Gomati looked at the clock to her right on the table. It was six in the evening. She concluded that she had slept in three hours more than what the doctor had told. Her right hand was rather painful and she knew not why. Then reality struck in and she remembered her child. She turned to her left and found it beside her in the cradle.
Soft and shining, the legs of the cherub were visible to her. Clothes covered the child and she was barely able to see above the thighs. She scanned the room if anyone else was there near her who would attend her. None. None that she could call or would attend her. The general ward was bustling with people sans any noise. Had it been another place but the hospital the decibels would have reached hazardous levels.
A nurse came by and stopped in front of her with a tray in her hands. She then moved on calling out at another nurse to attend Gomati. With a smile on her face, the nurse congratulated Gomati and picked up the baby to show it to her. The face was characteristically white in colour with a gold plated chain around its neck. Gomati tried to lift her arms but was too tired to do anything. She could not even speak. She mouthed the nurse asking what gender the child was.
“A beautiful girl” replied the young nurse removing the cloth covering the body of the child.
The spectre face of Gomati turned into an abode of happiness and her eyes emitted rays of joy and happiness. Her parents entered the ward and rushed forward to cosset the child. Her mother took it from the nurse, started fondling the baby, and enlivened her face to entertain it. Her father looked on at the happenings and smiled in happiness. He too joined in with his wife in entertaining the baby. Gomati searched for the desiderative soul that had been eagerly anticipating the birth of the precious gem. The man who made her a mother.
Time flew by with the grandparents entertaining the child and Gomati rested herself after the tiresome experiences. After some time she spotted her husband coming in. The room became dark upon his entry as he covered the only light source in the hall by entering through the door to the bedroom. Gomati flitted. She was in her house with her two week old on her lap. Her face reflected the sorrow upon Death’s entry.
Reality struck her. Again. The dramatic dream she was having was too good for her to let go off. Fate is a cruel player of games against our dreams. It had made its move against Gomati and she felt completely helpless lacking the willpower and the strength to go against it. Her husband. The man who entered the room just then.
“Are you still hanging on to her?” asked Patel.
‘She is my life. The child that I gave birth. If things were to culminate into such a circumstance then I would have chosen a different path back then ditching you.’ She thought but did not say to her husband.
The house in a village near Dewas, Madhya Pradesh was filled with gloom and the weather made it worse. The unusual off-season rains made the days in the house of the Talwars even gloomier adding to the painstaking decision made by the family members upon the insistence of their Son-in-law, Patel.
Tears filled the eyes of the home’s only child, Gomati as an old woman entered the room after her husband. The primitive clothing clad woman came near Gomati and laid a sorrowful smile upon the baby and the mother. The wrinkled hands of the woman touched the face of the baby and she ran it around the face admiring the beauty of the sapling that had just sprouted. The hands then moved over to the hand of Gomati that was holding the child and drove its way to the face of the piteous mother.
The wrinkled hands were not as fragile as they seemed and were laden with the strength of a young and able young woman of twenty. Gomati’s soft clutches of the child did not cause any hindrance to powerful hold of the woman, as an ant’s stance would do against a storm. The harsh holds by the woman woke up the baby and after some wriggle. It let out a loud cry for its mother.
Hearts began to melt. Beat. Hurt. Most of them turned towards the cry but remained silent and soon turned their eyes towards whatever it was they were staring for more than five hours. Gomati rose and made a few steps towards her husband to speak up but the stare from her father intimidating otherwise made her follow the long followed system and culture of the society. Women shall never speak against men in their lives. They shall remain the domestic slaves for the men whiling away their lives in kitchens and televisions but shall never protest against anything, especially against their husbands. Gomati was very good at that. She will remain to be so.
The old woman, who pacified the loud cries of the baby, fed milk to the child. Soon the crying stopped. The girl’s voice came to a halt. So did its heart.
It's been sometime since I wrote a short story. With my eyes on my novel and my new-found passion for poems it's hard to sit down and write a story away from the mentality with which I write my other works. I have reworked my priorities and making time for writing my blog in my schedule. Be surprised if you find a poem or two between my stories from now on. Hoping to keep with the monthly updates from now on.
Thanking you all for your massive support over this period of stagnation...