The Desolate Hope
by Divya Garg
He was most dear to her all these years, but now she has developed a strange aversion for him. He was the one she prayed for. Three years earlier, she wrapped that tiny finger in her hand and felt closer to her dream. But now, with every passing day – It seems a distant dream that would never be fulfilled and she could never get that love.
"The innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time" - William Butler Yeats
Gargi Singhania, an eight-year-old girl, in IV standard in Bishop convent school loved to play, paint and read. All her drawings had a common element; the last painting she made for her Inter school competition also depicted the same. A girl looking into void - her beautiful big, black eyes vividly staring at the closed gate of cottage in a lush green field as if they were just waiting for that door to get open and she was waiting to rush inside. Poor Gargi never knew how long she had to wait.
Apprehensive and unfamiliar to the intricacies of elderly minds, she failed to understand why she was being treated this way? The big Candy jar that Granny brought last summer was only for Rishabh. Without making any noise, she carefully dragged the wooden stool to kitchen’s corner, just to reach to the colorful candies, when Granny’s loud roar gave her a bruise on knee. Little Gargi, tripped on the floor as Granny said – “Don’t you dare to touch that, that’s for Rishabh”.
The inconsolable juvenile mind, bewildered by Granny’s reaction ran straight to her mom. Mrs Singhania had no answer to Gargi’s question – “You said she would like me, once Rishabh will come.” The dejected and crestfallen Mrs Singhania could only keep mum for the promise she made to Gargi, three years back.
That day when Mrs Rita Singhania got to know that she was pregnant again. She silently prayed it shouldn’t be girl this time. Her mother-in-law had yet not accepted Gargi whole-heartedly, since the day she was born. Granny was always impassive to Gargi’s activities and naive Gargi failed to understand the crime she had committed.
Mrs Singhania knew it was illegal, she knew she should not get this checked but helplessness forced her to do this. Her Gynecologist, Mrs Sharma – kept the transducer probe on her stomach. The transducer probe then generated and received sound waves using a principle called the piezoelectric (pressure electricity) effect. The crystals rapidly changed their shape when the electric current was applied. The rapid shape changed, or vibrations, of the crystals produced sound waves that travel outward. Conversely, when sound or pressure waves hit the crystals, they emit electrical currents. And, the same crystals send and receive sound waves. The CPU connected to the transducer, acted as the brain of the ultrasound machine containing the microprocessor, memory, amplifiers and power supplies for the microprocessor and transducer probe. The CPU then sent electrical currents to the transducer probe to emit sound waves, and received the electrical pulses from the probes that were created from the returning echoes. The CPU did all of the calculations involved in processing the data and once the raw data was processed, the CPU then formed image on the monitor.
And there she saw the first glimpse of the hopes; that she would give to Gargi that Rishabh’s arrival will change her life for good. But little she knew, things will not change
even after so many years.
Granny’s visit always brought gifts for Rishabh, and timid hopes for Gargi. Rishabh always got that extra serving of love and affection and Gargi remained destitute one. She tried every way to impress Granny but all in vain, which made Gargi hated Rishabh more for the umpteenth time.
That day, when she needed her glasses to read, Gargi hurriedly ran to give her the same. She thought Granny would be happy and will hold her close, but Granny holding Rishabh took her spectacles and moved away in silence. While all Rishabh did was, tossing and playing with Granny’s glasses and threw it on the floor later. Gargi in her faint-hearted voice tried reading the newspaper loud to Granny, and to much of little mind’s surprise – Granny did not shout on her today though she didn’t appreciate her efforts either.
Rekindling hopes in little Gargi’s mind, Granny left for their ancestral village and here Gargi won the state level Drawing competition. This time, her drawing did not depict a girl looking into void, but a jubilant little girl happily playing in lush green fields with her family. Mrs Singhania wondered – what a ray of hope can do! She mutely prayed for Gargi’s longing dream to come true.
Prize distribution ceremony was ten days later at the Kamani Auditorium, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi. All the winners have been asked to come with a person who had made a huge impact in their lives. Gargi was all excited for the big day.
For a moment, she forgot Granny’s resentment towards her; She wanted to go at the ceremony with Granny, though she was oblivious of Granny’s reaction. All excited, Gargi started packing her bag for the village trip with her father, so that she can go with Granny to get her prize. That day, she slept early with a big smile on her face to catch the first bus to village at 7am.
Next day morning, all energized Gargi, dressed up in a cute pink frock left with her dad to catch the bus. Little Gargi, holding her Dad’s hand tightly, saw colorful buses all around - blue, white, green; she frenziedly asked Dad – “Which one is ours, which one we will board?” Her Dad patiently replied – “It will be the red one, and it’s yet to come, may be in another 5-10 min. You stand here, don’t go anywhere – I will be back in a jiffy with a bottle of water and your favorite chips.”
While she was waiting patiently for him to be back, her small eyes saw a red bus approaching from far.
Anxious young mind, hurried towards the bus to grab that window seat along with the mass of people, when bus driver took a sharp turn to park it and the front wheel of 7-ton bus ran over the lower part of 23kg Gargi. After a moment, he pulls forward slowly, and this time the rear wheel drives over the petite and slender body.
She lay bleeding in that pink frock, which was now submerged in red color. Mr Singhania hastily ran towards her, held her in his arms, it was blood all over him. Partly conscious Gargi was bleeding profusely, holding tightly his shirt’s torn pocket in her right hand and the colorful candies in other. He rushed her to the nearby hospital for treatment, where she succumbed to her injuries and died exact ten days later. ***