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The Favourable Time

A Short Story by Sangeeta Saha

The interns of Grant Medical College knew the unconventional love story of Aman Sir and Mukti Madam. According to the Professor of Psychology, Dr. Mathur, it was a total ‘obnoxiously paranoiac’ act. But the students and the interns just enjoyed gossiping and fantasizing about their great love story.

It started nine years ago during the third year MBBS routine dissection class of a Cirrhosis corpse. Mukti Nair was trying to shift towards the farthest corner of the class and controlling hard to overcome the nausea crawling up her throat due to the stink she hated so much. But Dr. Chauhan’s eyes was searching for his favorite student.

“Where is Mukti, come closer and have a look at the swollen liver and how the colour of the vessels changed into…,” Dr. Chauhan could not complete and Mukti collapsed. 
“Oh no, my goodness! Somebody help her and let the class continue because we can’t keep a corpse waiting after all, ha ha…” Dr. Chauhan laughed at his own joke. 

Aman Rahman was just in time to catch hold of Mukti so that she did not bump her head on the floor.

Aman carried unconscious Mukti to the rest room with an aura of victory on his face as if he was carrying a prize won after a long race as the other passing students and wardens gaped in surprise. Staring at Mukti’s innocent unconscious face Aman was recollecting the first day of their meeting. Aman and Mukti met each other at the Entrance exam centre for the first time. Mukti was a perfectionist and hated those who took life casually. Aman was a happy go lucky fellow and always ready to help his friends. In the exam hall Aman was sitting right behind Mukti and trying to sort out a question asked by the boy sitting by his side. Mukti didn’t hesitate for an instant and complained to the invigilator. Aman was detained from the exam for an hour as a fault to create disturbance in the room. He had to complete the paper in one hour time. As Aman was getting out of the hall he noticed Mukti. Fair, petite with an extravagance of arrogance sparkling from every angle of the face, from the black framed specs up to the tip of the nose. 

“Aman, so sorry bro. You had to suffer for my fault. You lost one precious hour just to help an unfortunate like me. If I had got more time to prepare for the exam instead of running to and fro in the ICU and the hospital wards for my sick mother I wouldn’t have asked a favour from you,” Pratik said in a trembling voice. 
“Don’t worry for me buddy. I’ll do something or other if I don’t get chance this time. And about being fortunate, you see it’s a one sided favour for the more privileged,” Aman smirked mockingly turning his eyes to the big white sedan which just rode past them with Mukti reclined on the back seat. 

At that time Aman never imagined that he would confront the same snobbish girl in the same medical college where both of their names were in the admission list, Mukti in the first list and Aman in the third.

Mukti was a learner. She could memorise the books and the notes quickly. Whereas Aman was a practical person and had the ability to grasp the basic fundamentals. Mukti was the first one to answer all the questions asked in the class and hence earned a favourism from the professors and popularity among the students. On the contrary Aman was a bit out of mind and could not follow the methodical lectures and so often misapprehended by the teachers. But no other students was able to compete with his skills in the anatomy classes. Those students who discriminated themselves to be more esteemed than the rest also had to ask for Aman’s guidance in the practical classes except Mukti. Whenever she came face to face with Aman she always turned away to avoid eye contact with the boy who was once harassed due to her unfriendly and aggressive accusation. Aman used to feel amused and tried to show overfriendly attitude towards her as if to tease her guilty consciousness. As Mukti became more and more annoyed Aman felt more and more amused until that day when he got the chance to carry Mukti to the rest room.

“You, how dare you bring me here and sit in front watching me!” Aman got startled as Mukti yelled at him. 
“How rude of you, how could you shout at me like that,” Aman retaliated. 
“No you listen carefully. Don’t try to act smart and be friendly with me like the other girls. I am not like those silly morons who are always after you asking for your favours,” Mukti’s face turned red in excitement. 
“Okay, calm down. I can understand how you feel about your earlier misconducts,” saying so Aman left the room smiling to himself leaving Mukti gritting her teeth in rage.

