Chupanke Ki Saaza
moaned, as the shrill ring of the phone crept through her sleep. She
fruitlessly pulled up the covers over her head to silence the sound and when
that didn't work, took a pillow and pressed it to her ear. She hated being woken up!
she began drifting back to sleep, she felt a warm hand touch her bare shoulder.
someone said in a vaguely familiar voice.
she didn't respond, the hand shook her a little. "Uto, Bani. We have to go."
opened her eyes with difficulty (her eyelids insisted on flopping back down!)
to find Jai leaning over her. A grin spread across her face as memories, now
only a few hours old, came back to her. She looked around to find herself in
bed in a darkend room. At some point last night, Jai picked her up in his arms
and carried her to one of the rooms upstairs. She didn't it notice then, but
now it was very clear that it was the master bedroom. The bed was king sized,
and the windows literally took one entire side of the room.
Jai said urgently, causing her head to snap back to his face. A blush crept
through her face as her eyes involuntarily travelled down to his bare chest.
She could remember running her hands over him a bit too clearly.
have to go," he repeated. And it was at that point that she finally registered
his expression. He was very worried.
happened?" she asked in a hoarse voice, for she was still very much sleepy.
went into early labour," he announced in a solemn voice. "It's… It's bad."
drowsiness vanished, as fear suddenly gripped Bani. She sat up immediately,
pulling the sheets around her as an unnatural cold that had nothing to do with
the weather came over her.
When…" she struggled to find words. There were so many thing running through
shook his head. "I don't know… we have to go. Now!"
didn't need telling twice. They both dressed quickly in silence lost in fears
of their own. There was no time to waste and within a few minutes they were
speeding through the highway.
looked out the window, trying to keep her thoughts at bay. It was still very
dark outside, but the storm cleared. However the calmness only made her more
anxious. She peeked a glance at Jai, who was determinedly staring at the road
in front of them. He was clutching the steering wheel so hard that his knuckles
appeared white. She had no idea what was going on behind his blank stare, but
was sure it contained most of the panic that filled her.
was only yesterday that Rano was sitting with them… deciding the room colours
of the baby. She was perfectly healthy!Then, how did she end up in such a serious condition
all of a sudden?
no time, Jai pulled up in the parking lot of the hospital and ran inside, Bani at
his heels. After a quick talk with the receptionist, they were racing up to the
third floor, where they found the rest of the family waiting.
went straight to an emotionless Ranveer, who was sitting in a corner, staring
aimlessly at the floor. Bani's heart was wrenched to see his condition. It was
as if there was no life in him.
away, she went to Krishna, who was standing beside the door, while Uday was pacing
happened?" she asked quietly.
streaked Krishna's face as she answered in a worried voice. "We were eating
dinner and all of a sudden, Rano started having pain in her abdomen. She was
complaining about backache for a two days now, but we thought it was normal
because she was carrying such a heavy load… But Ranveer just rushed her to the
hospital. He didn't want to take the risk. And soon as we came, they took her
to the surgery room and we have been here ever since."
did the Doctor say?"
only said was she was in labour."
there is still three weeks till her due date," Bani argued.
know," Krishna replied. "The doctor says they baby might be premature. So they
want to do scans before they operate. But the contractions have started… they
are going to have to deliver soon."
if the baby is premature, the chances of survival…" Bani began, but she
couldn't get herself to finish. The thought was too painful to bear.
know," Krishna whispered. "And Rano has high blood pressure… its creating more
couldn't ask more. Each word Krishna was uttering was making her feel worse. Her
eyes then fell on Ranveer, who was still hunched up in his seat. Jai was
sitting beside him, a hand on his shoulder. There was no other communication
between the brothers, but it apparently seemed enough.
is Ranveer?" she asked.
glanced at him, before saying "He hasn't said a word…"
after what seemed like years, a nurse emerged from the room.
is Rano?" Uday asked.
are operating," was the only thing she said, before disappearing into another
face blanched as he heard the news.
will be okay Ranveer," Krishna said, watching him tearfully.
he didn't answer. It was as if their words of comfort were far out of reach
Doctor appeared a few minutes later, muttering instructions to the nurse.
Mathur," Krishna called, hopefully. "Is everything going to be alright?"
lady paused and stared at the family gravely. She seemed to think for a few
seconds before saying, "I unfortunately cannot make any promises Mrs. Walia.
The pregnancy is complicated, as I have informed you before. Don't have any
expectations is my advice to you."
tears slipped through Krishna's eyes, as she hastily looked away from the
they will make it… won't they?" Bani asked uncertainly.
don't know," the doctor replied, with a shrug. "In many cases like this, the
mother's chances are not too good. We try not to deliever in such situations,
but seeing that the contractions have started… there is not much we can do."
felt fury build up at the doctor, who it appeared, didn't even feel inclined to
give assurances. But before she could say anything, Dr. Mathur made her way to
the surgery room. She stopped at the frozen figure of Ranveer and said, a lot
will try our best."
gave a small nod as she disappeared into the room.
