'You'll never change'
Arihant saw the equipment which made the alarm and to his confusion it was the pulse reading meter which showed 89. His mind was confused as he remembered that for a child the heart does beat faster than normal adults. He rechecked the meter and suddenly he saw something odd. On the right of the number he saw the alphabets ‘m’ ‘p’ ‘h’. His eyebrows arched, forehead folded, pupil widened, jaws tightened and there he saw the speedometer of his car racing fast beyond 89 mph and his head turned up to see that he had gone into the exit ramp.
Arihant stiffened, hands locked on the steering wheel trying to veer away the car out of danger. He made one mistake. He pushed the breaks too hard and the car rolled over in the ramp several times. It hit a food sign board and flipped over on the nearby grass. With agonizing pain his eyes saw the colorful candy bars glittering in the light of his broken car. His view turned red with the blood from his broken head covering his eyes. His vision narrowed and he became unconscious.
Thirty minutes later he heard faint sounds of the same jargon he did not understand in his dream. Slowly with excruciating pain in his head he slowly opened his eyes. The vision widened to see streaks of white lights moving like the lane streaks on the road. Then he saw the face of a man whose head was shining like gold in the passing light over them. Arihant tried to laugh seeing the shine on the bald man’s head. The doc asked him questions which puzzled Arihant as he heard the voice of the man but couldn’t see his lips move. All he saw was a green cloth moving like the lips of the doc. Slowly the colors became black and white and he went back into the unconscious state.
2 days later he woke up in the ICU to see the children whom he dreamt sitting with their hands on their cheeks. It was so cute, that he forgot his anesthetic bliss and called them using a child’s voice. Everybody smiled and ran to his bed and started shouting in a mayhem. Arihant was very happy and laughed using his 14 broken teeth with his breath whistling through teeth holes. Everybody were in a raucous laughter. Suddenly the lady in his dream appeared and she said, ‘Children be quiet and do not disturb your uncle. Now as he is awake you can go and take some rest.’ Arihant gave a pleasing smile to the lady and said, ‘How are you doing Mrs. Swami?’ for which she replied, ‘Not as happy as you are because I had to be worried over your life.’ Arihant’s eyes followed around the room and with a questioned cut forehead he asked Mrs. Swami, ‘Where is your daughter Hasni?’
‘Your friend is playing happily in Heaven with the angels who rescued you now’
Arihant’s eyes immediately filled with tears, but he stopped his tears from flowing seeing the other children showing concern.
‘Hasni is very happy children and she is worried that you do not take your medicines properly and that you don’t sleep on time. Playtime is only for those children who are good with the doctors and nurses’
All the children immediately started to run frantically and Arihant and Mr. Swami understood that they are going to their beds. Mrs. Swami laughed and she said,
‘You always have a way to make things out of even the worst incidents for these children’
‘I am sorry about your loss Mrs. Swami’, he said.
‘She wanted to see you more than me before she had her sleep’, she replied with the voice of concern.
‘I wish I had been beside when she needed me the most’, with a croaky voice as his tears flowed out instantly.
‘She is watching you Ari and she won’t be happy if she sees you crying’, saying this she wiped her tears.
‘OK leave it. As you were brought into the hospital, the doc asked you some questions. Do you know what you said to him?’, she asked with a tinge of smirk on her face.
‘I don’t remember, what had I done now?’, Arihant asked with concern.
Mrs. Swami smiled and replied, ‘When he asked you if you had any allergies, you mumbled…’ ‘You have a ground over your head. I don’t see children playing in it. I am allergic to such sights’
Ari replied with his whistling laughter, ‘That’s definitely me there’
Mrs. Swami continued, ‘The doc laughed along with the other nurses and asked you if you are diabetic for which you mumbled…’ ‘I am diabetic to the sweetness of others laughter. I am running low on sweetness now. Can you move your facial apron and smile?’
Ari felt a pain in his stomach and that was caused of his laughter.
Mrs. Swami continued…, ‘Then the doc encouraged you saying that you won’t die for which you replied…..’ ‘I know it’ ‘and then you became unconscious.’
Mrs. Swami stopped laughing and asked Arihant, ‘The doc said that you were very confident when you said that you knew you won’t die. With a broken spine, multiple fractures in your right leg and 4 broken ribs and a puncture wound, you were a little over confident. What made you say that?’
Ari’s face became calm and with a glow in his eyes he replied, ‘I wouldn’t have died that moment coz I was happy that moment. I shall take the sadness which fills the eyes of these children and certain other men to my grave. But I shall make sure that they have a happy sleep.’
Mrs. Swami’s eyes were wet, but with a curve on her lips she said, ‘You’ll never change.’
‘If I had changed then the world would never be the same’, Ari replied.
Mrs. Swami shook her head, ‘You’ll never change, you’ll never change’ and she tugged the sheets over the shivering body of Ari.
3 weeks later, Ari sat near the bed of Rocky who slept peacefully with happiness filling his face. Ari kissed his forehead, rubbed Rocky’s hair and said, ‘Play good my dear 6 year old friend. Say hi to Hasni for me and don’t forget me’