Sunday, July 31, 2005

2. The good Captain.

He was built like a Greek god.

!0 years of commando training will do that to you.

Also enforce levels of discipline no man should ever be subjected to.

But he pulled it off. As if this was exactly the role he was crafted for. Not many people get to say that about their lives… Careers, lovers, families.

But Captain Ayaz was truly a blessed man.

A shrewd mind and a heart of gold, he could charm a stone into doing his bidding. He had one of those smiles that leave women ravenous for more and men sullen and defeated.

Add to all these divine awards the work this young man had accomplished in very little time, if only to aide the plagued citizenry of a small mountain settlement, was an achievement that earned him well deserved praise from friend and foe alike.

It was all due to his efforts that a restless but brilliant young doctor from Lahore managed to find her way to where she was needed.

He had managed to convince the local Jirga that their women and children needed medical attention the likes of which their usual witch doctors and fake hakeems could not provide. Then he had convinced the government of Pakistan to depute to this region the most ambitious of all their fresh graduates from the biggest medical schools as if on mandatory internship, a tour of duty even. Surviving which, he had said, would not only add to their own personal skills but also provide an invaluable service to the people of their country who need their help desperately.

So moved were they by his impassioned rhetoric that not more than 3 months after his presentation the first group of women health care practitioners was dispatched to aid his noble cause. They came with high hopes and ambitions and achieved magnanimous amounts of victories over diseases that had so far been playing havoc with the lives of the local residents.

Such unprecedented success of course, fuels greater confidence and so the movement gathered momentum and being deputed to the HCP service became one of the most sought after deputations amongst the fresh graduates.

Rida, was one such graduate. She had become uneasy off late, having married for love much sooner than she had wished; she felt complacent and useless. An honors degree in a field she couldn’t even practice because she had taken off for her honeymoon while her classmates were going through their residencies. When she was offered the chance to come back into the folds of what she had once so desired, she did not hesitate.

Finding someone as kind and as charming as Captain Ayaz to help her through the grueling demands of curing children on the verge of dying from skin decay and blood diseases proved the greatest blessing of them all.

They were so alike, in so many ways. Ambitious, determined… cultured. They would sit and talk about literature into the early hours of the morning sometimes, so excited by what they had achieved during the day and so engrossed in each other’s company that time just seemed to slip out of their fingers.

It wasn’t until she would go to the vantage point she had discovered one night by accident that she would immerse herself into the memories of what she had left behind. That is where she would sit sipping at her coffee, writing to her husband, telling him of all that she had gotten done in that particular week. Heralding her triumphs, noting how important she finally felt. As if somehow she had managed to acquire her dreams.

“I never though that I would ever be thanked for saving a life. It’s the most surreal thing ever Aamir, I mean, now I know why Abu always insisted that I follow his footsteps. He knew how rewarding all of this is. The insanity of medical school, the never ending studying, the blood curdling frog autopsies. All worth it.”

Or when she lost her first patient, the little girl with the unbelievable jade eyes, poisoned by the water, brought too late to her care to make a difference…

“What’s the point? What’s the point of being here when these people still would rather trust chants and powders over proper allopathic care. I can’t believe we lost the girl. She was so… innocent. She died in my arms. I have never cried so much Aamir. Her mother couldn’t believe that her little angel was gone. She just sat there looking at me crying, with some sort of hope in her eyes, as if when I stopped, her daughter would jump up from my lap and run into her arms. I didn’t even know what to tell her.” She would tell him everything, even often the gruesome details about the conditions of her patients. Even about the things she bought. The wonderful way they cured lamb’s meat in the mountains, promising him that when she got back she would make him a meal he would never forget.

Somehow, however, she failed to mention that, when she cried, she did so upon the shoulder of a certain Captain in the armed forces of Pakistan, who was also the only person she allowed herself to laugh in front of. Somehow, she neglected to mention that she had come to depend on that very Captain in the absence of her husband for companionship and guidance during what was easily the most trying time of her life.

Somehow, in all the hum drum details of a separated life from her husband, the good Captain never warranted a mention.

1 comment:

disco papaya said...

i know i know i should comment but i really want to know what happens next so im just going to go on reading and comment later..

ok now bye aamir and rida and mr captain man are calling!!