Jai said at last. "Rano ko kuch nahi hoga. You won't let anything happen to
buried his face into his hands, as anguish threatened to engulf him. He found
himself completely hopeless… there was nothing he could do but wait for the
doctors to take care of it. For the first time in his life, he felt useless. What
was the point of earning so much money, when he couldn't even ensure that his
wife and child can make it through?
these thought continued to haunt him, the Walias anxiously waited for some
news. Finally, after what seemed like an endless hour, the door of the surgery
room opened to reveal a tired, but satisfied Dr. Mathur.
she announced. "It's a girl!"
words finally seemed to have broken through Ranveer's shell. A small sense of relief appeared on his face
as he hastily stood up.
Rano?" he asked.
this, the doctor couldn't help but smile. She watched Ranveer very closely during
the last couple of months. And for the first time in her career, she was more
worried about his condition than that
of her patient, because she knew that he wouldn't survive if anything happened
to Rano. Even though she rarely saw him, for he seldom accompanied Rano on
appointments, it was very easy to pick up the utmost care he had for his wife.
She didn't even know how he would react, if Rano didn't make it through.
"She is fine too…," Dr. Mathur replied. "A complicated
surgery, but she did alright. I got to say Mr. Walia, she is one lucky girl.
Now, please excuse me."
with that she left the family to rejoice. Ranveer rushed into the room to find
Rano sitting on the bed, with a small smile playing on her lips.
he breathed, burying his face in her hair.
she said soothingly as her arms automatically went around him. "It's okay…
everything is fine." It seemed she didn't have to see him to know his condition
for the last few hours.
he didn't let go. He held on to her as if his life depended on it.
she said, patting him gently. "Dekho… main teek hoon. Its over…"
finally lifted his head and cupped her face. "I thought… I thought I would
silenced him with a finger on his lips. "Shhh… main tumhe chod kar kahan jaoongi?
You are the only one who can put up with me, silly!"
small smile spread across his face for the first time that whole day.
mujhe chodoge?" she said, grinning. "Mujhe meri baby chahiye!"
it finally seemed to hit Ranveer that he was a father! He looked around to find
the crib right beside him. Excited like a small child with chocolate, he picked
up the baby, wrapped in white cotton blankets and carried her to Rano's
baby," she whispered, staring at the angelic face. There was no words to
describe the joy she felt at that moment.
wrapped his arm around Rano and said teasingly, "You finally have competition.
My little girl is only a few minutes old, and she is already so beauitful!"
laughed. "There is no competition. She is definetly
prettier than me!"
aab meri baari hai, apni poti ko
dekhne ke liye?" Krishna asked, laughing along with the couple.
watched the family infront of her as a stab of jealousy hit her. It was
impossible not to feel awed by the devotion Ranveer had for his wife or the
love Rano had for her child. Standing from the back of the room, she saw only
happiness around her, which will never be in her fate.
what hurt more was the fact that she knew
it was wrong. Rano was her best friend, she stood by her at all times and
Ranveer definetlydeserved that
happiness. But yet, she couldn't help the envy spreading through her veins. She
would probably never have that… she would never experience the joy of seeing
her child for the first time, because the only man with who she would ever want
a baby, happened to be the one she was divorcing.
being able to watch the scene infront of her, she quietly slipped out of the
room and wandered aimlessly through the hospital. Small beads of guilt were now
coursing through her for she knew Rano didn't deserve this resentment. But she
was human afterall… she had desires like everyone else.
eventually came to a stop near a window and stared out into the silent city of
Mumbai. Dawn appeared to be only a few minute away, but she only saw her
future, spread out like a lonely road, twisting down some dark and depressing
path. She suddenly felt someone behind her and even without turning, knew who
away," she muttered, not wanting to put her petty, girlish dreams in front him.
took a step forward and asked, "kya hua?"
closed her eyes wishing the pricking in her eyes would vanish. But a tear still
managed to escape. She felt his hands cup her face, gently tugging her to look
at him. Except his touch seemed to have unlocked the well inside her, for her
tears began spilling openly. And suddenly, without her mind even willing it,
she buried her head in his chest.
let out a sigh as he wrapped his arms around her. He watched her very closely for
the last few minutes and he didn't have to think hard to know what upset her.
