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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 133-134

The rainbow

Department of Microbiology, All Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication19-Aug-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Bimal Kumar Das
Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpcs.jpcs_17_19

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How to cite this article:
Das BK. The rainbow. J Pract Cardiovasc Sci 2019;5:133-4

How to cite this URL:
Das BK. The rainbow. J Pract Cardiovasc Sci [serial online] 2019 [cited 2023 Jun 7];5:133-4. Available from: https://www.j-pcs.org/text.asp?2019/5/2/133/264621

It is quite strange how events that occurred many years ago would eventually shape your destiny. Quite often, I lay awake at night, thinking about life's journey, its meaning, and the rendezvous with one's destiny. This is my quaint little story about a childhood friend who died in his sleep. What was the cause of his sudden death? Was it ventricular tachycardia or was it anomalous origin of coronary arteries, or perhaps some congenital cardiac malformation? Or was it hypertrophic cardiomyopathy that he died of? Looking for an answer would forever change my future……

The car slowly ambled away, a group of excited boys running along bade goodbyes. “You are a good fellow, Bhai. Remember me when you grow up!”. I looked at the rearview mirror, Pinaki, my dear friend, slender and tall, all of 12 years, stood dejected tears streaming down his cheeks. Ten years of junior school and as many dislocations, memories mixed up and fade away, pain of parting ways with friends, difficult adjustments and rude, callous teachers are what you left with. “Remember me when you grow up! Bhai,” the echoes of the sad voice had haunted me for the past few months, like a forgotten dream trying to emerge from its entangled tombs of memories. Slowly the mist disappears, and the vision of a lonely boy standing on a desolate road would unfold!

“You must be the new family who have moved into this house,” the boy with a gentle smile inquired. “My name is Pinaki! And I am your new friend!”, he blurted with a quick smile. Shaking my hand while holding a football with the other, he said, “Let's go and meet the others and we can play.” I looked at my new friend, long dark hair partly hid the face, a set of narrow eyes with raised brows, and a dimpled chin, he appeared friendly. “Where do you live, Pinaki?”, I asked. “Across the field, in that house, I live with my Mamaji and his family. My parents live in Dimapur, a small town in Nagaland,” Pinaki pointed to a cottage on the other side of the road. Painted white with mud brick walls, the house had a thatched roof which protected it from rain and thunderstorm in the summer and kept it warm during the winter; a small garden adorned with night-flowering jasmine, various types of Nayantara and Champa bloomed in the small garden; a guava tree full of ripe fruits stood in the middle, a flock of birds such as crows, parrots, bulbuls, and mynahs raised a big cacophony. “Can we have some guava?”, I asked. “Yes, sure! Just stay away from my grandmother. She is a cranky old lady!.”

Soon, I would befriend all the neighborhood kids and developed bonds with many more, sounds of exciting voices and hearty laughter still ricochet in my head through time and space. School would start at 9 o'clock in the morning; a bunch of boys with heavy sacs of books would happily waddle through the long stretch of road to the government high school. Summer holidays would always bring more fun as the days were longer, we had more playtime; a game of football will last till we were too tired to run. Monsoon rain would start soon, lightning thunder with occasional hailstorm would inundate our tiny field; another game of football would start on the submerged field with splashes and skids of many happy shrieking kids. Then, rain would stop, a beautiful rainbow will grace the heaven, and the tree branches sway in the wind and would drench us. The thatched roof, wet in the heavy shower, with bundles of straws would be dripping myriads of brilliant liquid pearls against a bright sun. Off and on, I would observe Pinaki in a melancholic mood. “What's the matter, Son?”, Ma would ask him offering him a glass of milk, “Are you OK? Are you missing your parents?”. “Yes, Aunty! I miss my Mom very much!”, he replied quietly. Pinaki would suddenly stand up and ask, “Can we go for a walk, Bhai!”. “Sure! Pinaki,” I would get up. After a brief silent stroll along the green alcove, we would sit down on a pile of old logs; “Bhai, what do you want to be, when you are grown up?”, he asked. “I have absolutely no idea! I have not thought about it, I am just 10 year old!”, I replied. “What about you? What are you going to be?”, I asked. Pinaki averted my gaze and looked away, with a sad expression on his face, “I met Niyati last night!”, he mumbled. “Niyati who?, one of your relatives?”, I asked in suspicion. “No, Stupid! Niyati, the Goddess of Destiny, She came to my dream!”, I looked at him with surprise at the anguish in his voice, “What did she tell you about your destiny, Pinaki?”. Slowly he looked away lost in his thoughts, despite my pleading, he would not reply. Many years later, I would recollect every bits of this strange conversation clearly as if it happened only yesterday.

Long years would pass and we would traverse many a mofussil towns with my dad's migratory postings. A chance visit to the favorite town would see me meeting old friends. “How is my dear friend Pinaki?”, I asked, anxious to know about my best friend. After a long silent moment, my friend would answer, “I thought you knew, Pinaki died in his sleep a few days after your family moved out!”.

P. S. Many a night before I fall asleep, I keep thinking about Pinaki, did he actually meet Niyati, the Goddess of Destiny? Or was it a figment of imagination in his troubled mind. Who would know?

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