First published in November 2016
Harish was quite puzzled as he witnessed the chaos outside his house. People ran helter-skelter and there was a lot of commotion. The year was 1947, and the two nations were now independent. While the Hindus were asked to stay in India, the Muslims were asked to migrate to Pakistan. Confused Harish was quietly led inside the house by his kind father Lala Amar Nath.
In the middle of the night Lala Amar Nath and his family were woken up by a loud banging sound. Despite the ladies of the household requesting Lalaji not to open the door, he opened it. Outside stood their neighbour Abdul Khan with his ten-year-old son Rahim Khan. Since Abdul Khan has moved in the neighbourhood only a week back, he was not familiar with many neighbours. But with panic striking the city, he decided to seek shelter at Lalaji’s house, because the latter carried a reputation of being kind-hearted. It was for the first time Lalaji’s family saw Rahim Khan. The boy walked with a limp and had a mark on his face which traced from the forehead till the cheek. The shy boy did not speak much, but his large green eyes expressed gratitude. Next morning the father and son left. No one heard of them thereafter.
Twenty years later, Harish Nath, now a handsome young boy reached back home after work. It was New Year’s Eve. He was in a good mood, as he had planned a lovely evening for his family. However, upon reaching home, he sensed that something was not right. His youngest sister rushed to him and told him that Lalaji had suddenly fallen down and was not responding. Realizing that it required immediate attention, Harish rushed Lalaji to the heart hospital known to have the best doctors from the world over. Just having doctors was not enough, their availability on New Year’s Eve was equally important.
As Lalaji’s family waited outside the operation theatre, they prayed for the surgery to be successful. Some kind doctor, who was on way to the airport to fly to New York, had cancelled his flight and was operating upon Lalaji. As the hours passed by, the family grew apprehensive. The nurse rushed in and out of the operation theatre, refusing to talk to the family. Finally, the surgery ended. Now a nurse came out and explained to them that the doctor had done his best, and would be meeting them in few minutes. They also learnt that the doctor was the most competent doctor and the most sought after across the globe. Filled with a sense of gratitude, the family waited for the doctor.
After some time, they were asked to meet the doctor in his cabin. Harish decided to meet the doctor alone, so he went in his room. The doctor explained the need of the emergency surgery and the precautions to be followed now. Relieved, Harish now looked at the doctor. Something about the scar on the doctor’s face reminded him of someone. Just then the doctor removed his glasses, and the green eyes spoke the truth. The doctor moved forward to shake hands with Harish. The limp was unmistakable. Harish was speechless. He simply looked at the medical documents signed by Dr Rahim Khan. He was reminded of his father’s kind deed. Dr. Khan smiled at Harish, and left for the airport to take the next flight.
The orbit of humanity had finally grown beyond the boundaries set by religions.
- Orbit – (here) circle
- Chaos – disorder
- Commotion – noisy confusion