“Hello!” Said a female voice behind the phone.
“Madam... Madam... My father is finding it difficult to breathe, his oxygen levels are down to 70. Please help us! Please help us find the hospital,” Said Subh, who spoke with a trembling voice.
“May I know where you are calling from?” Asked an equally calmed voice from the other end of the phone.
“Delhi, Preet Vihar. I have spoken to many hospitals but none have beds available,” He replied anxiously.
“Please help me with the details. What is the name of the patient?” She asked.
“Complete address please?”
“House number 10. Opposite Mahavir park, Preet vihar.”
“Ma’am, he is 72. He has high blood pressure, diabetes and his oxygen levels are falling seriously. All the hospitals in my area are saying they don’t have empty beds, hence they cannot admit him,” Said Subh as fast as he could.
“Please calm down. I have noted down all the information you have provided. Please give me some few minutes to get back to you. I will get in touch once I finish talking to the authorities.”
“Please don’t drop the call. It took me so many hours to connect with you. I have been calling 1075 for the last 3 hours. You are my last hope. Please save my dad!” Subh pleaded.
Taking a brief pause, the call attendant replied,
“It may take some time to get the best possible help for your father. Please give me some time.”
“I don’t have time, madam. You don’t understand. He is the only one I have. I have been pleading with everyone I know for help but have received none.”
“Sir, I have passed on the information to the higher authority. I will get back to you once I receive any information from them,” she replied.
“Madam, what is your name?” Asked Subh.
“My name is Preeti Kumari,” She replied.
“Ms Preeti Kumari, please don’t hang up. Keep me on hold if you can. I will stay for as long as you want. I am worried you would never call back if you hung up now.” He added, “I am sorry but I don’t know, I really don’t understand what I should do.”
“Sir, please calm down. I am not hanging up. I am here to help you. But it might take some time to get you help.” Preeti responded in her calm composed voice. “Until help arrives, please ask your father to lie on his stomach and place some pillows near his head, stomach and legs.”
“Ok. I am doing that.”
“Appa, Uṅkaḷ vayiṟṟil paṭuttuk koḷḷuṅkaḷ (Appa, please lie on your stomach),” He said to his father. “Atu cariyāka irukkum. Uṅkaḷukku etuvum naṭakka viṭamāṭṭēṉ.(It's going to be alright. I will not let anything happen to you.)”
“Okay, done madam” He replied after carrying out Preeti’s recommendations. Preeti was still on the phone.
“Okay. Sir, you have to stay strong.”
“I am helpless, madam. He is all I have. I don’t have anyone other than him. You might have a family to go back to, I got no one,” He replied.
“We are trying our best. We will get you help at the earliest,” She said and the call got disconnected.
Subh’s last hope came crashing down. He tried calling the number again but his call couldn't go through. He wiped his tears and kept trying again and again. Holding his father’s hand onto his, he kept consoling himself. Helpless in his situation, he threw his phone away.
“Utavi ataṉ vaḻiyil uḷḷatu. Enta nimiṭamum iṅkē irukkum. (The help is on its way, Appa. It will be here any minute.)” He said to his father.
“Nīṅkaḷ oru nalla makaṉ. Nāṉ naṉṟāka iruppēṉ. (You are a good son. I will be fine.)” His father replied looking at him. Subh was in tears while his father tried to remain as strong as he could.
A message beeped on Subh’s phone. He stood up immediately and went for his phone. It was a promotional message offering a phone at a discounted price. Subh was disheartened again. Just then, he got a call from an unknown number.
“Hello!” He replied immediately.
“I am Preeti Kumari speaking from the helpline. Am I speaking to Subh?”
“Yes! Why did you disconnect the call?” He asked.
“Sir, there was a network issue. I tried calling you but the call did not got through.”
“Did you get any help?” He asked.
“I am afraid not yet. But we are still trying,” She said.
“Why did you call then?” He asked back furiously.
“Because staying alone in situations like these can be tough. You wanted me over the call, so I thought I should stay.”
“I am sorry,” Subh said after a pause.
“It’s alright sir. We have tried connecting with hospitals in your region but all are currently full. We are trying to contact as many as we can.”
“Thank you! My father would be completely fine, right?” He asked slowly.
“We are trying our best, sir.”
“I have been so rude to you. I am never like this. I didn’t know you would call back.” He said, “I am really sorry.”
“It’s hard to control our emotions when someone we love is in trouble. Everything will be alright.”
“Thank you, madam.”
“Sir, I just got informed that there is an oxygen bed available at HK Hospital, in Karol Bagh. It is a bit far from where you live but we can arrange an ambulance. Will that do?” She asked
“Yes, yes! It will do. Please go ahead.”
“Ok. I have informed the concerned person accordingly. Take care of yourself and your father, sir. He will be fine soon.” She said.
“Madam, you are like a god to me. Thank you for helping. Thanks a lot!” He replied in tears.
“I am no god, sir. My father is also suffering like yours and I know how it feels. I called you because I didn’t want you to be alone at times like this, it’s the worst feeling.” She said.
“I am so sorry to hear that, madam.”
“We all are in this together, sir. I know how difficult it is to remain calm at this time but my father always says that a little kindness might go a long way. I am just doing the same.”
“I will pray for him, madam. He will be fine too!” He replied immediately.
“I should get back to taking calls. I have sent you the details of the ambulance and the driver’s contact details. Please check that.”
“Take care, sir. I wish your Appa a speedy recovery,” She said.
“Thank you, madam” He said as he hung up.
A little kindness may take you a long way. Please help the one in need and if you can’t, just be kind.
monetization_on Your support is vital! Please consider making a generous donation to help us empower African writers and literature.
If you liked this story, kindly leave a comment below
A little kindness may take you a long way. Beautiful work! Touching!!
Such a nice story! I wished it continued. Who knows -- they could have fallen in love with each other.
By posting any content on coutales.com, you are agreeing to be bound by our terms and conditions. Kindly take note that you are entirely and solely responsible for any content you make available on this website, either by submitting a literature or by your actions in the comment sections and other part(s) of this website.
If we get notified or become aware that you have submitted any content that infringes the intellectual property rights or any proprietary rights of any third party, we may delete or amend it accordingly. We reserve the right at any time and for any reason to remove you and/or any content contributed by you.