25 years ago
Mita and Ajay were seven year old orphans and best friends. Fortunately they got adopted by same couple who wanted a boy and a girl. Kanta and Kamal Mehra secretly hoped that the kids would grow up fond of each other and thus never leave the family roost. Luckily, things seemed to be going in that direction.
Mita had turned out to be a beautiful young lady with fine patrician features and slim body. That pretty faced housed a brilliant mind and a stubborn will. By providing her a stable home life, the gods had been kind and she wanted to be a healer and chart unknown frontiers in the medical field. And by god she was going to do it!
Mita always wanted to be a doctor and had worked hard towards achieving this goal. Her heart was set on becoming a surgeon and a cardiac one at that, which seemed strictly a male bastion. She faced many roadblocks in her quest but her sheer brilliance and persistence paid off. She had incorporated new procedures to make the surgeries easier and less painful for the patients. They had been adopted by her colleagues after they were tried and tested over and over again. She had won accolades and citations in medical journals.
The spanking new Arya hospital erected by a leading business family hired her as their heart surgeon. She was also a visiting surgeon at various facilities and post couple of breakthrough surgeries where famous people were involved, things became easy for her. She was grudgingly accepted by her male counterparts as a colleague. She had arrived.
Ajay grew up to be an average looking man with way above average mind. Having ordinary looks was a great asset in his chosen line of work. His perfect body was well honed and a lethal weapon when push came to shove. He had mastered the martial arts early on. He was a human chameleon.
Ajay loved Mita above all next to their adoptive parents. They had cemented their love in a simple marriage ceremony in the presence of close family and friends at the registrars. They did not enjoy crowds and had a very small circle of friends and kin.
Ajay was smitten by the armed forces and would watch war movies over and over. He wished to serve his country and finally found his calling. After a rigorous training he joined military intelligence. Multi lingual skill and a flair for drama made him succeed at his calling. He never was one for the limelight as he preferred to work behind the scenes. His beloved Mita had become famous and that was enough for the both of them. Life was beautiful. To celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary, they had gotten their ring fingers tattooed with each others names in English in very fine lettering almost indiscernible. This way even if they did not wear their wedding rings, they were bound to one another indelibly.
Ajay Jr. was five years old and was yet to see his father. Given his line of work, Ajay did not wish to have a family and therefore when Mita became pregnant soon after their marriage, she never told him about it. He was away during her pregnancy and was never told about it either upon his sporadic return. The baby was cared for by the joyous grandparents in their home. Mita being a busy doctor came around as often as she was able to.
Mita had received an emergency call from the military hospital and she hurried over.
There were injured soldiers from Pakistan and India lying side by side and emergency surgeries was required. The Pakistani soldier seemed to draw her from the first moment. The face was unfamiliar but the eyes were Ajay’s! How could that be! She gave a mental shake and immediately scrubbed and performed surgeries on the two cases that required her particular skill. She promised to check in the morning and after giving firm detailed instructions, she left.
Quietly she let herself in at the Mehra residence and looked in on her sleeping son. She hugged him close and wept. His dad had been missing for a couple of years now and her heart was breaking. The irony was not lost on her, the hot shot heart doctor with a broken heart. Somehow, the Pakistani soldier haunted her. She was clueless. Then she called that emergency number that Ajay had given her.
Armed with the cosmetically altered face of Ajay in her hand, Mita hurried towards the army hospital. She went to the Pakistani soldier’s bed and compared the two faces. It was her Ajay. She quickly peeled off the skin grafted on his ring finger to double check. It was indeed her love. Quickly she sent an affirmative text to that secret number. Ajay was unobtrusively whisked away by his people. He would be discharged after he had fully recovered from his surgery and got back his original face. Mita would wait for her love.
She had a lovely surprise for him and was certain he would not be mad at her. It would be her surprise gift of love for her beloved. Maybe she can push her luck and have him change his vocation. Only time would tell and if her Krishna so desires. She smiled wholeheartedly for the first time. She squared her shoulders and prepared for work.