She'd have turned 26 today and would have been a very contented girl doing her much-desired residency in Internal Medicine at Jaslok Hospital today, probably running around filling forms, following-up on the reports of various investigations, writing down orders, consulting her seniors, appeasing the relatives of her patients, trying to strike a rapport with the nurses (I doubt it would have taken her this long though), answering calls given by residents from other faculties and finally if she were lucky, taking a moment to breathe and then maybe eat.
If she were lucky, she would have grown to be one of the most loved doctors the hospital would've ever seen. Eveready to take on extra work, relieve a tired fellow doctor, fill-in for someone who wanted an off, she was everybody's friend. Everyone loved her. Even those who barely knew her for a couple of days.
Hard-working to the core - she stayed on for a year to study rigorously so that she could make it to an Int. Med. residency. Her fellow interns could never stop praising her or sometimes ridiculing her or even scolding her for being so stupidly sincere. For a junior like I, she would take time off from her schedule just to sit with me on a rough day and let me know that things weren't as bad as they seemed. That I knew my stuff, I would be a good doctor just as she would be, if she were lucky.
Even after these days, I still remember the postcardish sight of the three girls - Aryika, Prerna and Gene sitting outside the basketball court sipping coffee and laughing uncontrollably. I felt most uncomfortable thinking of Prerna crying uncontrollably outside the ICU of Breach Candy Hospital in the last week of February. Aryika was sinking in her battle against the deadly tuberculosis that had caused meningitis and her brain to swell with fluid. She underwent a shunt surgery that tried to remove the excess fluid but went into a coma. She stayed in the coma for over 2 weeks and never returned.
My brave friend, my lovable friend and guide, Dr. Aryika Malaviya - here's my salute to your kind spirit, your illuminating smile and your jovial nature. Our sick have lost in your passing away, a doctor who would have healed them not only with her medicines but with her compassion and genuine concern.
On your birthday, I miss being able to call you and wish you. For as long as I remember, it always rained on your day. Today, the sky is clear, the earth is parched.
I only hope that you are happy wherever you are, cheering the angels. Happy Birthday!