Vidisha gently caressed her baby bulge of six months as she gasped with joy ….
For the past one week she had watched a Robin bird collect twigs and hop on to the large tree like antic piece that adorned the balcony of her maternal home. She had amusingly witnessed the meticulous effort of building a nest. Today she failed to see the Robin for quite sometime .Out of sheer curiosity she peeked in the nest just to admire that twig architecture.But instead was taken aback by what she saw . There lay cozily three eggs with beautiful brown spots !! As she smiled in amazement she suddenly felt a funny feeling in her belly. Her hand instinctively moved to her proudly swelling belly and realised… her baby had moved for the first time.
Kanak had returned on that evening and Vidisha poured her heart out. Vidisha however was not in a mental state to go into legal proceedings and Kanak also thought the matter though involved a heinous crime had to be dealt delicately and sensibly. She however had to leave the next day.But she left with a promise to help Vidisha out of this and asked her to give her sometime .Till then she wanted Vidisha to conceal the fact that she had conceived again. Vidisha waited anxiously for Kanak to call .But before she could hear from Kanak there was a call from her home. Vidisha’s father had a major heart attack and was hospitalized. She was asked to come immediately home. Dhir could not accompany Vidisha but had immediately arranged for her departure…….
The flight to India was immensely distressing for Vidisha . She tried to fight those scary thoughts as she constantly prayed for her father’s wellbeing. When she saw her father finally she heaved a sigh of relief. Though delighted she however felt confused to see her father fit as a fiddle. Kanak was sitting beside her father and had given her a mysterious smile. Vidisha after settling down agreed to become a part of that conspiracy.
Two weeks after Vidisha’s departure Dhir got a call from Kanak.
“Dhir I have an important thing to inform you. Vidisha is in the hospital and under observation”
“Well she is pregnant and she had some bleeding. Do not worry everything is under control . But she cannot travel back to England. She needs bed rest for sometime .I will update you further after we do an ultrasound.”
Dhir couldn’t but agree to that. Though Kanak could sense his unease……..
Dhir was restless waiting for Kanak’s call. He was tense as with Vidisha under Kanak’s supervision he had no way to find the sex of the child. He was continously wondering how he would extract that information from Kanak and find a way out. These thoughts recurred obsessively until Kanak called.
“Dhir the ultrasound was fine. The baby is doing well but Vidisha cannot travel still.”
Dhir’s heart sank….but he hesitantly asked…” Kanak could you make out if the baby was a girl or a boy..” He almost stammered.
“Well I am not supposed to tell you that but I can give you a hint…this one will carry on your name …”
Dhir had heaved a sigh of relief… “Ahh… a boy…….”
Kanak had hung up before anything else could be said.
Vidisha slowly moved away from the nest still holding her belly and a contented heart. Those eggs in the nest became as dear to her as the miracle working in her womb. She felt as if her three daughters had reincarnated to live and be free again as her fourth child grew in her womb.Every morning the Robin would come and brood on the eggs. Vidisha had by now become a silent protector of the nest and it’s inhabitants. She would occassionally peep to confirm that the eggs were unhurt. To the bird Vidisha however never seemed a threat. This silent and harmonious bonding grew slowly as weeks passed.
The Robin had stopped brooding for two days and frantically flew too and fro. Vidisha wondered what got into the bird. Then she realised she hadn’t peeked in the nest for several days. She felt apprehensive.Vidisha was worried about the eggs as the bird was behaving differently. When the Robin flew away this time she crept stealthily and peeked in the nest. As she got a glimpse she almost jumped back. Three little wide open beaks rose from the hollow of the nest hungrily waiting for her to drop in a goody. She was flooded with joy. The eggs had hatched !!! Those hungry baby birds kept gesturing for food as their self-proclaimed godmother looked on mesmerised……
Two months later. Vidisha was in pain . Immense pain as her womb contracted intermittently and she laboured . She tried to catch a breath in between when her womb relaxed. Dhir was waiting anxiously outside the labour room for the good news. Kanak was constantly monitoring and encouraging Vidisha through her ordeal. Vidisha had lived under a strange fear duuring the past few months. The pain has made her forget that. All she wanted was the pain to go away.
As every ordeal ends this one ended too. Vidisha almost burst in tears when she held her bundle of joy. But another ordeal had to start now. Kanak looked at her and she nodded in a mutual understanding. It was time to inform Dhir.
“Congratualtions Dhir! You can see your wife and daughter now. “
“Daughter!!!” Dhir exclaimed as if he was hit by a boulder.
Vidisha’s heart raced when she overheard Kanak replying calmly to Dhir’s repproach .
“I never said it was a son. Who says a daughter can’t carry your name?”
Vidisha closed her eyes and her breathing got heavy. As she closed her eyes an image floated in her troubled mind and her fear started dissolving. She visualised the day the three baby birds had finally learnt to fly and had fearlessly spread their wings.She saw them leave the confines of the balcony and soar to the wide open sky. The baby birds who she believed carried the spirits of her unborn daughters had finally rescued her from guilt and given her courage.
Dhir entered the room and sat beside her .Vidisha could see the anger and resentment in his eyes. Before he could repproach her Vidisha started speaking in a firm voice
“I know Dhir you feel cheated . But so do I. The past eight months I have thought a lot. Dealt with my sorrow , my anger . What you subjected me to was not only inhuman but also a crime. But by being silent I had participated in the crime. If you disown our daughter, I will disown you. You have a choice whether to accept her with an open heart and watch her grow or else the alimony I will claim would definitely suffice her future needs to the utmost. Really the choice is yours .”
Dhir had glared at Vidisha but it failed to deter her composure.
“But before you decide anything I want you to meet our daughter”…. and before Dhir could retaliate Vidisha had handed over the baby girl to him .. “She has your eyes.”
Dhir felt his anger dissipate as he looked into those innocent angelic eyes. He was startled at the beauty of the girl he didn’t even want to see. Vidisha could see his expression change. Dhir felt paralysed with remorse.
“You should rest.” He handed over the baby ,after a quiet moment, to Vidisha and walked out without saying another word.
Vidisha heaved a sigh of relief .She had dreaded this moment for so long and now it was over and her daughter was safe in her hands. She wasn’t scared of what Dhir would decide. She didn’t feel crippled or helpless anymore.
Kanak entered the room with a sunny smile on her face as she saw the mother and daughter bond.
“So Ishaa what are you going to call your little angel?” she chirped.
“Oh ! Latin… what does it mean ?”
“The Chosen one “