A Sweet Revenge
A Sweet Revenge
The car sped through the dark night, it's headlights flashing, warning the incoming traffic and Trina as well. She knew that she was driving too fast and needed to slow down immediately. She noticed a roadside bar and stopped her car in front of it with a screech. A uniformed gateman gently offered to park the car for her while she entered the bar. She ordered a large gin with chicken kebabs and green salad. It would take more than a few large pegs to pacify her disturbed mind. She recalled her conversation with her mother that morning.
- "Arjun is suffering from leukaemia."
- "Who told you that?"
- "His mother called me today."
- "Really? How shameless of her!"
- "Don't say like that dear. She was crying over the phone."
- "Why are you telling me all this Ma?"
- "Why shouldn't I? After all he was once your...."
- "We are divorced Ma! I have nothing to do with him anymore."
- "I...I know that dear. I'm sorry."
"Anyway, why should we bother? His family is rich enough to arrange for a bone marrow transplant."
"Do you think they are not trying? But it's difficult find a donor with that blood group. Feel so bad for his parents. Arjun is their only son."
"I've to leave now Ma. It's getting late for the university. Please pass me my purse."
"Sure dear. Here it is."
Trina remained unmindful throughout the day. The news she received from her mother disturbed her mind. She tried to maintain her calm without much success. She was shocked to realize that she still nurtured a soft corner for Arjun.
Trina met Arjun during her college days. He was two years her senior. Soon they became friends and then lovers. After romancing for five years they decided to get married.
The first two years of their marriage was heaven. Arjun's parents loved Trina like their own daughter. They did not object when she decided to accept the job of assistant professor in a reputed private university.
After two years Trina became pregnant.
Trouble began when Trina's in-laws demanded that she undergo an ultrasonography test to know the gender of her baby. Trina outright refused.
"I don't care whether it's a girl or a boy. I just want my child to be healthy and normal."
"We all want that Trina," said her father-in-law. "But it's equally important to have a son who would continue our family."
"What if it's a girl?" asked Trina.
"It's still early. We can easily arrange for an abortion."
Trina couldn't believe her ears. She looked at Arjun expecting that he would protest. But his stony silence proved that he was with his parents. She realized that she would have to fight this on her own.
"Prenatal sex discernment is illegal and a punishable offense in India. I shall never do it," said Trina with finality in her voice.
Her in-laws put on a lot of pressure but she was adamant. Arjun even requested her parents to put some 'sense into her head', but regarding this issue they strongly supported their daughter.
In due time Tinni was born. Trina's in-laws visited the hospital on the day of her delivery but after learning that the baby was a girl they quietly left and never visited again. Arjun came to see her in the evenings but it was obvious that he was not happy. He barely stayed for fifteen minutes, during which he never cared to even look at Tinni. Trina was hurt but she was determined not to show it in front of Arjun. Her parents, who visited the hospital everyday, gave her the emotional support she strongly needed.
Arjun had a talk with Trina a day before she was discharged from the hospital.
"Trina, I think you should stay with your parents for a few months to recover. My Mom has certain health issues. I don't think she can help you much in rearing the baby."
"Did you talk to my father?" asked Trina.
"I'll talk to him today."
Trina's parents happily accepted Arjun's proposal.
The next day Arjun dropped Trina and Tinni at his in-laws' place. But he never returned to take them back. Instead he filed for a divorce accusing Trina of adultery, claiming the child was not his. A shocked Trina, who was still suffering from post-delivery weakness, fought the case to give legitimacy and justice to her daughter. A DNA test was done which proved that Tinni was undoubtedly Arjun's daughter.
Trina signed the divorce papers but she refused to accept alimony from a heartless man who disowned his own child just because she was a girl. She decided to bring up her daughter on her own, without any financial help from anyone.
All these happened fourteen years back. Within the course of time Tinni grew up to be a pretty teenaged girl. She was a bright student and was working hard to do well in her Class 10 Board Exams in the following year. Trina completed her PhD and became a full-time professor and Arjun married again.
Roma's voice broke Trina's reverie.
"What's the matter dear?" asked Trina's friend-cum-colleague. "You look tired."
"I'm okay," replied Trina. "Just got some bad news about an old acquaintance."
"Want to tell me about it?"
"Yes. But I have a class right now. Let's talk in the afternoon."
Trina tried to read Roma's mind as she sipped her Cappuccino. Roma, who was doing her PhD in Psychology, understood her better than anyone else. Hence she depended on her opinion. At long last Roma broke her silence.
"You can save him, can't you?"
"I...I don't get you Roma. What do you mean?"
"Skip the drama Trina. You perfectly know what I mean."
"No, I don't! And neither do I need to know!"
"Think about it Trina. A hasty decision may lead to a leisurely penitence."
"What is there to think about? Have you forgotten how they treated us?"
"They were inhuman. But you can be human."
"Well...I can't promise anything."
"That'll do dear."
Trina finished her third peg of gin and decided to accept Roma's proposal and play the Savior.
THREE WEEKS LATER
Reputed Oncolist Dr Louis Robinson was having a conversation with Indian Hematologist Dr Abhijit Banerjee in the former's chamber at Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, USA.
"Congratulations Dr Robinson," said Dr Banerjee, "for another successful bone marrow transplant."
"Thanks buddy, that was a close case," replied Dr Robinson. "The patient's O negative blood group posed a real problem. It was lucky that his family managed to get a donor at the last moment."
"The donor is his own daughter," said Dr Banerjee.
"I know," said Dr Robinson. "She has inherited her father's O negative blood group. That's very lucky for him."
"Undoubtedly," said Dr Banerjee. "More so because his son's blood group didn't match with his blood group at all."
"No wonder," said Dr Robinson. "The boy has not been fathered by him."
- "Indeed? But how can you be so sure?"
- "Father and son's DNA reports did not match."
- "Dr Robinson, I have a request to you. Please don't tell the patient anything about this."
- "I won't. But what if he sees the reports?"
- "I...I will ask his wife to destroy them."
- "Do you know her?"
- "Yes. She's a distant cousin of mine. The poor girl suffered a lot before she had her son."
- "How's that?"
- "Her family forced her to undergo three abortions after learning that she was carrying female babies. They only wanted a son for their family."
- "Unbelievable! But how did you come to know about all this?"
- "Sanchita...I mean the patient's wife told me. We've been close since childhood days."
- "I see. Dr Banerjee, may I take the liberty to guess that you are the biological father of her son?"
- "I...it was just an accident!"
- "I understand. Serves them right. Don't worry, your secret is safe with me."
- "Thank you doctor."
- "You're welcome."
- "How's his daughter doing now?"
- "She's doing fine. A very sweet girl. She has an insatiable appetite for chocolates."
- "Ha ha..."
- "Come Dr Banerjee, let's go to the auditorium now. We have a medical conference starting within fifteen minutes."
Trina was quietly sitting on a high backed chair facing the window in Dr Robinson's chamber. She came there to enquire about Tinni's health. Now she felt relieved to know that her daughter was doing fine.
A happy smile lit up her face as she recalled the doctor's affectionate comment about Tinni's 'insatiable appetite for chocolates'.
Trina left the doctor's chamber and walked towards the elevator. Arjun's wife Sanchita was also waiting there with her son Arnab. A bright smile lit up her face as she saw Trina. She thanked her and blessed Tinni for the umpteenth time for saving her husband's life.
For the first time Trina looked at Sanchita with admiration. Who said that women were weak and submissive? She lovingly patted Arnab's cheek and entered the elevator.