I feel vibrations next to my hand.
I wake up with a racing heart, squint my eyes to check the caller ID. ‘Me’ it reads. “Has he found me?” The phone drops from my trembling hands.
“Jai Ma Durga” the sonologist sighed. My husband couldn’t hide that look of contempt directed towards me and my unborn child, clearly a girl. “Madam will take care of you.” I understood what ‘taking care’ implied.
“Please Somesh, let’s not do this.” I whimpered. “It’s all your fault”, he spat. “I’ll go away from your life, please let me have my child.” I say touching my belly protectively. I shrieked, yelled and begged, fighting for my poor child, till they finally drugged me.
The wretchedness of the void which I felt from within compounded with the throbbing deep in my belly. “We are going home. You get ready while I settle the bills.” Somesh curtly announced. The baby must’ve been 27 weeks. Almost fully developed. What have I allowed Somesh to do. I felt like a co-conspirator.
A staff nurse came in to check on my vitals. “Was she alive? Did she breathe? Did she cry? Please sister, please answer.” I begged. “Take rest.” she avoided eye contact. “Please sister, could I just see her once.” I sobbed hysterically. The nurse placed her hand on my shoulder and walked away.
She hastened back carrying a white bundle in her hands. Gently she handed over the feeble life to me. She was alive, her chest moving very slightly. A tear escaped my eye and wet her lip. She moved her mouth as if to suck. It was then that I vowed that this child is going to live.
I got down from the bed quickly, dropping my phone in the hustle. The nurse showed me through the back door and I fled as fast as I could ignoring the throbbing between my legs. I ran into the streets and hid in the service lanes. I had no money on me. Nothing to give in exchange except for the mangalsutra which sat cold around my neck. I hailed a taxi and implored him to take me to Nasik. “Out of town nahi jayega Madam”, he said. I removed the medal of my defunct marriage and handing it over appealed to him with folded hands, “Please bhaiyya”.
We reached Nasik after an eternity of looking over my shoulder to the same convent school which had housed me as a child. The sisters took me in and pledged to look after my baby.
That was a year back, my little warrior has survived the attempt on her life. We call her Shaurya, the brave one.
The night I lost my phone and my mangalsutra during the flight from the demon that was my husband, I saw an angel in the hospital nurse and gained this piece of my soul….. My Shaurya.