She held it as tight as she could only to flush it down the toilet. She wanted to get over with it though her soul was getting ripped every second every moment.
Maya, a sixteen year old girl was rushed to the nearest health set up at midnight. Her mother, father and aunt accompanied her while she cried in intense pain. The two emergency medical officers were busy attending other patients when Maya entered the emergency room. She could barely stand and cried in pain every now and then hearing which a doctor went to her.
‘Where is it paining child?’ the doctor asked Maya.
Maya could not speak. She just kept her hand on her abdomen. The doctor gestured her father to take her to the bed with curtains meant for examining patients.
‘You stay outside Sir and only the ladies may come with me’ said the doctor in a very calm tone.
Inside the cabin the doctor palpated Maya’s abdomen and started taking the history.
‘She is always binge eating junks. She does not listen to me anytime. She was complaining of cramps since a month now but never wanted to visit the hospital.’ Maya’s mother told the doctor. Her tension could be sensed by the frowns on her forehead. She constantly brushed Maya’s hair with her fingers.
‘Does she have problem in her monthly cycles?’ the doctor asked . ‘When was the last time she got her periods?’
‘I think last month she got it in the first week.’ she answered. ‘Doctor recently she has gained too much weight and eats very unhealthy food. Her cycles are mostly irregular.’
‘It may be due to PCOD… Polycystic ovarian disease, it’s very common these days in teenage girls.’ The doctor took the stethoscope and put the diaphragm on Maya’s abdomen.
He sighed and wrote a small note on the ticket. ‘Take her to the gynaecology and obstetrics emergency’, said the doctor handling the ticket to Maya’s father.
‘What is the matter Doctor?’ the concerned father asked in an anxious tone.
‘Sir please take your daughter to the second floor immediately,’ the doctor said to the father ‘there are doctors there who will make you understand better.’
Maya was taken to the gynaecology and obstetrics emergency. A hospital staff accompanied them to the emergency. ‘Sir you wait here, only women are allowed in this room’, the staff told the father.
‘Mom I need to go to the toilet,’ Maya begged her mother after entering the room. Her mother helped her get into the washroom attached to the emergency.
Meanwhile the gynaecologist entered. ‘Who is the patient?’ she asked.
‘She is in the washroom,’ said the aunt and handled the ticket to the doctor.
‘Call her out of the washroom,’ the doctor screamed after reading the note on the ticket. She seemed tensed.
‘Get her out now!’ she yelled at the top of her voice. All the medical staff in the adjacent labour room gathered and after a while a cry of a baby could be heard from the washroom.
Maya’s mother and aunt didn’t know what was going on. And her father had no clue as he waited outside.
‘Break the door!’ the head nurse suggested. The staff broke the door and there was Maya…holding a tiny baby covered with blood. She held the baby just above the toilet. She herself was bleeding. She looked exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally. She was breathing heavily. She wanted to flush the baby down the toilet. Didn’t she think about the life she was holding?She held it as tight as she could only to flush it down the toilet. She wanted to get over with it though her soul was getting ripped every second every moment.
The nurse was quick enough to save the baby on time. The paediatrician arrived and suggested to keep the baby in SNCU till the vitals got stabilized.
Maya’s family was devastated. The sixteen year old girl was pregnant and concealed her condition for nine months. She betrayed her family. She betrayed her mother and father. So was all this Maya’s fault alone? Or the boy who got her in this condition was the culprit? The boy might also not know she was pregnant or what ‘statutory rape’ is.
Why was Maya suffering alone? Why didn’t she tell her mother about her pregnancy? Why didn’t she seek any help?
‘I was afraid that my mother would kill me. The boy is a senior in my school and like me also feared that his father will throw him out of the house. We didn’t know what to do.’ she burst into tears when the doctor asked.
There are so many cases of infants and neonates being abandoned every day. The mothers might be in fear like Maya was. The fear that their family would not accept them when the truth comes forward. Maya did a huge mistake. But was that mistake bigger than a life? Was it bigger than her life? Is the society we live in not a bit responsible for such condition? Is the education system so weak that so many teens keep repeating such mistakes? Is Maya answerable to the society or is the other way around?
The questions remain unanswered as thousands of Maya stand alone in the crowd of judgemental people.
THE SECOND CHANCE
‘What the hell is going on between my husband and that woman?’ Subha’s patience was at it lowest ebb.
