Joined: 09 April 2010
Delicate and petite were the two words that came to mind as he watched with great fascination at the pink fingers curling around the tip of his right index finger. The touch and feel of the gesture was indescribable. His lips parted into a proud grin as his eyes continued to study the chubby little creature nestled securely in his bassinet. His piercing brown eyes took note of the features wondering who the plump being resembled more; his mother or his father. The baby had a perky set of lips, full cheeks, a strong nose, perfectly formed ears, and deep brown eyes. His eyes flexed in awe as they met with the smaller pair who looked on just as fascinated at the presence of someone who looked just like him but bigger. A mirthful gurgle erupted making the older one lurch back in alarm that such a strong sound could come from within a tiny body. After a second of reflection the older one leaned over the bassinet again and tenderly pushed his right index finger into the miniature being's palm. He smiled at the grip that tightened around his singular digit. It was like an acknowledgement that he knew who he was. Moving his thumb from side to side he lovingly stroked the top of the hand. This was as far as a hand hold he could offer until those tiny hands grew into ones similar to his. He leaned down and lifted the chubby hand up to his lips to place a gentle kiss; a father's kiss. He turned to his side when he felt a tug on his kurta. "Papa?" His ears tingled and his pupils dilated at the cheery voice.
"Mera Bacha," he replied as he picked her up and held her securely to him. She sat comfortably in the crook of her father's arm and giggled as he tickled her tummy. "Papaaa..." she squealed. "Ssstoppp...pppleasssee..." Upon hearing the request he pulled his hand away and gave her a few loving kisses on her cheek. Still giggling softly at her father's affectionate behavior she wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a kiss on his cheek.
"Thank you Chahat."
"Anytime Papa," she replied with a happy grin. She then peered over to her right into the bassinet. "So this is the new baby? My brother?"
"Yes, he is your little brother."
"He's so small but very cute Papa," Chahat replied. "Just like---"
"Me," Prem cut in wiggling his eyebrows up and down making his daughter go off in a twitter of laughter.
"Like Mama? But what about me?" Prem pouted.
"You're handsome. Mama is cute," Chahat explained.
"Ahhh," Prem replied nodding his head. "But I think you're cute. Cuter than your Mama," pinching her cheek with love.
"But if I'm cuter...Mama's not going to be very happy with you."
Prem chuckled at the disapproving look his daughter was giving him. It was the same look his wife would give when she disapproved of something he did. "Mama isn't cute," shaking his head firmly, "she's beautiful."
Chahat's face lit up at his statement and nodded in approval. "Mama is very, very, very beautiful." Prem grinned at the way she had used her hands to emphasis how beautiful her mother was. "But Papa," frowning a little, "if you're handsome, Mama's beautiful, and I'm cute what about my little brother?"
"Hmmm...I see the problem," he replied displaying his best thinking face.
"I know!" snapping her fingers making a very small thudding sound in her excitement. "My little brother is cool."
"Cool?" Prem repeated.
"Yes, cool. He's very cool Papa," Chahat reasoned. "And I love him very, very, very much."
"I do too," Prem said and then displayed his hand with his palm facing out to his daughter for a high-five.
She tapped her small hand into his and marveled, "Why is your hand so big?"
"So it can do this," he replied as he captured her whole hand into his making his daughter giggle. "I've got you now so you can't run away from me," joking heartily.
"I would never run away from you Papa...never ever. I won't ever leave you or Mama," Chahat replied. She maneuvered her fingers so they curled inward clutching tightly onto the fleshly part of his palm and thumb.
"But one day you will...you will let go of my hand and you will leave our house to go to your husband's house," Prem explained.
"No," shaking her head adamantly, "I will never leave you or Mama. I will never let go of your hand. My husband can come stay at our house." Prem smiled at her words and gave her a kiss on her forehead. Chahat grinned and then turned her attention back to her little brother. "If your hands look big to me then when you put your hands against his hands...they must look enormous." Prem chuckled and then adjusted her weight again on his arm. They looked into the bassinet and quietly watched the baby as he continued to stare up at them with great curiosity.
