Tales from Beyond
The Apollo Hospital
He threw himself on his bed. Tomorrow was going to be a very important day for him because his mother was coming to meet him all the way from Lucknow to Mumbai.
He was heading towards the bathroom for a nice, relaxing bath when his mobile phone rang. He gave a sigh. Wasn't it enough that he over-worked that his boss called him up again?
But it wasn't his boss's number.
"Come to Apollo hospital. Quick!"
"Who is this?"
"Quick! This is an emergency."
"What are you saying?"
"Come quickly. And close your bathroom tap. There is already a shortage of water." And then he looked at the tap which was pouring water into the over flowing bucket. He went and closed the tap.
But he hadn't even got the time to go and open the tap!
His curiosity grew and grew every second that he was standing there. He had decided what he was going to do. He walked down the stairs, spotted a taxi standing in the car park and walked towards it. When he reached there, the driver came out and said "Sir, the Apollo Hospital right?"
Keshav, though shocked, nodded and stepped into the car. On the way, the driver stopped the car with a jerk.
"The car won't go further" said the driver.
"The car won't go any further, sir."
"Now that's lucky, except, I don't know where I am!"
He looked around him. There was no one there. Just then, he noticed an auto passing by. Keshav shouted out to the auto driver, and he stopped.
"Do you have change?"
It was a strange question.
"Er, yes. Why?"
"You will need change to get to the Apollo hospital, sir!"
He got scared, but he still went into the auto.
After a while, the auto stopped with a jerk.
"The auto won't go further."
"The auto won't go any further, sir." And Keshav got out of the auto, and just as before, the auto went away without payment.
He still did not know where the driver had left him. And there he spotted a rickshaw, and called for it. The rickshaw driver said "Hop on boy. The Apollo hospital isn't very far from here!"
Keshav did not have the guts to say any thing to the rickshaw man, and he simply stepped onto the rickshaw. This time he had reached, and as soon as his feet touched the ground, his mobile rang.
"Go to room number 105. It's right in front of you."
And sure enough, when he looked up, he saw a wooden door which had the number 105 on it.
He opened the door and stepped in.
Next day, Keshav's mother reached the airport on time. But it had been 2 hours already, and there was no sign of Keshav anywhere. She had already tried his number a hundred times but it would always be engaged. Suddenly, her mobile rang.
"Ma'am, is this Keshav Mathur's mother?"
"Ma'am, I have some bad news for you. Your son's dead body has been found outside Apollo hospital and we got your number from Keshav's telephone directory. Could you please come here?"