One Shot on AganKhi
So many pending tasks had got their destinations, hence he decided to leave for home early. It was only the mid-afternoon but thankfully, the cool breeze had come to save the lives from the burning rays of the shiny-sun. Holding the collar of his black coat, he flung it over to his right shoulder while slipping his left hand into his pocket as he entered the front yard. For a moment, Agantuk thought he made a wrong move when his eyes caught the little creature busy examining a doll in her tiny fingers.
He froze at his spot, already lost in figuring out who this new arrival could be while eyes remained fixed at the 8 months old little girl in a baby-pink skirt. 'She is so tiny', the first thing that came across his mind, & without his knowledge, a fade smile happend to pass through his lips.
While too engrossed in his own world, he missed the movement of the toddler, who crawled along until she reached the tall man in front of her. Those shiny black shoes were the first thing that caught her beautiful small eyes as she got an urge to feel them. Or most probably to taste them. Isn't that what she had been urging to do ever since she got her first two teeth? Her teeth are too impatient to bite anything & everything she gets a hold of.
As soon as she reached her destination, she forgot about her target when she looked all the way up to catch a glimpse of the man. Surprisingly, she did not feel like screaming her lungs out, which she usually did whenever came across any stranger. In stead, she flashed her two-toothy smile at the stranger-come-friend, who again to his unknown reciprocated the gesture.
He came back to the real world when he felt something climbing up on him & he instantly looked down to find the toddler making attempts of standing on her feet with the support of his black trouser. Before he could react, she already lost her balance & was about to fall back to her original position when he immediately got a hold of her tiny wrist with his left hand, holding her steady on her feet. Aww, she wasn't even as tall as his knee. Such an odd yet adorable pair they made in terms of height.
Unabled to think straight he threw the coat from his right hand towards the seat on the yard. Then slipping both his hands under those little arms, he picked her up to settle her on his left arm. God! She was feeling on top of the world, watching the view from about 5 & half feet above the ground. Amazing! The girl excitedly threw both her arms & legs in the air as she giggled. The next moment her eyes caught the collar pin of his shirt & she was already excited to have a taste of it. With a smile he watched her examining his collar pin. After a while, she moved forward to have a bite of it & he quickly turned his head to the other side, distracting her from germs.
But little did he know the angel was too adament to let her target go without having any taste from it. The more he moved away from her face, the closer she would move with the tip of her pinkish tongue out. For God's sake, she wanted to taste it. "Please let it go! It's dirty" he finally pleaded the girl, who took an instant pause at his voice. It was soothing yet amazing. Besides his smile, she loved his voice too. Noticing her pause, Agantuk flashed his grateful smile, which was welcomed by his little guest with her toothy-one. And the next moment, she just got to steal a touch of the pin with the tip of her tongue. Damn it! Did she just trick him? But the touch could not last for more than a second as he finally took the pin off his collar the very next moment he was tricked.
With innocence, she watched him unpinning her curiosity & putting it into his pocket. All this while, Agantuk silently admired the girl's adorable expression & how her eyes would follow the movement of his hand that was in charge of the pin. For a moment, his heart went out for the little angel in his arms but he was not ready to compromise with her safety. Then a sudden desire of his heart was fulfilled as he moved forward to leave a peck on her chubby cheek. She was heavenly cute!
The cell phone chose that moment to ring when he got it out to answer the call, which managed to grab the little one's attention too. Supporting her on his left arm, he answered the call with his right hand. According to her, it was a new invention she got to witness in the name of iphone! Her attention was rooted to the black thing that he held to his right ear. She too wanted to touch it, or to be precise, taste it. Her impatience was acting weird on her as she kept on moving her head right & left just to get a proper view of the iphone. In her mission, she forgot to realize that her constant movement was giving her supporter a hard time talking on the phone.
"I'll call you tomorrow... thank you" Agantuk finally gave up & decided to hang up the phone. "You know what? Aap bahut ziddi ho" he could not help but complained while brushing his nose against her cute one, causing her to giggle. Her voice was magical & he too shared a secret & silent giggle with her when her tiny fingers caught his lower lip. She loved how the movement of those lips would make beautiful sound.
"Who is she? ...and why is she left alone here? ...where is her mom?" after releasing his lips from her tiny fingers, Agantuk questioned Tamtam, who appeared from the kitchen with a bottle of milk. "She is Kakoli bou di's daughter. Her mother is in the kitchen with Bou di. I just left a while ago when Thaku maa called me." she justified before taking the little girl from her master. "Sorry chhote malik, I came here but when I saw you with her I went back to the kitchen to get her milk. Feeding time" Tamtam left with the girl, leaving him behind when his heart felt heavy. The girl seemed to take a place there in that short span of time. He was already missing her.