"What are you two doing?" Prem immediately smiled at hearing her melodic voice. He had already sensed her presence before she hooked her pinky around his pinky and asked her question. He turned his head and grinned even more at the glow on her face. He was amazed that only a few hours ago she had given birth to their son and was now standing next to him looking fresh and calm like she hadn't given birth that day.
"We're looking at the baby Mama," Chahat answered. "He's my cool little brother."
"Cool?" Heer asked arching her eyebrows.
"Yes because Papa is handsome, you are beautiful, I am cute...so, he is cool."
Heer chortled softly at her explanation. "I see...well, I guess in that case he is cool." Her lips turned upward into a wide smile as her daughter returned her gaze back down at the newest member of the Juneja family trying to welcome him into the world. But that was not the only reason why the smile had appeared on her face. She had also felt her husband's fingers maneuvering themselves around her hand into an intimate hold. Her eyes shifted towards Prem and found him looking at her with adoring love. Her chest rose and her heart went all a flutter. She was astounded that after all these years he could still do that to her with just one look. He mouthed a tender, "Thank you," making her mouth back, "You're welcome."
"Hmmm...Beta?" Prem replied with his eyes still on his wife.
"What are we going to name him?"
"Your Mama and I have some names but we haven't settled on one yet," he answered.
Heer's eyes suddenly flex as she realized something. "Chahat, how did you get into this hospital room?"
"That's right," Prem added and looked at his daughter for an explanation. "Where's Harman Chachu?"
"Um, he's in the hallway," Chahat nervously replied.
"In the hallway? Which hallway?" Heer asked looking at her daughter suspiciously. "Papa told you to stay with Harman Chachu and the family. When it was time everyone would get a chance to come to the room and see the baby."
"But we've been waiting sooo long...I just wanted to see my baby brother Mama," Chahat replied bowing her head.
"You shouldn't wander away like that. Harman Chachu and the family must be looking all over the hospital for you. When Papa and I tell you to do something you need to listen. Understand? What if something happened to you? What if someone took you?" Heer felt a squeeze around her hand causing her to momentarily pause and take a deep breath. She knew Prem was telling her to calm down. She looked at her daughter who was holding her ears requesting for forgiveness.
"I'm really sorry Mama. I'm really sorry Papa. I didn't mean to walk away from Harman Chachu," Chahat apologized.
"It makes us extremely worried when you wander away like that. We tell you to do certain things for your safety not because we are trying to be mean. We love you and don't want anything to happen to you," Heer explained.
There was an abrupt cry that erupted from the bassinet causing them to turn their attention to the tearful baby. Heer immediate picked her newborn son up into her arms and cradled him trying to sooth his cries, "There...there...are you hungry...is that? Okay, sssh...Mama's here...it's time for you to eat." She glanced at Prem who seemed alarmed that their son was making such a fuss. "Why don't you go and take Chahat back to the family and let them know I'm feeding the baby. Once I'm finished feeding him they can come in and see him."
Prem nodded his head and placed Chahat back on the ground. He held her hand as they left the room and made their way down to the waiting area where the family was sitting. As they entered the room they saw Maya pacing back and forth clutching the ends of her scarf clearly stressed over something. Her eyes looked on in relief at seeing Chahat and exhaled releasing the tension that had been trapped in her heart. "Chahat, there you are."
"I'm sorry Maya Chachi," Chahat replied holding her ears.
"She found the room and came in," Prem explained.
"Harman has been running up and down this hospital searching for her. Bauji has gone to talk to the head of security to see if they could find her on the security cameras," Maya replied.
Prem glanced down at Chahat who displayed a sorrowful face. He crouched down and gave her a warm look. "You've learned your lesson haven't you?" He watched as his daughter gave a nod. "Now," placing his hands on her cheeks and giving them a playful tug, "you learned your lesson and you won't do it again so you can stop frowning. Once Mama is finished feeding the baby you can bring everyone to see him." Chahat smiled and nodded her head. Prem got up from the floor and addressed Maya, "How is everything back home?"
