One walk

4 more months passed by and there she was, lying on the table. Legs spread wide open. It scared me to think of the future then,with or without Taruna. Having a small person in the family will always be a scary thought. Just weeks before, we both had a beautiful morning walk near JIPMER,Pondicherry. She said she wanted to spend time with me. I knew what I was going to hear. I wasn’t going to like it was a definite thing but I kept it all aside and chose to be with my wife for one last time.

The doctors warned us that she wouldn’t survive if the baby was born but that’s how my Taruna was. “Stubborn as liquorice” her father would say. I understood it at that time. A few minutes later was the most profound moment of serenity for me. It was Taruna or a part of her with me, I didn’t want to choose. ‘Choice is for those who weren’t brave enough to fight for both sides of the situation’- I fought against my own mind. “Push!” Shouted Taruna’s sister,who was also her gyno, and so she did with so much pain and intensity. I didn’t think I would see my child but there she was, after 19 hours of labor. My daughter in my hands. So small, so precious. I didn’t think I could love anyone more than I had loved Taruna but I did. I decided to name her Taruna too but in the split second I had to hold my child, my beautiful wife was dying.

I did whatever I could to speed up the process of handling my baby with care but I was a little too late. By the time I was done, Taruna’s heart stopped beating. She stopped smiling and there was one last tear. I hope to this day it was a tear of happiness.

It’s thirty years later. I’m with my daughter and her husband and their son. I got remarried to Taruna’s younger sister and we lived a good life. She was as motherly as a mother can be and even more loving as a wife. But I think of Taruna when something goes wrong. Nothing gives me happiness -other than my daughter smiling- like when I’m in solitude with Taruna’s spirit.

“I’m everything I’ve ever wanted to be and more”

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