the difference | By: sukesh srivastava | | Category: Short Story - Family Issues Bookmark and Share

the difference


Ritu was standing in the balcony when Avinash came from the office Normally he fond her near the main gate waiting for him. He came close to her but she did not notice. She was deep in her thought. He gently touched her shoulders. She turned slowly. Her eyes were filled with tears and were red. He was taken a back. Some thing was wrong.
What has happened”? He asked.
Father is not well.,” she said.
But why are you standing here and so upset? He took her one hand in his hand. What is wrong with him.”?
He is serious.” she broke in tears.
What happened to him.” he brought her in the drawing room. They sat on the settee.
She could not reply and started weeping. Avinash allowed her to settle. He brought a glass of water from the kitchen.
How you came to know.,” he asked gently.
There was a phone call from mummy. She was nervous and worried.” she drank and then replied.
Now you tell me exactly what is the problem.” Ritu’s father was not well for a long time. Last time when they visited him, he looked very frail and fragile.
Father has developed problem in his kidney. He is a sugar patient since long. Mummy could not give all the details but he is serious. Doctors are planning some major operation now.”
O.K. don’t worry. Every thing will be all right. Better you wash your face now. Children might be coming. They may not feel good, if they see you weeping. We will plan to visit father soon.”
Ritu went to the bathroom and threw some water on her face. Wping water with a towel she came back. In the meantime Priya and Priyanshu had come back from playground they hugged Avinash from both the sides. Avinash also hugged them affectionately. They started telling what happened in their school today.
Priya was six years and Priyanshu was four years only. They were studying in class three and prep. In St. Paul’s school. Avinash was Manager Finance in a big multinational company engaged in manufacture of industrial pumps. Apart from handsome salary, company was providing free furnished flat and company’s car. Avinash and Ritu’s marriage was arranged-cum-love marriage. Avinash’s father Dayaram and Ritu’s father Abhishek Burman were colleuges at office. They had good relations and used to visit each other. Avinash and Ritu were friends since their childhood. Avinash was the only child whereas Ritu had one younger sister. When Avinash completed his M.Com., Ritu was doing her B.Sc. Their affair started at this time. They felt deep attraction for each other. It was Ritu who opened her heart first. She was smart and beautiful. Avinash’s mother was opposed to their marriage as they belonged to different communities. But ultimately their marriage solemnized after Avinash completed his C.A. and got appointed in this company. He was appointed away from his hometown at Mumbai. Their parents were living at the same place.Daya Ram and Abhishek Burman had grown old and were living a peaceful retired life now. Both were ailing from diabetes.
Avinash and Ritu were enjoying their married life happily. They were grace with one daughter and a son. In the beginning Ritu joined a college as assistant teacher. She was a postgraduate in economics. After the birth of Priya, she decided to quit. She preferred family to carrier. Avinash was earning sufficient to take care of all family needs. They were devoted to each other. Ritu was efficiently looking after home affairs. They were providing best possible education to their children. They were studying in the top school of the locality. Ritu was herself helping them in their studies. They loved each other and used to go on long drive on weekends. Their flat was a three room flat, which was well kept. At least once in a year they used to visit their parents. Abhishek Burman had married his second daughter to an army officer they were posted at a distant place. But when the posting was near to Borders Ritu’s sister used to stay with her parents. There was no child born to her yet, so she had no problem of child education or running sessions. Now days, she was with her parents.
In the night Avinash rang to Abhishek Burman’s residence. Only Ritu’s sister Rama was present.
Hello Rama. Where is mummy.” he asked.
Mummy is in hospital, jijajee. Father is admitted.” she replied.
How is father? Is he really serious.”
He is really serious.”
What is all about.”
Both of his kidneys have failed. He was having problem with his kidneys since long. Doctors say it is due to continuous high sugar. His Serum Cretanine was deteriorating since last six months. Father is always non serious in this regard, you know. He never cared. This resulted in fast deterioration.”
What doctors say now.”?
He is being kept on water dialysis. But is no cure. It is temporary arrangement only.”
What they ultimately suggest to do.”
It is only transplant.”

