The castle stood tall and majestic with its towers almost kissing the night skies. A fairy-like atmosphere lingered all over it; with its mysterious bluish-grey tinge and where the rightful king of the night seemed to have a sort of conflict with the cloudy skies.
Ashwin had been admiring this beautiful piece of art for quite some time. A heaviness hung over him. This was her latest art in her collection. Her artistry was so perfect it almost looked like a photo. But, how come he didn’t know? Of course, he could still remember the huge outburst for the Art&Sculpture course which she wanted to opt as her profession. But, even though he was in awe of Van Gogh or Picasso or Ravi Varma, sending his own kid for pursuing a similar art was a bit unacceptable for Ashwin. Especially when he himself was a respectable neurosurgeon. Coming from a family of renowned doctors, he felt that Niharika should also follow her family’s profession. Even now, he could vouch for her natural instincts from her tender age. But she had claimed otherwise. She had tried to put forward arguments stating how she was empathetic and could always be helpful to anyone in need, but being a surgeon was not her dream.
“It’s horrible, Dad!… All those pain, tears and blood. I won’t survive even”. Those were her words.
“Niharika, even I was scared at first but see me now. Also, it’s not just tears and blood, These are lives that you’ll be saving and their gratitude”
“Come on Dad, I’m not denying any of these. I’m proud of who you are. All I’m saying is I’m not cut out for that”.
Niharika was intelligent and brilliant in her studies. The whole family had been proud of how her merit gained her a position as a med-student in one of the most prestigious medical institutes in the country. But, was she happy? Ashwin tried hard to remember. He was there, by her side as a proud father when accolades came by her way, whenever she made her family proud. But he didn’t know that she still pursued her childhood hobby. She spent most of her time at the university campus. Her homecoming was always short-lived which was definitely expected- she had to keep up with the rigorous studies and continuous research papers. Ashwin himself had gone through all these to become what he is now. But, her room and her mind definitely had a place for colours and palettes in addition to her medical books – he realised with a pang.
It was just a week back that she did her solo surgery and it was successful. Much appreciation was coming her way. Their friends decided to have a celebration. And she was happy to oblige- after all, the first surgery would be the most memorable for her entire life and moreover, the patient was safe…But, she never reached the restaurant for their get-together. Because hardly a kilometre far from the restaurant, she was thrown off the road by a speeding ambulance which had a critical patient. By the time she was surrendered to medical care, there wasn’t much that any mortal interference could do to revive her.
Ashwin was still staring at her pictures and her amazing drawings. He was feeling bitter. All he could think was of the conversation they had years before when he forced her to take up this noble profession. If he had allowed her to have her way, would she have died so soon? He forced her to become an amazing doctor and when she lay on the road bleeding profusely gasping for air, her own family of doctors or even the medical fraternity just a few metres from her couldn’t help her. Was he wrong? Did he bring about her early death? He didn’t have an answer. To see the death of one’s own child was the worst that could happen to any. In his medical profession, he had seen this happen to many and he had felt bad over that but for the first time, he felt the pain- cruel and cold.
Ashwin and his eldest son had been in her room on the campus for the past four hours. They were clearing the room of her belongings. It was difficult to accept that she is no more. It was more difficult to be surrounded by all whom she cared for, and without her. They could leave the campus to their home with her belongings – a home where she would never be returning. While leaving, a very senior doctor approached them and handed them a handwritten letter. It was a letter to Dr Niharika from the ten-year-old son of the patient whom she had saved. ‘Thank you, Dr Niharika. You saved my Mum. May God bless you abundantly”. The words were getting blurred – his tears were clouding his sight.
Instantly, he realised- there is no right or wrong. This had to happen- she lived a happy life, she was a good daughter, loving sister, trustworthy, a brilliant surgeon, her patient had to be saved, Niharika had to die, her organs gave life to some more. She shouldn’t have died so soon but whatever time she had, she lived it perfectly. Now, he’ll do his part. She’s not someone who’s to be forgotten- she’ll live now through her paintings. The world will see her art.
For the first time ever since she left, he felt relief in him as the evening breeze caressed his tear-streaked face. He could feel her smiling, caring face nodding in agreement from the other side.
Thank You For Reading.😊
Note: This post was written in response to What Do You See#35 hosted by Sadje. Thank You Sadje 🙂 The challenge is to write an original story, poem, or a caption. from the given picture)