Tuesday, April 05
At 6.30am. Cynthia was looking down, from the window of Learjet, with moist eyes. Jet crossed the line where Bay of Bengal was meeting India.
Good bye Rishi, Good bye happy days.
She was going back to the same life, same hospital, and same sick patients. She did not have many friends, she was the daughter of a riches man in the world, gap between her and others was too overwhelming, to establish heart to heart friendship. Bully of her father, death of her mother, friendless life and then her professional to deal with sick people all took the toll. Sad Girl, She knew people called her behind her back. Only few friends she had, at Buddhist center where she practiced Vipassana, they were ascetics, monks and aloof. Only one person crossed that gap, charming and intelligent, Dr. Ryan. Countless girls may want to marry him, but he overcame the gap and loved her and her alone. Rishi too loved her; it was unconditional and sacred love. She knew, Dr. Ryan was going to propose her and his acceptance was already upon her lips.
She thought of marriage with Rishi, she smiled. Marriage is based upon expectancies; marriage is to expect a husband to act in a certain way, to fulfill his obligation in a certain manner. Wife is expected to act in a particular manner. Marriage is a relationship of interdependencies, should be established in which the needs of each person be satisfied by the needs of the other.
Rishi was not that. He was her mentor, her guru. She has to have a husband. Dr. Ryan was cherishing her emotions, caring for her and loving her. Her father took a seat with her and patted her shoulder.
“Honey, it is time to get serious about getting married. Ryan seems like a good boy,” he said, opening the bottle of Tylenol. “You are thirty-three years old now.”
“Wait daddy, you must eat something before taking any NSAID,” she said, rising. They had no steward on the Learjet. Russet Frasier hated to waste money on unnecessary staffers. Cynthia returned to her seat with a Chicken Sandwich and a glass of orange juice on the tray. She gave him sandwich, after he ate it, he swallowed two Tylenols with the juice.
She folded her arms, sunk in the heavy leather seat, closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
“I was talking about Dr. Ryan, I like him.”
“You never like anybody.”
“I guess I am very protective of my little girl, but he is all-right,” he said, pressing her hand.”
She stayed quiet. She was neither sad nor happy; she was definitely feeling a change in herself, a change and peace that was missing before. First she wanted to check if the change survives in her real life in San Francisco.
“Bring him home day after tomorrow evening, we will go out for dinner.”
“He is working on evening shift for another two days,” she said, “Four O Clock to midnight; then nine to five.”
Russet Frazier was relieved to hear this.
So she is interested in Ryan instead of this crook – Rishi. Thank God! Out of sight; out of mind.
Looking at her face, he said, “Bring him at noon then.”
To his relief she nodded.
“What would be your schedule?”
“I am scheduled at clinic. Nine to Five, on call on Wednesdays and Thursdays”
Russet said in approval, “Good.”
Learjet was to make refueling stop at Taipei, and they were to register their entry in United States in Hawaii, and expected to reach Oakland Airport in sixteen hours, at about 11am. April 6th.
It was 7.30 in Bangalore. Cynthia thought about Rishi.
What would he be doing at this time? Probably laughing.
Kulfa, Kulcha and Fulka woke up Rishi at 7am. They sat on his mattress and showed him the news paper.
“Coach, Cynthia’s picture is in the papers.” Kulfa said, blinking his eyes
“You didn’t tell us she is the daughter of Russet Frazier.” Kulcha said.
“She is the daughter of Russet Frazier?” said Rishi, sitting up.
“Don’t tell us you did’t know,” Fulka said.
“But nobody tells me anything,” Rishi said, stretching up.
Rishi’s housemates laughed.
Rishi gave a look to Kulcha, “where is my cup of tea.”
“No tea, make it yourself.”
“Come on man, show some appreciation. Cynthia fixed you up with this girl.”
Kulfa said, “ha ha ha ha ha.”
They all giggled except Kulcha, who was looking at the floor.
Rishi asked, “What happened man?”
“I hauled him to her, she was waiting for this dummy,” Kulfa said, “He was so nervous, and he refused to get off my car. I had to drag him out.”
Kulfa waited for them to stop laughing then he continued, “I dragged him out and he hid behind the car. She was looking at us, everybody was looking at us.” – He tried to control his own laugh – “Now, I sat in the car and moved it but he ran behind it and fell down like a football.”
