Read part 1 here
Dev got Nikki dressed while I collected all my medical reports. Over the years the reports had just kept piling in. The folder looked more like a thesis with scary sounding terms and incomprehensible jargon. Earlier I would scan the Internet in the night trying to fathom my own reports. But it was incredibly boring and sometimes depressing as well, so I decided that some mysteries are best left unraveled.
On the way we picked Shimpu and drove to the doctor’s clinic. I was dressed in a powder blue kurta. I had not worn it since many days. I was wondering to myself that why did I not wear this kurta all these days when Nikki called out.
Our car was moving at a snail’s pace thanks to the Durga Puja celebrations which were in full swing at the moment. I thought that Nikii must have seen a huge Durga idol and was excited because of that, when I glanced to where she was pointing. “Mom! See that! Mom!” Nikki was glued to the car window and pointing to the huge statue in front of us.
Just ahead of us was a procession carrying a huge black stone statue of Krishna. I was startled as well as amazed. It was an intense black color. One hand of the statue was raised in benediction blessing all those who partook the Lord’s darshan and the other hand holding a flute. The features were chiseled so perfectly that it felt like a real human form. The face glistened in the summer sun with a tranquil smile. I kept gazing at it.
Suddenly I felt a wave of peace descend upon me. It seemed like I was literally drinking peace from a vast ocean of peace, like a weary traveler with an unquenched thirst. Our car, the people in front of us, the traffic, everything seemed to slow down and move with a rhythm and harmony. The surroundings looked so vivid and alive. As if life was saying that it was perfect and everything was how it was supposed to be.
The feeling continued while we reached the doctor’s clinic. I remained silent and absorbed. Strangely Nikki, Dev and Shimpu, nobody noticed my silence.
“There is an appointment for Ms Nandika Juneja.” Dev asked the receptionist.
“Yes kindly wait here. The doctor will call you inside.” A middle-aged lady clad in a blue and orange saree told us.
After waiting for about half an hour the doctor called us in. Dev and me went inside his office while Shimpu took care of Nikki outside. The doctor was a tall and lean fellow. He carefully studied my reports and asked me to stand up so that he could examine me. I stood up very well knowing what would happen next. The doctor would pinch me exactly on those areas which caused me pain and then ask me, ‘Does it pain here? And here? And here? And this?’ He would poke and prod and I would tell him where all it pained, how much and when. Exactly the same thing happened with this doctor too and I found myself answering in monologues. The doctor then moved my neck up, down, side and back to see how much motion did my neck have. Then he asked me to move my arms and shoulders.
I almost knew by heart now the standard examination procedure done for patients like me. Consequently my mind was elsewhere and my eyes were scanning the doctor’s room. And then I froze. I saw an exactly similar statue of Krishna, similar to what I had witnessed a few minutes ago on the roadside procession. The same deep black colour, the same expression and the same pose. Only this time it was much smaller and standing elegantly on a bookshelf. I could not keep my eyes off it. I just stood there gazing at it, my eyes fixed and my mind silent, just absorbing what I felt while the doctor patiently examined my pain wracked body.
I beheld the stone image mesmerized by the same feeling of peace. If somebody were to describe me at that moment, I appeared like an enchanted child who was engrossed in a fantasy world. I was jolted out of my reverie by Dev’s hand on shoulder, “So shall we go now? Or you want to ask the doctor anything?”
“Huh! No it is fine. Let’s go.” I hadn’t realized that the doctor had finished examining me and that our session was over. On the way out I remarked, “That was really short. I am glad!”
“Ya and what was wrong with you? The doctor had to repeat each question three times. What were you thinking? In my opinion he was not too bad a doctor. He spent so much time on you and I felt that he had an open mind. You should not be so hopeless Nads.” Dev was chastising me. From his point of view it was logical but I could not explain to him what I was feeling. I merely laughed at my silly behaviour and said, “Sorry! Next time I will be a well behaved child.”
We kept our promise to Nikki and took her to a park where she played to her heart’s content. By the time we reached home after dinner, it was well past eleven. Nikki had gone to sleep in the car itself. Dev carried her tenderly and put her to bed. My heart swelled with happiness and gratitude on having Dev and Nikki in my life. If only my body would also behave then it would be perfect. I was very soon going to realize that this was in my own hands.
Before going to bed I practiced a small bedtime ritual. I would spend some time alone introspecting about the day and journal my thoughts. If some happy incident had taken place I would sit silently and try to absorb the feeling. This had been my routine for many years now. Although I had never been religious, this was my way of connecting with a higher power.
I sat down for my nightly period of solitude. My mind raced to the amazing and strange experiences of the day. I knew deep down that these were all signs pointing to something. They were urging me to act. To take charge. But what were they telling me? What? What? What? That was all that my mind could think of at the moment. I was clueless. I knew over the years that in such instances the intuition held the answers and not the mind. So I decided to let go and relax. I quickly dozed off to sleep thinking that the answers are all there and I should just let them flow rather than chase them. And that’s what happened in my sleep that night. I saw a dream. A dream that was so real that even till today I question whether that was a dream or this existence is a dream.