(This is the twenty second part of a short story which is entirely a work of fiction.)
The next morning, Vasudha got ready and came out of her room quite early. Her mother who was already awake, asked her, “Where are you going?”
“I’m going to the ashram ma and then to the hospital.”
“Ashram is ok Vasudha but you should rest for a few days. What is the hurry to go to the hospital?”
“No ma, I will feel worse if I stay at home. Going to the hospital will keep my mind busy and I will not think about this.”
Her father hearing the discussion came out of the room and said, “Let her go. She is right. Her mind needs to be busy. She will feel worse sitting at home.”
Vasudha reached the ashram and went to the cremation site. She spent a few quiet moments there and then headed towards Swamiji.
She bowed before him and said, “I need your blessings Swamiji. Make me strong. Bless me that I do not break.”
Swamiji said, “You are strong Vasudha. I know you are. Obviously, my blessings are always with you.”
Vasudha left the ashram and drove straight to the hospital. The staff there was surprised to see her. She took a round of the wards and the various OTs and ICUs and then headed towards her cabin. She checked her email and responded where needed and then called Manav.
“Manav, can I see you now, please?”
“Of course, ma’am. Coming there.”
Manav knocked at the cabin door and opened it. Vasudha asked him to come and sit. He was quite surprised that she was back at work.
“Manav, can you put all the plans and analyses you and Dr. Som did for the pilot and send it to me? Every single file, every single dataset.”
“Sure ma’am. I have everything in one folder. I can send that to you very soon.”
Manav went back to his table and quickly pulled out the folder and sent it in an email to Vasudha. He was wondering what she was planning to do. The pilot had failed so badly. Could Dr. Som’s passing have caused her to change her mind?
Vasudha called the head of procurement, Sateesh Kumar to her cabin next. She asked him to stop using the catheter that had costed Dr. Som his life. She also asked for a complete review of all consumables. She asked him to come up with a complete list of brands being used at the hospital grouped by department and consumable.
The Head of Finance was the next person to be called. Vasudha asked him for a one page snapshot of the company’s financials comparison since inception, year on year. She wanted this by the end of the day.
The entire hospital was agog with all the happenings. “Maybe she is going to close the hospital?”, said one. “No, she might be thinking of selling it off to someone”, countered another. “Maybe she is planning to become a sanyasin at the ashram. She went there this morning!”
Manav heard all this and thought, “What bullshit! People just need an excuse to gossip. She is definitely not going anywhere. Why would she ask for the pilot files? She may not implement the pilot because it failed. But she’s not going anywhere. For now at least!”