Trupti sat with a vacant look in her eyes, reliving the days gone by, of courtship, marriage and her days with Akshay. That was her daily routine. Doing her normal chores, feeding the baby when either Savi or Sasuma brought her and reminiscing. That was the only thing left in her life now.
How happy they were, they were just made for each other. And how happy they were when they had discovered that she was pregnant. She remembered everything in detail, how they used to go on long bike rides, watching movies on Fridays. The intimate talks. Everything gone, on a single day, the day the firings happened on 26/11. Akshay was hurt by a bullet and later expired and she went on premature labor. And ‘she ‘had been born. ‘She’ had been named Akshata as a tribute to Akshay. But she didn’t feel any connectivity to her, no motherliness. In fact she grudged her, she had to live, to feed her at least. Otherwise she would have gladly let go of her breath.
Since her delivery it was her Sasuma and her sister in law Savi who had nurtured ‘her’. And why wouldn’t they, ‘it’ was their blood after all.
And so she sat pitying herself. She had lost her appetite as also the vigor to live. Her parents, her in-laws all had tried to drive some sense into her but to no avail. For Trupti her loss was ultimate and nothing else seemed important.
Today Savi had a bad stomach pain and Sasuma had taken her to the Doctor. She was alone with the baby. The Baby now 5 months old, was quite active. She was already turning around and moving on her tummy. Sasuma had bathed her and had left her sleeping in the cradle and had asked Trupti to keep an eye on her as she might try to turn over in the cradle and may fall down .
And that’s what happened; the baby woke up, gurgled, saw that no one was about and tried to get down by herself. Trupti lost in her world didn’t notice at first but when there was a movement; by instinct she moved near the cradle and before the baby could fall; she caught her. The baby was surprised, that was the first time Trupti had held her voluntarily, and to show her happiness, she held out her hand touched her cheek and said ‘Aakooo….’. And that was it, something snapped inside Trupti.
God, how could she, she had lost her Akshay, how could she lose her daughter too. How selfish she could be, this tiny ‘life’ was her flesh, her blood, how could she neglect her, how could she ignore her, and then she held her tight and then it came, first unhurriedly then in a torrent; the tears came.
Savi got afraid to see Trupti crying and the baby crying along with her and rushed to her side but Sasuma stopped her. Experience had taught her that when words didn’t heal, tears could.