Anushka collapsed into the nearby chair. It was more than what she could take. Her husband was no more. She had known him for just a year because her marriage was paradigmatic Indian matrimony. But all the love that he showered on her had a millennium’s depth.
Tears cascaded down her blanch cheeks. She buried her head in her hands. Her heart couldn’t swallow the fact of Manav’s death. ” It’s just a nightmare” , she told herself. But she had to take it. It was reality.
Dr.Lakshmi’s eyes too were welled up. She walked towards Anushka.
” We tried our level best dear. But all our efforts were in vain. He had to succumb to his injuries”, said Dr. Lakshmi, weeping. ” His car collided with another car. There were three others in that car, a dad, mom and child. The dad met a spot death. The mom, child and Manav were brought here. Manav’s last call was to your number, so we called you. We couldn’t find any details about the mom and child. The police will definitely find out.”
Anushka lifted her tear streaked face. ” What about the child and mom, doctor?”
” The mother too died. The child hasn’t got much afflictions. But..”
” But what doctor?”
” On her deathbed, the mother told us about the congenital heart disease her child is suffering from. They were rushing with the cherub to the hospital. The child needs an immediate heart transplantation else, else he will expire.”
Anushka clapped her hands to her mouth. Another death. And that too of a child, an innocent child. Thoughts danced rapidly in her mind. She gave it a cross thought. ‘How could the child live without his parents? In that case, isn’t death better?’. But she erased it away fast.
” Can Manav’s heart save the child doctor?”, she asked the doctor.
Tears rolled down the doctor’s pale face. Apparently, that was what the doctor wanted to tell her. But Anushka-
“Yes it can. This mercy you show can save that child’s life”, said Dr.Lakshmi, wearing a twinkling smile in her woebegone face. ” This is a legal matter. You would have to sign here to show your consent”, she continued, producing a paper and a pen. Anushka grabbed the pen firmly and signed her consent.
Dr. Lakshmi made all the arrangements for the surgery.
The surgery was successful. The child’s life had been saved. The police had gathered information about the family and some of their family friends had been brought to the hospital. According to what they told, the mom’s name was Sameera and the dad’s name was Abraham and they were from Kerala. Sameera had eloped, just a day before her arranged marriage, with her neighbor Abraham, who belonged to a different religion. Since then, their families had indulged in a conflict and neither of them maintained contacts with Sameera or Abraham. They settled in Bangalore and soon got a child, Johan, who was born with CHD.
Meanwhile, Manav’s and Anushka’s family members too reached the hospital.
Anushka got into the room to see the five year old Johan breathing his normal life. She shed tears of joy upon seeing him breathing safe.
Dr. Lakshmi patted on her shoulders and beamed.
” Doctor, we have saved little Jo’s life. But wouldn’t it be meaningless if he has to live without his parents?”, Anushka asked.
“In that case, can I adopt him?”
Dr. Lakshmi’s face brightened up like the sun. She was not expecting this.
She replied in a saccharine voice, ” You are a magnanimous soul. We will do the legal procedures fast”. Her voice was enhanced with respect.
Jo’s eyes had a special dazzle. His face fitted a beautiful smile. He had a sweet fragrance. He had Manav in himself, in his heart and in his name- Johan Manav. He had become Anushka’s son. On this day, an year back her life had taken a complete new turn.
She drew Jo closer to her and lifted him up, pressing her ears on his chest. She listened to the heart beat, the pounding of Manav’s heart. She shed glimmering tears, her cusps of love and planted a kiss on Jo’s cheek.