They were laughing.
“Like a football, huh;” giggled Rishi. “Did he bounce?”
“Probably he bounced three times; I only saw when he was rising again to his feet. I stopped the car and tried to drag him to this girl - Kalpana. But he ran away.”
“Did this she know he was the one to see him?”
“Who knows, Coach?”
“Then what happened?”
“I don’t know. He ran away, I came late and he was snoring in his room.”
To the Kulcha’s embarrassment they laughed for long time.
Rishi asked Kulcha, “Now what?”
“I was nervous? Remember I asked you to come with me,” he said, almost crying.
“OK, today you will come with me, if you make us all tea for next two weeks.”
Kulcha said in defeat, “Agreed.” He rose and went to kitchen.
“Now where is this girl’s phone number,” Rishi asked.
They all had it. Rishi punched her number on his cell-phone.
“Hello who is this?”
Rishi roared, “My name is Rishi, do you remember the white girl Cynthia who spoke with you?”
“Yes, I remember,” she replied.
Rishi shouted, “Do you know who she is?”
Kalpana pitifully replied, “No, but she is staying in a five star hotel.”
“You better check today’s newspaper and then give me a call, check business section of Times of India.”
Rishi disconnected the phone.
Kulfa said, “She must be scared man. What’s the idea?”
“Talking to her like Police,” said Fulka.
“Yesterday our Kulcha was scared, this time it is her turn.”
Kulcha brought then cups of tea, he had a pen too, on the calendar, on the wall; he underlined two weeks.
Rishi’s phone rang, it was Kalpana.
She said, “Her picture is in all newspaper; what I did wrong?”
“What you did wrong? You asking me what you did wrong?” Rishi screamed on the phone.
“What time your work at the shop starts?”
“I go there at ten,” she was crying.
“See us there at nine thirty.”
“But-but-but ….. Who are you?” she asked but Rishi disconnected the phone.
Kulcha wandered, “Whom you were shouting upon, and whom you were laughing upon now.”
“Today you will be going late to your work, Pal,” Rishi said, patting Kulcha on the back. We will be meeting that girl at 9.30.
“But-but-but …. Why…..? So soon …...” Kulcha trembled.
Rishi roared, “It is now or never.”
They all laughed including Kulcha.
Kulfa, Fulka and Rishi took turns to take bath; they had only one bathroom, at the end Kulcha entered in bathroom.
Last time Kulcha’s father visited them, he forgot his police cap. When Kulcha came out of bathroom, wearing a towel around his big belly, he saw Rishi was wearing that cap on his head. He burst into laugh, and then he noticed Rishi was wearing, number thirteen, black leather shoes, those the previous tenants of their apartment had left there. They always laughed on those shoes. It was too much for him, he laughed hysterically, and his towel fell down and was naked.
Loud laugh drew out Kulfa and Fulka from their rooms, when they saw Rishi wearing a police hat and number thirteen shoes on his number eight feet, and Kulcha lying on the floor, mother naked, laughing uncontrollably they too started laughing.
Rishi said, taking off the cap, putting under his arm, “Do we have a cane?”
They laughed for long time. Fulka and Kulfa left for their work still laughing. It was 8am.
“You think you look like a police officer, Coach,” Kulcha said wiping his tears.
“Yes sir. Now get up we are getting late.”
They had no time for breakfast, and walked to find an auto-rickshaw. Rishi bought a 4 feet long piece of sugarcane from a street peddler. Kulcha again started laughing. They caught an auto-rickshaw at 9am and reached at the store at exactly 9.30am. Kalpana was standing, in front of still closed store where she worked.
Kulcha was again very nervous, Rishi paid auto-rickshaw driver, wore the police cap on his head, and placed sugarcane under his arm and they stepped off the auto-rickshaw. Rishi grabbed his shirt from the collar and begun pulling him to the girl who was already very nervous. People were looking at the scene.
Rishi yelled to her, “You Galpana?”
She sobbed with fear, “Yes I am Kalpana.”
Rishi thundered, “You spoke with that white lady, our country’s guest.”
Kalpana cried, tears felling from her eyes, “Yes, but I didn’t do her any harm.”
He let Kulcha’s collar go, pointed to him and shouted, “And is this man who created nuisance here, last night.”