Oh my god. It is real problem.”
Captain Saheb is coming tomorrow. When you are coming.”
We may come a day after. I have some very urgent assignment tomorrow. But I will manage. Who else are there in the hospital.”?
Your father and few other relatives. Your father is also very tense.”
Alright. I have to check reservations also. Take care of mummy.”
She is frightened. All the details are not told to her.”
It is better. Bye.”
Now Avinash could feel the seriousness. Kidney transplant is a big operation. Apart from being expensive, it not certain that body will always accept it.
What happened.”? Ritu asked anxiously who was sitting beside and was curiously watching.
Father’s condition is not good.”
He started weeping noiselessly as Priya and Priyanshu were sleeping in the same room.
Don’t weep.”Avinash said. We have to face it. Father will be alright soon. Do the preparation. We have to reach there day after.”
Why not tomorrow.”
Tomorrow one foreign delegation is coming. I have to attend them. I have to manage reservation also.”
I can go alone.”
Do not be silly. It is a long journey. You cannot travel without reservations with children. I will manage the reservations tomorrow.”
I can go by plane.”
Ritu.Do not be so nervous. Everything will be alright. It will make no difference if we reach there one day after we should do nothing in haste.”
Ritu said nothing but tears continued to roll from her eyes. Avinash took her in his laps and both went to the bed. He rounded his hands around her and embraced. Gradually he slept but she could not sleep till very late in the night.
Ritu was very close to her father. She was the first child in the family. Her father fulfilled all her wishes. He had very high hopes from her. He wanted her to be an I.A.S. officer. She could not fulfill his dreams due to the marriage. When he returned from the office, he used to bring chocolates for her. She was fond of chocolates. She remembered how is father used to become worried whenever she was late. He used to run to the school on his scooter to see that she is alright. Once there was a picnic organized by the school. Mummy did not want her to go. In her opinion she was grown enough and there was no need for her to go alone. But father said he had full faith in her. He allowed her to go. He never scolded her. If he did not like anything she did, instead of scolding ,he used to keep mum and go in his room. Ritu could never bear his silence and always apologized with a promise not to repeat it again. Ritu was fond of new fashion dresses also Father used to spend good part of his salary on her frocks,paints, zeans etc.
Avinash did not tell Ritu that father was in hospital He knew, uselessly she will be panicky. He woke early in the morning and went to office.Children went to school with application for one week absentism. Ritu kept few sets of cloths in the attaché and made other usual precautions they did when going out for few days. The whole day she was worried and weeping. She tried many a times to contact over telephone but no body was responding. Avinash came in the evening and told that they are leaving by today’s train itself.He could manage the reservations. Children had their dinner but she could eat nothing. Then an autorickshaw was called and they reached railway station. Train was on time and they boarded.
They reached in the morning. Rama was alone in the house. Here, first time, Ritu came to know that father is hospitalized. They kept the luggage, left Priya and Priyanshu with Rama and immediately rushed to hospital. Mummy was there overnight. One nephew of Abhishek Burman was also with her. Father was in coma. Mummy wept in a loud voice when she saw Ritu. Ritu could not contole herself and ran to her. Father was lying on the bed embedded in red blanket. His face was white and he looked very weak. Nephew whose name was Rajesh came to Abhishek.
How is he.”Avinash enquired.
Not well.” he was serious. After both the kidneys he is surviving on dialysis.”
Any hope of kidney revival.”
It is never. Once kidney is gone, it is gone for ever.”
Rama told doctors are planning for kidney transplantation.”
It is also difficult.Kidney for transplantation is not available.”
I think there are donars for kidney. have they been contacted.”
This is all banned now. Infact there were no kidney donars.They were sellers who sold their kidney on very high price.”


