Rudra Pratap means the majesty of Rudra. His father, a devotee of Shivji, had chosen the name for his son. He had wished, among many other things, that his son would grow up to be someone known to the people from Shivala to Assi. His son outshone his father’s expectations in the end. Rudra was not very bright in studies but by the time he had reached the age of forty-one, the whole city knew him. How? It’d be interesting, the telling of his story. But that would leave Kirti aside. That can’t be afforded at this crucial moment.
The rikshaw that was carrying Kirti and the other two entered the University campus through the main gate and then took a right turn to enter the Hospital. They took her to the O. P. D. of general medicine first. The doctors prescribed a series of blood tests and urine test, and, seeing her condition, asked Bhaal to admit her immediately. The General Ward was (and is) not a place known for the care that patients get there. So, it took full twelve hours before the doctor came to visit the ward in the evening.
The reports had reached the hands of the resident doctors already. They could not tell Somu anything about his mother. “The reports are all clear”, they said. Professor Singh came for his round at six twenty in the evening and spent more than nine minutes pondering over Kirti’s reports and discussing with the resident doctors. “Take her to the O. P. D. of Neurology tomorrow. I’ll tell Doctor Gautam there, meet him in room no 103 at ten”, that’s all that he told Bhaal and then he left.
Somu had taken Lopa back to Kedar Ghat and brought lunch for Bhaal. He, along with Suli, would stay there at night: Suli would sit through the night in the ward and he would sleep on a mat outside the entrance of the General Ward. When he went to take Suli from home she would not come: she was so afraid of her mother’s eyes. Bhaal and Lopa stayed there and took Kirti to Dr. Gautam the next morning.
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