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Monday, 21 September, 2009

The Test

The bell rang and the kids scattered all over the hallway now scuttled in all directions fumbling through books and bags. Gathering his belongings hurriedly, Neil urged, "Come ON! Last ten minutes!" Without taking his eyes off the book Viraj nodded and signaled him to go ahead without him.

"In a bit . . .," Viraj said.
"OK!" Neil replied and dashed into the examination hall.

Few moments and Viraj was now walking into the room, all the while reading from the book in his left hand and a bag clutched in his right. He looked up to find his seat among what he expected to be rows of benches sparsely occupied by solemn faces, anxious to get the test over with. What he saw instead, perplexed him. He saw Neil in his Doctor's coat, stethoscope hung loosely around his neck, flipping through some medical files. A busy looking nurse walked around him. Looking up at Viraj rather apologetically, Neil said, "I . . . I'm sorry. . . the test . . . it . . . it came out. . . positive . . . But it's not too late . . . we still have a fighting chance. We can treat this . . . Trust me . . . "

The book and the bag seemed to disappear in the horrible dark pit that had begun to form in Viraj's guts. He tried to step back and breathe, but a grim heaviness arrested him. The bell rang again and suddenly with a violent jerk of his limbs he broke free and the next moment he felt as if his body was dropped on something soft but firm, as he fought the air.

His eyes were wide open with confusion and terror. Gasping for air, he now lay on his bed, thinking of what he had just dreamt. The bell rang again and he winced. He looked at the clock. It told him it was close to ten on a Sunday morning. The bell rang once more, even as he was getting out of bed, and this time it did not stop till he opened the door with a sleepy face cringed in the morning sun.

"What took you so long, Dad?" screamed his nine-year old as he scrambled inside, dropping his cricket bat into a corner.

"Straight to the bathroom!" Viraj yelled, looking at his son's grazed skin covered in dirt, as he was settling down on the couch to play his video game.

"Just one game, Dad!" he pleaded as the system booted.

"NOW!" thundered Viraj, who had hastily followed his son to the video game and was, now, holding his finger on the 'Power' button of the system threatening to switch it off.

Reluctantly pausing the game, which had hardly begun, the kid threw the joystick on the couch with an annoyed grunt and stomped his way to the bathroom. Viraj let a sigh out as he watched him leave.

Looking around the empty house he wondered where Neeta was. Walking towards the phone he saw a little note stuck on its receiver. Ripping it off, he read it -

Off to the temple with the gang – last minute plans, as usual! Didn't wanna wake you up. Will be back by noon. There's cake in the fridge. Oh and btw, Good Morning :)


He smiled warmly as he folded the note and slipped it into his pocket. He picked the phone, dialled a number and waited awkwardly till he heard a voice on the other end.

"Hey . . . ," answered Neil.

"Hey," Viraj said, "were you sleeping?"

"No, no . . . what's up?"

"Mmm. . . nothing much," Viraj paused for a moment before continuing reluctantly, "well, actually. . . I just wanted to make sure, this one last time . . . ,"

"DUDE!", Neil interrupted in a reassuring voice, "Stop worrying! I've told you several times. I have verified the results myself . . . twice!"

"Ya . . . I know . . . I just . . . ,"

"Listen, I do understand what you might be going through. I know it is scary. But TRUST ME, you don't need to be. Not anymore," Neil asserted. "It was a stupid mix-up at the lab. The test is most certainly NEGATIVE. You are perfectly healthy. There's no tumor growing in your head. There never was. I'm telling you as your doctor and your friend – STOP WORRYING about it!"

"OK . . . ok . . . ," sighed Viraj, "I will . . . I will . . . Thank you . . . Really . . . Thank you . . . "

"GOOD. Just relax, OK?"

"Yeah . . . I. . . I'll talk to you later . . . "

"Sure. Take care. Bye"

"You too. Bye."

Viraj closed his eyes as the phone clicked. Drawing in a slow long breath, he opened his eyes as he let the air out with a faint smile. Turning around he opened the fridge as two little wet feet ran across the room hastily towards the abandoned joystick.

"Want some cake?" Viraj said, peering into the fridge.

"Yeah!" came the reply.


  1. hmmmm...this is the kind of stuff that you hear about but never think that it would happen to you....btw , good conversational flow, nice use of " ..... "

    and "two little wet feet ran" ; i'm picking up your literary signature in such words....

  2. wow!!! "abandoned joystick"-in ur stories, even immobile things behave as though they have life

    and "two little wet feet"..aaah another one!!!!
    i like ur proses more, than the poetry:D...really, u use the words so perfectly and as if they were in the dictionary jus waiting for u to be USED!!!

    "and stomped"...u can almost imagine the son making a big face and making sounds with his feet to attract attention! excellent wrk mate:)

  3. Brilliant Language, the 'emotion' element (which you possess yet chose to rue about not having!) with a free flowing, Effortless narrative at its core.
    you know what i think about where it should go ;)
    i enjoyed reading it, its as simple as that.
    the true litmus test of all writing!

  4. litmus test hahaha..:D
    shamie, u shud stop RUING now after all these brillian posts! huh..*gives a big grin*

  5. @rohit - well thank you :) respect @ literary signature :)

    @manisha - thank you for loving my prose :) I love writing them as much :) and well, I will rue till I want to :P

    @meghana - your litmus tests are certainly a pleasure to pass :) thank you :)

  6. BTW
    you cannot rue till you want!
    you dont have that kind of freedom ;)

    remember i CAN wreak havoc here if i want to today!

  7. Wow! Brilliantly narrated!!! I felt like I was watching a movie.
    Came over from "As the Mind Meanders". After this read, I am going to scan your blog for more :)

  8. @meghana - lolz!! I am glad you didn't though :P and well ruing is so much fun! so i will :P, you can join too :D

    @ashley - hi :) Thank you for loving it and scanning the rest of the place. Hope you enjoy your stay here :) I read your page too and loved it :) will explore more soon...


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