Kalpan was very confused, she sobbed, “Yes Sir Buuut-but-but ….. I-I-I-I-I-I-I don’t know hhhh him.”
Everything was very insulting and unpleasing to Kulcha, he tried to interrupt, “Coach, stop it, she is crying.” Tears fell down from his eyes too.
Rishi again grabbed him by his shirt collar and pulled him to the next door restaurant and shouted to the girl, “What are you waiting for, come with us. We have to resolve many things.”
Girl followed them in the restaurant. Rishi pulled Kulcha to a corner table and shoved him in a seat. Girl was trembling, restaurant staff was looking at them.
“Sit down here,” Rishi said pointing sugarcane at the opposite seat. She sat down, wiping her tears.
Rishi hit the table with sugarcane with a force and barked, “You too sit down and work out the things. I will be back.” He put the cap under his arm and walked out shaking the sugarcane.
Kalpana was weeping.
“Please don’t cry,” Kulcha sobbed, wiping his eyes. “This is not a Police Inspector, this is Coach.”
“I didn’t do anything,” Kalpana said. “We are very poor; they will fire me from the job.”
“Please don’t cry, he is not a Police and he was carrying sugarcane.”
“Who was carrying sugarcane?”
“He,” Kulcha said looking at the window, “who else. Hey look, he is chewing sugarcane. His name is Rishi. He is our housemate.”
Hotel staff was looking at them, nobody came to them to take order; they avoided interfering in the police business.
Kulcha called waiter, he came hesitantly.
“First bring us water, then two masala dosas.” Waiter left and returned with two glasses and a jug full of water. Kulcha poured water in both glasses.
“Please drink the water.”
“But that police inspector, told us to work out the things. I don’t know about anything to workout.”
“Kalpana, he is not Police Inspector. He is the best friend of that white lady Cynthia. Please drink the water and stop crying. Look you are making me cry too.”
“But you were crying too,” she sobbed.
“I was crying because you were crying. I love you.” he continued, “If you are happy, I am happy.”
Kalpana was coming to her senses. He made her drink water with his own hands. They talked and laughed and became friends. Food arrived and they ate and had coffee.
A girl entered in the restaurant and walked to her. She said, “Kalpana, what’s the matter with you, today you are not coming to work?”
“Oh my God!” said Kalpana looking at her watch. She jumped to her feet.
“Call me,” she said, turning, she walked away with that girl to the next door store where she worked; leaving behind uneaten food.
“I will.” Kulcha said with full mouth, munching his dosa.
When she came out, she almost collided with Rishi, he was again wearing Police hat, his sugarcane was almost finished, she was again scared of him but he took off his cap, smiled and bowed. It was a very funny gesture by a Police Inspector, who was holding a stump of sugarcane that now looked like a giant toothbrush, whose mouth was blackened with sugarcane juice, both girls were laughing.
“Did you see his shoes?” Kalpana’s friend asked.
Kalpana glanced back and muttered, “Woooooow!” She ran into her store, hid behind the garments and laughed.
Rishi entered in the restaurant, everybody was laughing there. Kulcha ate his food and was now eating Kalpana’s leftovers.
Rishi shouted, taking the seat that Kalpana vacated, “Hoy, my food.”
Waiter came running and laughing. Kulcha too laughed.
“Coach, first you wash your face.”
At 9.30am a package arrived at LaserGear Electronics Head Quarters. Package had many documents, declaring the canceling contracts official. Arvind was in his office, he summoned house attorney and other officials. Documents were meticulously prepared, with each cancellation; original terms of the contracts were cited and underlined. Also as a final blow, Russet Frazier Inc declared that they will not be accepting products, those are currently being made in the factories of LaserGear, to justify this action, and again, original terms of the contracts were cited.
Mortification was already over for Arvind, he read each and every document without any emotion. Jatin was still in hospital, now stable and under heavy sedation. Lenders and banks were moving in and asking for return of their money. LaserGear stock took a further heavy beating at NASDAQ, in USA, last night and was scheduled to open even lower in India. Now it was their obligation to make the cancellation of the orders public.
Arvind instructed his company secretary to schedule a board meeting at noon, and, several copies of documents were being made for review by many people. Survival of LaserGear was in the question. They must stop work in the factories and lay off workers, since Russet Frazier Inc. won’t be taking the delivery and payment was out of question. Without its products being sold, company was only able to pay two weeks salary to workers.
