Into the bright lights.


Early morning, hospital. Unmindful to the chirping of birds outside, a man is pacing up and down, round and round, impatient and worried in the empty corridor. If you care to notice, he has been mumbling something – prayers? – for some time now. His eyes are flicking towards the closed door every now and then. The shrieks disconcert him and his paces quicken. Hard enough for him to stand at all, he only imagines what she must be going through herself. The sounds of frantic activity and muffled pain is obvious. ‘It is my child, our child’, he smiles at himself.

The idea seems to relax him when looks out of the window. December winds must be harsh on the street dogs. He appreciates knowingly that the guard is trying hard not to dose off. The full moon is not really helping in hiding these little details from his wandering eyes. He stumbles back when – all of a sudden – a leaf splats against the glass, more because he half expected it to slap his face. A frown overcomes is face. ‘As if I need any more excitement today.’ The leaf is still there inviting him to peer at it. It is big and green, it has lines. ‘My kid would eventually ask me about it’. A smile spreads again, widely this time.

An odd soul or two are wandering past him. He suppressed a curious urge to stop the old nurse and pour his heart out. That would be foolish. But it would be an interesting tale to tell to my kid. Oh, he misses her already! ‘Her? It could be him too. 50-50 chance you know’, he reasons and forcefully refrains from not thinking about it. But his mind wanders aimlessly. His feet start to and fro again. His shoulders droop down. Nervous he sure is.

The rhythmic, hushed voices from inside amplify. ‘It is happening now, isn’t it?!’ The mumblings resume as he slackens in a nearby bench – oddly, counting back from 100 this time. The cries seem to reach a crescendo in the room. And then slow down. His pulse quickens though his counting loses steam.

44… 43… 42…

The door clicks and a nurse comes out. A baby is crying from somewhere inside.

‘Congratulations! Your baby is fit as horse, Mister.’

He opens his eyes confusingly to a laughing girl. She repeats, ‘Congrats! It’s a boy!’ when it all sinks in. Everything is all right after all! That cry is his child, his boy! He rushes inside like dust inside a vacuum. The light seems piercing in here. Ignoring several people cleaning up the mess, he looks at his wife in the centre of the room, in the centre of his world right now – Maya. She looks old and crumpled but she’s not looking at him – rather a little bundle beside her is the oblivious owner of her concerned gaze. The child is crying unabashedly when someone tries to soothe him.

Maya looks up tiredly. He, who was fixed at the spot in the room, goes up to her. ‘You are a stinking mummy’, he says jokingly to which his wife merely nods and smiles. She closes her eyes contently as he continues to adore her and their little baby. ‘We are parents after all’. Walking up to doctor for reports feels tenfold responsibility now. An extra pair of eyes is watching him; he can feel it. His boy.

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Published in: on 6 Feb '12 at 1 am  Leave a Comment  
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