Choti Sardarni: A Different Perspective (Chapter 2)
The Accident That Changed it All II
“Bzzzz, Bzzzz, Bzzzz” the alarm on Sarab’s watch went off, he checked the time and saw it was 6:15 AM. He touched his watch to turn off the alarm and began gathering his things and putting away his laptop. Sarab had inadvertently turned his home study into a full fledged office. While partly was because of Covid restrictions and he didn’t want anyone from his office to travel or go anywhere unnecessarily and to avoid getting sick, mostly for Sarab it was for his kids. Until Meher didn’t come back, he didn’t want his kids to be alone or even be slightly sad longing for their parents. He knew that he couldn’t make up the void their Meher mumma left in their lives but he would make sure to overcompensate and do everything he possibly could to keep them happy. Sarab had set alarms on his watch throughout the day with reminders of the kids schedule and everything he had to do for them. From waking them up, their time to eat, their class timings and school events schedule even their naps and play time was set on his watch. It reminded him of the time Meher went to her maternal home when she was pregnant with Karan. He felt lost then without her and he felt lost now, the alarms reminded Sarab to put aside his work and go to his kids. He had become a sort of machine now, with the kids he faked a smile and pretended to be happy when they were not around he was back to his reclusive self. He didn’t plan anything for his days anymore, his days began and ended with the kids, when they were busy doing their things he would work, that’s all he’s been doing for the past month, work and more work. Normally he himself would be sleeping as Meher was always the one to wake up both him and the kids, but for the past month now Sarab didn’t sleep much, if he got 4 hours of sleep that was good and all of it showed on his health. He had lost his luster and his health was being affected everyone could see it but him, he just didn’t care anymore. Sarab put all his files and papers aside and saw that he had time for a quick shower before waking the kids up.
Even the walk to his room was painful for Sarab, from the curtains to the flowers everything reminded him of Meher. He even contemplated moving to his farm house for some time but quickly ignored the idea, “what if Meherji comes back and doesn’t find me here” he thought. “No, I’m going to stay here with my kids and keep looking for Meherji, no matter how long it takes, no matter how much it pains to be alone”. Sarab took a quick shower and walked to his walk in closet, seeing Mehers clothes he sadly smiled to himself. “When you come back Meherji you’ll have to change my name” he said taking out his clothes. I no longer spend hours in the washroom so you cant call me Mr. Jatt in Toilet anymore” Sarab said as he brushed his hands on Meher’s clothes. “you can always call me whatever you like, anything you say sounds sweet to me, just come back..please come back” Getting a hold of himself Sarab checked the time and saw it was already 6:50 AM, he quickly went to the kitchen and found the chef Ajayji to make sure breakfast was ready. “Ajayji, is everything ready for the kids” “Yes sir, Ajay replied. I’ve made parathas, milkshakes, and a fruit salad.” “Please have some pastries made as well, Seher and Param like the strawberry ones but Karan will only eat the blueberry ones so have them both made in case they don’t want parathas. I’ll go wake them up and have them ready by 7:30 so please make sure breakfast is nice and hot for them”. “What should I make for you sir, as Harleen ma’am and Robby sir are out of town, you are the only other person eating, should I make your favorite continental breakfast, you haven’t had that in a while” asked Ajay concerned. Ajayji had forgotten the last time Sarab had asked him to make something for himself, even if Ajayji made something for him Sarab busy with work, often forgot to eat and left the food untouched at the table. “No Im fine Ajayji, whatever the kids don’t eat I’ll have some of that, but please don’t forget to make something for yourself and the other house helps” Sarab said and patted Ajayji’s shoulder before walking away. Sarab wasn’t much of a cook himself but the least he could do is plan the meals for the kids, Sarab gave Ajayji a list of the kids breakfast, lunch and dinner options and throughout the week they would choose what to make from the list.