By 11pm, Arvind knew that Coup D′etat did not begin in recent days but was started at least three weeks before. Russet Frazier was in India to inspect the bounty he was going to hunt or already hunted or being hunt. It had nothing to do with Rishi or his acts, however inappropriate or out of protocol.
His love to Rishi grew back; he called his wife and Jatin and gave them the news. Now Rishi was their only hope. Russet Frazier’s only daughter Cynthia was dancing on Rishi’s flute. Now they were thinking; Rishi did right thing, at the right time and to the right place.
He reread Rishi’s email:
My dear friend Arvind,
Thanks for your email, I am (and was) aware of your concerns and apologize you for all the troubles (you think) I caused you or anybody.
One day we will sit, drink beers and laugh it off.
We all try to make best use of the life or any opportunity it brings.
We all see things with our own perception.
Thanks for everything and please do not hesitate to call me when a need arises.
How precisely, Rishi said everything in only five sentences. How badly he or they failed to interpret it correctly.
Thanks for everything and please do not hesitate to call me when a need arises.
He called Rishi but there was no answer.
Goddamn it, he again forgot to take his phone. Where he would be? Probably roaming in the streets and laughing at everything. He thinks world is a circus; he thinks we all are participants only he is the watcher.
Arvind called Rishi’s housemate Atul Mirchandani (Kulfa) on his cell-phone, he was on his job, only news he gave that around 8am, Rishi was wearing a Police cap and number thirteen boots to scare off some poor girl and it really worked. Atul Mirchandani was laughing and talking together and Arvind bared understood what he was saying and cut off the call.
Kulcha went straight to his work; he was project leader in a leading Software Development Company. Rishi took a bus to MG Road area, and watched three English movies in a row in the same multiplex. At 6pm he was very hungry; he had snacks in a restaurant and walked around on the MG Road. Had tea and made a long walk to his home, in those uncomfortable number thirteen shoes; arrived there at 9pm.
When he entered in his apartment, he heard them all laughing. A party was in progress. They made Kulcha to give them party. Each had a bottle of beer in his hand. Kulfa opened the door for him.
“Coach, you are late,” he said, handing Rishi his own beer bottle. “Cynthia is on the phone. We all are talking to her.”
Yes, they all were talking to her and giving her Kulcha’s update on the speaker phone.
Fulka was saying: “He arrived; he is still wearing Police cap and number thirteen shoes. But he chewed up the whole sugarcane.”
She giggled, “Can you take his pictures. Email me those pictures.”
Kulcha and Kulfa both had camera phone, both simultaneously took Rishi’s pictures.
“Yeah they are taking his pictures.”
Rishi broke in, “Hello Cynthia, where are you?”
They heard her laughing, her voice was breaking. “We are in between Hawaii and mainland.”
And connection broke.
They all sat in Kulcha’s room, on his mattress.
“Coach, you didn’t ask him if he called Kalpana.” Fulka looked towards Kulcha.
“Did you call her?” Rishi asked.
Kulcha informed, “He called her for two hours, till her phone battery died.”
“And Coach, your boss Arvind called me, he was asking for you. You should carry your cell-phone.”
Cynthia slept for five hours; she was woken in Hawaii, it was morning there. Customs and Immigration official visited in the Learjet that was being refueled. They ate; fresh warm food that was arranged by Russet’s office in Hawaii. They had no time to spare; his shoulder was requiring immediate medical attention. They were in a rush to reach home and then get her father to an orthopedic surgeon. They flew off.
To her amazement she found her California cell-phone started working, she tried calling Rishi but no answer, after repeated tries, Fulka replied, he was laughing.
“Hello Fulka how is everything, how is Rishi.”
“What did he do this time?”
Fulka was very eager to tell her the whole story; Kulcha and Kulfa were also listening. They all wanted to talk to her, they were drunk.
Kulfa snatched phone from his hand.
“Hi Cynthia, how are you?”
“I am fine, how is everything.”
Cynthia heard shouts at the other end.
Then Fulka spoke again, “Cynthia, we all want to tell you a funny story, please call us in five minutes. We will put Rishi’s SIM card in my speaker phone.”
She disconnected the phone, and called back after five minutes.
