Read #1 book on Hinduism and enhance your understanding of ancient Indian history.
Read #1 book on Hinduism and enhance your understanding of ancient Indian history.

Thomas Augustine

Drama Romance


4.5  

Thomas Augustine

Drama Romance


I won’t let you die. (Hindi meaning: ‘Main Tumhe Marne Nahi Doongee’).

I won’t let you die. (Hindi meaning: ‘Main Tumhe Marne Nahi Doongee’).

34 mins 274 34 mins 274

                                          Synopsis.

                 I won’t let you die. (Hindi meaning: ‘Main Tumhe Marne Nahi Doongee’).

In March -2018, The Supreme Court of India legalised Euthanasia, with certain riders. This meant that the terminally ill patients could now chose to end their lives. For patients who are in an irrecoverable state of comatose, the relatives of the patient had the right to decide on their behalf. The medical term for ending one’s life in this manner is called Passive Euthanasia (Mercy killing).

I won’t let you die. (Hindi meaning: ‘Main Tumhe Marne Nahi Doongee’) is a story of a family, from Mumbai, India. Under the pretext of Euthanasia (Mercy killing), Swati’s mother-in-law, Kamla, and two sister-in-laws, Renu and Gayatri, come up with a plan to kill her, while she is in coma. They intent to usurp all the money and property that her late husband had left in her name. 

But Rajni, the family lawyer, and a friend of Swati, who is engaged to carry out the legalities of the euthanasia, knows their hidden intentions. She plays it smart, and turns the table on the greedy and heartless in-laws, and saves Swati. The kind cooperation from the neurosurgeon, Dr. Ruben, is commendable. 

..........

                                         The Story in short.

Two years since her husband’s death, Swati is suffering a serious brain injury, and is currently in a comatose state, in the hospital. Swati’s mother-in-law, Kamla, and two sister-in-laws (Renu and Gayatri) are desperately hoping to see her dead, so that they can get hold of her wealth, left behind by her late husband. One fine day, they chance up on a legal strategy to kill Swati. 

Swati’s in-laws hire Rajni, their family lawyer, to carry out Euthanasia (mercy killing) on her. Rajni is Swati’s childhood friend, and is well acquainted with the family too, hence they thought she would toe their line. But Rajni will not let this Euthanasia happen on Swati.   

Rajni promises Swati as she lay in her hospital bed, ‘I won’t let you die’, (which in Hindi means, ‘Main Tumhe Marne Nahi Doongee’). She meets the neurosurgeon, Dr. Ruben Fernandes at the hospital, who happily extends full cooperation, after he realises that Rajni’s intention is to save a life.

Next, she tactfully drags Swati’s Euthanasia case in the court for months at a stretch. In the meantime, Swati wakes up from her comatose state to be in a vegetative state. And finally, after having spent six months in coma, she recovers in full.  

Rajni briefs Swati about the conspiracy. She also learns about Dr. Ruben’s role in saving her life, and is immensely thankful to both of them. For her, these two are her “saviours”. She moves in to stay with Rajni, but her discharge from the hospital is kept secret from her in-laws. 

After another 15 days, Dr. Ruben calls the in-laws to the hospital. They rush to the hospital, thinking that they might have been called to sign the Euthanasia papers. But they are shocked and left dumb founded when they see Swati, back to life. Needless to say, Swati has broken all ties with her greedy in-laws today. No smile, no pleasantries to offer, she just walks away! 

With the generous remuneration/ gift from Swati, Rajni buys an office of her own, in an up-market locality. Her legal business too has flourished, now, but she still continues to help the poor.  

Swati’s case has brought Dr. Rubin and Rajni close to each other, and they are soon to become husband-wife. But Swati will take some time before she decides whether or not to get married again. 

As of now she’s just happy to be alive; something which she considers as the biggest gift from God. And why not? There’s no greater gift than a new life. 

……….

                                            LEAD CHARACTERS:

The Protagonist: Rajni, is a lawyer, in her 30’s, with an awakened conscience. She is someone who reads into the minds of people, to know the truth, rather than just relying on documents as proof. She fights injustice with a smile, and is never aggressive. Once convinced of someone’s innocence, it’s enough for her to take up a case, and win. At any given time, she has only the poor and marginalised people at her doorstep, knocking for justice. She earns just enough to make ends meet.

Swati: Beautiful, soft spoken and hailing from a middle class family Swati is Rajni’s childhood friend, of same age, and have studied together. Swati is married to her collage-days’ friend, Aditya. 

Aditya: Is Swati’s husband, in his 30’s, who hails from a wealthy business family and is successfully running his father’s business since his death, 3 years ago. Aditya’s father had handed over the complete control and operation of the business to Aditya, leaving no control with anyone at home; be it his mother or his two younger sisters. He meets with an accident on his way to office, and dies. He is survived by his wife, mother and two sisters.  

Antagonist, Sister 1, Renu: In her 20’s, she is aggressive, hot headed, and always fighting with brother Aditya over money for her lavish expenses. She feels, she has every right over her father’s money, and can spend it the way she likes to. She has her mother and younger sisters as supporters, who are all jealous of Aditya being in control at home. More than anything else, they are envious of Swati, for she has got all the riches on a platter, having got married to Aditya. 

