Joined: 20 November 2011
Joined: 06 November 2011
Joined: 21 November 2011
Joined: 06 November 2011
It was quite late on Monday evening when the doorbell sounded at MB. Meethi opened the door to Ahem, Gopi, Akaash and their luggage . She smiled broadly.
"Ahem bhai, Gopi bhabi? Jayshree Krishna." The two returned her greeting. Directly behind her stood Kokila and Mota Bhabi with the aarti thali. They had been so excited when Ahem had called that they had prepared everything well in advance. Each time the doorbell had rung the same scene was played out again and again only for them to be disappointed. But this time their anticipation had not been in vain. Ahem and Gopi greeted them and the proud grandmothers performed the aarti.
"Come. Beta." Hetal smiled at them. "Come inside." Ahem picked up the car seat, he looked over at Gopi and as one they crossed the threshold. They took their blessings at the feet of the elders.
"Ahem, Gopi vahu. It has got so late? We thought that maybe you were not coming after all."
"But we are here now." He replied. Not wanting to get into the where and whyfores. As a distraction he bent and released Akaash from the carseat and handed him over. Kokila, Hetal cooed over the baby and laughed as he protested at their attention. Noticing the late night commotion Chirag, Jigar, Parag and Baa appeared and delightedly welcomed the new family. Baa gave them her blessings and congratulations, sat down and reached for the baby. Her eyes twinkled with unshed tears.
"I have waited so long for you." She whispered and kissed him on the forehead. She looked over at Ahem. "I am so angry with you." She said. Ahem was taken aback for a moment and then saw the smile playing on her lips. She continued. "You took my gem of a daughter in law away from me, got her pregnant and kept her away from us all this time. Who did she have to speak to when she had a question? Who looked after her when she was not well and when she was tired."
"Baa. You have no need to worry. I made absolute sure that your Gopi vahu was well looked after. I tended to her when she was sick and I made sure she had plenty of rest at all times." He smiled over at Gopi and she blushed. They didn't have to know about the countless times he had massaged her legs when she was tired, laid with her at nights holding her so close , feeling every little movement that was made within, the evenings spent on the sofa, placing popcorn on her belly and laughing as each kernel was kicked off. But best of all were their baths together. On his days off they would always start off the morning with a bath. Ahem looked as the blush engulfed Gopi and fell in love with her all over again. Baa saw the interaction between the two and smiled nodding her head her head to herself. She was no longer concerned about her older grandson. She handed the baby back to Ahem.
"I can see that you are taking care of your family. It is late for you both. Time for you to retire for the night." Kokila reached out for Akaash. "Kokila." She admonished her. "Let them go and sleep. In fact all of you go to sleep. You will have plenty of time to play with him in the morning."
"Yes, Baa." Kokila replied, "You are right but I have such and urge to hold him." Ahem laid Akaash in her arms.
"Ahem. Have you thought of a name for this one?" She asked. With some trepidation he replied.
"Baa. The thing is…. " He faltered and then continued. "We." He looked at Gopi. "Have decided to name him Akaash." Baa beamed.
"Why the nervousness? It is a lovely name." Ahem looked at his mum. Her faced glowed with love as she looked down at her grandson.
"Akaash." She whispered in appreciation. Nothing missed Baa.
"Hmm. I understand." She added with her trademark nod of her head. "You have no need to worry about tradition or custom as far as I am concerned. As your child you have every right to name him as you wish. Now, if someone will see me to my room. I wish to go to bed." Parag helped her up and supported her to her room. She turned round. "Remember what I said about going to sleep? All of you." And went on her way.
"Baa is right." Said Chirag. "As much as would like to stay awake and take in our new addition it is quite late and it would be a good idea for all of us to retire. After all." He laughed. "Tomorrow is another day. I will say goodnight." Kokila placed Akaash in Gopi's arms and placed a hand on her head.
"I am so proud of you. May you always be happy and content? You get some rest now."
Ahem and Jigar collected the cases and escorted Gopi to the room. Jigar deposited the case he was carrying on the floor and turn to them.
"It is so good having you back again." He said and hugged Ahem. He looked at Gopi and Akaash. "And now I am also going to hug you bhabi. Please don't stop me. I am so happy." He enveloped Gopi and Akaash in a hug and then left the room.
They stood in silence and looked round the room. Nothing much had changed. The dcor was the same and the furniture was no different. Except for the addition of an elaborate cot placed at the foot of the bed.
