“I just had a transplant” said Rati breaking her inner silence. Malavika repositioned herself after listening to what Rati just declared. “Transplant for what”? Asked Malavika in a concerned voice “Kidney, hahaha, Malavika I am fine, I just got a new one” said Rati as she laughed, shrugging her shoulders. “I am at a loss of words rati, no seriously I am, but happy for you’re fine now” Malavika said. “But how come, nobody is there to assist you, you’re travelling alone, my god” she continued. “If I take Ashok with me every time for dialysis and treatments then who will earn, we have spent over 30 lacs on this(pointing her hand to her abdomen),and I can’t let my daughter’s studies suffer because of me” replied Rati regretfully. “But still! Rati there should be someone with you, I know my distant cousin, who I heard is going through the same treatment” said Malavika. “There’s not much problem, I have made couple of friends in chennai who are there for me, and Ashok has assigned few of his office colleagues there, who are present at once upon being called. So so far, there’s not much problem” proudly said Rati. “Rati you’re a strong woman, you’re great!” exclaimed Malavika. “Receiving something has nothing to do with greatness but giving is” Rati quoted. “Yes that is true Rati!” said Malavika, with a surprised expression on her face after hearing such a noble thought from Rati, it was unexpected of her actually, after what all she observed about her. The staff started distributing packed lunches to everyone and asked about passengers preference for veg and non veg food. “Veg” said Rati strictly. “Same, give me two lunches, veg only!” asked Malavika while she called Subodh to wake up, who was in deep slumber since beginning of this journey. “Bhaiya one Non veg above” said Ali while he got up to receive his tray. “Huhh, I can’t bear the smell of it” Rati roared, placing her saree’s pallu covering her nose and mouth. “Aye, you listen, make sure nothing falls on my head” Rati warned Ali with her eyes wide open enough to scare anyone. “Rati sit down and have your lunch, they already serve it cold” Malavika said holding rati’s hand to make her sit down. She had to time and again intervene to pacify Rati’s anger for Ali. Ali quietly ate his meal and kept the tray with himself on his berth, while others slided down their trays under their seats and lounged. “So Rati how is it now, I heard a new kidney sustains a long time! And yes, if you keep a nice diet and exercise” asked Malavika. “Yes! the doctors recommend a particular diet and all, but more than the doctors i believe in god’s power, he got me a donor in just nick of time, my health was seriously deteriorating, and at one point, I just lost all hope” Rati said in a deep voice, as if choked by tears that did not find way out. “Oh yes, definitely thank god and your donor! was it some relative?, who gave you?” asked Malavika. “No, no relative, actually there are few tests to match blood, tissue and other things with the donor, before a transplant, i had to wait for a long time to get my match” replied Rati. “Oh, it’s weird because we never get to know or meet the one who saved us just like god we can’t see him” sighed Malavika. “True i never got to meet my donor but want to thank whenever I meet” sighed Rati as she fall back on her berth after staring long at the window. Phone ringing. “Hello, yes Ashok, yes lunch, dinner all done, I am fine, no no pain yes, yes had my medicines too, ok what is Riya doing, where is she”? Rati spoke over the phone with Ashok. “She’s in her room studying, should i call her” asked Ashok. “No no let her study, why to break her tempo, anyway I will reach tomorrow, bye bye” said Rati. “Ok, madam, take care bbye” said Ashok. Rati made her bed, hid her purse under the pillow and went off to sleep. “Thud” something fell on the floor of cabin, Rati woke up, dazed and confused.
Written By Shilpi Aditri