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“Ma you take care of yourself.” Madhavi cried hugging her mother.

“You could have stayed back my child. Who will take care of you there?” Dida sobbed.

“No Ma. Anurag needs me and after all it is matter of few months now. I am prepared.” Madhavi said.

“Take care of yourself. I don’t even have the right to stop you after marriage. Though I suggest you could ask Lakhi if she is willing to go. I am more concerned about Misry than you. Lakhi would be of great help to you.”

“That will be great support Ma. I will surely ask her.”

Lakhi agreed to spend few months with Madhavi and was ready to go.

Misry too met her cousins Dia Ria and exchanged goodies. The twins were teary eyed and hugged her back.

The scene inside the house was nothing less than the Vidai scene of Pallavi Mashi’s marriage where even Dadu dropped a tear from his eyes.

It was again another such moment in the house. Whole family came out on the road and waved back at them till the cycle rickshaw, Misry’s family had boarded, disappeared out of sight.

***

Few months later

“Lakhi Mashi where is Ma gone?” Misry asked.

“She is gone to the hospital to get you a baby brother.” Lakhi replied.

“Hospital? But she had said she will get me one from the market?” Misry said.

“Oh is it? But now a day it is no longer available in the market, its only hospital.” Lakhi replied.

“I want to see the baby.” Misry begged.

“Yes dear we will go together tomorrow in the morning. Now sleep down dear it is already very late.” Lakhi said.

“But Lakhi Mashi, Daddy doesn’t know that Ma has gone to the hospital. Have you told him?”

Anurag was sent to Punjab on Special Duty few weeks back. The entire nation rocked due to ethnic violence. But men in uniform have no time to look behind for their family. Restoring peace and harmony had always been foremost for them. Salute to their wives who are so strong willed that even in situation like this they know how to take control of themselves and let their men march away for the cause of nation without any frown on their forehead.

Lakhi wondered if ever Anurag could be given the news. Though she had informed Madhavi’s parents about the same and they were on their way.

Dadu Dida will reach by tomorrow sweetheart. You better catch upon your sleep now.”

It was the first night when Misry slept alone in the bed without her either parent. It was very disturbing for her but she didn’t share it with Lakhi whom she didn’t know that well then. The little girl turned to the other side as Lakhi patted her to sleep. Tears rolled down her eyes as she felt the vacate space in the bed where her Ma and Daddy slept. It was also the longest night she ever had. But eventually sleep overpowered her.

***

Early morning

Misry felt a tickle on her cheek and opened her eyes with a jolt.  Anurag was cuddling her.

“Daddy! When did you come?” She asked hugging him happily.

“While you slept sweetheart. Now I want you to quickly get ready to meet your baby sister.” Anurag said. He was sanctioned leave for a week. As soon as he got Madhavi’s message he drove down to Delhi and took the first flight to Calcutta and after driving all night reached hospital early in the morning. After meeting his wife and newborn child he had come home.

“Baby sister?” MIsry was surprised.

Anurag nodded.

Misry dressed up quickly and went with her Daddy to meet her baby sister.

There she lay, just beside Ma, wrapped in a towel, like a small red doll. Misry was awestruck with the first glimpse of her baby sister. She looked so real, just like the Talking Doll she so much awaited. Now it was all hers. She too could show off her Talking Doll like Honey and Boney. She remembered Dia Ria and started matching the baby’s features with hers. She touched each part of the baby’s face and compared with hers.

“What are you doing sweetheart?” Madhavi asked lovingly.

“Ma does she look like me? Her hands and feet are so small?” Misry asked.

Sona, she is very small now. You will not be able to make out now. Once she is a little older she will look just like you.” Madhavi replied.

“How do you know Ma? Did God use the same mould like Dia Ria?” Misry asked innocently.

Madhavi and others present in the room started laughing.

“No dear! But I can make out that her nose looks the same as yours. Both are flat.” Anurag added.

“Ghee!” Misry grinned.

***

Few days later

“Ma what is Lakhi Mashi doing to the baby. She is crying so much.” Misry asked little worried.