"Kulraj Didi said that everything is going well. Meher really wishes she could come to the hospital but little Prateek is still dealing with colic. Preet just went to the store to get gripe water. Kiran took Ketan and Tanu home to help Kulraj with some of the household chores and to help look after GunGun."
Prem nodded and felt a sense of relief that Preet was slowly moving about again. After everything the Juneja family had been through it seemed like there was nothing else that could possibly happen that would shock them. The matriarch of the family had left them when they needed her the most. It was understandable that she was distraught with pain and grief having already lost one biological child, but Prem had never seen his mother so bitter and angry. He never could have imagined that the woman he had called mother for 38 years would suddenly turn her back on him and blame him for the lost of Preet. A part of him had died that day when his little brother took the bomb that was meant for him. He had nightmares for several months reliving that moment. And each time he dreamt he tried desperately to change the outcome but it was to no avail. The family seemed to trudge along despite the loss of Preet and Ma's sudden move to abandon everyone. They tried searching for her much to Heer's insistence. They searched in Ambala, Ludhiana, Delhi, and any other places they could think of but they never found her. Instead they found Preet Juneja still alive laying in a hospital suffering from second to third degree burns. It was a miracle that he had survived such a blast because in all reality he never should have. But somehow he did because of the angle and way he had jumped off the triggering point. It sent him through the back wall of the warehouse into the river stream below where he floated downstream and washed ashore on the river bank near a farm. A farmer and his son found him and quickly brought him to the nearest hospital to seek treatment. Then one day while searching for their mother Harman got into a car accident sending him to the Ludhiana hospital. Once there Prem overheard two nurses talking about a patient with extensive burns caused by a bomb blast. He had been in the hospital for several months and had it not been for a benevolent board of trustee who decided to pay for his medical bills he would have died. Curiosity got the best of Prem and went to the room the patient was staying in. There he found his little brother burned, bruised, and bandaged but very much alive. Through Meher and the family's prayers he survived the treatments and surgeries to see the birth of his son. The doctors were pleased with Preet's recovery stating he would only have a few minor scars on his body. He was extremely lucky his face had not been badly burned. He would heal with no scars and his face would look the same as it always did.
"Well, Meher just gave birth about a week ago...she needs to take care of the baby. I know Heer understands. We will be coming home tomorrow so she will be seeing her nephew soon," Prem replied. "It was a good idea that Jiju went home with Ketan and Tanu to help with the chores." He then looked at his daughter, "Chahat you stay here with Maya Chachi and I'll come back out to let you know when you can take everyone to the room, okay?"
"Okay Papa," she replied with a smile. Prem grinned and tenderly patted her head before leaving the waiting area.
Hazel eyes smiled as she cradled her newborn to her chest feeding him his first taste of mother's milk. He suckled happily filling his empty stomach. His hands curled and straightened in a rhythmic motion as he looked up at the face above knowing that this was his mother. He breathed in the sweet scent of Jasmine and then tapped her chest with his left hand trying to tell her he was finished. Heer lips curled upward into a loving smile as she felt the presence of her husband in the room. Her eyes lifted and saw rather uncharacteristically that his cheeks were red from blushing. She found it rather amusing considering she was the one that usually blushed in these types of situations. It was fun seeing the tables turn.
Prem sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck feeling a bit awkward at seeing his wife breastfeeding. It was a normal action to perform for a mother but he felt as if he had intruded. Prem turned himself around as he saw that Heer was about to move the baby to her shoulder and adjust her hospital gown to cover herself. He stood straight as a board and nervously asked, "Ummm, le-let me know when you're finished."
His ears perked at the soft chortle that had escaped from his wife's throat. "Prem are you embarrassed? I never thought I would see this day. My husband embarrassed to look at me?"
"I'm not," Prem sternly answered as he quickly turned around. "It's just...it's just..." casting a downward glance at the floor, "...um..."
"Breastfeeding?" Heer filled in for him with a mirthful twinkle in her eye. "It's something I'm going to be doing for awhile. And I thought you said you wanted to experience everything with me since you weren't able to when Chahat was born."
