loved and respected him and he reciprocated their sentiments. Ever since her birth, Anvita had become the undisputed queen of his heart. Of late he felt overburdened by the miseries of his children and his incompetency to be able to do nothing, until one night the conversation was no more animated and a lot more intense. Finally, it was liberation time.
That night, he returned home a little early than usual and went straight to meet Anvita and then her parents. Later, he silently locked himself in him room until the clock struck 4 am. He was not the same restless Harish anymore. Calm and composed, he said his last prayer before surrendering himself to fate.
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
Aashirwad's phone was ringing continuously. It was 4:30 am and he was surprised to receive a call from Anvita's doctor at this wee hour. As soon as he heard his words, he jumped out of his bed with a shriek and rushed towards his father's room. He pushed open the door and was horrified to find his father lying unconscious. By then Shruti and Anvita too had woken up and had joined him. They were perplexed and before Aashirwad could explain anything, the ambulance arrived. The three of them jumped into the van along with Harish, who appeared to be sleeping peacefully. However, Aashirwad rushed to his daughter's room to fetch the envelop as instructed by her doctor.
Along the way, the three of them prayed for his well being until Aashirwad tore open the envelop to read his father's last words on that letter.
I have seen the pain, which death unleashes upon its fury, very closely. I have lived through the pain of losing my dear ones and can't allow that to happen anymore. I have lived my life and am blessed to have you all as my family. I strongly believe it's time for you to live life and cherish it. Thus, I can't let anything, even death, take away your joys and peace. I love Anvita and will continue to do so beyond all worldly barriers. I am embracing death today so that my little princess can live tomorrow. No one should be blamed, as the decision is mine and mine alone. In any case, even after my death, I will continue to live through the heartbeats of my little doll after her transplant surgery.
Be brave and strong. No tears and wailing. I hate tears, you know that!
Love you all.
The letter was as much a shocker for Aashirwad as it was for Shruti. It was only after Anvita's doctor spilled the beans that they were able to piece the strings together. Harish had planned to consume a cocktail of medicines that would render him brain dead so that his heart could then be transplanted into his young granddaughter! Harish had shared this idea with him a month ago. No matter how much he tried to convince Harish, he was in no mood to relent. He was adamant to be the donor that her parents were looking for!
A week after the incident, the team of doctors at the hospital gave their nod for the transplant.
Once again a family was left on the crossroads between grief and happiness. Today, yet again a father had blessed his children even in his death!
Thank you for your patience and valuable time. Appreciate your feedback and comments!