Unbent And Unbroken
Unbent And Unbroken9 mins 454 9 mins 454
Red Cross Hospital, Mumbai.
"Doctor Chopra, there is an emergency, please report to the ICU," blared the nurse's voice over the loudspeaker.
Nina, a beautiful, young woman had been in an accident. Her car had collided with a truck, leaving both her and the truck driver, in a very critical condition.
Nina's family was called, along with her fiance, who was about to get married to her in 2 months. Tension crackled like electricity in the air, everyone praying for Nina to be alright.
After about 3 hours, the red light stopped blinking outside the ICU. With baited breath and fingers crossed, everyone waited for the doctor to announce the result of the operation. Doctor Chopra came out, wiping his hands and dictating something to the nurse, who was frantically taking down everything.
"There is good news and bad news. The good news is, Nina is out of danger and should be waking up soon. But the bad news is, I am afraid she won't be able to walk again. She has become paralysed from the waist down. I have given a list of medicines to the nurse, kindly get them immediately," saying that, he patted Nina's father on the back and walked away.
A look of pure horror crossed over Nina's family. This was something Nina was not going to like. In her profession, use of legs is extremely essential. This news was definitely going to shatter her, physically and emotionally.
Piyush, her fiance, went in her room to break this news to her. He wasn't sure what he was going to tell her, how he was going to tell her, or how he would handle her after she realised the depth of her condition. But there was one thing he was sure of- he would be by her side, fighting against all odds, and helping her get through it.
Piyush sat on the stool beside Nina's bed and held her hands in his. He looked at her face. Even with the scars and bruises, she looked beautiful. Nina wasn't someone who needed makeup to make her look beautiful, she was naturally pretty. That was what had made him fall in love with her. There had been many girls who threw themselves at him, but they all had plastic, painted faces. But not his Nina.
Nina was a dancer. She had taken part in a dancing competition which was judged by all the famous choreographers, when she was 16 years old. She had won that competition and from there began her dancing journey. All those competitions, those dancing workshops flashed in front of Piyush's eyes, where his Nina had outshone everyone. Just thinking that Nina would not be doing that anymore, brought tears in his eyes. He didn't even realise when his tears slipped out and started streaming down his face.
Slowly, Nina opened her eyes and saw the love of her life crying like a baby. She knew it had to be something major that caused this, because Piyush rarely cried. She slipped out her hands from Piyush's firm grasp and gently wiped his tears. He looked up to see Nina looking at him with concerned, questioning eyes. He thought if he had to do this, then rather just do it directly instead of avoiding the inevitable.
"Nina, you remember you had been in an accident? Well, the good news is you and the truck driver both made it. But you are paralysed from the waist down, Nina. You wouldn't be able to walk, let alone dance."
Piyush gave her a minute to process what he just said. First a look of utter disbelief came over her. Then she tried to move her legs, tried to touch them, but realised that she could feel no sensation in her legs. She looked at Piyush with utter helplessness and Piyush just hugged her tightly, not letting go, as if wanting to absorb her pain.
10 days later:
Rohela Mansion (Nina's house)
"Come on Nina, are you out of your mind? How could you even think of such a thing? Till the time I am breathing, I won't let this happen," said Piyush, putting down the soup spoon angrily.
"Piyush, you know it hurts me to even think of it. But I am saying it for your benefit only. Why would you want to marry someone who is handicapped? You should look for someone else, who will keep you happy".
"You keep me happy, Nina. In fact, I am the happiest when I am with you. You want more time, we can postpone our marriage to another date but we are not cancelling it, and that is final. I am not going to hear another word about it," Piyush said fiercely.
Nina was about to retaliate but Piyush just put his hand on her mouth and looked at her with red, anger filled eyes. Nina got the message and decided to keep her mouth shut. She didn't want Piyush to go all angry Hulk on her.
Just as she was thinking of ways to lighten his mood, her phone rang. She was thankful to whoever was calling, for the distraction was needed.
"Hello, yeah Nina here.... no I am sorry but I won't be able to make it.... my reasons are personal.... no no you can cancel my name as I won't be coming. Thank you."
Piyush couldn't understand what this was about and looked at her for explanation.
