Joined: 16 August 2006
The Power of a Child
Bani stood, mesmerized by this sweet little angel before her. Pia had dropped off her daughter at Bani's house, simply because she needed a baby sitter, and since her di loved Prachi so much, there was no one better. Prachi was Pia's 2 year old daughter. She had her daddy's and mummy's good looks, a sweet angelic smile and the most beautiful golden brown hair. Bani smiled broadly at Prachi, who was playing with the many toys in the Walia's nursery. Jai and Bani had always treated Prachi as their own, and had even prepared a large room especially for her at their house. She had all the toys in the world stuffed into her room, and despite being spoiled this much, she was really an intelligent 2 year old.
"Mami! Mami! Play!" Prachi giggled in her sweet little angelic voice. She grabbed Bani's sari and tugged gently, shaking Bani out of her thoughts.
"Teekh hai baba!" Bani laughed, following the child back into the room. Bani sat on the floor with her, playing with a tea set, listening to the child's innocent talk, and laughter.
"Mami…Ja-jai ma-ma-mama! Ka-kah-kahan hai?" Prachi asked after some time. She was beaming after completing a sentence successfully. She gazed at Bani, boy did this child love Jai and Bani!
"Prachi, Jai uncle is at the office! He'll come play with you as soooon as he returns!" Bani reassured. Prachi nodded, but had a funny little smile on her face. She was staring at the door way, a silly grin on her face.
"Kyaa hai Prachi?" Bani asked, noticing the child's silly expression and silence.
Bani turned around, and a huge smile played on her face.
"Jai!" she squealed, flying up like a rocket. Jai stood facing Bani. He smiled widely. He held a bouquet of red roses in his hand. Bani was in front of him, so he tipped over to the side, so as to see Prachi. He creased his eyebrows in false disappointment and said in a whiny voice, "Haiii, Prachiiii!! Seee! You ruined the surprise!!" Then he burst out in laughter. Prachi ran up to him and jumped into his outstretched hands.
"Mama!!!" she squealed, as Jai covered her with tickles and kisses. Bani laughed, enjoying this very much. She loved that Jai could treat her sister's child with so much love, this was one of the reasons she had fallen in love with Jai.
"Mama…mami is wa-wai-waiting!" Prachi again said her eyebrows scrunched up in deep concentration, trying to say all that she wished. Jai laughed, and put her down, then turned back to Bani.
"Ahh, yes! Mrs. Bani Walia, these are for you" he said in a romantic voice. Bani blushed and stretched her hand out for the flowers, but instead, Jai darted between her hands, and pulled her into a tight hug, lacing her with kisses- her cheeks, eyes nose etc. They were about to get caught up in the moment, when they heard the most adorable little squeal. They sprang apart, only to see Prachi rolling on the floor, laughing her cute little head off, hiding her eyes behind her tiny little palms.
Watching the child rolling and laughing and blushing, Jai and Bani soon caught on the infectious laughing disease and began laughing too, embarrassed and quite content.
"Aare! What have you done to mere pyaari beti?" said a pleasant woman's voice. All three people in the room froze upon hearing the voice. They all stood up, turned slowly towards the door (Jai and Bani like two little kids), and tried their best to keep a straight face.
"Mummy! Papa!" squeaked Prachi in her angelic voice, running, more like waddling over to her mother and father, who stood in the entrance of the room.
"Prachi!" squealed Pia, opening her arms to hug her baby girl. Then, Pushkar, Pia's husband and Prachi's dad, bent down and lifted her up.
"Prachi hunny? What were you and your mamaji aur mamiji laughing so hard for? You would tell your papa right?" Pushkar asked his child, kissing her little nosy. Prachi nodded and proceeded to relay the entire story, despite protests from Jai and Bani, who turned sheepish and red in the face when the child succeeded in replaying everything that had happened. Pia laughed, and hugged her di.