Antagonist Sister 2, Gayatri: Youngest in the family, and two years junior to Sister-1, she too is ditto like her elder sister. She goes by whatever is decided by mother and elder sister.

Antagonist Mother, Kamla: Is in her late 50’s and widowed. But she’s still not willing to let age take away the pleasures of life. Her way of life is more like that of her two daughters, who are in their 20’s; careless and fun-seeking, all the time.

Dr. Ruben: Gentle, soft-spoken, kind-hearted, and a formal person, Ruben is a neurosurgeon, in his 30’s, who can be mistaken for some corporate executive. He’s a bachelor, and above all, a doctor who treats with kindness. His patients come to meet him even when they are keeping fine. 

……….

                                            The story in full. 

                      I won’t let you die. (Hindi meaning: ‘Main Tumhe Marne Nahi Doongee’).

1: [Aditya meets with an accident on his way to the office, driving his car]. 

It’s a usual morning for Aditya as he waves his hand telling “good bye, dear!” to his wife, Swati, to leave for his office. She waves back, from the first floor of their one storied bungalow, “Bye! Don’t be late!” and sees him off in his luxury car.

Looking into his watch, at the red traffic signal, Aditya is tensed. Tensed about being late, and missing his golden clients. “My…it’s already 9:50. I don’t want them (the clients) to sit waiting for me. Oh God, this traffic!” 

The vehicles behind him, all, start honking. But he’s lost in thoughts, with his head resting on the steering. 

“Why the hell are they honking so much? The signal is…”

He lifts his head and finds the signal green now. Tensed and in a hurry, he tries to start the engine. But…he’s struggling.

 “What the hell! No!” 

He turns behind to see that he has blocked so many, from moving ahead. Tensions pile up, as the screaming and shouting from the vehicles behind adds to his anxiety and nervousness. 

And finally…“Thank God!” he sighs, as the car engine starts. But by then, the red signal is down again. Looking at his watch gets him all the more anxious. 

“God, its 10:00, already!” 

But as the signal goes green, again, there’s relief. Having left the engine on this time, he speeds off. 

In Mumbai, India, it’s a common sight to see people dangerously crossing the roads. 

Even when the signal is open for pedestrians, the vehicles never stop. No, not even on the highways. Everyone here is in a hurry. Many even climb over barricades and cross the road. 

Lost in thoughts, and driving at a high speed, he forgets to notice the next Red Signal. And by the time he has realized, it’s a bang on crash! 

He crashes into a truck that’s crossing from his right to left, at a traffic junction.  

People gather around the scene. 

“He’s alive”, says an onlooker, as Aditya crawls out of the wrecked car. 

“We should take him to the hospital, else he’ll die”, says another onlooker. 

Together, the two men hail a taxi and take him to a nearby hospital.


2: [Doctors are unable to save Aditya, and he dies at the hospital].

At the hospital, Aditya dies in no time. The doctor and the policeman have just finished talking to the two men who had brought him to the hospital.

“Alright, you may go!” tells the policeman to the two men. The policeman then gets hold of Aditya’s driving license and makes a phone call.

Swati’s mother-in-law, Kamla and her two sister-in-laws, Renu and Gayatri reach the hospital.

 “I’m Sorry!” says the doctor, informing Swati and her in-laws about Aditya’s death. Swati is heartbroken and rushes inside, to see Aditya.

She weeps loudly and unstoppably.

Seeing no reaction from her in-laws, her friend Rajni steps forward to console her.


3: [Swati collapses during Aditya’s funeral, is rushed to the hospital, where the doctors declare her to be in a comatose state].

At the near ending of Aditya’s funeral, Swati collapses. She is hospitalized, and is placed under observation. Dr. Ruben Fernandes meets with Swati’s mother-in-law, and her friend Rajni, in his cabin.

“Sorry! But Swati has slipped into coma. It’s not possible to say how soon she’ll recover”.

He is surprised to see the mother-in-law undisturbed. He looks at Rajni, who has nothing to say either. She’s sitting head-down, but nothing to tell.

A thought runs through his mind: “Is this, really, a family?”


5: [Two months pass by, and Swati is still in Coma]. 

 At home, nobody is mourning. Or for that matter, no one even seems to be sad. The mother-in-law, somehow, looks worried. No! She’s not worried for Swati. She is worried thinking about the days ahead.

Gayatri rushes out of her room, in a hurry.

“Mom, I need 500 rupees. Quick, I’m getting late!”

“Keep a check on your spending from now on! We don’t know how long it will be, before Swati is back home. There’s not much we can do. She’s in Coma”, the mother tells the kid, as she hands over the money. She has no time to waste. She grabs the money, and runs off.

“You need to grow up, okay?” frowns the mother. Gayatri, suddenly, stops, turns behind and stares angrily at her mother. It seemed like, as if in her mind she was saying “You grow up, first”. But, she makes a dash without, literally, speaking her mind.


6: [A narration about Swati’s Family]

 Since 2 months, Swati has been in a comatose state, resulting from the shock of her husband’s death. Her two sister-in-laws, and her mother-in law have no option but to spend their share of the money, to meet her medical expenses. Since Aditya had written all his wealth in his wife’s name, his mother, Kamla, and two sisters, Renu and Gayatri were, since long, trying to find a way to get their hands on the money. Swati being a joint account holder, with her late husband Aditya, now had all the money in her account.