"I do," Prem replied earnestly as his eyes met his wife's eyes. "I don't want to miss a thing. Six years of separation was something that I don't want to ever experience again. I doubted our love. I doubted you. I'm sorry for that."
"You weren't the only one that made that same mistake. I was responsible too. And Ashlesha used that opportunity to manipulate us to get what she wanted. I'm sorry that I let my anger blind me from seeing the truth," Heer said. "But let's not dwell on these things anymore. That was the past and we should look to our future. Today our son was born." Prem grinned and nodded his head. "I think Papa should come closer so he can hold his son."
"Hold..." Prem repeated rather nervously.
"You hold Chahat all the time," Heer giggled. "I think you'll do fine with him." She patted the baby's back a few more times making sure he burped before she handed him over to his father. "Okay he's all yours Papa...remember to support his head."
Prem extended his arms out and delicately took a hold of his son. He marveled at how small he was but felt the firm weight of his body in his arms. He placed a loving kiss on his son's forehead and whispered, "Hey, welcome to the world. I'm your Papa...and..." turning to the side so the baby could see Heer, "this beautiful lady is your Mama." The baby gurgled an excited response at his father's words. "Ah, so you agree your Mama is beautiful?"
"Premm..." Heer uttered softly.
"It's the truth even our son agrees," looking at his son, "Don't you? Mama is very beautiful." Another excited baby cried erupted from his son's throat making him smile with pride.
"I was in labor for 15 hours. I just washed my face with a damp towel...I'm incredibly sore---"
"And you still radiate with beauty," Prem said interrupting her. He then leaned over and kissed her forehead. "Thank you so much for giving me two wonderful children. I love you. We all love you." Heer shyly grinned and cupped his cheek affectionately. "Meher feels bad that she couldn't come and be here for you."
"She is so silly...she has Prateek to take care of. I'll be home tomorrow."
"That's what I told Maya when she was taking about Meher," Prem replied.
"Oh, we should bring the family in now that the baby has been fed. He'll probably get sleepy soon. They should see him before he falls asleep." Prem returned his son into the arms of his wife and then went to go get the family.
It was a lazy Sunday afternoon in the Juneja household and Chahat was playing in her room with GunGun. They were busy making creations with their washable crayons and marker sets. The naming ceremony for the new Juneja baby had been completed the day before. Chahat was rather proud that a name she had suggested to her parents was the one they decided to use when the Priest had asked for a name starting with the letter A. "See Chahat Di..." GunGun said as she lifted her paper up to show what she had drawn. It was a stick figure portrait of her family; Mama Meher, Papa Preet, herself, and her little brother Prateek.
"That's really pretty GunGun," Chahat replied. She then returned to her work busy coloring a scenic view of a park.
"What are my two favorite girls doing?" Chahat smiled when she saw it was her fun loving Preet Chachu. "Preet Chachu!" He smirked at her response and then looked at his daughter who was just as happily at seeing him.
"Papa!" GunGun squealed and ran towards him. But she stopped halfway as if suddenly remembering something. Preet understood the sudden hesitation. "It's okay GunGun. It doesn't hurt Papa anymore." He gathered her in his arms and picked her up holding her close to him as he sat down in the little chair. "See, everything is okay," squeezing her tightly making her giggle with delight. She curled comfortably in her father's arms relishing the feel of being held by him again. She remembered those days when he wasn't around and how her mother had cried. She had missed him so much and wondered when she would ever see him again. She was told by her Dada that her Papa had gone to live in Heaven. She didn't quite understand what that meant but in her heart she always felt she would be seeing him again soon.
"So, I see you two have been drawing. What's this?" Preet said looking at the paper his daughter had been drawing on.
"Mama, Papa, Me, and Prateek," GunGun pointed with her finger at each stick figure.
"A family portrait...that's great GunGun. You know I think we should hang this in the nursery so Prateek knows which family he belongs to and which room he's suppose to be in...can't have him getting confused and going into Aayan's room." Preet handed the paper to GunGun to hold onto and stood up still carrying his precious daughter in his arms. "Let's go put this in the nursery now."