"Di, thanks for watching Prachi again! It means so much, and you know how much she loves you and Jai" Pia sighed. She was really tired after a long hard day of work. Both she and Pushkar were really grateful for the days Bani stayed away from the office, so that she could look after Prachi, and Bani herself had no problem doing it, after all, she didn't really have to go to the office anyways, she only went because of Jai!
"Haan haan, Pia, your child is just too much! Please send her back soon?" Bani sighed as well, hugging her sis around her neck. Pia smiled, so did Pushkar.
"Mummy! I ha-have some-th-thing to saayy!" Prachi said suddenly, breaking their silence. All the adults looked at her quizzically.
"Kyaa huwa beti?" Pushkar asked. Prachi smiled devilishly at Jai, then began to say the following with great ease, as though she had been rehearsing it.
"I fo-for-forgot t-to s-sa-say, Mama loves my Bani mami more than anything in the world!" she quipped with great ease. Everyone stared at her disbelievingly. She looked head on at Jai, with a very delicate smile on her pink lips, "Hein na mama?" she said, placing one hand to the side of her face, and then tilting to the side to look at Jai clearly.
Now they all stared at Jai, all eyebrows raised, Bani feeling all mushy inside, yet embarrassed by what the child had said.
"Aare beti, where did you hear that?" Pushkar asked lovingly.
"Mama!" she explained, as though it was obvious. She jumped out of her daddy's hand and ran over to Jai, hugging his big legs with her tiny hands. Jai beamed despite himself remembering: - He was in the playground with Prachi, Bani was a little distance away, buying ice cream for all three of them, he was talking to her, and she had amazed him with one of her intelligent baby questions, she had asked why was he staring so lovingly at Bani mami, to which Jai had told her "I love your Bani mami more than anything else in the world, that's why!"-
They all aww-ed and laughed at a blushing Jai and Bani. Prachi grinned angelically, and then toddled over to her parents. Pushkar picked her up and they said that they were leaving now.
"Bye mami! Bye mama!" she exclaimed, as her parents carried her down the stairs. Bani stood by the door, watching the hyper child leaving with her parents, hearing the child's laughter fading away. Jai noted the sadness on her face as the child left. He came up from behind, placed both hands around her neck, so that the roses were now in front of her, and he rested his chin on her shoulder.
"When are we going to have an angel of our own?" she sighed. Jai was shocked. He hadn't anticipated this!
"Bani, when the time comes, it'll happen! Don't you worry" he reassured, kissing her neck. Bani's pores rose instantly. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. Her heart beat increased with that one simple kiss on her neck.
"Not now Jai" she whispered in a broken voice. She knew that Jai was trying to cheer her up, but she wasn't in the mood right now. Bani just wanted to be alone, to brood. Jai, looking a bit crestfallen, handed her the flowers, and then removed his arms and went to his study. Bani watched him leave, and then went to her bedroom.
Jai looked at the clock in his study. It was nearly midnight. He had been in the study for almost 3 hours straight, he had refused to go for dinner or talk to anyone. He was thinking over Bani's unhappiness.
"Why Bani God? Why her? What has she done to deserve this? She is the sweetest, kindest most loving person on this world, yet there's a possibility that she can't conceive?!" Jai thought in frustration. He ran his hand thru his hair as he remembered the cause of Bani's depression.
About a year ago, Bani was pregnant with their first child, Krishna (a girl). However, Bani was in an accident, and she had a miscarriage. It was the most hurtful thing for Jai and Bani, and Bani had almost gone senile at the loss of her unborn child. The doctors had said it was not impossible, but the chances were 1 to a million that Bani could conceive again. Ever since, she and Jai had tried again and again, but it just never happened. Jai had also done many things to take her mind of their situation, he had taken her on vacations all over the world, he had planned romantic nights nearly every other week, he had treated her out to dinner every Friday night and he bought her the most gorgeous gifts ever. These had helped a bit, to lessen Bani's stress, but it had not done the job completely.
Then, when Pia gave birth to Prachi, Bani had fallen in love with the child and considered her her own, giving her anything she wanted and spoiling her to no end. Jai knew this was the only way Bani could cope with their situation, so he too had accepted the child as their own, and now she owned half of Jai's and Bani's hearts.
