Once landed on the Varanasi airport, Radhika and Aarush were received by Radhika’s parents.
‘We are so glad that you came here once again. Thank you Aarush…’ her mother thanked her son-in-law and he touched her feet.
‘You don’t need to thank me, maa. Just sort out your daughter’s mind a little! She’s behaving insanely since last two days.’
‘Why? What happened?’ she immediately looked at Radhika, who was still having sore throat and red eyes because of excessive crying.
‘Nothing maa, long story…’
‘I have all the time in the world for you, tell me?’
Radhika narrated the whole thing to her, how Chinkee bua took them to a palmist and face-reader lady who said that their child will die.
‘These people are just there for minting money, Radhika. Don’t believe them! And you are not having a child right now, is it? So why do you worry so much right now? Live and enjoy, you have just got married, this is your time.’ her mother swayed her hair.
‘Actually, maa…’ Radhika gathered courage to speak, but Aarush interrupted her in the middle.
‘Maa, we both need to talk to you about something.’
‘Yeah, say? What is bothering you so much?’
‘Maa, Papa, Radhika and I are expecting a child. She’s pregnant.’ Aarush said those heavy words.
‘What? How is that…? Since when?’ her father couldn’t believe it.
‘Well, we were in a live-in relationship before marriage. As in, we lived together, in one home…so…’
‘Okay, I got it…’ her mother signalled Aarush to stop.
‘So now?’ her father eyed both his daughter and son-in-law.
‘Now what? Nothing! It’s time to celebrate!’ Aarush took out a wine bottle that he had bought from the duty-free of airport.
‘That’s like my son! Sushma, fetch two glasses, men will have some drinks before dinner tonight.’ Radhika’s father looked at her mother.
‘Sure!’ her mother brought two glasses, and asked Radhika to come to her room, as she wanted to talk about some things to her.
‘It’s a heavy news, I know…’ her mother asked her to lay down in her lap, like she used to, when she was a child.
‘I am scared maa…’
‘You don’t need to be, darling. You have such a caring, amazing husband, just look at them!’ her mother pointed at the window, through which they could see the living room, where her father and husband were enjoying drinks and watching match.
‘Men are like that. They don’t show their care by crying with you, or by supporting you emotionally. They show their care by asking you to stop crying and being normal. Aarush is a wonderful husband, and I am sure he will be a wonderful father too, why do you worry?’
‘I am not worried about Aarush being a father in future, but I am worried of Aarush ‘not’ being a father at all. What if what that lady had said…’
‘This is the biggest mistake we do you know? Letting things regarding ‘tomorrow’ affect us ‘today’. When I was pregnant with you, the doctor I was following, she asked me that the baby would not survive as the heartbeat was very weak and feeble. But I never thought that I won’t have you. I was always positive and cheerful, and I tried to remain as happy as possible. Don’t do it for yourself, but for your child, and if you can’t do it for your child, do it for that man…’ Radhika looked at Aarush, as her mother was telling her some secrets from her own past.
‘Then I changed my doctor, and started the treatment once again. And after a few more months, I had you – all healthy and happy, playing in my arms. Had I listened to that doctor, who was also medically literate and well-read, I would have literally killed you only by depression and tensions. What you think, also highly affects your baby, so I would just give you one advice – don’t worry about anything! You have the best husband of the world with you, who will get you anything you want, but what he can’t afford is – seeing you depressed. You can’t see that, but I can. His eyes speak how much he loves you, and the day we met him, we knew that you have done one right thing in life, and that is deciding to marry this guy!’ her mother kissed her forehead.
‘Thanks maa…I will try to be happy.’
‘Not only that, also forget about what that lady said. Not all predictions are true. So just relax.’
‘Yeah I will try to…’ Radhika yawned, and her mother got up and covered her with blankets. In a few minutes, she was deep asleep.
Both Radhika’s father and Aarush, drank till the match was over, and finally after match, they went to their own respective rooms. Aarush entered the room, and spotted Radhika lying in the bed.
‘Sweetheart, are you awake?’ he was way too drunk. Radhika didn’t reply. Aarush somehow found the corner of the bed, traced it to the top, and lied next to her hugging her from behind.
‘Nothing will happen to our baby, I promise. I will kill anyone who speaks shit about you or my child…’ Aarush kissed her head, and a teardrop fell from Radhika’s closed eyes.