Pati was so convinced

Pati was so convinced that this man before her held the key to the singular mystery that clouded her life, that she immediately called her employer to inform him of the situation: she had just found her long lost father, and she had to take leave from work to accompany him at the hospital. Then she pulled out a strand of her hair and, reproducing the strand of hair she extracted from the unconscious man on the ambulance, she proceeded to pay for a test to verify their possible kinship. Finally, having had the hospital assure her that they would call her once ‘her father’ woke up, she took the earliest train available to her hometown.

***

As Pati now looked at the two disbelieving nurses, she realized what a grave mistake she had made. This man here, this peacefully snoring old man was supposed to be her father, yet she was asking the nurses about his name.

‘What I mean is, what was his – my father – what name was my father registered under? I was in a panic when I sent him here, and I thought I might have given the hospital the wrong name.’

‘Oh, I will check it for you right now.’ The male nurse volunteered, and hurried off.

Betty, on the other hand, looked on at Pati with keen curiosity. It was clear that this woman did not know the old man. Why then, did she call him her father? What really was the relationship between them? In fact, where had this old man come from? Why wasn’t he capable of even speaking? Why was he behaving like an uncivilized creature?

The male nurse came back with a report in hand and, addressing no one in particular, mumbled, ‘Strange. It was stated here that the patient didn’t have a name… Where did you register your father at when you sent him in?’

By now, though, nobody was listening to him. For Old Mowgli was now seated up against the bed, staring at all three of them, and uttered:

‘Da…daugh..daughter.’

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