"miss are you listening to me?.. hello..? hello...?", The man is asking hesitantly, I am in a state of great shock, the phone was almost about to drop from my hand, but thank god I come back to my senses, "yeah.. but how on earth I don't know that my dad's been already here?.. you are really my dad's man right?" I ask suspiciously.
He explains, "ya..miss Tulika.. I am Brijesh, your dad's bodyguard, I think you know me.." I recall the person following us everywhere. I nod, "hmm.." he continues, "your dad just landed at the airport that he got a call and suddenly he complained about severe pain in chest so we called the ambulance..and he told me to call you so.."
Omg.. "Okay.. you just take care of him I am on my way...." I inform him hanging up the phone.
My head starts spinning recalling my mom's condition, I abstractedly put my raincoat on , as the rain gets somewhat heavy. I call out my maid and inform her with moist eyes, "dad's been admitted to the hospital.." it would be better if I tell Abhi.. so I call him and briefly explain the situation.
With long strides I reach to my yard..and hurried off to hospital.. thinking about my dad..!!
It's been less than a year since I lost my mom and now my dad is in the same hospital..he was quite healthy.. how on earth can this happen to him?
It is worst feeling when you are at the verge of losing every one you love and care for, at present my only fear is losing my dad, though he has not been with me but I believed when my mom told me that he have had his reasons to leave us.
Now I know that I love him, cause after my mom he has always taken care of me. Oh god please tell me my dad's gonna be fine.. please....!!
I wipe away my tears along with the rain water that obscured my vision and speed up my scooter.
As I reach at the hospital, it was like I am back at the point where it all got started. My mouth dries out of anxiety, but I pull myself together mumbling, "Tuli.. you are strong, dad needs you.."I take a deep breath and call to Brijesh uncle. He informs, "we are at the 5th floor, third room."
As I move forward, my legs automatically cease at the entrance. My unbearable memories start haunting me as I inhale the typical smell of that place. The receptionist, the nurses, the doctors oh God I am gonna pass out, I start panicking.
That I see the lift door is closing, so I almost shout running with long strides, please stop.. please stop.." and thank god someone has done it for me, I jump inside saying "thank..." but I can't complete my sentence cause there is only one person inside and that is That 'sadoo' Nomaan. He rolls his eyes looking at me.
I am feeling out of breath because of running, now as I have seen him I am damn embarrassed only then it clicks in my head that I am dripping with rain water. I feel he is glowering at me As I unzip my rain coat, oh god why is this 5th floor not coming?
I step out the moment I hear 'ting'..and sprint to the third room, uncle opens the door for me.
My eyes get widened as I dash inside holding my breath, my dad is lying on a bed, with oxygen mask on, and heart rate sensor to his finger, he is sleeping I think, so I sit on a chair beside his bed, grab his hand in mine and gently press it, tears start spilling out of my eyes, I try to control my sobs.
But next moment he opens his eyes, I can see there are tears in his eyes, I wipe those and slowly speak faking a big smile, "hey.. dad... you are gonna be alright.."
To that my dad closes his eyes and try to speak, "I am sorry.. my daughter.. I am so so sorry..." and then starts coughing.. I sush him, "dad.. don't try to speak, and you don't have to say sorry for anything, you just relax.." I again press his hand.
He closes his eyes but I can see that tears are still coming out from the corner of his eyes, and suddenly the device attached to his finger starts beep.. beep... beep... and my dad's breathing increases, with heavy panting.. so I press the bell to call the doctor.
A doctor with two nurses hurriedly enters in our room, checks my dad's vital signs and informs the nurses to make something ready, I am just contemplating them and try to get the meaning of whatever they are talking about...
As the nurses leave, that doctor notices me, so I ask, "anything serious sir?" He takes a deep breath then utters in a gentle but worried tone, "umm.. I am afraid that his heart rate is not stabilizing.. in common words his heart is failing.."
I am observing him aghast and almost scream comes out of my mouth, "what..?"
He says, "yes..dear.. that's the reason that I've decided to implant a pacemaker.. for that I have to do a surgery.. so we are preparing for an operation.. I hope you will agree to that.. "
Well I must admit I have never heard the word 'pace...' whatever it is but if doctor thinks it's important then it must be obvious for my dad so I answer, "sir.. please do whatever it takes to make my dad healthy again."
That doctor replies with a smile, "your dad is a good friend of mine so don't worry.. I'll try my best okay." and pats my shoulder sympathetically to calm me down...
As the nurses take my dad to the operation theatre, I follow them shedding silent tears and praying to god to make my dad well. Only I can do is just pace back and forth infront of the door, I must admit my dad's men are there with me too, looking worried.
And thank god within sometimes Abhimanyu and Mrunal with Nilesh uncle (Abhi's dad) join me, I just cry my heart out by hugging Mrunal.
I still remember what my mom had told me about crying but I can't imagine myself without any near ones.. I just can't bear that pain, no matter how hard I try to conceal it, so whatever happens I just can't lose my dad, I'll do whatever I can to make him okay.