"Bye GunGun. Bye Preet Chachu," Chahat waved.
"We will be back," Preet said and then left the room.
Chahat sat there pondering a bit as the words that her Chachu said replayed in her mind. She wanted to do something special similar to what GunGun had done for Prateek for her own baby brother, Aayan. Chahat pursed her lips in deep thought and then suddenly smiled. She was going to do a family portrait but it was going to be very different from what GunGun had done. But she knew she was going to need help if her project was going to succeed. She walked out of her room in search of her best friend, her partner in crime, her Papa to help her.
She found him in the laundry room folding Aayan's clothes. She giggled to herself as she never saw her Papa doing domestic chores before. But ever since her Dadi left things at the household had been different. Now that her Masi and Mama had given birth to another child everyone was pitching in and helping around the house. Even her Dada was learning to cook unfortunately, not very well much to the chagrin of his grandchildren. They usually told him to make Maggie noodles as it was the only thing he could successfully do without burning. "Papa, are you busy?"
"I'm folding clothes," Prem replied. "What's up?"
"I want to make something special for Aayan," Chahat answered. "But I need help."
"Make something special? What do you have in mind?"
Chahat motioned to her father to bend down so she could whisper in his ear. Prem crouched down on his knees and listened to what her project was. He smiled when she had finished explaining. "I think that's a great idea."
"But I don't know if Mama will like it," Chahat said with worry.
"Don't worry about Mama. Let me take care of her," Prem said. "I'm going to finish this and I want you to prepare your supplies. I will also get that critical ingredient we need from the hallway closet," giving a wink, "okay?"
"Okay Papa," Chahat smiled giving a wink. She then ran back up to her room and began organizing things.
Heer walked up the stairs sensing something was not right. The house was far too quiet and when that occurred it meant someone was up to some mischief. The last time she had this feeling Ketan and Tanu had brought home a dog they had found in the park. They hid the animal in Ketan's room thinking no one would find out but of course the dog someone how managed to slip out and destroyed the living room and kitchen in its search for food. It took them hours to clean up the mess. The dog couldn't stay because of Kiran's allergies but they were able to locate the dog's owners and safely return him to their house.
The amber in Heer's hazel eyes darken when she saw Preet leaning against the wall by Aayan's room. He was calmly eating an apple as she walked up to him. "Preet?"
"Yes, Bhabhi?" he smiled.
"What are you doing?"
"Eating an apple," he replied showing her the side of the fruit where his bite marks were present.
"I see that Preet but why are you standing here next to Aayan's room? I just put him to sleep for his afternoon nap like fifteen minutes ago. He usually sleeps thirty minutes to an hour."
"Bhabhi, I didn't realize I had to get permission to stand in my own house. I know I was gone for a few months but I didn't know the house changed that much," Preet replied.
"That's not what I meant."
"No, it's okay," feigning a hurt expression, "I'll just go stand over there," pointing to a corner, "there isn't a door there...I won't have to get permission to stand there will I?"
"Preet," Heer sighed as she held his arm putting him in place. "You can stand here."
"Thanks Bhabhi," he smiled. "So, what are you up to?"
"I was just going to check in on Aayan," Heer replied.
"But I thought you said he usually sleeps thirty minutes to an hour. So, why do you need to check on him? Didn't you get one of those baby monitors?"
"Yes, I did but I don't carry that around with me," Heer explained.
"Maybe you should start. It would probably save you time, right?" Preet replied. He quickly moved his hand on the door knob pretending to use it like a crutch to steady himself.
"Preet..." Heer said suspiciously as she moved her hand towards the door knob.
"Don't worry about a thing Bhabhi. I'm Aayan's Chachu..."
"I'm a father too," he continued. "I have GunGun and Prateek...let me check on him. Why don't you go and rest? I know it probably hasn't been too easy on you. The midnight feedings and all..."
"Nothing to worry about Bhabhi..."
"Preet! Take your hand off that door knob," Heer sternly ordered.