Till then few others had also arrived. After some time Daya Ram arrived. Avinash’s mummy was with him. They sat on the verandah of the hospital. Mummy had brought breakfast for Ritu’s mummy and Rajesh. Avinash was told that donating a kidney,or in real sense selling a kidney, is banned now.It was a big racket in which famous doctors were also involved. It had become an international racket and even foreigners were visiting the country for kidney transplantation. It was easy and cheaper here. Now only very near relatives can donate the kidney, that also after some legal formalities. Abhishek burman originally migrated from Pakistan and had very few of his relatives here. They were all checked and no one could match with Abhishek Burman. The effort was going on. Now the only hope was to expect miracle. Kidny from one who has wished to donate his kidney after death could be any hope. Avinash met the doctors. They opined the same. They told that Abhishek Burman could survive for 15 –20 days or so on dialysis. After that death was imminent on any day. They could give no further assurance.
Captain saheb had not arrived yet. He was expected today. Avinash had to get himself checked. He also did not match with Abhishek Burman kidney. They stayed in the hospital till evening and then returned. They had to go to to theur own residence. Rama was waiting for Captain saheb. They took their luggage and came home with Priya and Priyanshu. The children were not aware about the grim situation and were in a mood to celebrate their vacations. Ritu wanted to stay in the hospital in the night with her mummy. But children needed care. It was decided that she will stay today. Avinash had to go to the hospital to leave her. When he returned, he saw father was feeling un easy. He was sitting on a chair and medicines were in his hands.
What happened to you, father.” he asked.I am alright.”he replied. Some times I feel pain in the stomach. Perhaps,it may be due to indigestion. I am taking digestive pills. Donot worry. I will be alright. How is Burman?”
As it is. No improvement in sight. He is continuing in coma.”
Burman is old friend of mine. He never cared about his diabetes. Ultimately, he is paying now. He was always fond of sweats. He never left any opportunity. Sugar was prohibited in any form to him.But 25 – 30 days back, I saw him eating full plate of sweats in a gathering. I am also diabetic. I never take sweats. Even I have forgotten the taste of sweats.”
Every one has his own way of living, Papa.”
What way of living ? You have to have discipline in your life. I do not know, what will happen to me though I have taken precaution in whole life.”
Why you worry ? you will be alright. How is your sugar level ?”
It was under controle two months back. It seems in controle.”
You should have checks regularly.”
Yes, I will. Burman has given me a shock. We both are diabetic. Any thing can happen to us.”
He is not taking full sleeps now-a-days.” mother compained. He use to wake-up in the midnight & then does not sleep.”
Why, Papa ? You should have full sleeps otherwise you will spoil your health also.”
I donot know. But Burman gives me worries.”
They went to sleep. Next day Captain saheb arrived. His flight was delayed. First thing he did was to get checked himself and Rama. Unfortunately no one matched. After taking breakfast and reminding Priya and Priyanshu not to bother grand mother much, he went to hospital.
As soon as he arrived in the hospital, he could feel tension. Mummy started weeping when she saw her. Rajesh wished him but said nothing. Ritu was silent. Soon he came to know the truth. Last night Ritu got hertself checked and she perfectly matched with Abhishek Burman. It took him few moments to understand exactly. but it was certain, he could not feel it good. They returned together as Ritu was overnight in the hospital. They were silent while returning. Not a single question was asked or replied. Auto rickshw was running with speed and they were waiting it to reach home. When it reached, Avinash paid the driver and went straight to the room. Priya and Priyanshu came running to Ritu and started complining why she did not stay with them in the night. Ritu loved them and came in Avinash room. She waited for few moments and then said.
Why are you so mum. You are not speaking.”
You appear thinking something. What are you thinking ?”
I said nothing.”
Are you annoyed with me ?”
Why ?’
I do not know. But something is bothering you.”
You know. How could you get yourself checked without consulting me ?”
Rama also had a check.”
I am not talking about Rama. I am talking about you.”
Captain saheb himself insisted Rama to get herself checked.”
Why do you talk about Rama. Rama and You are different.”
What is the difference ?”