“Oh! Nothing to worry sweetheart! She is just giving a massage to the baby.” Madhavi replied trying to finishing her kitchen work fast.

Misry peeped inside the room. Lakhi Mashi was sitting on the floor with her feet stretched ahead of her and the baby lay on top of it, naked. Lakhi Mashi was dabbing oil on her from a small bowl and giving her a massage. The baby was wailing like never before but Lakhi Mashi won’t stop. She massaged her legs, her hands.

“Why are you putting so much oil Lakhi Mashi?”

“Because it will make her strong.” Lakhi replied.

Misry watched her attentively. Lakhi was massaging the baby’s small belly, head and finally her face. Mashi’s expert hands pulled out the baby’s nose to perfection.

Misry asked promptly, “Why did you pull baby’s nose Lakhi Mashi?”

“So that she has a sharp nose, just like your Ma.” Lakhi replied.

Misry’s hands immediately touched her own nose.

She quickly went to the dressing room and looked herself in the mirror. She checked her nose. It was flat and Ma had said the baby’s was too. And that made them look alike but Lakhi Mashi was changing that.  No way was she going to allow her or anyone to pull her baby sister’s nose.

From that moment onwards, every time Misry found her baby sister alone she would go and press the baby’s nose a little to flatten it. Sometimes the baby cried out in pain too. The elders thought it to be sibling rivalry. Naughty as she was, they thought she was hurting the baby intentionally. So they tried to keep the baby away from her as much as possible. There was a big list of Do and Don’t for Misry that she had to follow in order to go near her baby sister. But obviously none of it was followed by the elders.

The poor girl was disheartened. She found herself too lonely in this saga. Meanwhile her baby sister was getting all the attention in the house. Even Aunties came to meet her, talk about her, cuddled her and spent time with her. That she didn’t mind much, as much as, Madhavi’s behavior.

The new mother was obviously so busy with her new born that she could not give enough attention to Misry who was more or less at the mercy of Lakhi or the Orderly. Her parents could not come down as planned due to the ongoing turmoil in the country and Anurag had gone back to Punjab a week after her delivery. So Madhavi was also not in good frame of mind and she was irritated on slightest provocation.

All the circumstances had pinned Misry down so hard that her joy of owning a baby sister, her Talking Doll, had washed down the drain. She now hated her little sister for all the neglect she was bearing. She behaved indifferently.

Later, when Madhavi noticed her daughter, she felt pity and guilty of herself. She hugged Misry and kissed her affectionately.

Sona I love you so much. You are my world and you know that.” Madhavi said looking into her eyes.

“Then why am I not allowed to sleep with you anymore.” Misry asked.

“Just because you should have a better sleep and join your school the next day. See your baby sister doesn’t let me sleep at night. Always cries and she will wake you up dear. I don’t want her to disturb your sleep.”

Misry understood and hugged her back.

“Oh my Sona. When will you GROW UP MESSY?” Madhavi murmured.

*****

Glossary*

Sona- darling

 

*****

26 stories in 26 days. I am attempting very very short stories series with GROW UP MESSY – The sweet sour story of a 5 year old girl.

You can read the other post in the series here.

With today’s post I have come down to the end of the #atozchallenge. It was a marvelous journey that started on the first of April and continued every day except Sundays for the entire month. In this journey I had the pleasure of hopping so many new blogs with so many new themes that it felt like a fest. I also befriended few bloggers who are there to stay on my friend list forever.

GROW UP MESSY – had been possible only because of your encouraging comments and likes.  I thank you all from the core of my heart but without these names I will not do justice to this series. Thank you Kala (http://relaxnrave.blogspot.in/), Lata (http://www.kaapitimes.com/), Richa(http://richajindal.com/), Vishal (https://vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com/),  for joining the entire journey and Inderpreet (https://inderpreetuppal.com/) for sharing this blogging challenge with me.

“GROW UP MESSY” does not end here. Catch up with her new adventure soon.

 

 

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