Before he could do anything she flung his hand away and marched into the room just as Aayan started crying. "Sorry PB I tried but she wouldn't give up," Preet rambled as he followed her in. Heer's eyes widen at the scene in front of her. Her husband's white kurta was splotched with several green streaks of paint. He was holding their son away from his chest; his hands tucked underneath the baby's armpits as if he was some object. Aayan was bawling loudly with his legs kicking in mid air in protest at what was going on in the room. Heer glanced to her right to see that her daughter had several paper plates filled with different color paints on a small table. Both of them displayed an "oh no" expression on their faces for having been caught in the middle of their project.
"What exactly is going on here?" Heer asked as she took her son away from his father. "Prem, your kurta and why does Aayan have a green hand?" The minute she took her son into her arms and patted his back he stopped crying. He clung to her shirt and sleepily blinked his eyes.
"It was suppose to be a surprise," Prem answered without much thought to what he was saying.
"Aayan's green hand?"
"I wanted to do something special for Aayan," Chahat explained for her father. "GunGun had drawn a family portrait for Prateek. And I wanted to do something too but I wanted it to be different for Aayan. Then I remembered that day at the hospital Papa was holding my hand and how big his hand was. Aayan's hands were so small that all they could do was curl around Papa's finger. And Mama your hands are big to compared to Aayan's but smaller than Papa's...but one day Aayan's hands are going to be just as big as Papa's and my hands will be as big as your hands Mama. So I thought maybe we should do a family portrait of our hands."
"Oh, well why didn't you just tell me you wanted to do this?" Heer asked.
"Because I wanted it to be a surprise," Chahat replied.
Heer looked at Prem and sighed, "You could have picked a better time. Maybe when he wasn't taking a nap."
"Then it wouldn't be a surprise anymore since you'd be here with him. He was doing perfectly fine until you opened the door like that," Prem defended. "And don't worry about the paint...it's the washable kind...it will come out of the clothes without any problems."
"That's nice since you'll be doing the laundry," Heer quipped back making him pout. She ignored her husband and looked at Aayan who was no longer blinking sleepily. "I guess nap time is over. I was hoping you'd sleep for an hour today. Which means you're walking up at two tonight aren't you?" Her son simply patted her cheek with his green hand leaving a smudge of paint on her skin in response. Heer turned to Chahat and asked, "So who's hand is next?"
"Mine," Chahat smiled. "Aayan's hand was green so I'm going to use this pinky-purple color." She placed her right hand into the middle of the plate where the paint was made sure to cover her hand properly. Prem then used a paint brush and brushed it over her hand gathering up the excess paint so when she placed her hand on the paper there would be just enough paint to give a good print. Chahat pushed down firmly on the paper with her hand a few spaces away from Aayan's tiny print. Prem held the paper in place as Chahat slowly lifted her hand up to reveal a handprint the exact size of her hand.
"It's beautiful beta," Heer encouraged.
"Thanks Mama. You're next," Chahat replied. "What color do you want?"
handed Aayan over to Prem and checked the remaining colors, "I'll take the deep
Prem took an old towel and wiped Aayan's green hand making sure to take as much wet paint off as he could. He then placed his pacifier in his mouth to keep him from trying to stick his dirty green hand into his mouth. Prem carefully tucked Aayan into his carrier and turned it so it was facing the family so he could see what was going on.