"Will you stop apologizing? I'm getting bored!" after giving the last touch to the vegetable, Pakhi almost warned her bou di, who, after entering the haveli, had been apologizing to her sweet sister-in-law for her past deeds. "But seriously, if.." Kakoli started when Pakhi decided to interrupt "One more time you say that I will take my forgiveness back" the lady could not help but smiled at her sister-in-law. "Thank You, I needed that" it was a sincere gratitude from Kakoli.
"Chhote Malik is home" Tamtam informed as she entered the kitchen with the little girl in her arms. "Chal, you will be busy now & I have to go for grocery too... Misty is home alone... I'll leave after feeding her" Kakoli informed as she took the bottle from Tamtam & was preparing for the feed. "Will you be able to do grocery with her?" Pakhi asked as she took little Sneha into her arms. The moment she was transferred to her aunt's arms, her attention moved to the beatiful earrings as she started to explore them carefully. And with a given chance, she already tried her luck in having a taste of the jewellery when she got caught by her smart aunt.
"Why don't you have your yummy milk and spare my earring darling?" Pakhi left a sounded kiss on her chubby cheek while tickling her soft tummy. "Don't bother Pakhi. Whatever interests her, she would just put it in her mouth. I wish she took some interests in food too." Kakoli complained about her daughter, Sneha. "Damn! I have to make dinner too after grocery. It's getting late. I didn't even get to feed her." the young mother was pissed at herself. "Let's go beta" she was about to take her daughter when Pakhi interrupted, "I'll feed her bou di, you can go buy the grocery. Then Sukhi dada will drop you two home."
"I'll ask the driver, he will take you to the market. Phir aakar Sneha ko bhi lejana. It's just a matter of 1-2 hours. Tab tak issey rehne do yahan" Saraswati mom decided to step in. "Aap rahenge naa humarey saath thode der keliye? royenge toh nahin?" She asked the little angel while patting her cheek & received a giggle for an answer. "No, Badi Malkin. She won't cry at all but please don't take the risk. Trust me, Bahut pareshan karegi" Kakoli was touched by the sweet gesture but had to alert them as well. "Really? Then she is definitely staying here." the older lady confirmed with a grin. "But.." "You are getting late for your grocery shopping, hon" Saraswati dismissed. "Fine, but if she turns the haveli upside down, you will have to count me out of it" the young mother put her condition with a smile. "Done!" the deal was sealed with a laugh before Kakoli left the place.
"O Lord! I regret!" it was more than 10 mins that she had been trying to insert the nipple of the feeding bottle into Sneha's mouth but the little one simply refused to cooperate. Entering her bedroom, Pakhi settled herself at a corner of their bed & gently lied her niece down into her lap, hoping to get lucky in feeding her.
"My Sneha will have her milk now. Hai na?" catching both the little one's chubby hands into her left hand, she tried to feed with her right hand. But failed miserably as the smart girl would turn her face away from the bottle. She was absolutely not in the mood for milk. Not at all.
In her pleading, she did not even realize when he got out of the washroom, all changed & freshen up. Neither did he bother to make any distraction to her attempt of feeding the baby. But he was amazed, leaning against the door frame while folding his arms against his chest, Agantuk, with a smile, decided to witness the scene silently.
"Beta please have mercy on me. warna aapki maa humey akar dantenge" Pakhi almost whined like a child while cleaning Sneha's chin that was all wet with her dribble plus milk. Seeing her pouted face, the little niece giggled at her bua. The young lady could not help but smile at the cute baby and left a quick peck on her tiny pinkish lips. "Chaliye, first we will feed your dollie then our Sneha will drink the rest of the milk, okie?" Pakhi made a deal and held the doll with her left hand while pretending to feed it with her right hand.
"Dekha! Sneha ki dollie bahut achchi hai, woh dooth peeti hai" the little girl quietly watched her aunt busy giving her milk to the dollie ...not fair...she was supposed to have that milk, she was supposed to have her aunt's attention, not the dollie... it was time to behave, thought little angel... "...Hamari Sneha bhi bahut achchi hai...woh bhi dooth peeti hai, hain na?" Pakhi said before holding the bottle close to her niece's mouth & surprisingly Sneha started to satisfy her tummy, giving her aunt a reason to take a sigh of relief.
He was so proud of his Pakhi. She finally made it. Not to mention, she would be the perfect mother of his child. She is the one deserves to be the mother of his child. With that wonderful feeling, he kept his gaze on the two when he heard a message tone on his cell. Checking on the message, he quietly walked towards the ladies.
The moment her tiny eyes caught the glimpse of him, she forgot about the milk & gently pushed the nipple out of her mouth. She was full & demanded to explore the iphone in his hand as her eyes followed him all the way until he took the spot at the other corner of the bed, right across her aunt.
Pakhi was clueless about the sudden mind change of her niece. Then looking at the bottle, she was somewhat satisfied to see it almost one-quarter full. "I guess, it is enough"... When the young lady was busy rubbing the droplets of milk from her saari that got sprinkled from the bottle in her niece's attempt of pushing the bottle out of her mouth, Sneha already rolled herself over from her aunt's lap & crawled towards the man she met a while ago. She was excited as her eyes would not move away from the iphone.
