The Cuddle Of Love
The Cuddle Of Love
Rakesh was a young doctor who decided to start a hospital of his own in his native village Riturajpur. It was a challenge in itself to create the requisite infrastructure in such a remote location which remains disconnected from the rest parts of the state for nearly 3 months every year. The culprit for this inconvenience was the river Sutree, which overflowed every year inundating large areas and cutting all types of connectivities with the major towns of the state. The deluge often damaged the temporary wooden bridge that was the only route to connect Riturajpur with other nearby villages. However, there was a normal movement of cycles, bullock carts, horse-driven carts, cycle rickshaws and motorbikes during all other seasons except the rainy season. The people have become acquainted with the disadvantages because whatever they did to improve the situation became a wastage of efforts and resources. The state administration also didn't pay due attention to the difficulties of the people because it was the bordering village having proximity to two other states. Consequently, the village always received stepmotherly treatment from its own government and the governments of the two neighbouring states.
The biggest difficulty the villagers faced was the lack of medical facilities. The illiterate villagers have to carry the patients, pregnant women to far off dispensaries and hospitals which are located at least at a distance of five to seven kilometres. Rakesh became the first doctor and the fourth graduate of that entire cluster of villages after 40 years of independent India. After a lengthy discussion with his friends, family members and some administrators and intricate evaluation of the present situation and the future implications of the risks involved Rakesh decided to take up the project and challenge. Several villagers and some financially well off villagers of the neighbouring villages the hospital got started in a thatched house with some primitive wooden beds and two almost illiterate helping staff who enthusiastically came forward to join a person who sacrificed a comfortable life in the cities to come into the ill-fated village. Somehow, with the help of some helpful contributions from some of his wealthy doctor friends, the hospital managed to function in a little better condition.
Five years of relentless efforts, consistent support from his friends and a delayed but fruitful government aid improved the conditions significantly. .Two nursing staff, a junior doctor and four male nurses we're added to the lone physician and after such a long struggle and selfless service, Rakesh got a bit of relief. His remarkable sacrifices we're also recognised by the government and many charitable organisations and money was no more a constraint for the determined medico.
But the most remarkable event that happened in his life and the history of the hospital when a poor pregnant lady got admitted to his hospital. She had no attendants and no relatives came with her. She herself came to the hospital with excruciating pain in her abdominal region. Rakesh immediately understood the seriousness of the case and got her admitted. One of the two female nurses Purnima was given the charge to look after the destitute woman and she willingly accepted the responsibility. After the failure of primary treatment and basic medication her pain didn't subside. Rakesh was forced to go for surgery. With an effort that lasted more than five hours with his limited personnel and medical facilities, he succeeded in operating the lady who gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. The unknown lady remained unconscious for the best part of the next day and on the next day when she eventually came to her senses the only thing she did was to look helplessly at her newborn baby and then at the overwhelmed doctor as if she wanted to entrust the responsibility of the baby to him. Perhaps she got back her consciousness and remained alive till that moment to handover the responsibility of the upbringing of her baby to Rakesh. And within the next few minutes, several cardiac strokes not only shook the unfortunate lady but also brought the doctor to his knees. He kept on praying for the lady but all his prayers went in vein and a severe stroke killed the woman. The woman screamed in an unusual voice before everything became still. Darkness engulfed the doctor because he became unsuccessful in saving the life of a patient for the first time in his medical career. More than that, he was deeply worried about the added responsibility of taking care of the newborn who had no one in the entire world.
Fortunately, Purnima came forward to take care of the baby girl and both the doctor and the lady nurse became the foster parents of the baby. There were legal complications galore for both of them since they were not married and to adopt a child without an authentic marital status is prohibited as per Indian laws. But finally, a couple of the village came forward to take care of the baby as her legal parents. But doctor Rakesh and Purnima continued as the foster parents. The doctor always reminded himself of that awful, heart-shattering look on the eyes of that poor woman before breathing her last.
The first birth anniversary of the girl, Rituparna was held in the hospital premises with all the pomp and luxury. And Rituparna lying in the cuddle of doctor Rakesh and Purnima was more comfortable than most babies of the same age. Her glorious smile was reassuring everyone concerned that she was in the safest cuddle in her life and her deceased mother could ever have dreamt of before shutting her eyes for good.