Rishi was not home. Kulcha, Fulka and Kulfa spoke with her, and gave whole update on Kulcha. They told her about size thirteen shoes, police Cap and sugarcane. They were laughing and she was laughing.
“No. You are making this up. It is too funny to be true.”
They anonymously declared that she was getting authentic eye witnessed account.
She specifically asked to Kulcha, “Is it true?”
“Every word is true. He pulled me to her, pulling me with my shirt collar,” Kulcha accused, “He actually dragged me tearing my shirt and two buttons broken.”
She giggled, “That place is crowed? Were there people around?”
“There was a big crowd; they were all looking at us. I was very scared,” Kulcha replied, “I tried to run away but he had sugarcane to beat me and had my shirt collar in his hands.”
Cynthia was in a rage of laugh. They announced Rishi’s arrival, he was still wearing Police Cap and same number thirteen shoes.
Rishi said, “Hello Cynthia, where are you?”
And signal broke, because they were leaving behind Hawaiian Islands.
She sunk in the seat and laughed for long time, till she was tired.
Rishi’s saga continues.
She was regretting, not having take any picture of Rishi. She had the best camera the money can buy but did not carry it, with her days with Rishi. She was happy with him, just happy; camera would have proved only a distraction. He himself was not even carrying his cell-phone with her.
Russet Fred was wearing the same sling that his daughter made for him. Pain killers were keeping away the pain but his shoulder was worse. He was in communication with his office. On his instructions, his cronies were buying LaserGear stock on their names. He had a clandestine, silent and mutually beneficial agreement between all parties concerned. After all he himself started his career as a crooked stock broker. Later on he was gradually consolidate his holdings at one name. He will install a new board of director and LasreGear will become his own ancillary, a two way profit highway.
He heard his daughter was speaking on the phone and laughing uncontrollably. She rarely laughed before. He was seeing many changes in her.
He was wondering what could be so funny in the world that could make a person laugh that much. His thought drifted to Dr. Ryan. Hope all goes well and his little daughter gets engaged to him. It would be a grandest engagement ceremony in Bay Area. He avoided spending money on anything unnecessary but at the engagement and wedding of his daughter he would be sparing no expanse. He was sixty-seven, he was not young anymore. He envied Dr. Ryan’s luck; he will be enjoying all the money he made without taking a moment of rest. Even in his dreams or drinking bouts he was plotting schemes, thinking about his next moves. Someone enjoying all the wealth he has created, taste in his mouth went sour. He will not hand even a single penny in cash to Dr. Ryan’s hands. Of-course they will be moving in his home, they will be traveling on his private jets and helicopters but they will be earning their living. He will make a trust, that will run the business and his money will go to his grandchildren, never to Dr. Ryan. He is not his blood; unfortunately someone got to marry his little daughter.
Harsh ring of satellite phone interrupted his daydreams.
Caller at the other end said, “How are you Russet.”
“What is the news?” ignoring the question he asked.
“LaserGear is making a press statement in India.”
He said, looking at his watch, “Good-good-good.” It was 10pm in India and 9.30am in San Francisco that was two hours away.
“Trading will start at NASDAQ in couple of hours.”
“Start bidding; let the stock rise a bit. We must not let them go bankrupt.”
“Everything is going our way, Russet.”
“Do you have any other news?”
“No sir, it is raining in Bay Area, expected to end in an hour and half. Keep your jackets handy, it is cold here.”
“Thanks, and listen.”
“We will be taking helicopter to my home. I have a small shoulder injury; arrange some fast appointment with some orthopedic doctor.”
“Sorry to know about your injury, is it serious.”
“Everything is fine. See you in two hours.”
Russet Frazier disconnected the phone.
Alarm clock woke up Dr. Ryan at 9.30am. Spoon, liter and vial containing cocaine were lying at the bedside table. He added a pinch of cocaine on the spoon, heated it up with lighter and sniffed it up with a nostril, closing the other. Cynthia was scheduled to arrive today and the girl in the supermarket was also in his love, she offered to take a day off but he declined. He had to take care of an important work. He took shower, had a cup of coffee and left home. His paycheck had arrived in his bank; he withdrew some cash and drove to San Francisco.
It was raining and cold. He parked his car in the Egyptian dominated area, walked to a small perfumery shop of a, near a mosque. One could smell perfumes in the air, surrounded that shop. He entered in the shop, and took a long breath to inhale the fragrances. He was the first customer of the day; a wrinkled, old aged man greeted him, he was drinking mint tea.
