“Even now you don’t remember!” Anya smacked her head at his failing memory, “Aisha told me you need both a mommy and a daddy to make babies,” she ticked off the list on a fingers, “they should sit together, talk to each other, eat with each other, love each other.”
Khsitij held Anjali close, “But we do that already!”
Anya shook her head at his denseness, “Daddy, you need to spend time together, you go off to the hospital and now soon Anjie will also go off to her office, how will you spend time together?”
Anya paced up and down at the seemingly insurmountable problem.
“Don’t Aisha’s mommy and daddy go to work?” Khsitij asked the obvious question.
Anya stopped her pacing and stared at her dad, struck, “Yes they do!” she tapped her cheek thoughtfully.
“Give me your phone Daddy,” she held out her hand imperiously; obediently Khsitij handed the phone to Anya.
Anya quickly searched through his phone book and called up her ‘guruji’ and had a hurried conversation which lasted a few minutes; she disconnected the phone and handed the phone back to her dad.
She sat quietly for a few minutes, Anjali got worried and started to get up to go to her, but Khsitij held her back and shook his head.
Anya took a deep breath and stood up, “I know what needs to be done so that you can spend more time together.”
Anjali and Khsitij collectively held their breaths, while Anya continued, “Aisha told me mamma and daddy should sleep in the same room, that way they spend their time together even if they are apart during the day.”
She turned towards Anjali, “See you have been sleeping in my room that is why there has been no baby till now! It is a good thing that your clothes are already in Daddy’s room, all you need to take is your toiletry and some of the other knickknacks in my room, and I will just pack them up in a jiffy.”
“But Anya, what about you?” Anjali’s heart broke for Anya; she was obviously upset but was trying to bravely cope with having to let Anjie go.
Anya smiled, albeit sadly and said sounding way older than her tender years, “Don’t worry about me Anjie, in any case I go to sleep early, maybe you could stay with me for a while till I go to sleep, then you can go to daddy’s room? Besides, I can’t have my cake and eat it too, right Daddy? If I want a baby, I have to let Anjie go…”
Khsitij solemnly nodded his head, “Yes sweetie, you are right and you do know that one another thing is needed to have a baby?”
“What?” Anya shook her head.
“You do understand that got to have a lot of faith and patience; only if God wills it can we have a baby, ok?” he explained gently.
Relieved, Anya vigorously nodded her head, “Oh I know that! I have already started praying; now you just have to start making babies.”
Anjali stiffened within the circle of Khsitij’s arm which had tightened possessively around her, “Sure Anya,” he said blandly surveying Anjali’s flushed face, “consider us on the job.”
Anya clapped her hands in joy, “Daddy give me your phone again, I want to tell Aisha the good news.”
“What!” This time both Khsitij and Anjali stiffened in shock, hey Bhagwan, yeh ladki bhi na, “What good news?” Khsitij asked Anya.
“That my mamma and daddy are making babies,” she said innocently.
“Oh no no Anya you got that all wrong, you can’t just go around telling people that,” Khsitij tried to convince Anya, but to no avail.
“Why not Daddy, besides, Aisha is not people, she is my BFF, just like Anjie, I tell her everything, I must and will tell her,” she stamped her foot.
Anjali and Khsitij looked at each other in consternation; Anjali’s face was a permanent red, while Khsitij too was beginning to feel the heat, “Ok ok, Anya, here is the deal,” Khsitij tried a middle path, “You can tell your friend that your parents are ‘trying’ for a baby not ‘making’ babies AND, you cannot tell this to ANYBODY else until your mother is actually expecting a baby; is that clear?”
Anya had a mulish expression on her face, “Nobody else? Are you sure nobody else?” she queried clearly in a fix.
Khsitij looked at Anjali and sighed, “Yes I mean that, nobody else and tell Aisha also not to discuss with anybody else, is that clear?”
Anya pouted and crossed her arms, “But I have to tell somebody else as well.”
Khsitij rolled his eyes and prayed for patience while Anjali agitatedly pleated the edge of her saree, she had never even thought in her wildest dreams that she would be having such a conversation that too with a 6 year old, hey Bhagwan!
“Ok ok,” He said placating, “Whom do you want to tell?”
Anya leaned forward excitedly and said confidentially, “CSR and chotibua!”
“What! Why!” Khsitij and Anjali exclaimed together.
“Anya,” said Khsitij warningly, “I don’t think they need to know anything about this business, I absolutely forbid you to….”
“Please please Daddy, I promise daddy I won’t tell ANYBODY else that you are making… no, trying for a baby, just Aisha, CSR and chotibua OK? Please please,” without waiting for a response from her father, Anya started clapping and singing, “We are going to have a baby, we are going to have a baby,” and danced around in joy.
Seeing Anya sing and dance with such joyful abandon, a dreadful clutch of fear arose and grew till it overwhelmed Anjali, what if, what if she couldn’t have a baby, what if she lost the baby again, what if she had been irreparably damaged during her fall? Anjali sat frozen in shock and fear.
Khsitij noticed her reaction first, he went to her and hugged her close, “It’s ok Anjie darling, no pressure, take it easy, relax, Anjie sweetheart,” he murmured soothingly.
Suddenly Anya too was there horrified to see Anjie like this, “What happened Anjie? What happened, don’t you want a baby?”
To her dismay, Anjali burst into uncontrollable sobs. Worried Anya questioned her daddy, “What’s wrong daddy?”
Khsitij held a sobbing Anjali in his arms and said, “Anya, Anjie is sad because she remembered about her lost baby and is also worried what if she cannot have a baby or what if something goes wrong again? She is also sad because she cannot bear to disappoint you, she loves you so much.”
Horrified, Anya too burst into tears and Khsitij had his hands full trying to console and control the two loves of his life.
Anya achieved a semblance of control earlier than Anjali, “Oh Anjie,” Anya sniffed, tears rolling down her cheeks, “don’t cry please don’t cry, I am sorry I reminded you of your lost baby, please don’t cry; I am sorry, I am so sorry you lost your baby; If you don’t want to have another baby I will not pester you for one ok? But please please don’t cry.”
Anjali stopped sobbing, but tears continued to roll down her cheeks as she lifted her tear-drenched face to look at Anya, overwhelmed. “Anya darling,” she hiccuped through her unstoppable tears, “Anya darling, of course I miss my baby, but now that I have you, my princess, I can do without another baby, for you are my baby now; but I would hate to disappoint you, you want a baby so much! What if I cannot have a baby?” She dissolved into a fresh bout of tears.
They hugged each other, comforting and drawing strength from each other. Khsitij’s eyes too were wet. He wished he could do something to ease their pain but he knew there were no easy solutions or answers to this very valid concern of Anjali’s; only time would tell.
Click here for Chapter 68