“Show me those”, she pointed out to the white roll of curtains, kept amidst the blue and green ones.
She uncomfortably shifted her weight to her right leg. The middle finger of her left leg was hurting. Her legs felt heavy.
The man in blue, standing diagonally opposite to her, slipped a chair towards her. She kept down the brochures she was clutching on to and sat down with a sigh.
The curtains were perfect. She imagined them on the windows.
The roll of curtains and the metal rings they would embrace, when they would get back home, were securely tucked in, beneath her arms. Her hands on the wheel, she tuned into Carpenters and drove it down to Uncle Shovankars’.
She swerved the car around, placed her Blue Mustang in the parking lot and stepped out.
The sunflowers were beginning to bloom. The yellow in them felt sublime. Her face lit up as she saw the old fellow walking up to her, with a big grin.
“What’s the matter with you, young girl? Why on earth did you drive down?”
“Oh, I just came down to show you the curtains I purchased” , she said. “Do you think he will like it?” , she asked, with a perceptible nervousness and a curbed smile.
“Of course my dear, he will. More so, because the little lady has done it all by herself”.
After a cup of ginger tea and her favorite chocolate chip cookies, she noticed his gout had aggravated. The limp was still very much there. She looked up. She wondered whether it was because the clouds would shower yet again. Aunty’s picture on the wall was as radiant as ever, a garland of freshly strung marigolds hung around it, precariously on two hammered iron nails. One of them seemed slightly bent.
She liked spending time with him. She could discuss the challenges life ahead would pose, given the current state she was in. Thankfully the morning sickness had still not set in. She found a reassuring, albeit older, confidante in him. He respected her courage and not once questioned her about the reasons of her being such.
“Uncle, I will leave now. Please remember to take two of those tablets after dinner. Do talk to the cab driver. I might have to call him soon”.
She reached home. She saw the tell tale signs of the newspaper vendor and the milkman outside her door. Damn, one of them had left his muddy footmarks on the scrubbed floor yet again.
That little room. Her paradise. She lovingly put up the curtains and looked around. Overwhelmingly gratifying.
A scream. She was dizzy. A burning sensation filled her. She desperately rummaged through her bag. It was almost as if a swarm of bees marauded her. Speed Dial.
She opened her eyes. Pleasant white curtains. A hospital tray covered with a green cloth stationed beside her. She was still in a daze. Suddenly, she felt it. The sting. She tried to move her hands. They refused to budge. She tried again. This time she managed to grope down her belly. Yes, she was right. But then, where was he?
She tried to get up. To no avail. She tried to scream. Her mouth went dry.
She desperately wanted a sip of water. The saline dripped momentously and went into her veins.
Uncle Shovankar comes in and his booming voice rings through the room, “My child, you have delivered a bonny baby boy. The tiny bundle is being cleaned up and will be with you in a minute.”
She sighed and wondered what next?
“I have asked my sister to come down and stay with you. Don’t you worry about anything darling”.
The façade of a composed self spluttered and exploded into a flood of tears. She held her baby tight and sent a note of thanks up to the Lord.