• Pallavi Rao

The Miracleme Story 08-The Handshake

His steps seemed a bit unsure.

But I surely knew they were walking up to me.

He stood next to my bed, in his now classic pose of hands clasped at the back.

He bent a little and asked hesitatingly, “Are you the same Pallavi who does Bumper to Bumper every evening on Radio Mirchi?”

I gave a bright now no longer a droopy smile thanks to the steroids taking effect, and said, “Yes, that’s right”

He seemed relieved at the answer and straightened up. “You are Pallo?” He was now visibly smiling.

The infectious smile got transferred to both of us, Rahul and I.

“Yes, indeed I am Pallo.”

Aaah, that smooth glowing skin was due to Maach. Fish.

I caught a near Bangla accent in his English.

You know, it is not an easy job to one, recount things from a decade back. Two, it is impossible to put them all in a single post that ideally shouldn’t be too long as per blog rules. Bwaahhhh.... Limiting myself to words has always been a tough job, but what the heck. I am trying.

I forgot to mention, that, at that time I was:

  • a brand new Myasthenia Gravis patient

  • a milking mom

  • a Radio Jock

In those 14 days in the general ward of Apollo Hospital, I am not exaggerating, I must have given autographs to dozens of nurses, interns and brothers (male nurses). I have no clue how the word spread that Pallo of Radio Mirchi is in the ward.

Young girls, fans of radio in general and Radio Mirchi in particular would come with their note pads, notebooks, bits of papers to take my signature!!! It would have been an awesome feeling, but for the fact that the Pallo they heard on Mirchi was apart from this slurring woman they saw on the bed.

As they tended to me, yes, almost all requested me to “Speak the way you do on Radio Mirchi, once, please”. Most had no idea what Myasthenia Gravis was. It was a miracle that things were getting better but they were not fine yet.

Even during the transfer of duties, apart from the medication, this very important piece of information was also conveyed to the next sister in hushed tones, with a sprinkle of Malayalam accent thrown in...Radio Mirchi, Pallavi, Bumper to Bumper.

Eyebrows raised in fascination. I liked that.

Last day. Last few hours and this gentleman.

We shook hands formally.

He spoke slowly, in his Bangla or was it the Assamese accent, “I came this way two or three times earlier also, but did not know if I should come to you and talk. The girls told me that Pallavi is here from Radio Mirchi. Today, there was no one so I thought I shall come and ask.”

Another fan. I smiled.

He held my hand tenderly, with both of his and continued, “ I listen to you on my way back from work every evening. Bumper to Bumper. I really like your show and the way you laugh.”

By now I knew he was a dedicated listener. But now I wanted to know who he was?

As if he read my mind, he said, “I am Bhaba Das. Dr. Bhaba Das.”

There are some people whom you meet and instantly like. That vibe. That calmness. That love. That connect.

That’s what I felt for him.

Rahul introduced himself and Dr. Bhaba Das nodded his head saying just two words, “Myasthenia Gravis...hmmmm”

It was time for us to go home. I would be with my son after 14 years. 14 years did I write? Well, those 14 days did seem like 14 years.

We bade good byes.

His hands? The softest I had ever shook.

I never could fathom they were meant for something more...something much more.


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