Sanjay knew that she was serious. ‘Look, Subha. There is nothing going on between the two of them. Just a little bit of healthy flirting, I’d say.’
‘Flirting? Healthy flirting? Really Sanjay…’ she rolled her eyes in disgust. ‘There is nothing healthy about flirting, Sanjay, not for a married man’. She got up from her seat and walked around the room muttering something to herself. Suddenly she stopped, turned back , looked at Sanjay and asked, ‘Did my husband sleep with her? Did he ever tell you anything about it?’
‘What! Subha you are stretching your thoughts too far…stop,’ Sanjay shouted in anger, ‘We both know that Sukesh would never do that.’ Sanjay looked at Subha with disgust. Suddenly Sanjay’s phone rang and he went out of the room banging the door behind him. Subha knew Sanjay was hurt.
Subha, Sanjay and Sukesh were friends since college. Though both the boys had feelings for Subha. Sukesh was the first to confess and Sanjay didn’t want to jeopardize their friendship so didn’t speak a word about his love for Subha. Sanjay had nothing with him when he passed college. He was not one of the brightest minds in batch and so didn’t get placed in a decent company. He came from a middle class family and all he had was a small house in his native village. It was Sukesh who supported him. Sukesh gave Sanjay a decent position in his family business and even a proper residence in the town. Sukesh thus became more like a brother figure to Sanjay. It has been two years since then. Subha and Sukesh have been married for a year now and everything seemed good until Deepa came into their life.
Sanjay went to Sukesh’s office and without even knocking the door he stormed straight to Sukesh’s cabin.
‘Sukesh…’ He uttered in anger but stopped. Sukesh and Deepa sat on the sofa, a file lied open on the desk in front of them.
‘Sukesh I want to talk to you.’ Sanjay said clenching his teeth as if suppressing the anger between his teeth.
‘Go ahead…I’m listening.’ Sukesh answered casually sipping the coffee.
‘I want you alone.’ Sanjay said looking at Deepa.
‘I’ll leave…’ Deepa nodded and left the room with her usual grace leaving behind the wonderful fragnance of the perfume she wore.
‘What is the matter with you? That was rude Sanjay…’ Said Sukesh this time looking straight at Sanjay.
‘Exactly…what is the matter with you?’ Asked Sanjay with a certain restlessness, ‘Seriously …Is there something going on between Deepa and you?’
Sukesh’s face went pale at once. He didn’t know what to say or where to look. He gazed at the file for a moment and then took up the cup to take another sip of the coffee. Sanjay at once got the answer.
‘Are you insane?’ Sanjay shouted with anger and then took a deep breath and sat beside Sukesh. ‘Subha is a wonderful girl…you love her…she loves you… Don’t ruin all this for any random girl!’
Sukesh got up from the sofa and went to the window. He moved the curtains and stared outside through the window glass and said, ‘Deepa is not any random girl Sanjay… At least not for me.’ He turned around to Sanjay.
Sanjay stood up and started walking towards Sukesh with slow steps. ‘Do you love her?’ Sanjay asked but feared what the answer would come.
Sukesh looked at Sanjay and shrugged his shoulders saying, ‘I do.’
Sanjay came to Sukesh, held his collar and dragged him to the wall.
‘How could you even say that!’
Sukesh took himself out of Sanjay’s grip.’I know that you are concerned about Subha,’ said Sukesh adjusting his tie, ‘but…’
‘What?’ Sanjay uttered in anger.
‘I know Sanjay that I am ruining my marriage, I am being selfish but I never want to hurt Subha.’ Sukesh sighed, ‘ I love Subha but what I feel when I am with Deepa is just so beautiful that I …’
‘But you can’t be with both of them!’ Sanjay interrupted, ‘It would leave all three of you wounded.’
‘I know and so I have made my decision.’ Sukesh looked at Sanjay nervously.
‘Are…are you thinking of leaving Subha?’ Sanjay stammered as he asked.
Sukesh just nodded.
Sanjay was left speechless. He at once lost all the respect he had for Sukesh.
A month later while Sanjay was in his apartment suddenly the door bell rang. It was Subha. She looked worried.
‘Subha…Is everything alright? You could have rang me, I …’
‘You knew everything, didn’t you?’ Subha was furious.
Though Sanjay knew what she was talking about but still asked, ‘ About what?’
‘I thought you were a friend. You knew about the relationship blooming between my husband and that Deepa.’ Subha took a deep breath. ‘We are getting a divorce Sanjay… You could have saved our marriage.’Subha burst into tears.
