The Defeat

The Defeat

Year 1990

As Priya walked home after a tiring day at work, she pondered over the advertisement in the newspaper.  It offered a higher pay.  She made up her mind to go for the walk-in interview scheduled for next week. 

Priya and Farhan married six months ago.  Being from different religious backgrounds, Priya’s parents had severed ties with her when she had decided to marry him.

She had left her parents for good and settled with Farhan.  Farhan’s family did not accept her with open arms.  Arguments and blame games were a norm in the dramatic household.

Priya took up an odd job, so that she can contribute to the family.  It was an excuse for her to stay away from the house.  She dreaded staying long under one roof along with her mother-in-law.

Farhan tried hard for an overseas job.  Priya prayed for it to work.  It would provide them with surplus income and help her move out of her hostile in-law’s place.

But fate had other plans.

A few weeks ago, he developed a high fever that did not subside.  After extensive tests, a tumour was detected in his lungs.  He was immediately operated on. The biopsy of the tumour turned out to be malignant, but Farhan was unaware of this.

While thinking of ways to provide for Farhan’s treatments, Priya reached home.

The usual happy face which greeted her every day had vanished. She was welcomed with forlorn eyes.

“You seem different today.  Did you take your medicine?” Priya asked anxiously and rushed to his side.

Farhan replied with a stern face, “You lied to me!”

Did he come to know…

You lied to me. You did not tell me I am dying,” he continued.

“Who told you?” Priya demanded.  

Farhan looked at his mother who was standing near the door.

Priya did not need any answers.  The topic of expenses and an overseas job might have triggered her mother-in-law to give in.

”You have already been operated on.  Now the treatments will work,” Priya consoled.

That night, Farhan cried like a baby.  A person full of life suddenly turned into a body with no zeal.

Priya tried her best to explain that the doctors were hopeful about the treatments.  But somehow, he looked like a defeated person.

She struggled to bring back the old Farhan, but he was shattered.  For the next few days, he hardly smiled or talked.  He would sit near the window for hours, staring into nothing. More than the physical suffering, the agony that Priya would go through was killing him, as she’ll be left all alone.

The chemotherapy sessions drained him.  Farhan lost his appetite.  It was difficult to say what had affected him – the dreadful disease, chemotherapy, awareness of the disease or thoughts of Priya.

Nausea and fever were his new companions.  He started throwing up blood.  Not able to tolerate it anymore, he gave up.

“If only he was not aware of the disease,”  this thought haunted Priya.
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