“I am here to buy some custom made perfume.”
“We only have custom made perfumes.”
“I want some perfumed liquid to massage my girlfriend.” Dr. Ryan said, “You know what I mean?”
“I know what you mean,” old man said, pouring steaming tea from a kettle in a cup, “All girls love massage.” He added a twig of mint in the black tea in the cup and handed it to Dr. Ryan said, sipping the tea, “It is good. Thanks.”
“We will make you a massaging liquid,” old man said, “oil based or alcohol based.”
“What kind you your perfume, white girls love most?”
Old man turned back to the shelves and picked up a white glass bottle with brown fluid in it. He opened it.
He said dipping a glass rod into it, “Give me your hand.”
Dr. Ryan placed his hand on the glass counter; old man rubbed the scent wet glass rod at the back of his hand. Dr. Ryan smelled it.
“It is good.”
“You can’t tell it here, go outside, away from this shop and then let me know.”
Dr. Ryan went out and sniffed at the fragrance. It was very good.
He returned in the shop. Said to old man, “I love it, what is this.”
“This is honeysuckle,” old man said, looking at his face. “Fifty dollars for fifty milliliter spray bottle, eighty dollars for two bottles.”
Dr. Ryan was thinking, old man said, I have cheaper perfumes also. I showed you the best.
“It is not about price,” he said scratching his beautiful chin, “I have a special liquid, given to me by my friend. I want to you to add this liquid in the perfume. If it mixes well and works, I will buy two bottles.”
“Let me see the liquid.”
Dr. Ryan placed an unbranded 100ml bottle containing a very potent surface anesthesia.
Old man opened the cap. “What is this,” he asked smelling the liquid.
“Some herbal thing, I guess.”
“You are going to pay twenty dollars for this experiment.”
“No problem. Money is no object. I want half of this liquid with half of your liquid.”
Old man took a small bottle, mixed the perfume, and the liquid, Dr. Ryan gave him, in it, and filled the rest with alcohol, he shook the mixture, when it settled it was homogeneously light brown colored. He installed a spray cap over it.
Dr. Ryan placed a hundred dollar bill. “I will check it outside.”
Old man nodded in approval and took the bill.
Dr. Ryan walked away from the shop. He sprayed the perfumed liquid on his arm, rubbed it for a minute, evaporating alcohol was giving him a cold sensation. He pinched at the spot; he was not feeling anything. From his pocked he took out a small needle and pierced him self in the upper skin, a drop of blood oozed out but still there was no feeling. He will be checking the integrity of the anesthesia again tomorrow, to make sure if the chemical is holding up in the perfumery chemicals plus alcohol.
He returned to the shop.
“I think it may work, I will take a chance. Please make me two bottles.” Dr. Ryan said to shopkeeper, “Two bottles, both with different perfumes.”
“Now,” Old man asked politely, “what kind of other perfume you want?”
“Pick the best one,” Dr. Ryan said, “I will be back in half hour.”
He walked out and had the breakfast in a McDonald. He went back to the perfume shop, picked up the bottles.
“Do I own you more money?”
“No sir,” Old man said, “Twenty dollars for the first little experimental bottle, eighty dollars for the two 100ml bottles.”
“And where is that bottle I gave you.”
“But that is now empty now,” Old man said in confusion. “I threw it in the bin.”
“I have to have a bottle, the same one.”
Old man went to garbage bin and took out that bottle and handed it to him. Dr. Ryan gave ten dollar tip to old man and walked out of the store at 11.30am. He walked to his car, rain had stopped.
At the same time Learjet pierced out of clouds and touched the runway at Oakland International Airport. When it came to stop, door was opened; cold air rushed inside. Her father handed her light jacket but she wrapped herself with the shawl that Rishi bought her. Cynthia stood at the threshold and looked around. It was beautiful, sun was trying to shine amid the clouds, and ground was wet and fresh. Rolling hills in the north and east were loaded with trees and homes. She watched the same scene several time but it was never prettier before but she was never happier before.
Helicopter was waiting for them; it flew over the beautiful, mingled mess of roads, hills, homes and trees. She was feeling new to everything. At her home she took bath first, their Filipino maid served her coffee. She saw, from the height of her theater sized atrium cum dinning room, lined with glass-walls that Russet Frazier was leaving on his chauffer driven limousine. She called him on his cell-phone he said was going to see an orthopedic surgeon.