As a good caretaker of the family Aditya used to pay his mother, every month, their expenditure money. This was no small amount. It was in lakhs, per month. Aditya was the one who handled the family business after their father’s death. His father loved him more than the others. He knew his days were nearing, and so, had got his son married. The father severely ill father very well knew, if he were to pass away, his son would be all alone against his mother and two sisters. 


Renu, Gayatri and their mother had regular arguments with Aditya, over their share of money, which they desperately needed to meet their lavish and fun-filled lives.

Now that the head of the family, Aditya, is no more, nights out in the discos, fun with young boys are going on in full swing. Surprisingly, it’s the mother who leads the gang of three. 


7: The front page story of today’s newspaper is, “Supreme court legalizes Euthanasia” (Mercy killing). 

Sitting in their lavish drawing room, one fine morning, Gayatri is going through the day’s newspaper. She comes across an article titled “Supreme court legalizes Euthanasia”. 

Her eyes grow big (as though she’s caught a big catch for the day). She runs to show it to mom and elder sister, Renu, in the other room.


8: Kamla, Renu and Gayatri have finally chanced upon an idea to kill Swati.

“Sister! Mom! Look here! Read this… a great news for us.”

The mother, and two daughters go through the news article thoroughly. There’s a sudden happiness, on their faces. It seems, they all have the same thing to tell, (in their minds). Like mother, like daughters!

The mother finally speaks: “Swati can be put to death. And, that too, legally”.

It’s a smile, suddenly, on everyone’s face.

“You got it right, mom!” “But, I think we shouldn’t be in a hurry. We should consult our lawyer, first”, suggests Renu.

Gayatri, as usual, is in agreement with elder sister, and is quick to say, “Yes, I think she is right”.

Not wasting even a moment, they call on their family lawyer, Rajni, the same afternoon.


9: [Rajni meets Swati’s in-laws, discusses the newspaper article obliges to carry out the euthanasia].

“Swati needs to be relieved of her painful, non-existent life. You should help us, and most importantly, your friend, Swati, in relieving her of this life so full of misery”, the mother pleaded, with sorrowful eyes, to Rajni.

While the mother was still speaking and explaining her stand, on why Swati should be put to death, by Euthanasia, Rajni was more than convinced, that the whole purpose had a dark underbelly.

Kamla wanted to relieve Swati, her daughter-in-law, of her painful, non-existing life. But what lay beneath, was the greed to usurp all of Swati’s wealth.

Looking expressionless outwardly, yet so disgusted from within, Rajni agrees to the cunning mother-in-law’s request.


“I think, you are the right person to be taking decisions for your daughter-in-law. So let’s go ahead”, says Rajni, and thinks for a while, “There is nothing illegal in this, anyways”. 

 “I understand”, your situation, aunty”, she says, consoling the mother-in-law. 

 “Although it is possible, it may still take 6 months’ time”, counselled Rajni.

 “As per the procedure, things will have to be certified by the doctor, first”, she further explained.

“So, let me get started with the procedures, right away”.

Unhappy and pained, Rajni quickly leaves with her advance payment. But, what the mother and her two daughters do not know is that, Rajni will not let this Euthanasia happen.


Rajni, being a lawyer, had already gone through the morning newspaper, and updated herself with the new development (in regards to euthanasia), but had never imagined, that she would be handling a euthanasia case so soon; and that too, involving her own friend.

The three women are all happy, and are dreaming of the huge money that would soon be theirs. “Let’s make it to the disco tonight. What say, girls?”

The girls look at their mother all happy and in cheers. Their faces light up immediately, as they scream in enthusiasm “Wow!”


10: [Rajni visits Swati at the hospital, also meets Dr. Ruben].

 Rajni is standing at a little distance from the bed, watching Swati, lying in a comatose state.

The nurse is changing the I.V fluid, while a lady is tube-feeding Swati. A while later they leave. 

She stands beside the unconscious Swati lying on bed. 

With tearful eyes, Rajni almost spoke to her: I won’t let you die. (Hindi meaning: ‘Main Tumhe Marne Nahi Doongee’).

 She then, hurriedly, leaves to see the doctor in his cabin.

“Good morning, doctor, Ruben! I am Rajni, here to discuss Swati’s case.”

“What is she here for? Wasn’t she here, few months ago, along with Swati’s relatives? Might be a lawyer, I guess”, he thought for a while. Coming back to his senses, and continuing with the smile on his face he says, “Come in! Please be seated!”

Dr. Ruben closely watched Rajni as she walked in to take her seat. He, actually, is not happy to be meeting her. Personally, he looked upon lawyers as opportunists. 

A formal person that he is, Doctor Ruben, in his 30’s, is the neurosurgeon who can be mistaken for some corporate executive, and, is still a bachelor.


Rajni too is almost the same age. Neatly dressed, she is never the one to be found wearing modern, skimpy dresses. She is not too well off with her legal business. She’s just average, or even below. On any day, she is seen lending legal help to the poor, who pay her only whatever they can. She goes unnoticed as a lawyer, unless she is wearing her legal gown.

Just then, the nurse walks in through the open door to quickly tell: “Doctor, the next appointment is in 45 minutes from now, on the 3rd floor.

“Thank you! I’ll be there, Mary!”

Mary is in a hurry, and about to rush back when Dr. Ruben calls her.

