I hurried back to her and lifted her in my arms. Jijju was shocked initially. But he recovered from his shock quickly and held her from the other side. We both carried her inside Jiju’s car. He immediately started towards the hospital.
I placed her head in my lap and she was screaming out of pain. Blood oozed out down her belly and her inner thighs. I was worried and was brushing her head. I was calming her down saying that we almost reached the hospital and soon we did.
Jiju got down and shouted out for help. The attendees hurried with a stretcher and moved her onto it. They took her in and later inside a theatre. They stopped us at the entry and asked us to wait there. I informed mom on the call.
After I ended the call, I could see a couple of nurses having first-aid done. The attendees were arranging all the equipment. An elderly lady doctor moved hurriedly into the room and they closed the curtains. It has been half an hour and even mom and dad arrived at that time.
Then, after a few more minutes, the doctor moved out of the theatre. She calmed us down and told us that Di was out of danger. Everyone sighed out of relief. I lay down on the bench with my hands over my head. I was relieved to hear that she was safe.
After a moment, Jiju suddenly got up and asked the doctor about the baby. She held his hands to calm him down and told him that they could only save the Mom. the baby could not survive. Jiju turned furious again. He looked down and then turned towards me.
He held my collar and started shouting, “You were the one. You did this to her. We lost our child. Just because of you.”
I was helpless. I was in pain myself. I was not in a position to say anything and he was not in a position to listen to anything. The doctor and attendees consoled him and made him sit on the bench. They offered him water and left after making sure he was alright.
My parents were confused about his reaction and asked Jiju about what happened. Jiju started explaining everything. He ended with a disgusted look at me. My parents were shocked to listen to all that. Dad moved towards me and slapped me.
He hit me again and again until Mom stopped him but she was equally disgusted. The nurse who was with Di scolded us and reminded us that it is a hospital and we should behave ourselves. Everyone calmed down and sat down on the bench.
Mom and dad on one and Jiju on the other. They were ashamed to look at me. I stood around the corner and continued to wait there. A few hours later, the nurse came out of the room and told me that she is conscious now. We can meet her one by one. Mom and dad asked Jiju to go first.
He entered and came after a few minutes. Then Mom and dad went in one after the other and came out after spending some time with her. I started moving towards the door and all of them turned towards me furiously. But I continued walking. I was almost near the door and dad held me.
Dad – “You don’t have the right to visit her after what you did.”
I was helpless. I knew I was at the wrong end and so moved back silently. After a while, the nurse came out and asked who was Manas. I raised my head. She said that the patient called out his name and wanted to meet him immediately. They all looked at me in disgust but were unable to stop me this time.
The nurse shouted again for the response and I started walking. I entered the room. There was the silent rhythm of equipment there. My eyes automatically looked at the bed and there she was. I always viewed her in different outfits, all of them portraying her as either an angel or a beauty.
And here she was lying pale on the bed in a light blue outfit. I could not hold myself anymore and tears started flowing down again. I moved to her and she raised her palm towards me. I grabbed her hand and kissed it and laid my eyes on it.
Di – “I am alright dear. I am fine. The doctor said I will be back to normal after a few days of rest.”
Me – “I just can’t take this Di, I can’t see you like this.”
Di – “It is just a matter of a few days. It’s alright. Look at me.” (raised my head)
Me – “I was the one who started all this. If not, you wouldn’t have to go through all this.”
Di – “What happened is not in anyone’s control. You can’t blame anyone for that. Somethings are just not in our destiny.” (holding her belly)
A tear dropped down her cheek as well. I wiped her tears and kissed her palm again. She smiled at me and brushed my hair. I lay on the space on her bed just beside her, keeping my palm on her belly. Di had her palm over my head patting gently.
After a while, the nurse arrived and requested me to leave as Di needed rest. I got up and moved out of the room. Mom and dad didn’t even raise their heads to look at me. On the other hand, Jiju was looking at me furiously.
