‘Don’t worry Mr. Aarav. Your wife had a sudden breakdown, her water broke and we’re preparing for her delivery now.’
‘But, doctor? How is it possible? It’s just the eighth month of her pregnancy…’
‘It happens sometimes, Mr. Aarav, we call them the pre-mature babies. You brought her at the right time. Maybe your baby is too eager to come to this world.’
‘But it sure scared the hell out of me!’
The doctor laughed and told Aarav to calm down. Aarav called his own parents, and Ashima’s parents to the hospital. Everyone was nervous and worried. Aarav was worried most of all. Strolling in the hospital corridor in his pyjamas, biting his nails, he looked like a clown.
‘Doctor, what happened?’
‘Nothing, sir. Ashima is not responding well. The baby is upside down, instead of the head, the legs are at the bottom and we may have to cut open her to get the baby out.’
‘What?’ Aarav almost fainted. He was so not prepared to hear all this.
‘Will it pain?’
‘Oh, not at all! We’ll operate her under local anaesthesia, don’t worry, she’ll be alright! We’ve called our best team from Kerala and they’ll make sure both the baby and mother are fine!’
‘Thank you, doctor!’
After five hours
‘Congratulations, Mr. Aarav!’ The doctor hugged him tight.
‘You’re a father of a handsome baby boy!’
‘What?’ Aarav didn’t seem so pleased by the news.
‘I expected a girl, just like Aashi…’
‘No worries, we have a junior Aarav now!’
‘Well, this will also do!’ Aarav chuckled and held his baby boy in his arms, kissing it’s forehead.
‘You’ve got your mother’s eyes, little one! Welcome to planet earth!’ Aarav handed the baby to his grandparents.
They all were overjoyed to hold the new member of their family.
‘Doctor, how’s Ashima? Can I meet her?’
‘She’s still unconscious, you can see her after a few hours, we’ll call you!’
Aarav was called by the nurse after few hours. He nervously stepped inside Ashima’s room.
‘Hey, mother! Thank you…’ Aarav folded his hands in front of Ashima
Aarav hugged her tight and landed a warm kiss on her forehead. Ashima lifted her hospital gown and showed him the giant stitches on her stomach. A tear slipped from the corner of Aarav’s eyes and fell on Ashima’s cheek.
‘Hey! Stop crying…you’re a dad now!’
‘Before a dad, I’m your baby, am I not?’
‘Yes, you are…’
‘Promise me one thing!’
‘Promise me that you’ll love me more than him!’
‘Hahaha, you’re already possessive for me? He’s your son too!’
‘But I see him as a competition already. I saw in his eyes that he’ll snatch my love from me.’
‘No, he won’t! You’re too much, Aarav!’
Ashima slapped him gently on his arm and hugged him.
‘Name?’ Aarav asked Ashima about their baby’s name.
‘Ummm…I only thought of Aakshi for our daughter. I always thought we’ll have a baby girl.’
‘Me too! What about, Arhan?’ Aarav suggested.
‘I love you, Ashima…’