“Listen! Please, send for tea and refreshments!”

“Sure, doctor!”

That’s all the time she had, it seems. And, Mary runs off!


“That’s Mary. Someone whom you’ll never find, at a particular place, at a given time”, says Dr. Ruben, making a light joke.

Well, Mrs. Rajni…”

“No! Miss. Rajni”, she corrects him.

That was so typical of a lawyer, anyways. But, what was not typical was the smile she carried on her face. It’s an impossibility to find an open hearted and smiling lawyer. And the same goes in the case of Dr. Ruben. A simple, and always smiling man.

Oh! Yes, Miss Rajni. Tell me!” Dr. Ruben smilingly corrects himself.

 “As a doctor, I am sure, you will do your best for Swati. I don’t doubt that. But I have an extra, personal request of you, if I may ask you of”, says Rajni.

His expressions tell, he’s surprised. “Well, what is it?” he asks, and continues, “I’m here for my patients, anytime they may need me”. Not knowing what would be coming next, he is anxiously waiting to know what that request would be. 


“Sir, Swati’s family has entrusted me with the responsibility of representing them in the court. It’s not surprising to me at all, that they want Euthanasia to be carried out on her. My friend Swati is lying in a comatose state, since, about three months. I have the job of putting her to rest, forever, as requested by her family”.

After a deep, anguishing breath, she continues, “If I am not to do this job, someone else might definitely come in and do it”. By now, the smile she came in with has disappeared. Stress and anguish is what you see now. It’s the same with Dr. Ruben too. After all, emotions affect human beings.

“Dr., you see, the new changes in the law, has got some relatives really excited. Swati’s family too is happy and excited about it. And, why won’t they be? After all, now they can get hold of all the wealth left behind by her late husband.”


After a pause, Rajni goes on. “Well! The only way I could have thought of saving my friend, was by taking up the case.”

 “Doctor”, she requests him humbly, almost begging him with her hands folded, “can you just delay the Euthanasia? Please, don’t sign the papers, till as long as possible!

Being a doctor, you have nobody to answer. From my end, I shall delay and lengthen the legal process”.

Dr. Ruben, who, all this while heard Rajni with pin drop silence, now interrupts her, “Alright! Alright!”.

Being a doctor, he has understood the whole thing. He is lost in the awe of Rajni, which is clearly visible from the smile that’s come on his face now, and his fixed gaze on Rajni. 

Rajni gets his attention back saying, “Sir, hope you are with me!” 


“Yes, yes…okay, sure! I can surely do this much, to see a human being, possibly, come back to normal”. 

“Why POSSIBLY, sir? Is there no assurance? ” Rajni was quick to ask. She’s anxious, and seriously wants to know.

Dr. Rubin explains: “such patients can, possibly, recover any moment, or might even be in such a state for years. That’s why it is just not possible to guarantee. In the case of patients who are in a comatose state, they first have to come out of the comatose state, to be in a vegetative state”.

He further explains: “a comatose state is where the patient is lying unconscious and is being kept alive through tube feeding. A vegetative state is when the patient has opened the eyes but is still not able to recognize people. The patient may slip into unconscious state on and off. However, once the patient is in a vegetative state, they can possibly come back to normal state, if the past events are replayed. The patient can then begin to recognize people, slowly, and start understanding things. And finally, over a period of time, the patient may come back to total normalcy”.


Just then, their conversation is interrupted with the boy coming in with the tea and refreshments.

While they are still having tea….

“Well! Rajni, It seems Swati is a dear friend of yours, or should I say, a very close friend at heart”. 

“Yes, doctor! That’s true”.

“Don’t worry! Doctors are there to save lives, not to kill people”, he assures her.

“Doctor, can this be kept a secret?” Rajni asks with great expectation. “Yes, of course! I understand the need for it to be so”, acknowledges Dr. Ruben. 

“Doctor, there’s one more thing. I am well aware, deep within my conscience that Swati’s euthanasia is happening to usurp the money that her late husband has left behind. No sooner you will have signed the Euthanasia papers, they’ll have all that money and wealth.”

Dr. Ruben had never in his medical profession come across such a scenario. This one was really an extra ordinary situation. He had his doubts cleared about who, and what Rajni was. Now he was into Rajni’s plan, and played the most important role. After all, a human life is at stake. Happy to have found a support, now, Dr. Ruben gets frank with Rajni.


 “To be honest, Rajni, I actually thought you were on the mother-in-law’s side.  

“Yes, doctor! I have to look like as if I am with them. But now, the reality is in front of you”.

And, she breaks into a mild laughter.

Just then the nurse, Mary, barges in, hurriedly.

“Doctor, the patient’s relatives….”. 

“Alright! I’m coming”, he quickly responds.

“Well, Miss. Rajni, I shall keep you informed. Here’s my card.”

“And, here’s my card”. Rajni hands over her visiting card to him.

“Good bye, Rajni!”

“Good bye, Doctor!”

The doctor has a last look at Rajni, and tells her,

“Do you think we need formalities between us now? You can call me Ruben!”

“Alright, Ruben. Thanks!”


11: [Swati wakes up from coma and is in a vegetative state]. 

Four months pass by. At the hospital, there is no one around. And, Swati opens her eyes, but is unable to make any gesture or communication. She goes into deep thoughts (of the last imagines she had, at her husband’s funeral).


