Choti Sardarni: A Different Perspective (Chapter 1)
The Accident That Changed it All
It’s dark and windy and under a slowly fading moon night the women runs. She’s running turning back every few seconds, cautiously checking behind her for any figure that follows. She works her way into the woods hoping to find a road that may lead to some safe house. She’s been running for sometime now, she’s tired, thorns have bruised her feet and as she frantically searches for any sign of other people she hears footsteps approaching her. She hides behind a big tree and finds the steps coming closer. She steps on a small branch breaking it, the noise turning the figures attention towards her. She panics and runs! She runs and after clearing a small portion of dense bushes finds herself at the edge of a steep cliff. With nowhere to go she turns around and finds the figure standing behind her. She freezes in her steps. The figure slowly makes his way towards her. Nervously she walks back as the figure begins walking towards her. With every step the figure takes towards her, she takes a step back unaware of her growing closeness to the end of the cliff. With the last step she takes she steps on a rock, losing her balance and her arms flailing she falls off the cliff and….
“MEHERJI”!!!!!!!!! Sarab wakes with an abrupt start screaming his wife name! His breathing heavy and with sweat beads on his forehead he looks around. It’s no-one he thinks. “Meherji. O god, this is the fourth time I saw a dream like this. In every dream I see Meherji in some accident or some dangerous scenario, please don’t make any of these nightmares come true and protect my wife, wherever she is” Sarab closed his eyes and prayed to God as his breathing slowly normalized. His Meherji had been missing for over a month now and while everyone thought she was dead, he knew that the body they found at that village was not his wife. He just knew, there was something in his heart that told him his Meherji was alive. When Sarab tried explaining this to others he knew they considered him mad but he had no way to show them what he felt. He loved his wife, his Meherji more than he could explain in words, she was his life, his happiness, she was a part of his soul, a part of him. He knew that if anything happened to her he would not be able to live. He just couldn’t explain to others that he was living proof that his wife was alive, because if anything had happened to his Meherji he would also be dead. His heart beat for Meherji, every breath he took was for her so how could he be alive and living if anything happened to her. Sarab had decided that it was useless trying to explain his feelings to others, the only other person who seemed to have a slight understanding of his feelings was Kulwant, his mother-in-law. She was the only other person who had hopes of Meherji returning. Sarab, Kulwant and his three kids desperately waited for Meherji to come back.
Sarab got up and walked to the bathroom. He turned on the cold water and let it run before he washed his face. He opened his eyes, his face dripping with water when he saw all of Meher’s items on the bathroom vanity, her face wash, her toothbrush, her moisturizer, her body spray everything was in its spot. Her dupatta still hung on the adjacent towel hanger, Sarab wiped his face and held Meherji’s dupatta, he breathed in her scent and closed his eyes as he remembered their moments together. Sarab had very clearly told every servant in the house to dare not step into his room. He wanted to keep all of Meher’s things exactly how she left it, even her pair of slippers she forgot in the walk in closet which she normally kept in the bathroom. Sarab didnt want to change a thing in the house about Meher. He couldn’t stop the servants and family members from moving things around the house especially because his three kids aren’t aware about their mother. All Sarab told them was that Meher was at a friends house helping them. He didnt want to scare them by yelling at the servants and being adamant about anything. But in their room, Sarab would not change a thing, he won’t let anyone change anything until Meher came back herself. Sarab put back Meher’s dupatta and wiped the tears from his eyes.
“3:24 AM” Sarab walked outside his room and following the long corridor went to check on his kids. He slowly opened the kids bedroom door to find three empty beds, he looked around the scattered toys and slowly knelt at their tents entrance. He moved back the tents fabric and found the three sound asleep hugging one another. Sarab smiled seeing the affection the three had for eachother. Their childhood has not been an easy one with Seher growing up away from the two brothers, but seeing them bond like this swelled his heart with joy, he knew that no matter what happened his kids would always be there for each other. He dread the day his kids would find out about their mother and what he would tell them when they asked where their Meher mumma is. He would have no answer and he couldn’t bear to break their hearts. “Please Meherji, come back soon wherever you are. At least for the kids come back soon.” Sarab pleaded in his heart. He slowly got up and walked back to his room. He tossed and turned in bed and reluctantly got up to take a shower, he knew that sleep would not come anymore and he wouldnt try either, he didnt want to see a nightmare again. He would take a shower and immerse himself in his work, that’s all he could do to keep his mind off things.
“Doctor please come soon, the patients heartbeat is accelerating.” “Again”? the doctor asked? “Yes the nurse replied, please hurry up”. The doctor came and saw the patient, administered an injection to her glucose drip and waited for her heartbeat to become normal again. “What in the world is causing these rapid heart beat accelerations, the doctor asked. In my thirty years in the medical field I have never witnessed this, we’ve done ECGs and Cat scans and everything in her heart and cardiac health is normal, yet this is the fourth time this month where suddenly her heart beat accelerates and then normalizes like nothing happened. “I agree doctor, the nurse said. Its like she senses something and while she physically cannot say anything her heart beats indicate it for her. I also saw slight movement in her fingers the other day. I can understand those being slight muscle spasms but the heart beats is something I just don’t understand.” “Lets prepare to have her shifted to Amritsar Punjab, there is a big cardiology department there, most reputed around, maybe they can explain the irregular heart condition, if it ties into anything maybe it can help her gain conscious. All we’ve heard from her for the past couple days is a slight murmuring of Sara, sarab or something. Maybe if they find something to treat, they can help her get well again. Prepare her transfer documents and I’ll inform the cardiologist there about her transfer.” “Yes doctor the nurse confirmed”.
Unknown that the patient is Meher herself, the doctor and nurse take the first big step in transferring her to the same hospital which Sarab started in her honor, transferring her closer to her home and ironically using the same ambulance service which Meher herself started to help those who have no-one during a time of emergency. Here her fate helps her, as the same ambulance service brings her closer to her Sarabjitji. The only man for whom her heart beats, poetically her heart beats bring her closer to him.
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