“See Biji, the baby kicked yet again,” Veera placed her hand lovingly over her 8th month belly. “Oye hoye! bada shaitan hai!” (The baby is quite naughty), her mother-in-law laughed softly. “What happened? Are you missing him?” she asked worriedly as Veera’s eyes clouded for a second. “Arre nahi nahi, bas aise hi,” (Oh no no..just like that), she wiped her tears in a nanosecond and walked down the stairs carefully.
“Why don’t you write a letter to him once,” her mother-in-law got an inland letter and pen. “What do I write but, Biji?” she felt at a loss of words. “Write how you feel, he should also know. He is going to be a father,” Veera thought over it.
Dear Satnaam ji,
I hope you are doing well. We all are fine here. Biji and Papaji are taking good care of me. Our two cows are also doing well. Last month Preeto didi had a baby boy. Both are fine.
My delivery date is nearing. I am feeling scared. Your kid is very naughty; his kicks keep me awake every night. Actually, there is one more reason I hardly sleep nowadays. I have a strange fear in my heart. It’s been so long, I haven’t heard from you. I miss your voice, your touch, your presence around.
We have been married for almost 8 years but have hardly spent even 80 days together. I know your duty keeps you away from me, but can’t my love bring you back to me?
I hope this time when you find yourselves at the crossroads of life, you chose your love and not your duty. Let the lord almighty show his mercy.
Satnaam read the letter again and sighed. Away from his family and roots, he found himself perennially at the crossroads. 8 years ago, he had moved to this faraway country to earn money for his family. He worked hard and intermittently saw his folks. He was there for it all, though – his father’s surgery, his own wedding with Veera, his sister’s wedding and now he had to make another trip to see his son.
It pained that his duty kept him away from his love and family!
“Iska khayal rakhna,” (Take care of him) He kissed his child and handed him back to his wife and stood at the crossroads of his village. His family waved at him tearily, willing him to stay more. He glanced at his old parents, his married sister, his wife and newborn son. “Ek taraf pyaar, ek taraf duty” his mother sighed heavily. Satnaam boarded the bus that took him away from them, yet again.
The bus moved ahead of the crossroads and reached the bridge of a river. Satnaam had a sweet smile on his face and checked his phone. “Are you done with your duty?” he read the message. “Yes, am coming back to you, my love” He replied and shut his eyes, dreaming away.
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