Bani sat in her room, by the window, recapping everything that had happened today. She thought about her extreme sadness today, and how visible it had become again. She knew Jai was trying to help, but somehow it just wasn't enough. She knew she was being selfish, but couldn't help it, as she hated the thought of being deprived of the one thing she loved most- children. She was gazing thru their large windows, tears slowly forming in her eyes. She had no idea what time it was, but she could tell it was very late. She had not eaten a thing for dinner, as she refused to go down when Masi came to call her. She didn't know if Jai had eaten either. Bani knew Masi was worried when she came in to ask Bani to go down and eat, but Bani really couldn't bring herself to tell Masi her pains, so she lied and said she had had a large lunch and was still full. 'Why me?! Why was I deprived f the one most beautiful thing anyone can ever ask for?! God, you have given me everything a person could ask for, a loving family, the two best sisters, a brother-in-law who was her best friend and a husband I could die for, who gives me every happiness on this planet, yet you took away the one thing I wanted the most! You gave me happiness for 6 months, then took it away! What is the outer message on this God?! This time I have failed to understand your actions!" she cried to herself, unable to control her violent sobs. She brought her knees up to her chest, and buried her head in them. She was unsure why this pain was surfacing again, as it had been a year since this had happened.
Jai was pacing back and forth in his study, getting really hungry now. He didn't know if Bani had eaten, but was too upset to go find out. He had lied to Masi when she came to him to go down for dinner, telling her he was full from the office, since they had all gone out to lunch with some clients. He knew Masi had figured something was up, but was grateful when she didn't probe. He poured himself a glass of gin and tonic, which he kept in his private stores cupboard, and walked over to the window. As Jai stood by his window, looking up at the large pale moon, he suddenly got the tingly feeling in his stomach. He started to feel heavy hearted and double sad for some weird reason. He searched the dark night sky for answers, as he walked out onto the little balcony. Scanning the area, his eyes fell upon a tiny figure, slouched down by some open windows. His squinted, peering at the figure, and soon registered that it was Bani! She was hunched over by their window in their room, and she was shaking violently. It took Jai some time to comprehend, but when he did, he dropped his glass on the desk, and rushed over to Bani.
Bani heard the door open, and quickly tried to wipe her tears. She didn't look, but she knew it was Jai coming in the room. She didn't want him to know she had been crying and hurting over her inability to conceive. She sensed Jai walking over to her, with slow, dragging footsteps. She glanced up from the corner of her eyes. She noted, despite the darkness of their room that Jai too had been stressing out and crying just like her. She turned her eyes back to the moon, her tears and sobs coming to a complete halt in his presence. Jai came next to her, and stood close to her, resting his hands on her shoulders. Bani slowly got up, facing him. She looked into his eyes, which were still as moist as hers. Without saying anything, he just pulled her into a tight hug, giving all the support he could. Understanding, Bani wrapped her hands around him and lay her head on his chest, pouring out all her tears on his chest. Both wore pained expression as they stood in their room by the window, the moon bearing witness to their love and pain.
After a while, Bani slowly, lifted her head, to look at Jai.
"Did you eat?" she asked softly, remembering she had not paid him any attention since he had gone in his study.
"No, how could I? I was too upset, I- I lied to Masi and told her I had a large lunch with my business clients" Jai confessed.
"Did you eat?!" he asked, equally concerned about he, since he too had not checked on her since he left her in Prachi's room. Bani shook her head, explaining that she had used the same excuse of a large lunch with Masi. Both cracked a smile, a bit amused at how they both used the same excuse. Letting go of Jai's embrace, Bani pulled away, wiping her eyes, and face. "Would you like something to eat Jai? I'll go make something" she enquired. Jai was shaking his head no, because he knew it was very late, and he should encourage Bani to rest, but Bani read between the lines and putting on a bright face, she moved to the door, to go prepare something for Jai and herself.
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