Read a tale of endurance, will & a daring fight against Covid. Click here for "The Stalwarts" by Soni Shalini.
Read a tale of endurance, will & a daring fight against Covid. Click here for "The Stalwarts" by Soni Shalini.

Mouna M



Mouna M


U Turn

U Turn

6 mins

Rizwana was tired after coming back from work. All she needed was a hot cup of tea and maybe a few biscuits to munch on. Alas! Somebody could have made it for her. She just pitied herself and kept tea for two, yes tea for two, one for herself and one more for her maid, Gowri. She just splashed water on her face and felt a bit relieved. In the meanwhile, the doorbell rang, and she opened it without even thinking twice for Gowri as that was her usual time to come to her house.

Gowri entered with a broad smile taking in the aroma of the cardamom tea, which Rizwana would always offer her unlike other households wherein she would get only the leftover tea. As Gowri started speaking about the neighborhood, Rizwana paid no attention to her and got her tea with some snacks, which Gowri would always relish upon. Rizwana asked about Gowri's sick child, Amar, to which she replied "Memsab, usko rison wali beemaari hogayi hai" (her son got a rich man's disease) Rizwana could understand her language as Gowri had worked for her since 4 years. Rizwana made her understand that no disease could be termed as rich or poor and that it's all in the destiny of one's own self, which was a little high for Gowri to understand.

While Rizwana went through the medical report of Gowri's son, Amar, Gowri started finishing the household chores. Rizwana though was not a doctor, she could understand the seriousness of the report as she used to work as a receptionist in a clinic. She felt that it was high time that Amar undergo surgery of his heart as it had a hole in it. Though her husband, Iqbal, was always against her working as a receptionist, Rizwana liked her job as she always wanted to become a doctor, but due to family constraints, she couldn't become one. Gowri's gossips were put to an end by Rizwana s husband's entry. Gowri never liked him as he was always tight-lipped and he used to scold Rizwana every now and then.

Gowri was about to leave when Rizwana gave her some bread and milk to feed Amar. Gowri's eyes were tearing up, which was wiped away by Rizwana. Gowri left thinking of how good her Memsab is compared to her husband, stern-faced Iqbal. As soon as Gowri went home, Amar was hungry and was happy to see bread in her hand. Gowri fed him and got busy preparing dinner.

Rizwana was cleaning the platform of her kitchen. She barely noticed the plaster on Iqbal's hand. She did not like it when Iqbal warned her about talking to Gowri unnecessarily and she being close to her. She was about to hit the bed when her phone ringed. It was Gowri's. Before Iqbal could ask her, as to whose call it was, she immediately picked it and listened to whatever Gowri had to tell her. Ignoring Iqbal's queries, she called her clinic's number and informed the ambulance driver about the emergency and gave him Gowri's house address.

Iqbal got furious and started to scold Rizwana as to how could she ignore her own husband just for a maid. Rizwana tried to explain to him that attending Amar who was seriously ill, who was in need of medical attention, was more important than answering his questions. This made Iqbal all the angrier. When Rizwana was getting ready to go to the clinic, he stopped her and told her not to go. Rizwana forcibly went through the doors without even looking back as she was scared of him that maybe he would pull her again inside the house.

Rizwana reached the hospital and went straight to Operation Theatre. The nurse told her that the doctors have started the surgery on Amar. Gowri was inconsolable. Rizwana tried in vain to console her. The nurse came out running from OT to inform them about the requirement of blood to Amar. Rizwana tried to call the blood donation bank, but unfortunately, no one answered her call. She then tried to call a few of her friends, but no one's blood group matched Amar"s blood group, which was rare, O negative. Both Rizwana and Gowri started praying for Amar as this was their last resort.

Their prayers were answered indeed. The doctor told them that the surgery was successful and that Amar was out of danger now. Rizwana thanked the doctor's team and took Gowri to the ward, where Amar was lying down peacefully. She told Gowri that she would go home and come back soon as it was late for her. Gowri nodded her head and sat down next to Amar.

Rizwana took out her vehicle when the nurse tapped on the window asking for a drop. Rizwana let her in and asked for the address where she had to be dropped. The nurse told the address and thanked God for saving Amar's life. The nurse told Rizwana to thank her husband, Iqbal, too who had donated blood in the evening in the blood donation camp. Since his blood group was O negative, which was rare, she could remember it. She told Rizwana to stop and got down from her vehicle, thanking Rizwana. In fact, Rizwana was thankful to her.

Rizwana had to take a U-turn, which in fact, was a U-turn in her life. She was wondering why she had failed so miserably to understand her own husband. On reaching home, before she could ring the doorbell, Iqbal opened the door for her. She hugged him so hard that he could hear her heart thumping against his. He didn't stop her. They both slept peacefully that night.

Come morning, Rizwana forcibly took Iqbal to the clinic, which he went half-heartedly. Iqbal was curious to know about Amar's health, which even Rizwana could not answer him. As soon as they reached the ward, Iqbal handed over some fruits to Gowri, which she accepted unwillingly. Rizwana took Gowri out and told her how Iqbal had donated blood yesterday and that had matched with Amar's. It took some time for Gowri to digest the fact that the person whom she had hated to the core, had saved her son's life.

Gowri held Iqbal's hand and put it in Amar's hand who was still sleeping, she said, "bhai saab, aapne to mera Amar ko umar de diya," meaning you gave life to my son. Iqbal wanted to take out his hand when Rizwana chipped in and told him about how he became a heroin Amar's life.

Rizwana could see the kindness and compassion in Iqbal's eyes. She did not stop him from crying.... because she would always love this moment in her life, which she termed as "U-Turn."

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