Prem went back to the small play table and cleaned out the paint brush in a cup of water. He dried the brush by pressing it firmly on top of some paper towels squeezing out the water trapped in the fine hairs of the brush. He waited for Heer to offer her hand so he could brush the excess paint off. He inwardly smiled as he held his wife's thin wrist and took his time to properly brush the paint brush along her hand. Heer knew what he was doing as she watched him move the brush from the tip of her pinky down to her palm then up again towards her ring finger and then back down to the middle of her hand and then back up again finishing off her hand in a zigzag pattern. There were streaks of thin paint left along her hand that had to be filled back in otherwise the print wouldn't come out proper. Prem twirled the brush between his fingers and went back to paint in the thinning spaces. He could sense that Heer wanted him to look at her but he ignored the feeling because he knew what her expression would be. She wanted him to stop playing around and focus on the real task at hand. Prem tightened his grip around her wrist when he felt her began to pull away from him. He wasn't quite finish with her hand even though he had filled in the spaces. He brushed a line on the top part of her palm then made a t-junction down the middle and finished it with another line on the bottom. Heer could see he had traced out the letter I. She watched as he filled the space in again and drew his next letter which turned out to be a shape instead. It was a heart. He filled in the space again and finished writing his message with the letter U. Prem lifted his eyes and caught sight of his wife's almond shaped eyes. He could stare into her eyes all day if permitted but very rarely was he ever granted that space of time. The eyelock broke between husband and wife when they heard the chipper voice of their daughter speaking, "Papa, if you don't hurry the paint on Mama's hand is going to dry."
"Oh yes...sorry," Prem replied and quickly dabbed the brush with some paint from the plate wetting the dry portions of her hand. "You're all set."
Heer gave a sly smile and then pressed her hand firmly on the paper leaving enough space for Prem's handprint. "You're next."
"Hmmm...so I get the color blue," Prem grinned. He rolled up the right sleeve of his kurta and placed his hand down on the paper plate filled with blue paint. He then offered his hand to his wife. Heer finish wiping her hand on the towel and smirked while she cleaned the paint brush getting it ready to paint his hand. Prem's eyes followed each stroke she took as the blue paint swirling along and into the crevices of his hand. His eyes lit in delight at her return message that she carefully painted in the palm of his hand, "I U 2"
Chahat sighed loudly. It wasn't that she didn't appreciate the fact her Papa and Mama loved each other. It was nice to see their warm affection but at times she felt it got in the way of getting things done. Prem and Heer both turned to their daughter realizing they had been "painting" a little too long. Heer let go of Prem's hand so he could place his handprint firmly on the paper completing the family handprint portrait. "Wow, Papa's hand is taller than your hand Mama, and then comes me and then Aayan."
"It's looks great," Prem praised. "We need to let it dry first before we hang it up. I think we should frame it."
"A very smart idea," Heer added.
"I think it's missing something," Chahat pondered well her parents continued to praise her. "I think Aayan's name should go up above in the middle. And we need to make two more."
"Two more?" Prem inquired.
"So we all can have one in our room," she explained as she handed the paint brush over to her mother. "Mama, you have the best handwriting. Aayan's name needs to be in green like his handprint."
"Okay," Heer replied as she cleaned out the paint brush.
Prem went and picked up his son again and smiled, "Need two more handprints from you. You think you can do that for us?" Aayan giggled causing his pacifier to fall out of his mouth and onto the floor. "Uh-oh, need to go wash that," picking it up from the floor and placing it into his pocket. "You're in a very happy mood," Prem chuckled as his son grabbed a hold of his nose refusing to let go.
"Papa..." Chahat laughed making him arch his eyebrows in wonder. "You're nose! It's green."
Heer turned around and saw her husband with smudges of green on his nose. She burst into laughter, "I guess Aayan's hand is still wet."
Prem nodded his head as he watched his wife and daughter continue to laugh at him. "Very funny...very funny..." he said as he dipped his finger into some blue paint and tapped his wife's nose.
"Prem!" Heer gasped.
"Mama, your nose is blue..." Chahat giggled.
"One for you too," Prem replied as he tapped Chahat's nose.
"Papa!" she squealed.
"Don't put one on Aayan," Heer warned.
"Fine," Prem replied and dunked his finger into the cup of water to clean it off. He dried it against his kurta leaving a dull blue stripe making his wife cringe. "It's washable," he reminded.
"Remember you're doing laundry," Heer simply stated.
"I think this works better," Prem grinned as he took his pinky and gently dabbed it in some red paint. He then placed a little red tikka on his son's forehead. "Not the nose," he said looking at his wife. "He's going to be taking a shower soon anyways," answering her worried expression.
"Papa...Papa..." Chahat motioned with her hand showing him her red thumb.
Prem bent down and allowed his daughter to place a tikka on his forehead, "Thank you."
