Stranger Becomes Beloved
by Vaman Acharya
On 20th October 2000, at 6 in the evening, the staff of the Surabhi Multi Speciality Hospital were jubilant. Grand pooja was performed by the priest. The occasion was the 3rd anniversary of the hospital. The building was fully decorated with illuminating lights. In Pavanpur town Surabhi Multi-speciality Hospital was the only hospital equipped with modern technology. Patients from nearby villages visit this hospital. The hospital was managed by a gynaecologist Dr.Surabhi and her businessman husband Kiran. The reputation of the hospital was due to the hard work and dedication of husband and wife. The function was over at nine in the night. Everybody left the place after dinner.
Dr.Surabhi returned home. Kiran left for Bengaluru to meet his friend immediately after the function. She was feeling loneliness. To overcome this situation, she tried to recollect the memories of a decade back.
I had completed the second year pre-university course in first class. I had also cleared the medical entrance test and waiting for a letter for allotment of medical college. I belong to upper-middle class, I had to arrange funds for admission and other expenditure. My dad Maheshwar Swamy was a school teacher and mom Karuna was a housewife. Dad expressed his inability to send me to medical college.
I had heated arguments with mom and dad. They were firm on their stand and advised me to go for the science course. I became upset and decided to end my life. On deciding so, I thought to jump down from the bridge into the river. I reached the river bridge at 12 noon. On that day, there were very few people and vehicles on the road. I climbed the bridge wall and was about to jump, someone pulled me back. I didn't know who pulled me back. I could see the young man, who saved my life. I was in panicky and shivering. The young man gave me water and biscuits. I regained little strength after a few minutes. He was unknown to me. I thought the young man appears to be a gentleman. He assured me not to worry. He avoided to enquire me the reason for taking the extreme step. I requested him to take my home. He took me in his car and dropped my home. By the time we reached her home, it was 1 pm.
My dad Maheshwar and mom Karuna were waiting for me without taking lunch. I being an only daughter, parents gave me love and affection. On that day, both were terribly worried. The young man introduced himself as Kiran son of Sudershan Shetty, proprietor of Ganesh Medical Centre, Pavanpur. He told everything to my parents. I was still shivering and not in a position to speak. Kiran left the place after some time. I expressed thanks to Kiran. During the course of his conversation with my parents, I came to know that Kiran was a school dropout and assisting his father in the medical business. I was repenting very much for my foolish decision. I realised my mistake and thought only cowards take such a decision. I expressed regret to
my parents with folded hands. I assured mom and dad that I never repeat such drastic action of committing suicide in future. This incident taught a good lesson to my mom and dad. This incident affected a lot from my parents. They decided to fulfil my ambition, come what may.
Kiran went home and told his experience to his parents. Sudarshan Shetty was in the medical business for the last fifty years. Their medical store was famous in Pavanpur town. Sudershan after hearing from his son, a thought struck his mind.
What was his thought?
Sudershan wanted to help me financially for my entire medical education. In return, he wanted to accept Kiran as my life partner. It was not an easy proposal. I belong to a respectable family. My parents never compromise on principles. Kiran was happy and approved the proposal.
Next day, my mom and dad along with me visited Sudershan's house to express thanks for the timely help extended by Kiran. Sudershan thought it was the best opportunity to reveal his intention. He revealed it to my parents. My dad was surprised to know the intention of Sudershan. He declined the proposal given by Sudershan on the ground that it would not be suitable to go ahead. The reason behind it was Kiran was a school dropout and I would become a doctor after five years. Our meeting was concluded with no unanimity in our views. It was finally decided to leave the matter on me and Kiran. In the heart of hearts, I loved Kiran very much. But I had no courage to express my desire. I continued meeting with Kiran. Our meetings helped us to understand each other. Differences between us were sorted out mutually. We were right on our stand. When the issues between us were solved, we conveyed acceptance of marriage to our parents.
Both the families met again as to how to celebrate the marriage. My dad put two conditions. He will not accept any financial help from Sudershan. Marriage shall take place only after the completion of my medical course. Other issues like conducting marriage function on auspicious day and expenditure to be shared equally were cleared.
I continued my medical course. My dad applied for a bank loan and got it sanctioned for my medical course. I never demanded money from Kiran. I managed the resources available. After MBBS, I continued post-graduation in gynaecology. My hard work and dedication paved the way for reaching the goal. I had obtained first class in post-graduation. Thereafter, I married with Kiran.
It was decided by both families to set up a hospital in Pavanpur. Sudershan expressed his desire to provide financial help for setting up of the hospital. My parents agreed on this arrangement. Kiran with his vast experience in the line of business helped her for managing the hospital. The hospital was named as Surabhi Multi-Speciality Hospital with the consent of all the family members.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the main door. Surabhi came out of the memories and opened the door. Kiran postponed his journey to Bengaluru and returned home. ***