Written by Moin Khan
“We’ve tried our best,” the doctor rushed past me.
“No, doc!” I caught him by the arm. “There must be a way!”
“Mr Khan,” he put his hand on my shoulder, “sh-she is mentally disturbed. She’s not ready to listen to anyone.”
“Call a psychologist!” I roared, lifting him up by the collar. “There HAS to be a way! There HAS to be!”
“We have call—” the doctor said.
“Beta!” a sweet voice called.
My hands were trembling. I cooled down on seeing my mother.
“I’m sorry, doc, for—” I rubbed my forehead.
“I understand, my friend,” he went the other way.
“What is it, beta?” she read my face.
“Doctor said Hamida is mentally disturbed,” I said.
“What!” she fainted.
“Ammi!” I caught her in an instant.
“Here, Ammi,” I held back my tears, “sit down. Drink some water.”
“Khansahab!” a soothing voice called.
“Hamida?” I rushed into the hospital wing.
“Before I leave you, can we have a little talk?” she asked, embracing me.
“Don’t say that, Hamida!” I exclaimed. “I’m with you. Nothing shall harm you. NOTHING!”
“No, no,” she wiped my tears, “who said I’ll leave you? I’ll always be there with you. I’ll come in your dreams.”
“Hamida!” I cried in her arms like an infant.
“I’m sorry, ji,” she said, “but, it’s all over. It’s time for me to go.”
“No, no,” I sat beside her, “why do you say so? You’ve saved lives of hundreds of children, haven’t you? When the doctors said the case was impossible, you cured them. Do you remember Zakir?”
“Yes, yes,” she sat up, “that boy who thought everyone was trying to kill him.”
“You made him strong!” I said. “You treated him with your soothing words. Day by day, he got stronger. He started to eat. Do you know what he said to me after being discharged?”
“What?” she raised her brow.
“I’ve never been so happy in my entire life, sir. Dr Hamida treated me like her own child. I can never forget her generous nature. Like my late Ma, she understood how hurt I was. Tell her my regards. She’s the best doctor!”
“And you say it’s all over?” I said.
“Where are you going?” she called.
“I’ll be back in a while.” I pushed open the door.
I had a surprise ready for her.
“No, Mummy ji, no,” I heard Hamida as I entered the white room.
Ma was feeding her kheer. What a lovely sight!
“Your Papa hasn’t eaten since,” Ma said, “I’ll be back in a short while.”
“Do you remember Fatima?” I asked proposing her a bouquet.
“Which Fatima?” she mulled over.
“The one who lost her leg while trekking?” I gave her Fatima’s photo.
“I remember her!” she said. “She was a sweet soul.”
“Then who’s she?” I pointed towards Fatima.
“Fatima?” Hamida almost screamed. “You can walk?”
“Yes, doctor,” she lept for a hug, “I am so happy to see you!”
“Fatima,” I called, “your mom’s calling you.”
“Take care, doc!” she left us.
“How can she—” she sat up.
“Lie down,” I helped her, “let me tell you. When she was ill, didn’t you leave a letter by her side? She read that. She told me she had never felt so good. The letter promised a beautiful life ahead. How could she mourn over a broken leg? And she recovered faster than the doctors had imagined.”
“What!” she smiled for the first time in a week. “Oh my goodness! Is it?”
“Didn’t I tell you?” I took her hand in mine.
“I never knew,” she was almost in tears, “thank you very much, Moin! I’ll never EVER leave you!”
“You stupid girl,” I gently hit her head, “didn’t you think about me before jumping from the building?”
“I’m sorry, Khansahab,” she hugged me, “I was afraid. I failed my PhD exam. I thought it was all over. Thank you for everything!”
“Another surprise awaits you!” I walked towards the window.
“What is it?” she stared at the window.
“See for yourself!” I lifted the curtain.
“We…love…you…Dr Hamida!” she limped towards the window.
I helped her.
“Love you children!” her lips trembled.
“These are the children you cured through your words.” I said. “See, how happy they are!”
And then, my friend, Hamida not only completed her PhD, but also was awarded as the best psychologist of the year.