[Flashback]

[A song is playing in the background.] 

 [The song is a Hindi language song, but there’s also a lose translation done in English]. 

 (HINDI)

Jee bhar gaya iss duniya se,

Thak gaya hoon main iss duniya se,

Jeena nahee mujhe tere bina,

Pyar kar gaya tujhe seene se.

 

Kabhee jeetee hoon main, 

Kabhee martee hoon main

Hai ye Zindagee bhee kya,

Kaun hai mera yahan,

Jeeyun kaise bhala, ab tere bina.

 

Aye sanam alvida, 

khush rahe tu sada

main bhula jaunga 

Teri yaadein sada,

Samjhunga ise ek sapna sada.

 

(ENG TRANSLATION).

Enough with this world now,

I'm tired of this world now,

I don't wish to live without you, now,

I loved you from the bottom of my heart.

 

At times I live, 

At times I die,

Without you, what life is this?

Who do I have as my own?

How am I to live without you now?

 

Good bye my love, 

Be happy, always,

I'll try to forget 

Your memories forever,

I’ll think of it as a dream, forever. 

12: [Kamla, the mother-in-law is anxious, and losing patience]

Rajni is talking on the phone to Swati’s mother-in-law, Kamla. “Madam, we are almost completing the formalities. It may take another 2 months or so, to finalize it. It all depends on the doctor. He, still hasn’t come to a conclusion. I am awaiting the doctor’s final certification.”

Kamla is anxious and impatient. “Why don’t you strike a deal with the doctor? We are fine with that”, proposes Kamla.

“What if that complicates the legal procedure”, argues Rajni. “Now we are almost at the near end, and we shouldn’t be jeopardizing our efforts”. That was Rajni’s advice to Kamla.

“So, 2 more months, you mean? No other option? Fine!” She is frustrated, but somehow agrees to Rajni’s advice.

13: [At the hospital the nurse notices Swati’s open eyes]

The nurse notices Swati’s open eyes, and informs the doctor. Dr. Ruben wants to give this good news to Rajni. He rings her up, immediately.

 “Rajni, I have a good news for you. You need to hurry up, to the hospital”.

“I’ll be there in an hour’s time, Ruben!”

Rajni reaches the hospital and rushes inside Dr. Ruben’s cabin.

“Hello, doctor! Do we see some hope?”, she gladly inquires.

“Yes, you can call it…the road to recovery”, says Dr. Ruben.

“Please, sit, Rajni!

“Okay, we’ll be visiting Swati. I know you are very excited to see her, and talk to her.”

“Rajni, finally, we see a ray of hope…of Swati recovering. We will have to get her to think of her past life, through gestures, actions, and if possible, through acts etc. Okay? Let’s go!”

As Swati lay on her bed, with eyes open, Rajni tries to make Swati recollect her days.

She shows Swati a photo. It was Rajni who had clicked this photo, back in the days.

Swati is staring into the photo. She’s trying to recollect things.

 14: [Flashback]:

Swati and her husband Aditya are being photographed outside the court, with their garlands still on them. That’s the photo Swati is staring at.

15: [Back to the hospital bed]

Swati is showing some signs of having recollected the photograph.

She tries to say something with great difficulty, but falls unconscious.

Rajni looks at Dr. Ruben, in shock. But the look on Dr. Ruben’s face suggests it’s a positive sign. He gestures to her (it’s normal).

16: [Dr. Ruben’s cabin] 

 “She is recovering. She’ll get well soon”, says Dr. Ruben, looking ecstatic.

“That’s great, Ruben! Your efforts are worth an applause”, she compliments Ruben. 

“No! It was only possible because of a friend like you. It’s a classic example of a true friendship!” Ruben gives back the appreciation to Rajni.

Rajni, almost, melts in happiness, hearing these words from Ruben. 

The nurse, suddenly, comes in to say something. But Dr. Ruben knows what she has got to tell. So even before she could say something, Ruben answers her…

“Okay, just give me 2 minutes, Mary. I will be there”. The nurse nods her head, and leaves…as usual in a hurry.

“Miss. Mary, or Miss. Hurry?” Jokes, Rajni. And both of them break into a laughter.

It’s a rare sight to see these serious minded professionals laughing and joking.

When doctors or lawyers are seen laughing, there’s surely victory ahead, be sure!

17: [5 months pass by].

 At home, the mother-in-law and her two sister-in-laws are losing patience. They call up Rajni to discuss the progress of the case. Rajni assures a meeting at their house the next day.

The next day, at Swati’s house.

“It’s been 5 months now. How long will we have to wait?” inquires the frustrated mother-in-law.

“The doctor’s observation has not yet concluded. The next move can only be possible after the doctor’s report is ready. That’s something I cannot interfere with. And I think, it will take another month or so”, Rajni tells the mother and her two daughters. 

18: [Swati’s condition improves]

 At the office, Rajni is assigning a case to her subordinate. “Get this sorted out today!” she instructs her subordinate. That’s all the time she has in hand. She gets into an cab and leaves for hospital, to see Swati.

At the hospital, Rajni is seen talking to Swati through photos and gestures. Swati is trying to recollect things. Rajni shows Swati a photograph of their outing, with her husband Aditya. Swati stares deep into the photograph.