"It was Rohit from Tesla music co. The day I met with an accident, I was talking to him on the phone. He told me that I was one of the people shortlisted for a music album and I would have to prepare a dance for the further selection process. I was so happy that I got distracted and didn't pay attention to the road. You know what happened after", Nina explained him.
"Nina, I know how difficult this must be for you, letting go of your dreams. But you don't have to sacrifice them. The doctor said that if you continue doing your exercises, eat your medicines, then there may be hope for your legs. But you have to put in efforts for that. You can't just give up like that," Piyush tried to reason with Nina.
"No Piyush, I know the reality. I will never walk or dance again. And I have made my peace with the harsh truth. My life is worthless now, I have lost my one and true passion. I should have died in that accident, at least I wouldn't have to lead this hopeless life".
Piyush's hands were itching to slap her. How could she even think like that?
He grabbed her shoulders and shook her roughly. He wanted to knock some sense into her head.
"Nina, I know that the condition you are in must be really tough, and I know I would never be able to understand the excruciating pain you are going through. But Nina, it is not the end of the world. And who told you that you can't recover from it? You can't give up without trying. At least try. At least even if you fail after trying, you won't have the regret that maybe I should have tried. Maybe I could have done it. Failure or success is not in your hands, but the effort is. Nina, I know you, and I know that without your dancing, you will be empty. That is why I am saying, give it a shot. Who knows, miracles happen right?", Piyush tried his best to encourage Nina.
Realisation dawned upon Nina that maybe she was too grief-stricken, too engrossed in the hopelessness of her condition to realise that unless she tries to help herself, her condition will not improve. Nina knew that had roles been reversed, she would have done anything to help Piyush, made sure he didn't give up. She finally knew what she had to do.
She called up Rohit.
"Hello Rohit. Actually, I am reconsidering and I would like to audition for it. It's in 2 months right? I will be prepared. And I am so sorry for my earlier outburst, I was just a little out of it."
As soon as Nina hung up, she saw Piyush grinning madly at her. That smile of his was enough for Nina to believe that she can do this. Now it wasn't just for her, but also for Piyush. She wanted to show Piyush that she was worth all the trust and faith that Piyush had in her.
Now, there was work to be done. Time was running out. She had two months.
For the next one month, Nina gave in her best. She did her exercises well, took her medicines without any fuss. And yes, all her hardwork was bearing results. She could slowly move her legs and and finally sensation started returning in her lower body.
Things were already looking bright for Nina. And after all, she had her family and Piyush by her side, they were always supportive of her. On one side, Nina was giving it her all and on the other side, Piyush was deciding to do something. He wasn't sure if what he was planning is right, if Nina would be on board with it, but he wanted to do that for his happiness.
2 days before the audition:
Red Cross Hospital
Dr. Chopra's office:
There was a knock on the door. Doctor gestured for them to come in. In came Nina, perfectly fine and walking on her own two legs. Dr. Chopra was really shocked.
"Surprise, Dr. Chopra", said Nina.
"Well, what a pleasant surprise Nina. I see you've been doing very well. I am so happy for you."
"Thank you so much doctor. A lot of the credit goes to you as well. Actually doctor I just came to ask you something. I have an audition after 2 days. Will I be able to dance doctor?", Nina asked.
Nina was very nervous as Doctor Chopra was doing her checkup. She really wanted to do this. This was the thing that had been her motivating force for these 2 months. Opportunities like these don't come knocking every day.
"You are absolutely fine Nina. Dance, run, you can do whatever you want now," Doctor told Nina happily.
Nina thanked the doctor immensely, hugged him and left, dancing with joy.
Next two days, Nina prepared her dance. Finally it was the day that everyone had been waiting for, the D-day.
Nina walked up on the stage and literally set the stage on fire. She depicted her own situation through her dance, of how she overcame all the adverse and unfavourable conditions and emerged victorious, how she refused to give in to her fate.
Rohit and the other judges were all touched by her performance and undoubtedly, she was the one who was selected for the music album.
After the audition, Piyush took her to an isolated place, which was beautifully decorated. By the time Nina could take in her surroundings, Piyush had already dropped to his knees, holding out a rose in front of her. Before he could even open his mouth, Nina just bent and started kissing him. In between kisses, she whispered,
"Yes, I will marry you."