About an hour later my dad's succesful surgery is done and he is in his room with all of us around, well I must say he is somewhat unconscious.
As per doctor's advice I am going to stay with my dad in the hospital, My friends and Nilesh uncle leave to my home with my dad's men. Well they all leave unwillingly.
I am somewhat relieved cause my dad's vital signs are stabilizing... he is still under the effect of sedatives. I sit beside him, holding his hand. "Whatever may come I will not let you happen anything dad...", I mumble to myself.
My cellphone rings. It's Mrunal, I don't want to wake my dad up so I step out of the room and receive. Poor girl, she was confused, what to cook for my dad? I gave her instructions. As I hung up, Someone calls me out with surprise in his voice, "Grishma....?" who knows my mom in this hospital?, I turn myself with jolt.
There stands a man of my dad's age, of course he looks healthier with decent personality, he is stunned, regarding me unblinkingly. I got scared, so I am about to turn around that he asks with bewilderment, "are you Grishma's daughter..?"
Oh god he really knows my mom, now he knows me, what if he is against my dad, so I don't answer his question and dash inside my room but next moment he snaps open the door. Omg.. didn't I make a mistake by sending Brijesh uncle home..?
I am standing facing my dad, grabbing water bottle in my hand, if he has bad intentions then I will make sure he won't return his home unscathed.
I can hear his foot steps moving closer, but I think he has stopped aghast, then asks as if he has gotten a lump in his throat, "what happened to Vishesh... why is he lying like this?"
My grip on bottle loosened. I turn my head, ask furrowing, "who are you?" "He is Rishi.. my dearest friend.." my dad responds with difficulty but smiling. I regard him suspiciously, his eyes are moving between me and my dad unsteadily.
"Oh.. hello.... uncle" I greet him hesitantly. But he is in the state of utter shock, I offer him a chair, he takes it without taking his eyes off of my dad.
"I found you accidentally and I am your dearest friend??...I see" he utters rolling his eyes.
My dad sighs, "I will explain you everything in detail..at this moment you just meet my daughter Tulika.."
Uncle regards me with admiration, "she is just like Grishma.. by the way where is she?, how is she? When did you come here? You know that night you just vanished...."
My dad interrupts, "Rishi...... just calm down.." then addresses to me, "Tulika serve your uncle some water.." I pour water in glass and hand him thinking so now I know a person who knows something about my past.
My dad breaks my chain of thoughts, "so what brings you here Rishi?" To that uncle sighs, "well.. my driver is admitted here, I came here to visit him and I spotted Tulika, of course I have misunderstood her as Grishma." He sips and regards me with commendation.
That doctor arrives to check my dad, he advises him not to speak much and to rest, so we sit there silently until my dad falls asleep again.
Then uncle asks, "so.. my sister must be at home?" I look at him with shock 'sister??', he explains, "yeah..she is like sister to me." My eyes get moist, as I reveal the truth about my mom.
Tears are coursing down his face, he says, "oh.. dear... this much have happened in your lives and Vishesh didn't inform me?" He asks furrowing, then I explain him about my dad. He is stupefied knowing the truth. He comforts me, "you have been through a lot but now your uncle is here, so don't worry about anything my child..." I just nod with smile.
That I spot Abhi, stepping out of lift with tiffin in his hand, so uncle just waves me good night assuring me that he will again visit us tomorrow. He gives me his number in case of emergency.
I perceive his back thinking really.. there are people who care for us.
Next day my dad is discharged, but still he is weak, As doctor has told me his condition is fragile so he advised him to take rest and informed me that his attack was severe, so he can't take stress.
I am thankful to god that Nilesh uncle, Abhi and Mrunal stay with me, well Rishi uncle too spends almost his whole day with us. And that's the reason my dad is recovering fast.
But still I know that he is worried about something, I always find him deep in thoughts. I really want to help him only if I get to know the reason.
It is on a one fine morning after a week, my friends are gone, my dad is sitting on a swing, I am in the kitchen preparing juice for my dad that his phone rings, I eavesdrop his talk. My dad states annoyingly, " I know very well but still my answer would be same that I.. don't... have... anything.... right now...., halt "you can have my company if you want.." halt "please I need one week, can you give me that ..please.." and he hangs up the phone..
I sprint to my dad asking, "what is the matter dad? Why are you offering your company to someone? I want to know everything? I have a right to know..." I say breathing heavily in anger.
My dad sadly twitches his lips saying, "sit here.." as I join him on a swing he starts, "Tuli... when it comes to rivalries people can go to any extent, even use false accusations, but this time I wanted to shut them all forever, and would you believe I did that, yeah I won, they won't bother us now but what I misinterpreted is my business partner, these last six months I was busy in my own fighting that couldn't pay much attention to our company, well I trusted my partner.
But it was only week ago I got to know that he has fled with a large sum of money, company is mired in debt, all the workers are on a strike, our share prices are at bottom." He holds his head in despair.