Avinash stared her for some time and then said in an unknown tone –You have two children.”
What do you mean ? Does it make any difference ? we are both daughters of dad.”
It certainly makes the difference.”
You seem to be annoyed with me why I got myself checked without your permission. But it great to me that I match father. I want to donate my one kidney to father. What you say ?”
I do not know.”
Look, Avinash. I have enquired doctors in detail. By donating one kidney, by a healthy, normally it makes no difference. He can effecintly do with one kidney as father will live on one kidney.”
God has given everyone two kidnys. It has reasons. I heard, many a times, it is dangerous to the donars also.”
Nothing such will happen, Avinash. It is the only way, my father will survive.”
But your own life will be in danger.”
I am prepared. He is my dad. He brought me on this earth.”
But you can not. Others are also there on this earth, whom you youself have brought on it.”
Now Ritu’s eyes started filling with tears.
Avinash…Please…Let me do it.Let me save my father.You know, only I can do it. Otherwise my father will die.We will take all the precaution. There will be no risk. Hunreds of hundred persons have donated their kidnys in the past. Nothing happened to them. You come with me. We will talk to the doctors. I will donate onlywhen they assure of no risk. Please Avinash. I love you. I love my children. But please, try to understand Avinash, I love my father too.”
She was sobbing now. Her face was in her hands. Avinash went outside and brought priya and Prianshu.
Look Ritu.They are our Priya and Priyanshu. It is you who gave birth to them. They are totally innocent. They love you. They need you. They will never find their mother other than you.”
Then he sat before her on the earth on his knees and said – See in my eyes. I love you. My life has no meaning without you. I also, can not live without you. You really mean that you do not care for Priya, Pyiyanshu or me.”
No…no…Avinash. How could you say so.”She embraced all three in her lap – But what can I do ?He is my father. He is dieing. Had he been in my situation, could he hesitate in donating both of his kidnys to me?”
That is different. He is father.”
Why not me ? Avinash, listen to me. We will go to the doctors and only then we will take a decision.”
I do not need to. I know the chance of risk is minimum. one in one thousand. But how can I take that even.”
What is your decision ?”
Do not donate.”
But father will die.”
I am practical. He has lived his life. He is not going to live long even if you donate your kidney.”
You are inhuman. You are behaving too rude.”
May be.”
You are selfish.”
For my children and my family, I am prepared to be.” Avinash said in a plain voice and went out.
This was their first fight in whole of their eight years married life. Ritu bolted herself in the room. She even did not go to the hospital. Avinash went daily and stayed there whole day. Gradually, every came to know that Ritu is not donating her kidney, as Avinash is not agreeing. Captain saheb was very annoyed with Avinash. He openly called him coward. Avinash listened every thing patiently but did not change his mind.
Next day Daya R fell in the bathroom. It was a bad fall. He went unconscious. Avinash was at hospital at that time. He rushed home. Till then Daya Ram was brought to the hospital.. He was still unconscious. It was only a chance that the hospital was same. Daya Ram was kept on the first floor but Abhishek Burman was opn the ground floor. He had dislocated his back bone but there was no danger to his life. Injections were given and saline water was introduced. Mummy was sitting beside him. Though the general condition of Daya Ram appeared alright but he was responding to the medicines as he was still unconscious. He fell at eleven in the morning and it was eight in the night. Whole night passed without his gaining conscious. Now the doctors were also worried. They decided to conduct thorough check-up in the morning. Various X-rays, ECGCs, MRIs etc were taken. A no. of other pathological tests were also taken. Soon the results came. It was a big shock.
Both the kidnys of Daya Ram were totally damaged. First dialysis was done in the evening. Doctors were of the opinion that it was due to continuous high blood pressure and high sugar level. Both the old friends were lying in their beds in the same hospital but on the different floors.
Only option to save the life of Daya Ram was also kidney transplantation. They had a no. of their

relatives in the city. Many of them volunteered them for kidney donation. But in the first check itself, the kidney matched and the big problem was solved. It was Avinash, whose kidney was matched perfectly with Daya Ram’s. He immediately decided to donate one kidney to save the life of Daya Ram.
Ritu was sitting beside the bed of Daya Ram when the news of kidney match was received. There itself Avinash said to mummy that he will donate the kidney. Ritu lifted her eyes and said –
You are not going to donate.”
Ritu. We will talk at home.”
NO. not needed. You can not donate your kidney. You have a lot of responcibilities on you.”
Ritu, I said we will talk at home. It is hospital. There is no sense to create a drama here.”
Daughtor, he is son. He has to do it to save his father’s life.” mummy said.
Others are also there. Why he ? Let the others be checked. It may match.”
Ritu. Donot argue with mummy.”
O..K..but I will not allow you to do it.”
A tension was created. Other relatives present were passing remarks on abnormal and uncourteous behaviour of Ritu.
In the night they came home. Priya and Priyanshu were with Rama. As they entered the house Ritu exploded –
How could you take decision to donate your kidney.”
Ritu, please, try to understand. I am the only son.”
Does it make any difference? there are others also. let them donate.”
Why others will donate when me, being the son and even after the kidney is matched, is not willing to donate.”
I do not know. There is risk.”
You know, there is very little risk. You have talked to doctors also.”
But how can I take that little risk. You have others, dependent on you.”
There are you in case of any need.”
Priya and Priyanshu will never get a father. They are innocent.”
Ritu, you are repeating my words. You are daughtor in law And he is your father in law. He loves you much. How can you let him die.”
My father also loved me a lot. But fathers love their children. It is in their habbit. What is new in it? You are forgetting Priya and Priyanshu, leave alone me.”
I love you all. I know, if any such thing happens to me, they will do the same.”
They should not. You will live no longer than them. They should realize.”
I am your husband, Ritu. How can you use such words for me? It is inhuman and rude.”
For my children and my family, I am.”
I can not see my father die, when I can save.”
I will not allow.”
I do not need your permission.”
You mean to say that you are going to risk your life without our consent?”
Yes. I am going to. When you are so adament, I am not going to listen. I have to take a decision. Understand.” do what you wish. But one thing, now, I tell you. The day you donate your kidney, I will hang myself. Chances of your survival are bright. Please, take care of Priya and Priyanshu.”
Ritu, have you really gone mad? now, you are talking childish.”
It is not childish.” Ritu’s voice was stone cold – It is serious. Try it.”
Avinash was stunned. He could not further persuade. Ritu was bent upon. She meant what she had said. Next day, when he went to hospital, he told mummy he is in a peculiar situation. Ritu is not agree. She has threatened to suicide. She is serious. Priya and Priyanshu will be without mother. He is not in a position to decide. Mother could not believe and started abusing Ritu. Avinash now started searching, who else can donate his kidney to Daya Ram. He could find one of cousins whose kidney matched with Daya Ram’s. But when cousin came to know that Avinash kidney had already matched, but he is not donating, he refused straight. all were saying that when Daya Ram’s own son is not donating, why other should donate. It was evident now that, nobody is going to donate and Daya Ram is also going to die as Abhishek Burman is dieing.
Ritu was confining her in the house. Her attitute was firm but silent. She cooked food for all, prepared tiffins for hospital, took every care for children but was not talking to Avinash. Mummy was usually staying in the hospital, day and night. Ritu was not going to Abhishek Burman even. Daya Ram’s condition deteriorated faster and doctors declared that if, within two – three days kidney is not transplanted, then operation will not be possible.
One day, mummy decided to go to Ritu alone. Avinash was in the hospital. He wanted to accompany her but she refused and went alone. As soon as she entered the house, she almost fell before Ritu.