She was in the hospital for a few more days. Then she was getting back to normal slowly. The doctor told us that we can take Di home now but warned not to put any kind of stress on her. Everyone agreed and we took her home. Mom used to be with her.
Dad took off from his business to take care of the necessities. They were angry at her as well. But they were worried about her and that overcame their anger. I used to sleep on the couch. I tried to check on her whenever possible. But Mom was always beside her to keep an eye on her.
Dad didn’t let me do anything more than just have a peek at her away from the door. She used to be asleep most of the time due to the effect of her drugs. She used to be gloomy. She used to call me out loud. But either mom or dad used to stop me from reaching her. I could see tears in her eyes a couple of times.
A few days later, she was looking better, both physically and mentally. Dad went out for his business after making sure she was alright. I started moving back to the office as well as I can’t be off work forever. I reluctantly went to the office but could not concentrate on any work there.
But I managed to be at least half as productive as earlier. Few days passed that way and later that weekend, I was at home. I went inside our bedroom to check up on her. She was up this time and Mom was right beside her.
Di – “Hey Mannu.”
Mom looked at me and she immediately got up and tried to block me.
Mom – “Enough of your concern. Now just leave.”
Di – “Mom, what is wrong with you?”
Mom – “What is wrong with me? Do you guys even realize what you have done? You both have just humiliated us in front of everyone.”
Di – “Let me explain.”
Mom – “No need for it. There is no explanation for this. This is a sin you were trying to do. And you, above all, I didn’t expect you to do something foolish like that. I thought you would be more mature than this.”
Di – “Mom, If you just let me speak.”
Mom – “What on earth would you cover this up with?”
Di – “Mom. It is sin as per everyone’s eyes. But if you could just look at it from our view.”
Mom looked at her curiously and Di continued.
Di – “We knew that it was not usual. We knew everyone would object to it. We did try to get away from it. But we love each other so much that we just couldn’t. We just couldn’t stay away from each other.”
Mom – “So, just because you love each other, you are ready to sleep with him, your brother? Have you gone mad?”
Di – “Mom. Think of this. You have something similar to this with Mannu. Some weird feeling about him. And the more you be with him, the more it increases. Will you just walk away from him to cut that down?”
Mom – “I won’t get such filthy thought in the first place.”
Di – “Just imagine if it does. Will you leave him to get out of that?”
She thought for a moment and just moved her head sideways.
Di – “So I hope you understand our pain now. Now just let me talk to him. Please.”
She just looked at Di and then turned back to me. She was angry but she was thinking now.
Mom – “Ok. Go on. Only a quick chat”
She gave way to me with an unhappy face. I was relieved and just ran towards her and held her. She just jumped on me and hugged me tightly. She moved back and kissed on my face everywhere. She almost kissed my lips. But she stopped herself as Mom was right beside us.
Mom – “Enough now. Just get back.” (pulling me back)
Then I just sat down beside her on the bed and we started talking.
Me – “How are you feeling?”
Di – “Yeah better. A lot better than earlier.”
Me – “Did you take your noon pills?”
Di – “What! You keep track of it! Nice. (and she looked at mom) See how much he cares about me.”
Mom – “Right. Still, this just doesn’t justify what you have done.”
Di – “Alright!” (with an unhappy face)
We continued talking and gradually Mom got used to it. She joined us in our conversation as well. But she was still careful and making sure that we were not crossing the border. Dad came home that evening. He became furious as soon as he saw me talking to Di.
He screamed at us and mom stopped him. Di tried to convince him but he did not even listen to her words. He was adamant about pulling me out of the room. I had no choice but to move out of the room.
A couple of months passed in this way. Mom allowed us to just have a quick chat in her presence but stopped me whenever dad was around us. Later one day, I came home from work. No one was there at home.
I was surprised. I called Mom and she told me that she had taken Di to the hospital for a check-up and will be back soon. I got fresh meanwhile and soon they came back.
Me – “What happened? Is she alright?”
