Author – Priyanjana Das
All characters in this short story holds complete resemblance to every person living and not dead in my family and none of the characters, plot, setting and the protagonist of the story are fictious. This is the story of a family whose members believed in happily ever afters, presents, togetherness and princesses. They believed that faith is what makes a person stand by himself and see the world through the lens of love and harmony. They were adorable as a couple and dearly loved one another. They had a small cozy home, a scooter and everything else that they could possibly wish for, now all they wanted was a baby girl!
And this is how things go for them..
31st January 1996, Faridabad
Mr Das rubbed his palms together and gently placed them on his eyes. The warmth it generated was however not enough to calm his throbbing nerves. The January month in Faridabad had brought with it cold and frosty winds which swished past the Ghai hospital’s window.
“It is time” said the nurse wheeling Mrs Das into the operation theatre and leaving a nervous and perplexed Mr Das to hope for the best. There was chaos at once in the little space. Nurses ran hither thither to get the desired injections, cotton clothes and blankets to wrap the fragile life coming to earth in such a cold weather. After about an eternity (as it was to Mr Das) there was a shrill cry from the operation theatre. The baby announced its arrival to this world and everyone’s happiness knew no bounds! Mr Das was relieved that everything had gone well. He could not wait to see the child. Was it a girl? He wondered.
The doctor came out of the ward to give the news to the awaiting father,
“Congratulations! Its a girl! But…”
The smile instantly vanished from Mr Das’ face, was it a bad news? No, can’t be. He gathered all the courage in the world and said “What is it?”
“Oh its just that she is underweight, we could tackle the problem soon enough. She will be a healthy and pretty baby!”
Both smiled and Mr Das went in to see the child which lay asleep in a small glass box. She was a fair little creature, with the smallest hands that grab at your finger as if to never let go and an even smaller nose which just got the feel of its first earthly breeze.
However fate has its own ironies, just as everything seemed to be perfect in this world, the doctor, who had been working on the baby, comes out and calls on Mr Das. The fine lines of nervousness that now marred his face were clearly visible. Something was terribly wrong!
“ Her blood sugar is quite low but that could not be a problem because we are trying to give her enough feed, but what concerns me most is that…”
“ Is that?” urged Mr Das, he had already prepared himself for the worst.
“ She has stopped taking feed, and if this goes on for a while, I doubt it that we can save her. We have lost all hope. I think you must take her to another hospital.
There was despair on everyone’s face, nothing could be done but to see the baby die right in front! This was not going to happen!
“ I’ll take her somewhere else” said Mr Das. The doctors wrote down the directions to the hospital and wrapped the baby up in a blanket. He had to hire an auto rickshaw to take her there and took her close to his chest to protect her from the frosty winds. The child was silent and unresponsive. Looking at her father so intently as if she knew everything that was going on here. Mr Das looked at the child. Her soft brown eyes seemed to plead to see the world for herself, to chatter about various things in life, to travel to faraway lands with her loved ones, to sing, to dance, to love, to live…
“I will save you” whispered her father “you will see the world”
the next few moments were a blur, the doctors got to work soon enough fetching things and making arrangements for the treatment. It was as if for one moment whole of the hospital had come together to save a life. There were prayers, wishes and appeals everywhere. The atmosphere was still gloomy with no sign of the sun. for Mr Das time had stopped there and then. He looked at the clock every second and then towards the ward where his child was taken. He tried to talk to the doctors but they only said one thing- be patient sir!
After almost an eternity the doctor came out of the ward and put his hand on Mr Das’ shoulder…
15th June 2012, Udaipur
“ then what happened? Was the girl alive?” I asked my father who had decided to tell me this story. It so happened that me and my brother were to go for our swimming classes in summers and I was always afraid of even the thought of jumping into the cold and deep blue waters of the swimming pool. That day the trainer had taken me to the deep end to swim for myself and I was frantically moving my arms and legs to get a glipse of the platform where peole were sitting. My cries were muffled and I felt something pulling me towards the bottom. That day I had decided not to talk to anyone! What is the use of teaching me to swim anyway? I could have died today!
It was then that my father sat beside me and we went on with this story
“ yes, she is perfectly fine, beautiful and right beside me!” he said
I was taken aback! “ so that girl was me! But how come you never told me this all these years?”
“ we never found it necessary to relate all that again. Its better if we do not relive those moments” he said “So my whole point behind telling this story to you is that we had tried so hard to save you from dying once, how could we possibly push you towards danger again? On the contrary, we are trying to make you learn things like swimming and cycling so that this time even if you are alone, you return home safe and sound!”
some times such small incidents in life which to you are fables but your loved ones had lived through, inspire you to live your life to the fullest. Nobody knows when you might have to leave this world, so why not do anything and everything which makes you happy. I, after all, have earned my life in the real sense!