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“Oh, c’mon Shiney you can’t be such an idiot. Did you really ask Shruti to eat
10 red chilies just for that silly bet.”?
“Hey, that’s not fair. She started it. She said that she would eat the chilies.”
“ But you made her eat it later.”
Priti threw her head backwards and laughed. Shiney looked sheepish. “All right
go and make up with her. She was pretty mad when she called me. So I guess it
will mean hard work for you but you deserve it.” And again the laughter. Shiney
smiled too. That was Priti’s specialty her laughter was infectious.
The phone rang. “Priti, Priti it’s your call.” said Mrs.Duggal.
“Oh, that’s you Aastha. Can’t you call me by my proper name.”
“Sorry. But I prefer to tell the truth.”
“All right. Relax I simply called to tell you that we guys are planning a blast
on Thursday’s night and you can sleepover with me.”
“ I dunno. Mum may not like that. You know I had a sleepover with Shruti just
last week after the movie.”
“ Please, Priti it is special”
“ Armaan said something about Shiney and Shruti declaring their engagement”
“Yup, that was my first reaction too.”
“Are you sure? I mean of course they had been together for two whole years but
“ I don’t know. But it had been coming to this for sometime. The signs were
“What about their parents?”
“Shruti had met uncle and aunty. And from Shiney I had learnt that they were
“Okay. I will try my level best.”
“Try real hard.”
“Mom” said Priti. “Yes”-replied Mrs. Duggal
“ Mom. Can I go to Aastha’s house on Thursday for a sleepover?”
Priti had her fingers crossed.
“Mom, please. This will be the last time this month. I promise”
“Okay. But you must remember your promise.”
Priti kissed her mother.
“Mom have you seen my scooter’s key? I am getting late for the party. Soon all
of them will be hopping mad.” This was Priti shouting. “ Your father has taken
it for servicing, he must be on his way back.” Mrs. Duggal replied adding “and
don’t shout like that”
Priti scowled and thought “Of all the days she had to go just today. I think I
should give a miscall to Aastha.”
She took out her mobile and was about to dial when she heard her father calling
her. “ Priti dear, here is your scooter smoothly running and not a single
Priti was ashamed of her thoughts earlier and hugged her dad and mom “ Thanks
dad that was really sweet of you.”
“Bye, dad. Bye mom.”
Priti waved as she started her scooter. Nobody knew, neither the proud parents
nor the sparkling daughter that this was the last time they would see each other
Priti was fuming as the traffic moved at snail’s speed. She decided to take a
shortcut through the ring road and swerved to the left. She wasn’t too fast
neither too slow. The sky was getting darker with the approaching night. And
suddenly it happened. Priti had seen a BMW in the rearview mirror, which was
going at full throttle. She had felt uncomfortable at the sight of it and
therefore was keeping to the left. This vehicle suddenly lost control at a
patchy part of the road and then rammed with full force onto Priti.
“What on earth is Priti doing till now”
“ I don’t know Armaan but I have got this felling that all is not well with her”
“ C’mon Aastha what could have happened to her?”
Shiney stood up “I am sorry guys but I have got this felling too. Lets call
aunty and ask her if Priti has left or not?”
“ I don’t know but aunty will get upset over that. Maybe it is nothing and Priti
has just got stuck in a traffic jam.”
“ I think Shruti is right let’s do a thing. Let’s boys check the ring road if
she is coming and if she arrives then the girls can give us a call”, suggested
In the Apollo Hospital, Aastha was almost hysterical and Armaan was having a
real hard time trying to calm her down. They had found Priti on the ring road
and a BMW had been lying overturned on the road. But there was no one inside.
Whoever had been responsible for the mishap had run away. They had checked the
pulse and there was none. Armaan had picked her up and put her in the car while
Shiney had tried to dial the girls. His hand had been shaking so much that he
took full 1 minute to call the girls. When Shruti received the call she didn’t
believe what Shiney told and thought that it was just a prank but when Shiney
broke down in the phone Shruti realized that it was the truth. They had called
Priti’s parents while the boys had rushed to the hospital. The doctors had
confirmed that yes Priti was not any more. That is when the full impact hit the
friends. Till then there had been a lingering hope that maybe Armaan had not
correctly checked the pulse but even that was gone now. It is when Aastha had
fainted. The Duggals arrived just then and from the look of their face neither
of them had actually got the message but when Mrs. Duggal saw Priti with her
battered face, she faced the truth that it was all over for Priti. Priti had
gone away forever. And she stood there as if she had been stupefied and after
what seemed an eternity for her husband who had been crying softly, she
collapsed on the floor and the first drop of tear rolled down.
The relatives had been informed and the painful final rites were about to begin
and just then the doctor called them into his chamber and had a talk with them.
Doctor said, “ I know what is your state right know. I have went through it when
my only son died due to cancer.”
The Duggals were shocked at this confession. “He could have been saved if we
would have found a donor. He needed a liver,” said the doctor. “ And now there
is a family in the same situation. They also need a liver”
“ No, never, I will never do it. I will never do that with Priti. She will
remain whole,” shrieked Mrs. Duggal. She stood up, “I know what you are doing.
You are a racketeer and you are taking money to sell our dear’s organs.” And she
stormed out of the room. Mr. Duggal sat there sadly shook his head, “ I know
what you want to tell us and I am fully on your side but Sandhya will never
agree. She is in a shock. But I will still try to make her see the point.”
The doctor nodded and said, “ Take her to see the patient’s family at ward
no:09. Maybe she will relent.” Thanking the doctor Mr. Duggal went out.
Mrs. Duggal was crying softly. “Listen Sandhya, I know it is real hard thing for
you but try to see it from their point of view try to imagine yourself at those
child’s position.” Said Mr. Duggal. He also took Mrs. Duggal to the child’s ward
and then tried his level best to coax Sandhya to agree for the donation. And at
last Mrs. Duggal agreed “but only the liver.” She
Mr. Duggal went to see the doctor and tell him the good news. Meanwhile Mrs.
Duggal went to the child’s ward and told them the news. The faces of the parents
lit up and they thanked her prosperously. And seeing the joy in their face Mrs.
Duggal realized the real importance of her contribution. She was saving a live.
She was giving a new life to a small child. Tears welled up in her eyes as she
saw the parents lined face wet with tears of relief, tears of joy. And Mrs.
Duggal began thinking “ How many such life could be saved if they decided to
donate the other organs as well. She rushed back to Mr. Duggal who was talking
with the doctor at the precise minute. When she told her intentions to both of
them they were awe struck but both of them wholeheartedly supported her and they
went to talk with the seniors so as to decide the course of action and to fill
the forms and complete the paperwork as well as other formalities. Slowly their
relatives began to trickle in and when they heard their decisions they seethed
with anger, horror writ large on their face but Mrs. Duggal with her husband on
her side she was not perturbed at all and both of them stood by their decision.
After many years when the time had somewhat diluted their grief the Duggals had
been invited to a big party organized by the organ recipients’ families who had
come together to thank the couple for their unselfish and humane gesture. There
when the Duggals saw how their daughter even in her death had helped others,
they were gratified. Just then a girl of around 7 years old who had received
Priti’s heart came to Mrs. Duggal and asked, “Aunty mother tells me that your
daughter gave me her heart. Is it true?”
“ Didn’t she die? Ma’am tells us heart is very, very important for living.”
“She had already died”
The child clapped her hand over her mouth, “Oh”
Then her eyes round she asked, “Did she cry?”
Mrs. Duggal’s eyes welled up, as she replied “No”
“Because death is beautiful.”
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