"Sneha" Pakhi called out to stop her when Agantuk interrupted, "It's ok! I got her" he smiled at his wife, who was not sure to leave the kid with him, considering whether he would be comfortable around her or not. "Bou di, I'll keep them here" Tamtam entered with some clothes & placed them on the single-couch before leaving the room. Getting off the bed, Pakhi kept the bottle on the tea-table & started to fold her saaris while keeping an eye on her niece.
He too kept an eye on the girl while checking on the message. After reaching her destination, she held her hand out to grab the cell when he gently moved his hand away a bit with his eyes still on its' screen. Alas, she wished she had a long hand like him. Disappointed at the failure, she rested her tiny left palm on his left thigh & grabbed the left sleeve of his maroon T-shirt with her right hand fingers, then pushing herself up, Sneha stood up to his left side & before she could lose her balance yet again, he already wrapped his left arm around her hip to hold her steady.
Damn! Her height could not even reach his shoulder. She looked up at him to notice him still keeping his gaze on the phone but his lips were barely moving. She wondered how come no sound was coming out when lips were moving. That did not happen when they met first time! Well, he was reading the message in mute. Still holding onto the fabric of his sleeve with her right hand, she carefully touched his lips as she tilted her head a bit to have the full view of his lips. Her cute tiny brain was curious to say the least.
Finally, he broke into a short giggle. Agantuk had been sensing her cute little actions till now & concluded that she was absolutely adorable. His quick giggle left the poor girl confused as she innocently watched him laughing at her face. After collecting himself, he held the phone before her to observe her twinkling eyes, but before she could reach it he would hold it to the top, just a couple of inches away from her maximum reach. She would giggle when he held it close to her but the moment he moved it away, her face would turn eager & innocent. He loved the transformation of her expression. She was indeed an angel personified.
Pakhi did not miss the excitement in her husband's eyes. He was happy. It was a new side of him that she got to witness. Her eyes were more on him than her niece as she kept on folding the clothes.
Feeling bad for the little creature, he gently made her comfortable on his left thigh & handed the iphone over to Sneha, who did not waste a single moment to accept the gift. She was super happy. He could not help but admired how carefully she was examining that little piece of object in her tiny fingers.
"Humey bhi ek beti chahiye" it was a simple statement to himself yet a heartfelt request. She stopped to notice his innocent face, those innocent eyes had a desire of a little girl whom he would proudly call his 'daughter'. Pakhi could not help but admire his admiration towards little Sneha. Her heart caught the depth of his plea, his wish, his desire. "Just like you" he further added but this time to the little one, who looked up to face him when her ears heard his voice.
She watched him admiring the girl with a smile. After his last words, he dropped a kiss on the little one's forehead. She could not figure out who looked more innocent at that very moment, her husband or her niece. On the other hand, he was too lost in his world to sense his wife had safely captured his statements in her heart.
"By the way, you forgot to tell me your name" Agantuk questioned the one on his lap & got a two-toothy grin for an answer. "Sneha" Pakhi volunteered with a smile & grabbed his attention. "Such a sweet name" he complimented as he looked back down at the girl. "Well, although people prefer Chhote Malik, but you can call me, Agantuk, only for friends" like a gentleman, he introduced himself.
"So, tell me what else you prefer besides milk?" he wanted to know more about her interests. "Her mouth takes in anything & everything Except food" his wife informed while placing the folded clothes in the closet. After finishing off her task, Pakhi turned around & was left speechless with both her hands in her open mouth.
"I ... can ... see ... that" the words came out with pauses as he blankly examined his new iphone which was given a shower by his new friend with her dribbles. The more surprising part was it took her less than a moment to give the shower. He did not even realize when she started to bite the poor technology. "I'm so sorry" Pakhi quickly took Sneha into her arms & started to dry her face & hands that were all wet with her dribbles.
She could not read his expression, there was a frown yet a smile on his face. "Yeh phone aab nahin chalega?" Pakhi asked with concern when his gaze caught her innocent face. O Dear God! He so wanted to kiss those lips for their innocence & assured her that such millions of phones can be sacrificed to bring a single smile on her face.
"Relax Pakhi" he genuinely smiled at her. "It's just a damn phone" he got up to place a soft kiss on her forehead & noticed the little girl staring at him with a blank look. Unabled to ignore that adorable tiny face, he left a kiss on her chubby cheek too before giving it a light squish.
"Bou di...Kakoli bou di is here to take Sneha" Tamtam informed when Pakhi instructed her to take the feeding bottle for wash. "Lets go, beta! Say bye to your new friend" holding her niece's soft little wrist, she made Sneha wave at the man. "Aww, I will miss you" He caught those small fingers in between his thumb & index, then dropped a soft kiss. "See you" he smiled as he watched his wife holding the girl close to her heart while leaving the room. He wished for a day to come soon when they can spend the whole day & night with their own little bundle of love.