Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3
The old lady looked tired and frail.
She began, My daughter and son-in-law were happily married. When they gave me the news of Nikhil's birth, I was on seventh heaven. I was with them for quiet sometime. But later I returned to village. I was happy to see the perfect family, grateful to God. I had everything that one wishes. But one day the ugly news shuddered me, the news of accident. I immediately reached my daughter's place. I felt terrible. Only Nikhil survived the accident. Since that day Nikhil is everything for me.The old woman was weeping as she shared the deepest pain that she'd be trying to forget all this years.
Sobbing, she continued, I brought him to village, thinking that time will heal the wounds. But he was just 10. I tried to divert his attention away from the loss but he was too shocked to overcome the situation. He stayed aloof and lost. The accident took a heavy toll on my health too. My health was degrading, sometimes bedridden. I was not able to look after Nikhil properly. I was worried about him, and then I took a decision, of sending him to a nearby city's hostel. A complete wrong decision, a disaster that might be one of the reason what my Nikhil is going through now. The old lady burst into tears, probably holding herself responsible for everything.
She continued with voice choked, she had to pour out the thoughts, to share the guilt, to throw out the indelible feelings that she'd been trying to conceal down in the corner of her heart, she wanted to talk. She continued, He went, but refused to return back my calls or visit me during vacation. I visited him during the vacation but our meetings passed with exchange of few words. I tried to make him talk, but only couldn't. Then he finished his school, I asked him to return but he said he'll work and continue his studies. I got very few calls from him. And then one day, I got another call that shattered me once again. The lady on the phone told me that Nikhil was her paying guest, that he is behaving incoherently and I should take him away. I was furious, I gave the lady piece of my mind and brought Nikhil back.
Doctor interrupted, But why do you thin the boy needs critical medical attention ? With all the troubled circumstances he had been into, we cannot expect the poor child yo be happy go lucky, he might be an introvert who just likes to be with himself. Perhaps he just needs one or two therapeutic sessions.
Even I thought that initial but he had been behaving weirdly, she continued. He talks to himself, as if conversing with someone around, his days are nights and nights are days. The woman's eyes widened with fear, she continued after a long pause, That night when I passed his room, he had all the lights off, i thought he might be asleep, but before I could leave I heard a cry. I rushed and switched on the lights. It was Nikhil. Full of sweat, eyes red, he had curled himself up and was crying like a kid, burbling something. It was terrible. And then, I called you up.
The doctor took his time, thinking, then he said, Lets not jump to conclusion. First I need to meet Nikhil. But before meeting him, is there anyway we could know his side of story, do you know any of his friends ? The old woman nodded helplessly, but suddenly her eyes lightened, he keeps scribbling in one diary, I never dared to read it. I will bring it if you think it will help.
Yes, Please do that, I think that is a better way to understand whats on his mind.
I'll do the first thing tomorrow morning, she said.
The lady left, he lost the count of number of times she thanked him. He assured her that he would do his best to bring Nikhil back to the real world.
To be continued...