I was anxious, I think you might have guessed that yourself by seeing me roam here and there on the hospital floor. I kept on looking at the operation theatre’s door as if I can see right through that. People say that God alone is the final support at such times, So I placed my hands together in front of me and started praying. Oh, that’s better, I tried to calm my mind a little bit. I needed to be strong. I took my mobile to look at the time but began to stare at its wallpaper. There she was, smiling happily at me, my one and only daughter touching her tummy affectionately. My hands reflexively clutched the phone tight. I looked at the labour ward. I wish I was there with her inside holding her hands tight. She was a strong girl from childhood, she would be fine, I tried to console myself looking at my crossed fingers.
The doctor came out with a nurse, looked as if they were discussing something seriously and then he asked something to the nurse, She looked hither and thither and pointed towards me. They gestured me to come near them. I moved as fast as my legs could carry me. My heart beats increased and I could feel the tension in the air.
“Doctor, how’s she ?” I asked in a shaky voice.
He looked up from the file and said with the practised smile “She’s fine and so is the child. She’s blessed with the baby girl. Congratulations Aninitha Ji”. I sighed in relief. Luckily nothing was serious as I expected few minutes back. I thanked the doctor holding my hands together at the same time looking up at God with teary eyes. I rushed inside to see them. My daughter was still unconscious. I went near her and wiped her tired sweaty face with my saree’s edge and kissed her forehead.
A nurse came in and handed me the baby. My joy had no boundary on that day. My eyes were shedding happy tears. I remembered the moment when I got my daughter for the first time in my hands. She looked exactly like her, same stubborn curly hair and big round eyes. I was lost in my memory. She was making some sounds as if trying to get my attention back to her. My heart was overwhelming with joy when her little hand clutched my finger with immense strength. I sat down beside my daughter and kissed the baby’s forehead and held them both close to my body and silently promised myself to take care of these two until my last breath.
I was lying lazily flapping my big ears probably half-asleep lost in my thoughts. When my master first brought me here from my home, I was missing everything there. I would close my eyes and imagine being there in dense forest with loads of food and the refreshing river water with my family. Even once I tried to find my way back, But I couldn’t remember much, as I was very young back then. My owner used to control me with a stick and tied me with the chain. Here food is very limited and also he gives me when he wants to, not when I am hungry. I wish someday I get the chance to find my family and to be with them. But later I got used to this place. It was kind of fun to see the kids jump at my sight shouting “See ! there’s an elephant”. I was pulled to present with the sudden commotion around me. My master was packing everything and leaving somewhere in a hurry with his family. I noticed with a sigh that he didn’t keep any food for me. I asked myself can I go somewhere in search of the food. I looked at my legs, luckily in the hurry to leave, He had forgotten to tie me with the chain. I got up with tremendous effort carrying my gigantic body. I moved out of the house and started walking slowly.
In the past, these streets used to be crowded with people. There were some functions I would go with my master, kids happily rode on me, people got my blessings and gave me bananas or a piece of paper which my master took it with joy. He never let me go anywhere alone. He always clutched my chains in his firm hand and forced me to go with him.
Today I am walking on my own without anyone to control me. Finally, I found some hope to fulfil my wish. My legs were eagerly taking me forward towards the forest. Streets were empty and all the doors were closed. I wondered where did humans go? I hadn’t spotted even one person. It felt strange. On the way, the banana smell was wafting in the air momentarily distracting me from the nearby farm. Cautiously I looked around making sure no one was there to shoo me away. I went inside and had loads of bananas until my stomach was full. I hoped that should hold off my hunger for some days. Dogs were encouraging me to go fast, Did they increase in numbers from the last time I remembered? I wondered. The summer heat was intolerable so I went into the river and cheerfully started bathing. My body felt energetic after this refreshing bath. While leaving the village, I noticed some closely packed houses. Then a small girl squeaked from a window pointing at me. Unknowingly I felt happy like my good old days. I had some pressing questions in my mind, why were they all inside the house? why won’t she come out to ride on me? I went close to the house and tried to tell her silent goodbye before leaving. I tried to trespass the gate. It collapsed completely as I tried to move further inside. But I got confused and mentally swore ‘ I had merely touched them’. The pleased look on her face got changed into fear. It was hilarious how these humans used to control me with a small stick. But now they were scared of something and have locked themselves inside the house. Did anyone more powerful than humans exist? I moved towards the forest, with every step my heartbeat was increasing in excitement. Trees were happily welcoming me home. I went deep inside the forest to embrace nature and to breathe the freedom in the air.
There was silence for a long time. She sighed and wondered whether he’s listening to her or again started looking at his phone. She cleared her throat before turning around to check. There was no response still.
“Are you even listening to me ?” She said in irritated voice looking at him.
“I was… I mean I am listening to you” He said in a lost voice.
“Really? Can you remind me what I was saying to you ?” She rolled her eyes looking straight at his eyes.
“You know I get lost looking at you. Your words just flew away” He threw his dazzling smile.
“Good escape” She pursed her lips trying to look angry but smiled broadly then looking at him.
“You should rest for a while, you can read some other time, I mean … ” She stopped in mid-sentence and her hand froze in mid-air near the book. “I wish I could have done this earlier. But time is the only problem” He looked at the calendar counting his last days in the death bed. Books help him to hold his sense together till then.
“Love is … “ He started thinking for the opt word. “Blind?” She offered teasingly, looking at him from distance. “No stupid. Love is usually never blind like our’s” he winked at her replying even more teasingly. She came close, kept the hands in her hip and asked angrily “Is our love blind ?”. He thought for a while and replied slowly “Yes love is blind, you are so conscious about looking after me, my wish, my needs, likes, dislikes, you are not seeing what you are doing to yourself in the progress. Clear your mind and try to see peacefully, We had envisioned a life together of happiness doing whatever we wish and fulfilling all our dreams. Don’t let the days flew away without living. Love me always but live for yourself also. Will you let me do this for you at any cost?”. She hugged him tight with the tears in her eyes. He is right to some extent.