‘That’s insane. You two are responsible for all this. I thought it was best for both of you to sort things out yourself. Moreover who am I to interfere in your matter.’ Sanjay came closer to Subha, ‘I was a third person between you two then and I am a third person now.’
Subha came even closer to Sanjay, stared at him for a moment and kissed him passionately.
‘I love you.’ Sanjay said softly.
‘I know that…’ Subha leaned over to kiss him again but this time Sanjay pushed her back with a thrust. He was not able to believe what just happened. He was frozen.
‘Since when do you know that I …’ Sanjay’s heart was racing.
‘Since college Sanjay. I believed Sukesh was the best man for me but clearly I made the wrong choice.’
‘But this isn’t right either!’
‘Why? Is this because I am married? Didn’t Sukesh do the same thing to me? Why didn’t you stop him then?’
‘This isn’t about you. Sukesh is my best friend. He gave me everything I have today in my life. I can’t do this to him!’
‘Fine…save your friendship and kill your love once again!’ Subha left his apartment leaving him confused and restless.
Sanjay couldn’t sleep that night. He held his scotch and thought about Subha over and over. He knew that deep down somewhere in his heart he wanted the divorce of Subha and Sukesh. Life had offered him a second chance to be with his love. He might lose his friend but he had the most precious thing to gain. He picked up his phone and called Subha.
‘I know some good lawyers for your divorce!’ Said Sanjay.
‘I love you too…’ Replied Subha to which Sanjay couldn’t stop smiling.
The next day Sanjay went to Sukesh’s house along with the lawyer. When he reached there the discussion had already begun. Subha, Sukesh, Deepa and Sukesh’s lawyer sat on the sofa. Sukesh was shocked to see Sanjay. Subha got up and offered her seat to the lawyer Sanjay had brought.
Sanjay was not able to look at Sukesh. Subha grasped his hand and made him sit beside her.
‘I didn’t expect this from you Sanjay…’ Sukesh uttered, ‘I never imagined that you would go behind my back like this.’
‘I didn’t do anything wrong,’ Sanjay finally looked at Sukesh with confidence. ‘It is you who is to blame.’
‘Please settle all this peacefully. We don’t have all day.’ Deepa held Sukesh’s hand to pacify him. After an emotional and long discussion Subha and Sukesh decided to file a petition for a mutual consent divorce.
As Sanjay had guessed Sukesh took away his job. After about six months the divorce finally happened giving Sanjay and Subha the freedom to get married.
Subha and Sanjay planned to do a registry marriage. At the day of their marriage Sanjay got before time at the court to do some special arrangements. He brought all his close friends and relatives with him. He waited eagerly for Subha to arrive. He was confident of the decision he had made. He was finally getting married to Subha and his joy knew no boundaries.
Sanjay waited for two long hours but Subha didn’t arrive. He called her but her phone was switched off. She was no where to be seen. He called everyone who might have had any knowledge about Subha but still he couldn’t trace her. Finally the registrar called their names, it was time. The registrar told him that they couldn’t wait any longer and that he had to choose any other date. Sanjay was embarrassed in front of his friends and relatives but the only thing he was worried about was Subha’s well being.
He thought of checking his apartment before filing any missing complaint.
When he got home he saw a parcel lying on the floor. He opened it. There was a letter. It was from Subha.
‘I never intended to hurt you Sanjay but I had no other way. I know you are worried about me instead of being angry but trust me I am fine. In fact I am the happiest person in this world today. I wanted your help in this divorce and so had to put up this little drama. But the truth is …I love someone else. You know the person very well. It’s Deepa. Deepa and I met in London last year when Sukesh took me with him in his business trip. We met at the hotel where I had to spend most of the time alone. She is the most beautiful person I have ever met in my life. Explaining all this to Sukesh and our parents was difficult so I had to go the other way. I plotted everything; from Sukesh meeting Deepa to me kissing you. Everything went great according to the plot. We are together now. I am with my love. I know it’s hard for you to forgive me but still …I am sorry.’
Sanjay didn’t know how to react. He could not believe to the piece of paper he was holding. He was confused. He was angry with his life. He was filled with disgust. But finally he was left with a smile on his face thinking about the second chance Subha got.
‘Good luck Subha!’ Sanjay uttered with a smile and threw the letter in the dustbin.