Mom – “She is alright. Nothing to worry.”
Me – “Then why did you take her to the hospital?”
Mom – “It was just a follow-up that the doc had to do after what happened.”
I nodded my head. Later that evening, I was picking my laptop and other accessories from my shelf, and Di called me. Mom was inside the kitchen then and dad was at the office.
Di – “Did you believe what Mom told earlier?”
Me – “You mean about your visit to the hospital?”
Di – “Yes.”
Me – “It seemed to be true. Is it not?”
Di – “Look at this.” (pointing at a dark spot over her gown at her chest, around her nipple)
Me – “What is that?”
Di – “You don’t know?”
I just looked at her and she was looking at me with her eyebrows raised.
Me – “Oh! I get it now. Is it milk?”
Di – “Not exactly but yes, it is a form of milk. It is called ‘colostrum’.”
Me – “I don’t understand.”
Di – “Milk production starts when we are a few months due. At first, it’s not exactly milk but in its initial stages. It develops as milk around the time of delivery.”
I nodded my head.
Me – “But I thought it was supposed to stop after… I mean… the miscarriage.”
Di – “It was. That is the reason we went to meet the doc. She said that in some cases, the body doesn’t recognize the miscarriage and continues to produce.” (with a sad face0
Me – “Oh!”
Di – “If only I could have had my baby, I could have fed him and this milk wouldn’t have gone wasted.”
Me – “Don’t worry. You can still have a baby and you can feed him.”
Di – “But I have lost one. I am a failure. I failed in keeping this one alive. This pain will stay with me.”
Me – “No, you are not a failure.”
She looked at me and I continued.
Me – “You may have lost this one. But you got me!! Remember how you played with me when we were young. You treated me as I was your child.”
Di – “That wasn’t a big deal. I was just like any other young girl.”
Me – “It is a big deal. You helped Mom in taking care of me. You helped me out at school and during my exams. You weren’t less than any other mom out there. You were my mom then. Well, mom after mom.”
She smiled at me. Her eyes showed love and appreciation of my words. She spread her arms at me.
Di – “Come here.”
I was cautious because of Mom’s presence out in the kitchen but I just couldn’t deny that. I moved forward and she held me for a minute. Then she slowly drew back.
Di – “Some things you just told were a bit of an exaggeration. But I appreciate your concern.”
I smiled affectionately.
Di – “But you were right about one thing. I may have lost this child. But you will always be my first child.”
She smiled with a drop of a tear rolling down her cheeks. She held my hands for a minute and looked at me. She sat silently with her head down. She kept thinking for a moment and looked at me back.
Di – “Can I ask you something?”
Me – “Tell me, Di. What is it?”
Di – “This milk, what is leaking now, is precious. It is a mom’s love for her child. I can’t see that getting wasted this way. The more I look at it, the more it reminds me of the loss.”
Me – “Yes Di. But what else we can do?”
Di – “We can indeed. With your help.”
I was confused. I looked at her and she continued.
Di – “You just said that you were my first child. Hope that is not just to make me feel good.”
Me – “Of course not. I mean it”
Di – “So, can you be my real child now and help me in sucking this out?”
I was shocked at her request. I looked at her again but she had the same serious expression. Deep down I was excited to help her in this but I knew the consequences.
Me – “I can help. But mom and dad. They are already angry with us. What if they come to know about this.”
Di – “I just want you to be ok with it. We will manage the rest of it without letting them know.”
Me – “But how?”
Di – “You just sleep on the couch this night as you always do. I will sneak out at night after they are asleep.”
I just nodded. But I was feeling nervous all of a sudden. A strange tension started building up inside me. She was calm as usual. I just moved to my shelf again and picked up my laptop and accessories.
I was about to move out of the room and Mom was entering inside the room. She looked at me suspiciously. I just bent my head and moved out to the drawing-room.
This is the end of this part and the story will be continued in the next one. Please share your feedback in the comments or mail to [email protected]