Heer couldn't help but smile at the scene between father and daughter. Prem and Chahat grinned at each other and then ambushed her yelling, "We love Mama!" Heer didn't know what was happening as Prem rubbed his green nose on her cheek and Chahat tugged at her salwar suit. Heer also felt the gentle hands of her son patting her around on the head. "Mama! Mama!" Chahat called. Heer automatically bent down so her daughter could give her a tikka.
"You need one too," Heer replied and place a tiny one on Chahat's forehead.
The afternoon passed by quickly as the family continued giggling and having fun with each other. They completed two more family handprint portraits and left them on the play table so they could dry before they were framed.
Prem lifted his arms up in the air and stretched his lower back. He was wearing a fresh set of kurta pajamas and was getting the bed ready for bedtime. He had a smile plastered on his face as he recalled the family time in the afternoon. He looked at the walls of the bedroom trying to locate the perfect spot to place the artwork that had been created by his family.
"You're in a good mood," Heer said as she exited the bathroom.
"I had a lot of fun today," Prem replied as he walked over ready to embrace her from behind. His hands automatically searched for her hands taking them into his before his arms wrapped themselves securely around her waist. "Hmmm..." he breathed as he snuggled his nose into her hair. His thumbs tenderly rubbed across the silky skin of her hands making his lips turn upward in a satisfied grin. "So where do you think we should hang our family handprint portrait?" he asked as he turned them around the room.
"I think that wall right there," tilting her head to the right, "It's the first wall that we see when we walk into the room and it's also near the bathroom so in the morning it's one of the first things we will see," Heer said.
"I like it," Prem replied. "Okay, that's the wall we're going to put it on." He felt her yawn and tapped his head softly against hers. "Time for bed. If we're lucky Aayan won't walk up until the morning."
"2am is the morning," Heer stated with a pout.
"Well, at least until 6am," Prem corrected. "Poor Mama...so tired." Heer sleepily blinked and allowed him to steer her towards the bed. Once there she crawled in and made herself comfortable. Prem turned off the lights in the room and slipped into bed next to her. He rolled to his side and slithered his hand around her snuggling himself blissfully behind her back. He felt her fingers gently flexing as their fingers intertwined into a harmonious hand hold. "You know what Chahat told me?"
"That she would never let go of my hand...she would never leave me or you. I told her one day she would let go...she would leave us to go to her husband's home," Prem replied. "She said that wouldn't happen because she would bring her husband to our home and stay with us. You know a part of me was kind of happy about that arrangement."
Heer felt his grip tighten around her hand and she smiled, "We have to let her go one day, Prem. Even I'm not going to look forward to that. I'm sure God has given her a suitable life partner...made just for her..."
"God makes us in pairs," Prem said with a smooth joyfulness in his voice.
"Exactly," Heer grinned. "Whoever he is he'll never let go of her hand...he'll love her just as much as we love her...and he'll take good care of her."
"He better not let go of her hand or he'll have to deal with me," Prem sternly said. Heer let out a soft chortle at his words. "And Aayan better bring home a daughter-in-law that is going to treat you well. I won't tolerate anyone who doesn't treat you or the rest of the family properly."
"I'm sure he will," Heer replied. "Don't worry." Prem felt his hand being lifted up and her tender lips pressing against his skin. "Goodnight."
"Goodnight," Prem smiled and continued to let his thumb lazily stroke her hand until he fell asleep.
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His ears perked at the soft chortle that had escaped from his wife's throat. "Prem are you embarrassed? I never thought I would see this day. My husband embarrassed to look at me?"
omg !!! prem embaraced whn such thngs started happening...
glad preet is back i wished they had continued kis desh with the same track...
and ayaan that is very cute name...
chahat really loves her brother...
loved preet heer scenes
chahat what an ausum idea...
so in short it was a great os...
loved it grace...
do write more...
thank u fr a wonderful os
thank u fr taking time and updating
thank u fr the pm...
thank u so much
hey grace do write more...
and yeah small request write the ff and ss.. also soon
Life ends when you stop dreaming,
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