That Fateful Night

Priya was constantly looking at the bunch of kids; they were poor yet happy. The smiles on their faces made her happy too. Once again, she couldn’t help but trudge along the nostalgic lane. How could she forget that eventful night; the night that gave her a new lease of life.

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Due to the bad weather, the power supply was cut. With nothing much to do, Priya finished her work early and decided to hit the sac. “Tring, tring’, her mobile rang. As anticipated, it was a call from hospital. “Dr Priya, A patient with severe abdominal pain and vomiting has come in emergency. Our EMO has attended him once. You are requested to come early. Since the weather is not very favorable, we are sending you the ambulance”. Priya passed on certain instructions and started getting ready. The thundering sounds and lightening were literally deafening and scary. No matter how the weather was, a doctor had to carry out her duties.

The ambulance was at her doorsteps. It was a dark, stormy night. The torrential downpour started soon. Almost half the way, she sensed something wrong. She told the driver, “Raghu, stop the ambulance”. Raghu could sense the anxiety in her voice. She instructed him to reverse the vehicle. She ran towards the garbage dump; she was correct! A newborn (umbilical cord was fresh and intact) sans any clothes was lying in the filth. She couldn’t stop wondering, ‘how can the parents be so cruel?’ without wasting further time, she wrapped the baby in her dupatta and rushed to the hospital. Though a doctor herself, she was left perturbed and nervous. She had never faced such turmoil earlier.

Without delay, the baby was sent to intensive care unit for first aid and care. She herself went to emergency room to attend the patient.

When the formalities were completed and the patient was shifted to the medical ICU, she headed straight to the NICU. ‘How the baby would be? I hope she is fine and can be saved’, lots of thoughts were streaming in her mind. “Dr Priya, the baby is critical. She landed in severe hypothermia. Her earlobes have been bitten by ants. Her condition is grave. Let’s wait and watch”, replied the pediatrician. Priya’s heart was weeping; her tears rolled down. ‘Mata Rani, please save this innocent soul. I promise I will take care of her’, pleaded Dr Priya.

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Priya came back to her present. Her eyes were wet. It has been almost a decade since then. Though the newborn couldn’t be saved as she succumbed to her critical condition same night, the incident had left a deep impact on her mind. She had vowed to dedicate her life to that orphanage.

‘Rita, take the samosa, no toffees. Otherwise you know what I will do’.

The whole hall filled with innocent giggles.

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Pooja Gupta

Pooja Gupta is a clinical microbiologist by profession based in Bathinda, Punjab. Her encounter with the pen is a recent one and since then she became completely addicted to it.

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