Ahem thought back to the last time they were in that room packing whatever clothes they needed to take. Gopi had been inconsolable. Her love for him and for his mother was always evident and as he saw her sat on the bed crying as she packed. He had sat next to her. Wiped away her tears and promised that this was the right decision and that things would work out. Looking back now he remembered being worried as he stood on the threshold of the house, vowing never to return and not feeling her presence alongside him. And the feeling of immense relief when he had called for her and she had joined him.
Gopi was lost in her own thoughts. She had some difficult times in this room but also remembered the times when she had been so happy that her heart felt as if it was about to burst. Ahem drew her out of her reverie.
"Gopi. I shall move the cot to the side of the bed and then we can get ready for bed." He yawned and quickly set about moving the cot to the side of the bed and unlatched one side so that it lay flush with the bed. Once done he unpacked a towel and disappeared into the bathroom. Gopi fed Akaash for the final time that night, changed his diaper and then settled him down. She was almost on the verge of sleeping when Ahem came out. He noticed the sleep in her eyes and sent her into the bathroom to sort herself out.
His eyes were closed when she emerged. Quietly so as not to wake him she switched off the lamp and got into bed. As she lay down she felt his hand go round her and he turned on his side facing her.
"Are you alright?" He asked pulling her to him. She nodded. "Feels weird being back here doesn't it?" She nodded then stifled a yawn.
"Sorry." He leant forward and kissed her on her forehead and she snuggled closer to him. He pulled the sheet over them and within minutes both had joined their son in a deep sleep.
The following morning he was woken by a sharp rapping on the door. Untangling himself from Gopi he answered it. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
"Mom?" Kokila stood at the door looking at him somewhat puzzled.
"Ahem? You are still asleep? You had better hurry up and get ready for work. You will be late."
"It's alright Mom. There is no need to worry. I have taken some time off from work so that I can concentrate on Gopi and Akaash for a while." Kokila stared for a while. Trying to read his face.
"Ahem." The disapproval evident in her voice. " If you don't go to work you will lag behind. And after all. Gopi vahu is not the first woman to have a baby."
"I know mom. But I work from home when needed and it is not forever. Gopi is not the first woman to have a child and I know that I am not the first man to experience the joys of fatherhood. But this is a new experience for both of us and I want to be able to enjoy the first few weeks at least. Besides. I will have a whole lifetime to work." Kokila scrutinised Ahem's features. Her son had taken a huge step away from her. She didn't like it.
"That's fine." She said eventually. "Breakfast will be at the usual time." Grabbed her pallu and went on her way leaving Ahem slightly bemused. He locked the door and turned to look at his loved ones and smiled. At one time, his mother meant everything to him. And now? He went back to the bed and lay down. Akaash stirred. If he was true to form he would need his first feed of the morning. Gently he woke Gopi. Leaning close to her. He stroked her face causing her to open her eyes.
"Good morning." He said gently.
"Good morning." Gopi replied back. "Are you OK?"
"Yes." He replied. "It was just mom at the door. I think that was our early morning wake up call. Akaash is not quite up. Go and get ready and I will get ready after you." She nodded and got out of bed.
By the time Ahem had finished Akaash was already fed, washed, dressed and cooing away in the cot. Moving his arms and legs as babies do. Gopi was sat at the dressing table watching him with a serene smile on her face. Ahem looked at her and narrowed his eyes.
"This will not do." He said and walked up to her. She looked at him puzzled.
"What?" She asked. He turned her round to face the mirror.
"This." He said and took the pins out of her hair and threw them down. He picked up the comb and combed out her hair. "I prefer you with a side parting." Finishing off. The old style is not what you are anymore. He picked up the small container of sindoor and turned her round to face him. He applied a small amount to where her centre parting would have been. Then stepped back and looked at his handiwork and smiled. Gopi stood up and enveloped him in the biggest hug she could muster.
"I love you." She whispered into his chest and felt his arms round her. Thankful that those dark days were a thing of the past.
"And you know that I love you too. With all of my heart." He kissed her forehead. "Shall we go down to breakfast?"
"Please. I am so hungry." Ahem let her go and picked up the baby bouncer while Gopi picked up Akaash. Ahem took the baby from her and handed her the bouncer.
"Ready?" She nodded. "Let's go."
Joined: 20 November 2011
Joined: 09 January 2012
Joined: 17 January 2010
Joined: 09 September 2011
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