“hahhah, heeheh hahha” walking to the kids room Sarab smiled as he heard giggling from the door. “Kids he called out. Good morning its time to wake up” And as soon as he opened the door the giggling stopped. This was a morning tradition on most days, the kids would be up playing and laughing before Sarab came but as soon as they heard him open the door they would pretend to be asleep. “Ohh Param, Karan and Seher are still sleeping. So where did the giggling come from?” Sarab pretended as he slowly walked to the kids. “Was it a fairy” he said tickling Seher. “Papa” yelled Seher awake with a laugh “or is it some superhero” he said tickling Karan next waking him up laughing “or it must be the super Big B” Said sarab tickling Param next. “papa, stop” said the kids between their laughter. “how do you always know we are awake papa” asked Seher innocently. “yea, you always sneak in and then tickle us until we jump out of the bed” said Karan laughing. “Papa knows we’re awake, kind of like how Mumma always knows about us, right Papa” asked Param. “Exactly! Before going to her friends house, your Meher mumma told me everything about you little devils” said Sarab as he picked up Karan and put him over his shoulder “and how to wake you up. She warned me beforehand that in order to get a few extra minutes of play time you three always pretend to sleep. But now we’ve had enough sleep and play and need food in our tummies. Look Karans tummy is already growling, “Gaah gaah, gaah” Sarab slightly picked at Karans tummy. “hahahh he laughed”. “but before we eat, we need to..” Sarab paused signaling the kids “shower and pray to Babaji” finished the kids laughing. Sarab led them to the bathroom and got the three showered and ready one by one.
“The room’s empty” said Fateh. “What” asked Tejo “but how you said you brought the women to this hospital didn’t you” she asked? “I did and I come here everday to check if she’s regained consciousness or not but shes not there today. Let me ask the nurse if she knows.” Walking across the hospital’s hallway to the nurse’s desk in the middle Fateh asks “excuse me Nurse, do you know where the women in the middle room went, she was here yesterday and now the room is empty. “Which women” asked the nurse. “The young women in the middle room there, Fateh pointed to room. She had an accident and I brought her here a couple weeks back. She was very weak so she was unconscious, the doctor said to wait for her recovery and that hopefully in the coming days she should be better and will wake up. She’s not there anymore.” “I’m sorry I just started my shift and the room has been empty since I came, do you have a name of the patient and I can check the system” she asked. “No I don’t have a name, I have a photo of her on my phone though you must have seen her, I took it to post on my social media in hopes of finding someone who knows her” Fateh showed the nurse a pic of Meher “ah yes her, I asked about her this morning, they found some weird heart accelerations and some hand movements so they transferred her to Amristsar Punjab early this morning. I have the hospitals address where she is going if you’d like” the nurse said kindly. “Yes please, Id really appreciate it” replied Fateh. “Are you really going to Amritsar” asked Tejo walking up behind him. “I don’t know, but I feel like I should. I’m the only one who knows about her, even her family has no clue where she is and no one around here has ever seen her. What if she wakes up and doesn’t find anyone, imagine how scary that will be for her. I wanted you to meet her but she already left.” “Fateh you have a photo of her on your phone show me that” “Oh I completely forgot” he said, “wait I’ll show you.” As Fateh opens his phone the screen goes black. “Damit! My phone died.” “what now” asked Tejo. “will you come with me to Amristsar, I’m going to drive there now, I have a charger in the car, once the phone is back up I’ll show you her pic.” “well if I’m coming with you I might as well see her in person” replied Tejo. “that’s also true” smiled Fateh, “lets go”. Walking out of the hospital towards their car, they both quickly left for Amritsar. Talking to Tejo on their drive to the other hospital, Fateh doesn’t realize when his phone is back on with Meher’s pic in the middle console. Immersed in her talks with Fateh, Tejo also doesn’t see his phone and on they go in their journey as the phone locks soon after.
“alright kids” says Sarab getting them up and handing them their back packs and art kits. “We have finished breakfast and now its time for your online courses. Here you go Seher, Karan and Param here is your robotics kit.” “yay! Papa its here already but you said delivery would take a week” “yes” replied Sarab kneeling down to his son, “but your robotics class starts today so Papa drove down to the shop yesterday evening and picked it up himself.” “Thank you Papa smiled Param while giving Sarab a hug, P for Param loves you Papa” “aww and Papa loves you all too” replied Sarab while embracing all his kids” Beep. Beep. Beep. The noise brought all four out of their hug and as Sarab touched the reminder on his watch he led the kids to the stairs “come on now he said, its time for your class go upstairs and Ajay uncle will bring your lunch for you, make sure to have your lunch then your afternoon nap and then after finishing your homework you can play. Papa will see you later” “Bye Papa, we love you!” the three yelled laughing and running up the stairs.” “Careful slowly” said Sarab. Checking his schedule for the day Sarab walked to the study to get ready for his meetings for the day. Sarab was glad that their schooling was online now due to Covid and that they spent most of their time home, often times throughout the days he’d go and peek into their room to find them taking a nap or playing and the sight of them warmed his heart. He knew If it weren’t for the kids either he would’ve become sick working all the time or gone mad thinking about his Meherji. Even now there isn’t a second when Sarab doesn’t remember Meher but with the kids his mind and attention is diverted, even if its only for some time. Sarab had been getting a weird feeling for the past couple days. An unknown feeling but he knew it had to do with Meher, Sarab felt like she was calling him, like she was nearby but he felt helpless as he didn’t understand what to do. All Sarab could do was pray to God, pray for Meherji’s safe return and pray for the strength and knowledge to find her if she’s nearby.