Jai?" she said, her voice muffled. "What did I ever do?"
gently stroked her hair. "You did nothing Bani…"
I did," she continued. "Because I know I will never be in a room like that, holding a baby of my own!"
said it can't be you?"
we are getting…" divorced! Only, she
couldn't say it out loud. It would make it that much more real.
he seemed to hear her thoughts like always. "You can start over again…"
looked up at him with a tear stained face. "I want it to be us in there Jai… I want to hold our baby!"
was quiet. The decision was not upto him (if it was, she would already be carrying their child!).
not fair," she said finally. "Its not fair that my sister is dead and its
definetly not fair that the reason for it is-"
suddenly paused. Yes, they went over this issue yesterday and surprisingly,
most of her accepted that he was innocent - he suffered enough without her
adding to his punishment. And yet, she couldn't let go of that fact that she
owed her sister some justice. Was
there any way out of this dilemma
he said, finishing her sentence.
she didn't seem to hear him. "Its not fair," she repeated, shaking her head.
"Its absolutely insane!"
listen to me," he said, but she merely looked out the window. She didn't want
to hear him blaming himself again and neither did she want him to offer
consolance. Even he, who always seemed to know how she felt better than anyone
else, didn't understand her pain right now.
they stood there, not knowing for how long, both staring at the rising sun,
trying shed some light on their complicated relationship.
a bad person, right?" Bani said finally, leaning her head against his chest.
"Rano always considered me as her sister, she always stood by me in every
situation… and instead of being happy for her, I got jealous of her happiness…
Maybe that's why this is happening to me. That's why I will never have a life
began stroking her hair once again. "Jealousy is part of human nature Bani," he
said gently. "It doesn't make you a bad person at all, it just proves that you
are human too. And life does that… over and over again, so that you can
understand what it means to live. Whats the point of having a simple life, if
you don't even know the value of it?"
listened to his words in silence. And when she didn't reply, he continued and
said "What's fair and what's not is not up to us to decide… You just have to
make the best of whatever comes your way. Sometimes, its just a matter of how
you look at it."
what if there is no way to look at it?" she challenged.
you are not thinking hard enough," he answered simply. "Even if you are
confused, your heart isn't. Just listen to what it says sometimes… it might
actually know better than you."
pondered over his words, wondering what her heart wanted. But even before she came
close to the answer, Krishna's voice
interrupted the silence.
duo broke apart and Bani grudgingly turned to see her mother-in-law. She wanted
to remain in Jai's arms, for it was so
much more easier to know what she wanted and what she didn't.
is calling you," Krishna continued, a slight smile on her lips. She was no
doubt happy about the closeness between the two. "We are going to go home and
freshen up. Rano wants you to stay until then."
nodded, and slowly made her way back to the room. She was disappointed however,
to see that Jai didn't follow.
Rano," she said, her voice still a little hollow from the recent tears.
smiled brightly, thankfully finding nothing amiss. She was sitting up on the
bed, the baby asleep in her arms.
kahan hai?" Bani asked, taking a seat beside her. She couldn't imagine him staying
away from Rano for longer than minute!
to talk to the doctor. But woh saab chod," she said, a mischievous grin
spreading across her face. "Tu bata. Farmhouse kaisa tha?"
suddenly understood the reason behind Rano's request to see her. She wanted
details on the short trip, which now she thought about it, was definetly
orchestrated by her.
planned it, didn't you?" Bani asked, narrowing her eyes.
shook her head in exasperation.
kuch hua?" Rano asked, the grin back on her face.
suddenly, Bani's face burned, as she slowly turned scarlet. She inwardly cursed
herself for giving herself away. This was not
a conversation she wanted to have.
my gosh," Rano squealed, sitting up higher on the bed. "Tell me everything!"
took a deep breath, trying to calm herself, but sadly the blush didn't leave
her cheeks. "We… we talked… and then… I kinda…"
the previous nights events was both blissful and painful. She could remember
every single kiss, infact, she could still feel his lips on hers. But, she also
knew that it was probably the last time she would ever kiss him.
Rano called. "Whats wrong?"
she replied, dully. "Its just… I don't think we have made up… there are still
things that we… I need to figure
love him, right?"
course I do."
understood that she wasn't going to get any more info about the matter. She let
out a sigh and absent-mindely began stroking the baby in her lap.
are you going to name her?" Bani asked, suddenly.
looked up and was surprised to see longing in her best-friend's eyes. It was
then that she realized what was wrong. "Do you want hold her?" she asked softly.
without waiting for an answer, she placed the small bundle in Bani's arms.
was awed as she stared at the innocent face in her arms. It felt so perfect and
so right. And yet, there was a nagging voice at the back of her head. She is not yours…
bhi chahiye na?" Rano asked, continuing to watch her. When Bani didn't reply,
she put her hand on her shoulder and said "Jab tum jaanthi ho tumhe kya chahiye,
ziddi kyun ban rahi ho?"
suddenly Bani understood. What her heart wanted… what she wanted, and most importantly what she had to do. She quietly handed
the baby back to Rano and stood up determinedly; her decision was made.