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Dial E for Emergency - Part II

by Padmaja

Dial E for Emergency .. continued

Rashi got up with a jerk. Why was Mischief barking so? That too on a Sunday morning? Hadn’t that Kamala bai taken him for his walk? She looked around. Sunny was snoring.

Where was Aryan? The thought of Aryan brightened her day. He was such a darling. Was he in the toilet? She strained her ears for the sound of running water. Nothing. He must have gone to Kamala bai. He must be troubling her for milk and if she gave him milk he would ask for juice and if she gave that……Really, he was a menace.

She remembered his birth, Sunny and she had decided not to have any more babies but then Aryan had happened and they had decided to keep him. Appu was 9 at the time. When he was born, Aryan had just taken over. Sometimes she felt that Appu was a wee bit jealous … one could be angry with Aryan for long. His latest fad was Sharukh khan and he could hum his songs all the time. ‘Gore gore gore gore’ was his favorite song..

Rashi smiled and got up. First she had to shut up that Mischief. She went down into the hall and the sudden bright light startled her. From where was the light coming? She looked down and saw that the light was streaming in from the basement. But the door was closed. Kamala bai had strict orders never to open it. Was she down there? She decided to check.

She went down and just wandered in looking for Kamala bai. She wasn’t there. Strange , she thought. As she turned back she looked towards the sump. What looked like two feet stuck out. The shoes …the shoes..Aryan? Aryan? Rashi slumped, her legs gave way.”Aryaaaaaaaaaaan….” she screamed and jackknifed towards the sump and pulled Aryan up by his feet.

A blue Aryan lay motionless absolutely wet from head to waist.

‘Sunnyyyyyyyyy, Apppppppppu…call emergency” she screamed..

Sunny got up groggy from last night’s hangover. Rashi’s scream hit him in the solar plexus. He jumped up and ran towards the sound. “Aryan is dead Aryaaaaaaan”, Rashis demented voice reached him. He reached her. The scene was like a nightmare. He didn’t know what to do. He sat like a zombie. Mischief continued to bark.

Appu heard her Mom scream, “Appu, call emergency”. She didn’t wait, grabbed the mobile and dialed 911. She knew that was one button speed dialling linked to Pa’s address book. Then she rushed down. Kamala Bai also pelted down the stairs. Madam was pulling her hair.

When she saw Kamalabai she screamed, “You killed my baby….you left the sump open …….Aryaaaaaaan.” She passed out.

Appu watched as the ambulance picked up her listless bro. Her kid bro, the scamp,the pest. She had wished him to sleep forever just an hour back …….He wouldn’t pester her any more…she had always been jealous of him…. His cute, curly mop of head and his chubby cheeks flashed before her eyes. He was her kid bro , her family…gosh, she didn’t want him to die. Was he dead? She felt her throat well up and harsh sobs racked her. He couldn’t die, her Achu couldn’t die.

At the hospital the Doctors struggled to revive the child. Mouth to mouth resuscitation and oxygen was administered. Rashi was hospitalized. Sunny just stood silently.Appu prayed….

The doctors were doubtful, “headlong into the water, air supply to brain cut off for more than 5 minutes the chances are remote.. even if he recovers he could be brain dead…..” they discussed amongst them selves.Anyway he would be under observation for 48 hours.

36 snail hours dragged by. The doctors waited for some response from the immobile child. The family waited. Rashi screamed whenever the sedation wore off. Appu continued to pray. Sunny waited without hope. The entire hospital waited in anticipation.

Appu held Aryaan’s hands as she kept vigil and stared at him. His hands and fingers were so tiny. Would they hold her hand ever again as she grumblingly dropped him off to his school bus sometimes? How trustingly he would hang on to her hands. "Dear bro, wake up and I will never be rude to you. I love you Achu I love you."

Tears streamed down her eyes. She turned round to look at the time. It was 4 am. Dawn. The birds stirred,a cool breeze blew in from the window. She got up to shut the window freeing her hands from Aryaan’s. He held on. Appu did a double take. Her fingers were being held by him. Which meant ….which meant…. “Mom,Pa… doctor ….” She screamed. Achu is not dead he ….is not dead….

Everyone came running and as they watched the little eyes opened and he stared at all of them.Was he normal? The doctors began checking his heart and pulse and pressure as the little fellow stirred.He spotted his Didi and to her delight smiled. Appu bent down and hugged him “Oh Achu you scared us all.”

Rashi fainted again. Sunny came to life. “My son”, was all he could say.
“My ball”, said Aryan and then like children with a miniscule attention span he burst into ‘gore gore gore gore!!!!’The entire hospital burst out laughing …….

Later, after Kamala bai was unceremoniously sacked and the sump securely barricaded, the Menon family were at peace. Achu was absolutely normal and back to mischief. Mischief was given a new bone for being so alert. Suddenly Rashi wanted to know how help had arrived so fast that day. Appu held up the mobile.

“Thank God Appu you are a genius.”breathed Rashi.”But how do you know so much about these gadgets?”

“Mom, these gizmos are the ultimate…….” She started explaining the features to Rashi who for the first time heard her out patiently.
The sump episode brought a few changes in the Menon’s lives.

They had fewer parties.
They did not depend too much on maids.
They decided to wake up early on Sundays!!!!! So all is well that ends well…..


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Comments for Dial E for Emergency - Part II

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Mar 20, 2010
by: Anonymous

thanks a ton.

Mar 17, 2010
Dial For Emergency I & II
by: Eva

The story was nail biting to the finish.You have depicted a child's behaviour so accurately.
I enjoyed reading it.

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