Ritu… my daughtor.. your father in law is dieing. Only Avinash can save him. I know, you are annoyed with him. He did not allow you to donate to your father. But your father-in-law is like your father also. you have given threat to commit suicide, if he donates. My dearest daughtor, please believe me. Nothiong wrong will happen to Avinash if he donates his kidney to his father. He is my son. How can I dream even, to allow any harm to him. He will be perfectly safe. All the senior doctors have also assured. Only two three days are left. then every thing is lost. You are my only daughtor-in-law, but with folded hands I am requestingyou, please take my life, but kindly agree for Avinash and save my husband life. I have no meaning of my life without your father-in-law.”
Ritu took her by her shouldiers and fell on her feet – Mother.. please do not weep. How can I bear the death of Avinash’s father? He is my father also. Do not cry any more, mummy. If the last drop of our blood is needed to save him, we will give. I always remembered that, before marriage, I had only one father & mother. But after my marriage, I was fortunate to have two fathers and mothers. I love you all. But unfortunately Avinash is not prepared to understand it. Do not worry mummy. Avinash is going to give his kidney to father. I know there is least risk. When we, the children, can not bear the risk, why should we expect others to bear. Come, we have to go to the hospital immediately. Kidney is to be transplanted without any further loss of time.”
You are really great, my beloved daughtor.” mummy took great sigh of relief – You have taught lesson to us, particularly to Avinash.”
No mummy. It is not me. it is God . He wanted it in this way.”
It look them two months to recover. Now they were returning back to Mumbai. Avinash had to extend his leaves which was permitted considering the extraordinary circumstances. Abhishek Burman and Dayaram had recovered well and now they used to go on morning walk together with a stick in their hands. Priya and Priyanshu’s studies had suffered a lot. All were alone in the first class compartment as Avinash had all the four seats reserved. After the train started both were mum for a long time. Only Priya and Priyanshu were playing and quarrelling.
I am very sorry Ritu.” Ultimately Avinash said.
I am too.” Ritu smiled.
I did not try to understand your feelings. I took you for granted.”
Yes, you were mistaken. We really care for each other. You should know.”
Yes now I know . He took her hands- Ritu, tell me one thing”
I had not permitted you. Could you allow your father to die or you might have given the kidney to your father without my permission.”
Don’t ask . I do not know.”
Well,one thing more. Were you serious about suicide. You never thought about Priya & Priyanshu.”
Don’t ask. I do not know.”
They kept mum. There hands were tied.
Tell me one thing.” Now Ritu said still smiling.
Had you really left the idea to donate the kidney to father due to my suicide threat? Or you could have given ultimately.”
Don’t ask. I do not know.” He replied.
They laughed . the Train was running in full speed now.

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I, Sukesh srivastava, hereby declare that this is my original story and it is not yet published any where and it will not be allowed to be published any where till your response is received.

(Sukesh Srivastava)

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