“How much longer Fateh” asked Tejo. “We’re almost there, we’ve entered Amritsar and the hospital isn’t much far away. As the women has been transferred to the cardiac department it wont be too hard to find her” Fateh replied. After driving for another few minutes, their car entered the hospital parking. Fateh and Tejo quickly walked inside the hospital, signing in at the front desk they followed the long hallway and signs up ahead leading to the cardiology department. Stopping in his tracks Fateh held his hand on his forehead “oh god! I forgot my phone in the car, mom and dad don’t know I’m here in Amritsar if someone calls and I don’t pick up they’ll be worried unnecessarily. I’ll run and be right back.” “wait said Tejo stopping Fateh, I’ll go get your phone, till then you should go and find out about the women, see what room she’s in” “that also sounds good” replied Fateh handing Tejo the car keys. Walking outside the car, Tejo could hear Fateh’s phone ringing with Mom written on the screen. “Fateh’s mom is calling, if I don’t pick up she’ll be worried”. Quickly fumbling with the keys Tejo opened the car and just as she was sliding her finger on the phone to pick up the call, the call got disconnected. As Tejo slid her finger she accidentally unlocked the phone to reveal a photo of Meher unconscious at the hospital. “Meher”?!! exclaims Tejo while looking at the photo in shock. Is this the young women Fateh wanted me to meet, she’s the one who’s unconscious who’s family Fateh is trying to find, she’s the one who I’m here to meet today, but this is Meher thought Tejo. Sarabjits wife, she’s alive and poor Sarabjit is grief stricken with no idea about her. Sarabjit is looking all over for Meher, his family thinks she’s dead and she’s here, she’s alive! Its Sarabjits wife, the women who Fateh is helping is Sarabjits wife! Stunned at the revelation by putting the pieces together Tejo screams “OMG Fateh” as she ran back inside the hospital to inform Fateh.
Shocked and stunned at the situation it takes Tejo a few seconds to notice Fateh’s phone ringing again, “Mom”. Tejo contemplated on whether she should pick up the phone or not but decided to go ahead with it anyways. She explained to his mother that Fateh and her were in Amritsar helping a friend and how she didn’t have to worry about anything. She didn’t want to give details and have her worry so she quickly ended the call stating an emergency. Still stunned Tejo frantically looks around searching for Fateh and bumps into someone around the corner almost falling down herself. “I’m so sorry” she said turning around to find Fateh as he holds her from falling. “Fateh!” Screams Tejo with her breathing heavy she takes a few quick deep breaths before quickly sharing with Fateh her recent discovery. As Fateh listens in shock “You know her! You found her home!” Exclaims Fateh happily while pulling Tejo in a hug. Both of them happily rejoicing, happy at the fact that they were able to complete a family once again. Happy that now the young women has a name and a home and they know who to inform. Akwardly breaking their hug they stand and smile at their recent accomplishment. “Now we just have to inform Sarabjitji” states Tejo happily. “But you know him right” asks Fateh. “Fateh not just me but everyone in Punjab knows Sarabjit Singh Gill and honestly everyone knows his wife Meher Kaur Gill as well. If she was in any hospital around here, her family would’ve known by now. Their relationship, their love, their trust everyone in Punjab knows about them. They are an ideal couple and equally as famous, they love their family but love the people of Punjab just as much. They’ve done a lot for Punjab and its people, even this hospital we’re standing in is in Meher’s honor. I’m happy that we were able to help Sarabjit for once, he’s always busy helping others, its high time someone helped him. “Wait there is a small issue” said Fateh. “Meher has regained consciousness” he stopped slowly. “How is that an issue, that’s even better” said Tejo. “Yes that’s great but the issue here is that she’s not here.” “What” asked Tejo stunned. “Meher is not here” replied Fateh slowly.
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