19: [A Flashback]: 

 A garden, with few people here and there; some in groups and some in families.

Rajni is clicking photos of Swati and her husband. Rajni, suddenly, has to attend a phone call. She goes out of sight with the mobile phone in hand. This leaves Swati and her husband with some cozy time.

20: [A happy song, with Swati and her husband]. 

[The song is a Hindi language song, but there’s also a lose translation done in English]. 

 (HINDI)

Ei mere ye zindagi ye khoobsoorat hai,

Kal tak jisko jaana na, 

Wo dil ke paas ho gaye,

Zindagi mein aaj-kal 

Wo roshni phir chaa gaye.

 

Pehle ki ye baat nahi,

Ye kuch din ki hee baat hai,

Pyar bhara wo chera,

Ab to zindagi ke saath hai.

 

Dil mein umange liye huye,

Main zindagi je ja raha,

Kya pata, Kya khabar,

Ye waqt aaye na aaye kal.

 

(ENGLISH translation)

 This my life, is so beautiful,

The one whom I didn't know until yesterday,

Is close to my heart today,

The light has come back into my life, once again.

 

It wasn't much long ago, 

But it's just a recent happening,

That Lovely face,

Has now become a part of my life.

 

With desires in my heart

I am now going on with my life

Who knows whether or not

This moment will come again.  

21: [Back to the hospital bed. Swati has spoken today]. 

 Swati screams, her husband’s name, (Aditya), and falls unconscious.

The doctor is excited to see this improvement. He calls the nurse and instructs her.

“Rajni, I think Swati will be fine in about 15 days, or so. Or, let’s say, in a month’s time. Swati has come out of the comatose state, and, is now in a vegetative state. This means, she is capable of comprehending communication made by gestures. We will have to continue refreshing her memory. I can assure you, Swati will be Normal, soon!”

Rajni hands over the photographs to the nurse.

Swati is lying unconscious on the bed. The nurse is engrossed in looking at the photographs. Meanwhile, Rajni and Dr. Ruben leave for discussion to the cabin.

 22: [Inside Dr. Ruben’s cabin] 

 “Yes, I mean what I said…. Even before a month’s time!” says Ruben, fully convinced.

“That will indeed be a good news, Ruben. I never thought Swati would recover so fast, in 5 to 6 months.

I’m having a harrowing time answering the mother-in-law now”.

“Don’t worry”, says Ruben. “If their desperation gets too much for you to handle, you can bring them to me. I’m always here for you.” 

“I know, Ruben. No doubt about that”.

Holding Rajni’s hand over the table, the reserved Ruben now speaks his heart out. 

“So kind of you to have trusted me so much, Rajni!”

Their eyes meet in deep gaze.

Rajni too had so much of appreciation for Ruben, but he was the one to have complimented and spoken first. Their feeling for one another have become common, now.

Both have understood, yet there is only silence now.

They have lost their hearts, in this deep gaze.

 23: [An imaginary Love song follows]. 

[The song is a Hindi language song, but there’s also a lose translation done in English].  

 It is a background song, with both of them walking hand in hand, on a beautiful evening, in a park which has nobody else, except them.

(HINDI)

 Aatein jaatein anjaani raah par,

Ek haseen mulaqaat par,

Kab ek huein raah hamarein,

Na usein pata, 

Na hamko hai khabar

 

Mil Gaye dil,

Bhool gaye manzil,

Mud gaye kadam,

Bas chal pade hum.

 

Aise huee dillagi,

Roke na ruke kadam,

Pyar hua ye kaise,

Ek haseen mulaqat par,

Na usein pata, 

Na hamko hai khabar.

 

(ENGLISH translation)

 While walking our unknown paths,

On a beautiful meeting, that happened just by chance,

When and how our paths became one,

It’s something that neither of us know.

 

The hearts met,

The destinations forgotten,

The paths changed,

And we walked on. 

 

So much we were in love,

That we couldn't hold on to our feet,

On a beautiful meeting, that happened just by chance,

How we fell in love,

It’s something that neither of us know.

24: [A few days later, the mother-in-law and her two daughters are at the hospital to see Dr. Ruben]

The mother-in-law is seated outside Dr. Ruben’s cabin. Her desperations can be seen on her face. They seem so eager and restless. It seems like a showdown is sure to happen. 

After a while, they are called in, and they hastily walk into Dr. Ruben’s cabin. 

“Hello, Mrs. Kamla!” Dr. Ruben offers a hearty greeting to the mother, as she comes in with her two daughters, Renu and Gayatri.

“Well, I know what brings you here today.”

But, before Dr. Ruben could say anything further, the mother-in-law lashes out,

“Can you tell us how long it will take?”

“For me to sign the euthanasia papers, you mean?” asks Dr. Ruben, although he very well knew what she had asked him.  

“That’s right!” says the mother-in-law, now managing her frustrations.

 “Well, Mrs. Kamla, in such cases, it is difficult to tell! You see, we have had cases where people have woken up after 4 to 5 months of being in coma, and then went on to recover in full, in another 3 to 4 months. Then, we have also had cases where people have been in coma for many, many years. So, what I mean is…”

The mother-in-law interrupts, “so, will Swati too be in coma for years?”

The elder of the two ill-mannered daughters, Renu, who was so desperately waiting, now jumps in.

“Yes, please tell us, once for all, how long this is going to drag on.” 

