Radhika was tired and completely exhausted, she had almost seen around 20 patients now, 7 of them were new admissions, and the remaining were just follow ups. There was one more patient to go. Before moving to the next patient, she took a deep breath, closed her eyes and acted as if she inhaled energy from the surrounding air. Now she was ready for her final patient.
The patient was a 56 year old female, married with five kids. She was a new case, and her name was Vijaylakshmi. She was a local, belonging to low socio-economic status. She came with chief complaints of mass in left breast. Radhika had already had the diagnosis in her mind without even touching the patient, carcinoma breast. Radhika examined her breast. She inspected and palpated the left breast. The mass was located in the outer upper quadrant of the left breast, it was stony hard in consistency, and non-tender, immobile indicating that it was attached to the chest wall. She complained of hemoptysis (coughing of blood) which also indicated that cancer had metastasized to her lungs. This was almost at its terminal stage. Treatment was chemotherapy and Radiation therapy, which was expensive and definitely not affordable by the patient. Radhika analyzed everything. Now it was time to tell her patient the bad news.
Radhika reached home, she fell on her favorite chair by the window and sipped her Starbucks which she collected on her way home. It was a daily ritual for her to drink her favorite coffee at night. She lived in a posh four bedroom apartment in a suburban area. She lived alone but she had a boyfriend, so at least three days a week he was there. Nikhil was a first generation entrepreneur/businessman, he along with his best friend started a chain of themed restaurants all over the city and now these food joints were very popular among the students and was a huge success. So Nikhil was a rich, handsome, 32 year old male and Radhika was rich, beautiful, 29 year old female.
Radhika had just finished her DM in Oncology a year back and she was working in her mother’s multi-specialty hospital. She was a dedicated, hardworking doctor and her only aim in life was to save people. She was also engaged in a lot of social services, NGOs and always tried her best to help poor people. She was considered to be one of the upcoming Oncologists in the city and she was definitely working to achieve it.
Radhika was particularly stressed about her patient, Vijay Lakshmi. It wasn’t the fact that her patient who would be dying in the near future, leaving her kids alone in this world that troubled her. It was the financial battle she was undergoing with a big firm that she was more worried about.
Vijay Lakshmi owned around a lot of land on the outskirts of the city, it was considered useless land till one of the big business firm had approached, claiming that the land was government owned and they had the permission from the government to claim it. All they needed was her signature. In reality the land was too expensive, even for a big firm like them. So they had to use dirty tricks. She refused and agreed to give it only for the deserving amount or else she would give it to her kids and let them decide after she died. She wanted to sell only a part of the land just enough to pay the medical bills and the rest of it she would keep for the kids, but Radhika had told her not to worry about the money. The treatment would be done for free. She knew that she was going to die anyways. At least let her kids live in peace. Radhika had promised her patient to help her in this matter.
Nikhil also supported the Radhika in this case. Radhika had filed a case, but this case would take a long time to get settled. So Radhika had asked Nikhil to settle this case out of court.
The next day in the evening. She sat in the Starbucks café, sipping her coffee and staring outside of the window. The blood stained knife lay next to her handbag, covered with her blue silk scarf.
Nikhil was crying, his hands were covering his face. Radhika didn’t move from her chair, she didn’t even try to console him. She was motionless and emotionless. Finally he said ‘I didn’t know what to do. I had no other choice.’
Radhika didn’t respond. Last night she had asked him to set up a meeting with the big firm who was also his best friend to settle this issue about Vijay Lakshmi. But what happened was completely unexpected. The meeting was going fine until Nikhil put forward his point strongly. This lead to an argument which evolved into a fist fight. During this fight when they were pushing each other, his friend had accidently landed on a knife and he died. It wasn’t Nikhil’s fault directly, but he knew he was the cause of this.
He explained everything in detail to Radhika. She felt responsible for this, for what happened to him. Nikhil was just her boyfriend. He loved her and supported her, but she involved him directly into this and he was now on the verge of going to jail.
She slowly dragged the knife to her side, covered with her silk scarf. She stared outside the window in deep thoughts. Emotions were running high, but she didn’t show any of it. She looked calm.
After a few minutes she turned to Nikhil ‘Don’t worry about what happened, I will handle it. But you take care of the case’ she said clearly.
Nikhil who was crying, suddenly stopped and looked up ‘What…..how will you handle it’ he stammered. He noticed that Radhika had the knife with her.
His pupils dilated, his mouth was wide open ‘No, Radhika…….don’t do it.’ She showed her palm. He stopped.
‘I have plan, you take care of the case of Vijay Lakshmi. I will take responsibility of this matter.’ Before Nikhil opened his mouth she continued.
‘This is how the plan is going to be, I will tell them that there was a constant threat to Vijay Lakshmi from the big firm. I will tell them that they were constantly forcing her to give away the land by threatening to kill her children. And when they found out that I was on her side, they threatened me also. And one day when they tried to kill Vijay Lakshmi I came to her rescue and during the process, the man accidently fell on his own knife. Vijay Lakshmi will testify it and her children will too, since they were also present during the incident. All you have to do is follow the plan.’
It was a good plan with a lot of loopholes but it was definitely possible to win with Vijay Lakshmi’s statement.
As Radhika reached home. She got a phone call. It was the nurse and it was bad news. Vijay Lakshmi was dead. She died of acute asthma attack. But Radhika had told her nurse to give the bronchodilators and the proper ventilation. She rushed to the hospital and found out that the medication administered by the nurse wasn’t sufficient enough. It was due to negligence that her patient died. And because Radhika was in charge of the nurse, and according to the “Captain of Ship Doctrine” the head of the unit is responsible for any negligence caused by any member of her unit. Radhika was trapped completely. Now she was facing double charges.
She was arrested and taken to jail. There was no proof that she hadn’t committed the crime, nor was the proof of not being responsible for the negligence.
Meanwhile, her boyfriend saw his plan work out beautifully. It was a master plan by him.
Actually Nikhil was aiming for the same plot as his friends, but soon realized that he didn’t have the money or the power to take on the big firm. So he decided to support his girlfriend. Then when the opportunity presented himself in the form of Radhika’s request to talk to them. He took it. He killed his friend in purpose and put up an emotional display in front of his girlfriend. He knew she would definitely fall for his acting. Then the only road block remaining was Vijay Lakshmi. That also he managed perfectly. He bribed one of the nurses to do the job. She did it to perfection. And her children, according to them Radhika was the one because of whom their mother died. Nikhil brainwashed them, promised them a small part of this massive land, to which they agreed as they had no choice and couldn’t battle any further. They were tired.
In the end Nikhil got what he wanted. And Radhika, she trusted her boyfriend blindly and now faced the consequences.