"Tuli.. I am tired now.. if I am living today then there is only one reason that's 'you' my precious gem..!!" His face beams for a moment. "I am sorry my daughter I have put you through all these mess..." he adds sadly.
"Now I need some time so that I can sell the company, get rid of the debt then live happily with you.." he gives me faded smile.
I am aghast listening to my dad, how could he be so calm? Obviously it's not money but his faithful heart couldn't bear the betrayal. That's the reason behind his heart attack. My chest swells with pride that I am this man's daughter..
but I want to help my dad, I won't let him sell his company, I ask almost holding my breath, "how much sum he ran away with?"
My dad smiles sarcastically as if he had read my mind, "500million Omani rial...about 9000 million rupees.." my heart skips a beat listening the amount, what will you do dad? I ask swallowing the gulp..
He answers with worried face, "I don't know. But it is people's money he ran away with, selling the company is the only solution but I doubt if anyone wants to buy it.." we both are looking at each other, busy in our own thoughts that his cellphone rings. My dad sighs sadly, "I don't think they are going to leave me alone.." he moves his legs towards his room, receiving a phone.
I recall doctor's words, "his condition is fragile, won't be able to handle the stress." No matter how hard he plays cool, but he is tensed, I have to do something, I will sell this house, sell our village's property.
I approach my dad that he rebukes me,"why the devil do you wanna sell this house..? do You have slightest idea what did this house mean to your mom and to me? It is your mom's last memory for me, we have spent our happiest days here.. Tuli.. and another thing is that these will not pay off the debt.. so just don't come up with these silly ideas.. If you wanna help me then leave me alone..please.. I am begging you.." He instantly sets his hand on his chest coughing, stunned by his words, I clear my throat and help him to bed, handing him medicine.
As I turn around, I see Rishi uncle is standing at the door. I explain him how constrained I am!! "Where is Brijesh, I wanna have word with him?" He asks desperately.
After talking to him for half an hour, uncle informs me, " I will leave for Oman within a week, Brijesh is coming with me, will meet his lawyer and look into the matter, you just take care of him okay.." and leaves.
It's been almost thirteen days all I am doing is waiting.. and to my utter surprise at evening my dad contentedly shared the good news, "Our lawyer has called just now that strike has been concluded, as our loan request has been approved.." he informs me in one breath. I have thanked Rishi uncle hundreds of times. Cause I know it's his money not any loans. He has come like an angel.
In short my dad is relieved, I can notice the change. And I am on seventh heaven when everything is settled.
hi uncle comes back and visits us, my dad expresses his desire to handle his work from here so that he won't have to live away from me.
My days are happy, only I miss is Viansh, yeah he doesn't visit me frequently now, but we chat on a phone, my dad knows him as he visited us when he got to know about my dad.
Abhi visits us almost once in a week, as he started working in a gym here.
As I have got my dad's company I am on top of the world, only now I come to know that my dad is an artist too, that's the reason he named me Tulika means "paint brush"
One thing still bothers me is my dad is not ready to tell me about those people, upon asking he sighs, "it's over Tuli.. the person who was after you, met with an accident.. I think he is dead.. I don't want to talk about him now.." but still he sends Brijesh uncle with me wherever I go.
It's after almost one and half month, when I feel everything is settled down, my dad's business has been started, his health is good, my business is going well.
One day my dad presents his thought, "Tuli.. Rishi has helped me a lot, I want to arrange a casual dinner for his family.."
I jump with excitement, "that's great.." then I mumble to myself only I know how much he has helped us. "Cool.. then this Sunday will be good.. right?" My dad asks.
"Yeah.. This sunday" I thumps up to that.
As sunday comes, I get busy to decide menu, cause I am excited to meet his family. In this one and a half month he has visited us thousands of times but I never got a chance to meet his family.
At evening I get ready in bohemian style vintage purple grey maxi dress, my dad is excited too, cause after so many days someone is visiting us. As per dad's order I have prepared Rishi uncle's favourite dish.
At night I am busy in garnishing and door bell rings, my dad, himself opens the gate for them, my lips twitch as uncle's words hit my eardrums, "....mom is there, so two of us are left to take advantage of your hospitality" and he laughs joyously.
Oh so he and his wife has come.. maybe thay have just taken their sit in a hall that my dad calls out my name so I hurriedly dash to hall.. but I stood stalk-still at the door. My eyes got widened looking at them..
Uncle notices, " hey.. Tuli.. why did you stop there..? He is my son Nomaan..."
At the same moment Nomaan, who was talking with my dad, turns his head and we both almost shout together as we came back to our senses, "YOU???!!!"
Hey dear readers.. nice to meet you all... I hope you all have enjoyed story so far, well I have outlined many chapters but it is editing, which steals the time🙄🙄🙄, that's the reason I am able to publish once in a week.. I hope you are getting me😁😁.. and yeah...please forgive me for my mistakes....😊🙂😊 love you all.... stay safe....🙂