Life is an exam where the syllabus is unknown and question papers are not set. Maybe that’s why I find myself in this situation, where I feel at a loss as to how to cope with this problem. I feel helpless and I’m in so much pain; God! I don’t know what to do. It’s sheer agony that I, Avinash Jaisingh can’t do a simple thing like go to the washroom without asking for assistance and all this happened because of a couple of wires. Why? Why Didn’t I see them? I must have asked myself this question a thousand times but nothing can be undone now. If only I could go back in time.
I clearly remember that day. I was going to perform at Jio garden BKC. The grounds were packed to the rafters and the fans were going crazy. I was so excited and it was the first performance of ‘Blue Water’ after I was discharged from the hospital two weeks ago. The release of our second album was also a success like the first one. I was going to do the opening act and I was totally revved up. I just stepped into the dressing room for a last minute touch up of my hair and a quick pep talk with the boys. Our band’s name was announced and I ran towards the stage to make my entry, but I didn’t look down and when my leg caught on a few wires, I tripped and fell down hard hurting the same leg where I had ripped my ligaments due to an accident while doing the dance routine. Terrible pain shot up my leg like a lightning bolt and I just couldn’t get up. I had fractured my leg and the ligament that had just healed was torn a bit too. I needed a surgery to correct it this time and that’s how I found myself in the same damn room in the same hospital within a fortnight of being discharged.
At this rate, I would most certainly have to pull out of the band. We were scheduled to go for a tour in Europe next month and my accident put those plans in jeopardy. I was becoming a burden to my band but being the lead vocalist and guitarist, I just couldn’t quit. I had to get well soon and fast but the pain was killing me and frankly speaking, I was simply exhausted. I just wanted to give up on everything. My career, my music, everything just seemed like a bother now. I was in one of my black moods and I had thrown a fit and refused to meet any doctors today. A week had passed since the surgery and my leg had only gotten worse. I had had enough of doctors and physiotherapists poking at my leg. All the doctors were just words and promises and talk, when it came to actual results, it was zilch.
My room was dark because I had asked the nurse to draw the curtains, but I sensed her presence even before I saw her. She smelled of lavender and maybe it was mixed with the faint smell of roses. Then I heard her. She said something in a sweet mellifluous tone and then I heard a trill of laughter.
“I can’t believe that Avi from Blue Water is my patient! Today sure is a lucky day.”
“Must be a nurse or someone who’s my fan,” I mused.
I brushed it aside and closed my eyes. Just then she drew the curtains aside and bright sunlight streamed into the room. I squinted and was about to holler at the nurse for disturbing me when I saw her and every thought flew out of my head. Warm brown eyes with flecks of honey gold peered at me. They were framed with long spiky lashes in a heart shaped face. She had skin that looked as soft and white as freshly fallen snow and her lush lips were painted a deep strawberry red. She smiled at me and that brought my attention to the small beauty spot near her mouth. She had a long straight nose that tilted slightly upward at the tip making her look adorable and her face was framed with silky brown fringes and shoulder length hair that curled at the tip.
She was wearing a doctor’s white coat and before I could get my breath back she said, “Hi, I am Dr. Sargam Sharma, your new physiotherapist and a huge fan of Blue Water. I am Dr. Chauhan’s assistant but she is on holiday and I will be looking after your treatment while she is not here. Actually she is on a cruise celebrating her 25th anniversary. Though you are the first patient I will be handling independently, I am one of the best juniors in her team.”
So the doc is living it up in a cruise ship and I am here stuck in the hospital. Gosh! Even Dr. Chauhan has a better life than me. But I’m glad she’s gone. It was becoming difficult to tolerate her patronizing tone.
“I am not going to be treated by a junior and I specifically requested that no one should disturb me today.” I all but glared at the pretty doctor. Sargam only smiled and flashed a dazzling dimple at me. Gosh, she shouldn’t smile like that. How could she look any prettier than she already was? Her smile was doing crazy things to my heartbeats.
“Okay, we won’t do any exercises today. But since I am paid to spend an hour with you, let me stay here as a fan and talk to you if that’s ok?”
I was stumped. I didn’t expect her to agree with me so easily. All the doctors would coax and cajole me to do the exercises and therapy. What was this Dr. Sargam up to? Was she using reverse psychology on me? Well, she would have to try harder than that.
“Um …okay. What do you want to talk about?”
For the next hour I found myself talking to her about the early years of my singing career, what I liked the most about singing, why was singing my passion and how was my experience of recording my first album in a recording studio. Before I realised it was already 6pm and surprisingly, I actually had fun reminiscing and talking about my love for music.
“Well, thanks for talking to me Avi. Since I didn’t treat you today I’m not your doctor, just a fan so I can call you Avi like all your fans do instead of Mr. Avinash right?”
“Yeah ok, I guess, no problem.”
“Well Avi, I’m not saying this as your doctor, but don’t you think it won’t be very cool if you go up on stage in a wheel chair for your Christmas performance? Your fans, including me will miss your signature entry when you strut and swagger up to the stage. Think about it.”
With that Dr. Sargam left my room and I could only stare at her in amusement. She was one clever woman. It was only then that I realised she had been treating me. She had me talking about music only so that I would remember why I needed to get well faster. She couldn’t make it any more clearer than she just did with her parting remark. I couldn’t help but admire her style. I didn’t want to admit to it but oh boy, I was sure looking forward to see her again at 5 pm tomorrow.
I asked the nurse to shave my beard that had grown wild and unkempt due to a week of neglect and I sprayed my favourite perfume. I gelled my hair and my heart beat was getting erratic as the clock ticked closer to 5 pm. I felt a nervous flutter when I saw her enter my room and had to tamp down the urge to smile at her.
“So are you ready to exercise today so that you can strut onto the stage for your next concert?”
Just to pull her a peg down, I considered refusing to exercise, but that would only seem petty and she had made her point clear, I was dying to stand on my feet and if I refused, the only person suffering would be me. So I agreed. She seemed so fragile but she had strong arms and she helped me to exercise and move my stiff leg. She then asked me to simply stand on my feet and when I leaned on her I almost buckled. She was right there to catch me, but I had definitely fallen, at least my heart had. I found myself an inch away from her face. I was so mesmerized by her beautiful face that I simply stared at her unabashed. She smelled different today, like jasmine maybe. I could clearly see her pupils and I heard her breath hitch as she looked at my face and then quickly looked away. I wasn’t the only one affected by the close proximity and that had me smirk in bemusement. But in a flash the befuddlement was gone and Dr. Sargam was back with her cool sheen of professionalism.
I vowed to explore more of what was going on in that pretty head of hers. I had many fans including girls who were crazy about me and at the risk of sounding vain; I knew I was pretty good to look at, so it would definitely not be a stretch of my imagination to think that maybe Dr. Sharma had a crush on me too!
…to be continued <3