The winds once again have changed their direction, there was certain coldness in it now, signalling the oncoming winter season. She wobbled around in her swollen belly, collecting clothes from the clothesline. She was due in the next fifteen days, but the old ladies of the village said that children are always born before their due date. She doesn’t know much about it, and it’s her first pregnancy. She doesn’t even have any access to books and magazines to help her in this hilly village which is cut out of the city by miles. So everything she knew came from the mouths of other experienced women.
In his last letter, her husband informed her that he would not be able to come during the birth of the child. But he promised that he would visit around March. He asked her to take good care of herself and the child.
Her life took a huge turn, a year and a half ago. She was an educated city girl, now living in a remote village, where you walked miles to get the water. The poetry and the hidden words of wisdom that her books gave her were diminishing. But the entry of the tiny seed inside her womb revived her back to life. It gave meaning to her existence. Now at night, she was no longer alone, there was a companion who was listening to her. She recited all the poetry and the stories she has read all along. She knew the baby was in love with words just like her. They had an invincible bond, making them two burning flames of the same light.
Slowly she stepped on the staircase with the bundle of dry clothes. She lowered her body to sit on the floor and started folding the clothes in a neat pile next to her. It was then that she felt some prickling pain in her abdomen. She tried standing up from the floor, but she couldn’t. The pain was increasing with such intensity that she knew that the time has come.
She cried in pain, calling her aunt in law for help, who was busy setting up the dinner for the family. Before someone could come over for help, she collapsed on the floor. They revived her somehow, and her body was aching all over the place. She was in a different room now, and someone was holding her hands. The saree was taken off from her body, and she could feel a hand touching her genitals. An unknown soft wrinkled faced woman loomed over her. With an old white cotton saree draped on her sagging skin, covering her head which hid the streaks of white hair among the lustrous black, parted from the middle, gave her a wry smile. She knew from that smile that woman was the midwife, who will help her bring the life inside her in the outside world. She was profusely sweating, and she could feel someone’s hand wiping her face again and again. Her cries were getting louder with the passing time, and the voices around her kept asking her to push harder. She pushed hard enough one last time and everything after that was hazy in her mind, now.
It’s been years now, but the memory of that day still haunts her at times. The blue body of her first born child never entered this world, but somehow, it never left her soul. The small warm droplets have started falling from her eyes now. A warm hand wipes up her tears, and she looks up at her daughter’s face, her third born but to the world her second born child. It took her twenty-five years to open her wounded soul to someone. She held her daughter’s hand and said “that’s why I never buy any new thing on Dhanteras” because that day I lost something so precious to my existence that no worldly thing would ever compensate it.
After that day her daughter never asked her mother to celebrate the festival. Years later when her daughter started her own family, she would follow in her mother’s footsteps. Never buying any new thing but never forgetting lighting up a diya in her brother’s name. For the world, she had only one brother, but in her heart, she never forgot that she had another one in another realm.
PS: Today I have completed four years of my Blogging journey on WordPress. So I thought of sharing this true story. Some pieces are hard to write and this one is one such write up. So with lot of shilly-shallying, I bring this story out here for you to read. I hope you guys like it