Mukti and Aman were popular among students as Muku and Amu. In the elections to choose the student representative some supported Muku and the others supported Amu. There were Muku, Amu placards throughout the college and excitement buzzing all around. Finally it was Amu who won and Muku’s supporters jeered saying that their main criteria was to study and not fight in the elections.

“Well your Muku seem to behave very strange. Usually she never gives up but after she lost the election she seem to be very reluctant,” Aman remarked to the retreating gathering. 
“That is because she is just fed up of elections. Don’t you know her father Surya Bhusan Nair is a renowned MLA and well known for his intolerant, racist nature,” said Varun cautiously. 
“So better be careful bro, before you get more close to his carbon copy Miss Mukti Nair,” chuckled Atul. 
“I even heard that her father did not like the idea of his daughter to become a doctor as she could not avoid checking Muslim patients!” Everyone laughed aloud.

And so this love hate relationship continued till they passed the MBBS exam and became interns and the day came when that ‘obnoxious paranoiac’ incident changed their life.

Anesthetic Dr. Gautam Sinha was discussing some pre- operative rules while using ether. All of sudden the lights went out and Manoj lit a lighter. The others shouted aloud warning him. In a nervousness somehow the flicker of the lighter came in contact with some ether spread on the table and it burst into fire. There was a sudden panic. Everyone tried to race out of the lab. In the chaos Mukti’s bag broke from her hand and was flung right down on the flame.

“My books, my notes, my papers, oh my god, somebody please get them!” Mukti was screaming. 

Aman who was helping out with the extinguishers at once moved inside into the dark fumes despite of the warnings. The poisonous black smoke burned his eyes and nostrils and chocked his breath. Everyone present there called him to step back but Aman was determined to search the bag. With prompt and swift fingers he began to check the burning table and found it at last. He somehow staggered out and then fell down grasping for breath. Soon he was admitted to the ICU.

Aman was half conscious but unable to open his eyes or move. His burnt fingers were bandaged and he was on saline drips and oxygen. His ears became alert when he heard a soft rustle and then sensed warm breaths across his face. A soft hand touched him on his chest. 
“I’m so sorry Amu. It’s all because of me that you suffer again and again. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not a racist like my dad. I love you so much…so much as I hated you,” Mukti whispered in a more or less inaudible voice.

Two drops of tears fell on Aman’s cheek and then he felt the tender moist lips of Mukti on his lips. His heart was racing and all his pain vanished. But the much desired moment was just for a few seconds as a nurse came inside for the dressing.

After a couple of days Aman found Mukti sitting alone in the backside lawn, her face turned to the other side. 
“Mukti…or shall I call Muku,” Aman was more than excited, “I was awake that night in the ICU when you came, er…I just wanted to say you that…” 
“There is no time to say anything,” Muku said in a cracked trembling voice, “can you marry me now?” Her eyes were red and swollen. 
“Dad is forcing me to marry Shashi, Shashikanth Iyenger, who is also involved in politics that I hate so much. Aman, he is going to ruin my life. So do you have the guts to marry me against my Dad’s wish?” Mukti asked Aman looking deep into his eyes. 
“Why not, I mean I won’t let any Surya or Shashi to ruin the star of my life,” Aman held Mukti’s hand firmly.

That was how Aman and Mukti got married, thrilled to be rebellious, madly in love and ready to sacrifice anything for each other. After marriage they settled down in the doctor’s hostel and later on shifted to a rented apartment. As time passed the days of roses and chocolates began fading their colours. The clash of personalities, the sting of egos crossed their ways. Aman had a wish to live with his aging parents but Mukti was not at all comfortable with the idea. On the other hand Mukti’s Dad came over from time to time just to create misunderstandings among them and often threatened Aman for his unjustified deeds. One day Aman could not control his temper while Mukti’s father spoke abusive words relating his family and customs. He caught his father in law by his collar and tried to drive him out of the house. Soon he was arrested by Surya babu’s guards and was summoned to the police station for physically assaulting an MLA. Mukti bailed Aman later on in a discontent mood.
 “Sometimes I feel so ashamed and embarrassed just because of your immature attitude,” Mukti grumbled in a dissatisfied tone. 
“Oh yeah, you actually feel ashamed that you married me…”Aman showered his frustrations. 

The Short Story continues here..