The sun was setting in the far horizon to rise again tomorrow but my heart was sinking as if to remain buried under the gloom forever. My eyeballs were drowning in the flood of tears as doctors had said that he could save either my wife or my child in this intricate operation. They asked me to sign a paper as to whom I wanted to save: either my wife or my child? The question ‘whom to save?’ translated to me as if whom I wanted to kill. My mind resonated with the guffaw : ”whom I wanted to kill”.
I became petrified by the choices around me and I could not sign the papers. Now, doctors were on their own to decide upon as regards whom to save.
My wife Lata got pregnant after 7 years of our marriage. We went from one doctor to another, from one line of treatment to another, from Allopathy to Homoeopathy . We visited all major temples of the country to find the blessings of omnipotent. We had kept fasts, walked barefoot …but I never found Lata losing hope. I used to feel very bad when she used to be sidelined in the major family functions at the home, because she could not beget a child. She used to cry in the nights keeping pillow to her mouth so that I couldn’t hear her crying.
“Why …why is it that even a simple happiness of having a child is so aloof from me?” she used to ask me wailing. She loved children, and children also loved her. Children of my brothers were all fans of Lata but at the best she was addressed as aunt only. But she badly wanted to be addressed as a ‘mother’.
“I had told you several times that her destiny is charred…see even after getting pregnant she is not sure to become a mother… I told you several times to leave her…I would have easily got you remarried.” Quipped my mother, who had also come to the hospital.
“Stop this nonsense mother!” scolded my elder brother. “The operation is on and let’s hope for the best, don’t utter such ominous words at this time, Lata would be fine.”
My mother ignored my brother’s chiding and mumbling some cursing words to my brother turned her head away from him.
“Send her to morgue”, this sentence pierced my eardrums. In a fraction of a second I imagined Lata being stretchered away to the morgue. I didn’t want this reality to be mine, I yelled silently. I turned my head to direct my eyes towards the scary sentence. I felt a sigh of relief to find it to be about a different person.
In the meanwhile the room of the operation theatre of Lata opened. One doctor came holding a newborn baby in her arms. Seeing this scene my mind calculated that Lata is no more, I started crying and ran inside the O.T where I saw Lata lying on the stretcher. I went upto her and clasped her. But then I heard her heart beat.
“She is alive…she is alive… doctor please attend to her, she is alive.” I beseeched to the doctor.
“Yes …yes she is alive…who told you that she is not alive?” said one doctor putting his hands on my shoulders.
The whole dejection and struggle of seven years had devoured my power to think anything positive, and in the state of utter despondency, I deduced that Lata was dead.
As Lata opened her eyes, I got my senses back. One Doctor put the baby by the side of Lata and said “Goddess Laxmi has come to your home.”
I still remember that day as vivid as a transparent mirror even after 25 years. Today, we are getting our daughter married and seek your blessings.