 “Yes, that’s right! It’s a huge expenditure for us” the younger ill-mannered sister, Gayatri, adds.

“Well, as a doctor, it is my responsibility to keep trying till the end. I’m sure, since Swati is your daughter-in-law, you too would want to fight for her recovery”.

“Yes, but, to be very honest, we are losing hopes of Swati ever getting well”, says Kamla, lowering her volume now, and showing some respect. She, it seems, has realized that she was talking to a Doctor.

Now Renu too lowers her voice and ads, “Yes, doctor! She still hasn’t made any recovery so far in all these months. So, we better go ahead with the euthanasia”.

The doctor is not surprised to hear this. Rajni had already given him a fair idea about their hidden intensions, and here, it’s so evident now. But Dr. Ruben will need some time to communicate to Rajni about this. He had not told Kamla and her two daughters about the recent improvements in Swati’s case. And this was as per Rajni’s request.

“Okay!” he tells them, knowing very well that Swati would be up and walking, by then.

“You can proceed! But, as a doctor, I would still need a month’s time to prepare all the reports for the euthanasia.”

That, it seems, brought some relief to the woman and her daughters. And it’s so much visible on their relaxed faces. “That’s fine, doctor”! Says Kamla, gladly. Her daughters too are smiling now.

“Okay, I shall telephone you once I’ve finished with it!

Good bye!” concludes Dr. Ruben.

 “Oh! Thank you so much doctor!” And the gang leaves. 

As they walk through the corridor, they look so happy and relieved. Seems like they have got a new life, altogether.

“Only a month to go, girls, and we’ll have it all”, say the mother to her daughters.

“Yes, only a month to go”, says Renu, looking at Gayatri.

“Wow! It’s all over, finally” exclaims Gayatri.

“Mom, why not visit Swati?” suggests the elder daughter, Renu. 

“What’s the need, now, anyways?” she says, with a least bothered attitude. 

And, they all break into a laughter. A cunning, demeaning laughter.

 25: [Dr. Ruben is lost in thoughts on Swati’s case.] 

 Swati’s family did not ever bother to visit her. They had only come to the hospital while she was being admitted. Today, although he had consented on signing Swati’s euthanasia papers, he very well knew the fact that, Swati would be back to good health, much before that.

Had Swati’s family visited her at the hospital, and found out that she was recovering, everything would have got exposed. It would have clearly brought out the fact that Rajni was hiding matters, which as their lawyer, she was not supposed to be doing. Worst, Ruben himself would have been in trouble for having hidden Swati’s health updates from her relatives.

He, suddenly, comes out of his thinking, and speaks to himself “It’s all God’s grace!”, and takes a deep breath. “Oh, I’ll have to inform Rajni about this”. And he picks up his phone.

 26: [Swati is awake, seated, and talking now].

 The next day, Dr. Ruben and Rajni are in the cabin, having a discussion.

“Don’t worry! Swati will be fine, even before a month’s time” he tells Rajni. 

 “They think she is still unconscious, and in coma. Well! That’s the information for them.

Now, here’s the information for you:

“The fact is, she is already awake, seated, and talking, now”.

“What?” an excited Rajni asks. She’s jumped out of her seat, but she has not realized that.

 “Yes! Come, have a look! Meet your friend, Rajni!”

Together, they leave for Swati’s room.

As they near the room, Ruben lets Rajni open the door.

“Go ahead, see your friend!” he tells her.

Happy and smiling, Rajni slowly pushes the door open to see Swati sitting on her bed and staring at the wall. With no one around her all the while, that’s all she can do. The television is something she’s not interested in.

She, suddenly, hears a voice calling out to her- “Swati!”

In no time, a fully smiling Swati has recognized the voice.

“Rajni!” she calls back, without even turning back to confirm.

Almost rushing inside, in full happiness, Rajni hugs her dear friend. 

In no time, they are in tears. Swati wipes Rajni’s tears.

“Dr. Ruben has told me everything. You went through a lot, for my sake.

I owe my remaining life to you, Rajni!”

“Well, it was only possible because of the kind cooperation extended by Dr. Ruben.

If not for his support, I wouldn’t have moved an inch” Rajni tells Swati.

Swati looks at Dr. Ruben, but he is shying away.

“Thank you, doctor!” she says with folded hands.

“That’s Okay!” he says with a smile.

“After all, a doctor can only dress a wound, it’s God who heals!” he says, humbly.

He continues, “Swati, your case is nothing but a miracle. And, miracles are only done by God.

I have had more than 5 such case, but I have never seen such a quick recovery.

In fact, the patients are still here. That’s why I call your case a miracle. Your friend has outsmarted your crooked in-laws.” 

Rajni is clearly humbled with all the praises from Ruben. She interrupts and jokes,

“So when are you letting her go home now? Are you planning to keep her here forever?”

“Are you planning to send her back to the same, hell (her home)”, asks Dr. Ruben, jokingly.

After a deep thought, Ruben explains to the two women:

Now getting serious, he says, “Look, I think you must let Swati remain here for another week’s time. In the meantime, she can decide where she will be going. I hope its fine.”  

Rajni and Swati are looking at each other. Suddenly Rajni comes up with an idea.

“Swati will be putting up at my place till the time she decides what to do next. Right, Swati?”

“Ya” Swati agrees, happily.

