Rohini and I tied the knot three years back. Ours was a love cum arranged marriage. We were leading a good life.
One evening Rohini complained of feeling giddy and unwell. When we visited the hospital, the doctor confirmed that Rohini was pregnant with our first child. Gratitude welled up inside me.
When we broke this news to our parents, their happiness knew no bounds.
The next day, when Rohini came out of the kitchen, she suddenly paused at the doorway, her eyes widening. She was shocked by what she heard.
My parents were discussing her pregnancy.
They warned me if she delivered a girl, I will have to put up the child for adoption or in an orphanage.
Hearing this, she felt the ground slipping under her feet. She experienced pain in every part of her body and soul. She quickly wiped her tears and served us tea.
When I came home after work, she spoke to me. Instead of standing by her side, I chose to do what my parents said.
The due date arrived. I kept praying for a boy, but she gave birth to a girl. My parents left the hospital without meeting our daughter.
She was beautiful. I wanted to carry her in my arms. I stepped closer to the cradle and stood there admiring her.
Words of my parents suddenly began to echo in my ears. I turned around and left the room.
I was tossing and turning in the bed, unable to sleep. My head throbbed with pain. I took a painkiller and eventually fell asleep.
My parents wanted me to leave them forever, but how could I? I loved Rohini. I tried to convince her she put up our child in an orphanage. But she did not budge.
Our daughter turned five.
My parents didn’t change and warned me to leave them or; else they would leave me and settle in a nursing home. I was in a dilemma.
Finally, I chose my parents over Rohini and Roohi. I decided to leave them.
We reached the airport. After check-in, I went to get some food while Roohi and Rohini waited at the boarding area. A while later, when I returned, I found a note kept under my seat neatly folded.
I straighten out the note and read ‘DON’T LEAVE’.
“Who left this note below my seat?” I murmured.
I crumpled the paper into a ball and tossed it in the bin. When I returned to my seat, I found another note.
“One more note? Who is playing with me?” I said in an irritating tone and unfurled the paper.
“I know you are upset because I am a girl. Trust me, papa, I will never let you down. On the contrary, I will make you feel proud one day. Mom and I need you the way dada and dadi need you. Please ‘DON’T LEAVE’.
My inner conscience shook me hard. Tears streamed down my face as I held Roohi in my arms.
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