She shouted, “wait daddy, I will come with you.”
Surgeon was middle aged Jew. He inspected Russet’s shoulder, made him move his arm and elbow in all possible angles and sent him to X-Ray room. Last time Russet Frazier went for complete medical checkup, five years ago. Cynthia requested his complete medical check up and orthopedic surgeon sent him to Internist MD.
When they returned to orthopedic surgeon, he was looking at Russet’s X-Rays.
“Mr. Frazier, Tell me exactly how you fell down.”
“She can tell you better,” Russet said, looking at Cynthia. “I don’t remember anything.”
“Did he faint?” Doctor asked.
“Alcohol induced coma,” Cynthia replied.
Surgeon said to Cynthia, “You tell me exactly how he fell down?”
Cynthia explained his fall in details, how Rishi stopped his fall and he fell down nose first on the carpet.
Surgeon said looking at Russet’s swollen nose, “It was not nose first, it was shoulder first.”
“I get it, yes, may be you are right.”
Surgeon looked at the X-Ray for five minutes. Then he pointed to various spots on the film, he said to Cynthia, “Look at these spots, these are severely crushed ligaments, or in layman’s terms torn-shoulder. First we will try arm support for him, and he should not move his shoulder for at least three weeks. When the inflammation subsides and injuries are healed we will reevaluate the situation. His tissues are so messed up that surgery would be an option.”
Cynthia nodded, she was well aware of complicities of the torn shoulder in the aging people, surgery and then endless sessions with physical therapists.
Then he said to Russet, “At your age you should drink moderately. You should not take a chance with your body.”
Russet was looking away in embarrassment. A nurse entered in the room, whispered in the surgeon’s ears and handed him a paper.
Surgeon looked at it and gave it to Cynthia; it was his father’s blood sugar test report. His blood sugar was double. Russet Frazier was saw his daughter’s shocked face.
She said to surgeon, “I will take him to endocrinologist tomorrow morning.”
“You do that and make sure he goes there empty stomach.”
“What else is wrong with me,” Russet Fred asked.
“Daddy, your blood sugar is double, and you ate very little in the last twenty hours.”
“Your blood pressure,” Surgeon broke in, “is very high too. Check with the internist for your rest of the checkup result.”
Surgeon sent him to a medical technician who made a proper arm support for him.
They left the hospital. Both were not happy with the news. On the way home Russet said to Cynthia, “Honey I am getting old. You should marry soon. Call Dr. Ryan today and invite him tomorrow.”
“Ok daddy, anyway, I am calling to hospital to taken another day off tomorrow.”
“Thanks honey, be nice to him, I don’t want him to run away.”
It was almost midnight in Bangalore, India. Arvind was at his home, watching LaserGear’s stock movement at the internet, price was staying a narrow range, and volume was very high. This only meant high activity; it was too early to judge the outcome. He expected stock to crash further after they made public statement but amazingly it was holding but in high volume.
For the last three hours he repeatedly tried calling Rishi but his phone stayed unanswered, that was not unusual. He also tried calling his housemate, that absurd fellow, who was more concerned in telling him some comedy instead of helping him out to trace Rishi, but his phone too was off line. Finally he gave up.
He wrote an email to Rishi, apologizing for some misunderstanding but so far no reply.
His wife gave him his medicines, anti-anxiety, antacid, to control his blood pressure and the last one to make him to sleep. He swallowed his medicines with water.
His wife looked at his face and forced herself not to weep. His was looking twenty years older than his age, dark circles around his red eyes, and bags under eyes, wrinkled and unshaven face. For the last two days she was forcing him to eat, he was only drinking coffee.
“Come to bed,” she said, “worrying will lead us nowhere.”
“Rishi is not calling me back, neither replying my emails.”
“May be he is with some friend and forgot his cell-phone.”
He shouted in anger, “No. He is having fun. He is inconsiderate to our problems.”
He tried to call Rishi again, computerized message said: Phone number is off the line.
“He has switched off his phone. He knows I am calling him.”
“Arvind, stop worrying and come to bed.”
She took him to bed, medicines started working and he fell to sleep.
End of Chapter 5