Swati has enough finances to rent out a luxurious house for herself, or for that matter, even buy herself another house. But she puts it on hold, and accepts Rajni’s idea as of now, and hugs her.

Being a witness to this unbelievable bonding between the two, Dr. Ruben has this to say: “What a friendship! You’ll deserve a clap”. He, actually, claps for them and adds, “This is the only example of true friendship I have seen in my life. Yes, I mean it!”

27: [At Rajni’s house.]

 It’s a middle-class chawl area in Mumbai, and Rajni’s home is decent enough, though not luxurious. It’s got a main room, which one can call the drawing room. There’s a bedroom and a kitchen. That’s it! Rajni’s mother, aged around 55 years, is the only blood relative she has. Her mother looks after Swati, like her own child.

Since most of Rajni’s time is spent at work, during the day, she returns by evening to be with Swati. Under the care of Rajni and her mother, Swati has recovered, fully. Fifteen days have passed by so quickly.  

 “It’s time to visit Dr. Ruben. Shall we visit, tomorrow, Swati?”.

“Yes, Rajni, I too was thinking of that”

28: [Rajni and Swati are at the hospital to meet Dr. Ruben.]

  “Oh, is this Swati?” Dr. Ruben is so surprised, as he asks. “She is so much better now. I don’t think we need to do any test on her. Swati has completely recovered”.

The nurse, Mary, walks into the cabin.

“Oh, hello madam! You look so much better now”, says the nurse.

“Look, didn’t I tell you, Rajni?” 

“Okay, Mary, no tea today. Send for orange juices!

“Yes, sir. Right away!” and Mary leaves. 

Dr. Ruben, now has something serious to discuss.

“Rajni , there’s a much needed formality to be done. Swati will be meeting her mother-in-law.

I am sure she wouldn’t like to go back home.”

“Right sir!” confirms Swati.

Dr. Ruben continues, “Swati will be telling her family about it very clearly; that she wishes to move out of the family house and live independently.

I fear that, if she is to go back to live in the same house, with them,

her mental condition might come back. And then…”

“I too feel so”, agrees Rajni.

“Well, how much was my bill, doctor?” Swati inquiries.

 Dr. Ruben and Rajni are looking at each other. 

“I wish to know, so that I can pay back my in-laws” says Swati.

Dr. Ruben looks into the computer. “But the bill has been paid, he says”.

He continues, “A total of 5 lac rupees has been paid by your mother-in-law, on the day of your admission. And the remaining, 2 lacs was paid by Rajni. And, your in-laws don’t know about it”.

Swati knew very well that Rajni might have spent all of her savings, in paying the bill.

Now she quickly wanted to give her the money,

“Okay, so, I shall call for your mother-in-law, in 3 to 4 days. Just wait for my call.”

“See you’ll, ladies!” They both leave saying “Bye, doctor!”

29: [Swati is at the bank to complete the account formalities]

 Back home, Swati is using Rajni’s laptop to access her bank account. With baited breath, she is relieved to see the account safe and secure. Next, she rushes to the bank with her husband’s death certificate (which Rajni had given her a few days ago). After completing the paperwork, with the bank, Swati is now the individual account holder.  

30: [Swati is discharged from the hospital officially]

 A few days later, Dr. Ruben calls Swati’s in-laws, to officially discharge her from the hospital. Rajni too has called up the mother-in-law, and informed her.

The mother-in-law, and her two daughters turn up at hospital, under the impression that they might have been called to sign the Euthanasia papers.

 “Good news, Mrs. Kamla!

“Your daughter-in-law, Swati, has recovered, completely!” a glad Dr. Ruben tells them.

And in comes Swati, walking on her feet. 

Swati’s mother-in-law and her two daughters are shocked and left dumb founded as they see Swati, back to her healthy form. But the actors that they are, they manage to put up a smile on their faces, concealing the shock and disappointment. The mother-in-law and her daughters stand up to greet Swati, with a fake “happy” expression. But, Swati, leaves without even having a word with them. Not even a smile she had, to give them. Swati’s mother-in-law and her two daughters are left standing on their feet. If not for the hospital procedures, Swati would not have even come here, that’s for sure. Today she has ended her relationship with her family; her mother-in-law, Kamla, two sister-in-laws, Renu and Gayatri. 

31: [Swati’s Bighearted gift for Rajni].

With the generous remuneration/ gift from Swati, Rajni buys an office of her own, in an up-market locality. But she continues living in the same house, because her mother is not happy to move out of their ancestral house. Like all mothers, she too does not want her daughter, Rajni, to spend too much. 

Her legal business too has flourished, now, but she still continues to help the poor. 

32: [At Rajni’s new office]

Today, at Rajni’s new office, it’s none other than Dr. Rubin. He has taken the day off to meet with his soon to be bride, Rajni. Swati walks in, and falls into a long embraces with Rajni. 

 With folded hands Swati expresses her gratitude towards the two, saying…

“Thank you is too small a word I can give you’ll. Nevertheless, “Thank You!” You two are 

God-sent-saviors”.

Rajni, Swati and Dr. Rubin are a close knit family, now. But Swati will take some time before she decides whether or not to get married again. Time will tell.

As of now she’s just happy to be alive; something which she considers as the biggest gift from God. And why not? There’s no greater gift than a new life.

             END


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