Seeking the Truth
It was a cold Sunday Evening. Sonia was relaxing in the balcony with a cup of hot tea her phone was ringing in the adjacent living room but Sonia could not hear the phone as she was lost in her own thoughts. She was really tired and wanted to rest the whole day. Rohit her husband gave up calling her after trying for more than an hour. Suddenly, fear gripped his mind was Sonia okay? He feared. Had she fainted again? He wondered. He stepped on the accelerator hoping he could go at the speed of light. Sonia took another sip of her tea as she stared at the sky. She suddenly feeling uneasy, she started to shiver and realized that her whole body ached. She got up and went to her room, not wanting to catch the chill.
The sight of the bed was too inviting for her to resist. She thought she would lie down for a few minutes before Rohit arrived but was fast asleep in seconds. When Rohit reached home after about two hours, she was still in a deep sleep. He slowly patted her cheek and asked
"Sonia are you okay?" Rohit asked, gently patted his wife's cheek.
Sonia slowly opened her eyes and saw the panic in rohit eyes
"I am alright, don't look so worried. Just feeling really weak and tired," She replied.
"Darling did you eat anything?"
"No, I am not hungry, I don't want to eat anything."
"Sonia you have to eat something, otherwise how will you feel better?" Rohit persisted.
She looked at him and slowly got up from her bed. Rohit quickly rushed to fix dinner and called out to Sonia.
"Darling, let us have dinner and have an early night." Sonia said.
Sonia nibbled on a salad and finished first. She went back to her room leaving Rohit to clear up alone. When he finished and reached the bedroom. Sonia was fast asleep again. He decided that Sonia should go and see the doctor first thing in the morning.
I was a bright sunny morning the next day. Rohit got up and went to the kitchen to make tea for Sonia and himself. Suddenly the alarm rang, Sonia slowly opened her eyes and got out of the bed, she was still feeling really weak and low, and her face was dull and looked so pale. With a presentation due in the morning at her office, she had to rush and get going.
Rohit gave her the cot cup of tea
"How are you feeling now?" Rohit asked her, handing her a cup of hot tea.
"I am feeling really sick, Rohit. I don't know what is wrong with me," Sonia replied.
"Sonia, you have to see the doctor today, don't wait anymore." Rohit sounded worried.
Sonia agreed to visit the clinic near her office and rushed to get a cab.
Her presentation went well, the directors were agreeing to her suggestions to expand her team and take on two new projects. She was all smiles as she came back to her cabin bursting to give the good news to the team. As she settled into her chair, she started to feel dizzy and sick again. She quickly got up and ran to the washroom where she vomited.
Rani, her collegue saw her and rushed to her for help.
"Sonia are you okay?" Asked Rani
"It's nothing." Mumbled Sonia.
"I am just feeling tired. I am seeing the doctors during the lunch break anyway."
Rani helped her back to her cabin. Sonia was Rani Manager. They were in the final stage of their project. Sonia was the main decision maker of their team. Rani had great respect for Sonia as she had changed the face of their team of nine members within the first year of joining the company. Before that the management had considered dissolving their team and closing the department. Sonia was the main reason Rani still had her job. She was really worried for Sonia.
At the clinic, Sonia could not sit. She was feeling nauseated again and felt very weak. The nurse rushed her to the doctor before her appointment time. The doctor did all the routine checks and did not find any cause for worry. Sonia explained all the symptoms in detail this time while the doctor listened very carefully. He called the nurse and asked her to take Sonia for some tests. Sonia alarmed and looked at the doctor questioningly, but the doctor was too busy typing on his computer. The nurse escorted her to the lab where they did a blood test and asked her to collect urine in a container. Feeling stressed, Sonia hoped it was nothing serious. She wished she had asked Rohit to accompany her. After the test she was asked to see the doctor again.
This time the doctor was smiling lightly.
"Sonia, I suspect that you may be pregnant. But we can confirm only after the test results come in two days," He told her in a matter of fact tone.
Sonia looked blankly at the doctor. Her face was turning crimson with a mixture of relief, joy, confusion and many more emotions that she did not quite comprehend. As she walked out of the clinic, she decided to call it a day at office. She texted Rani saying that she would not be returning to the office and headed straight home. She needed, time to think and decide what to do?
"Pregnant." The word echoed in her ear again and again. She and Rohit had discussed occasionally in the first year of their marriage that they will have kids only when they both were mentally and financially ready for it. So when did this happen? How? Sonia tried to remember but she was still dazed and confused. After a while she remembered the passionate night after a friend's birthday party when Rohit and she both had drunk more than they had intended and Sonia blushed knowingly.
The phone was ringing it was Rohit who could not relax in the office without getting any information from Sonia. But Sonia was not ready to answer the call yet. As the taxi pulled up at their apartment she was still in a state of shock. She opened the door, she went right inside to her bedroom and lay down on her bed.
No, Not now, she thought firmly. She was at the prime of her career, and she had worked too hard for it to let go now when all the hard work was about to bear fruit. She could not imagine Deepak, the most senior member of her team, taking over. Why should he get everything laid out on a plate and enjoy the fruit of all her hard work? No way, could she convince the management to wait for her? Would they agree to forego the two new projects they had secured, or at least delay it? She knew that was not going to happen. Feeling sad and defeated Sonia closed her eyes.
Feeling a cringe in her stomach, she put her hand on it, gently rubbing it. Could it be true? That a new life was growing in there? A rush of emotion choked her was her baby already there? Girl or boy? Sonia remembered carrying her sister new born baby, it had felt so divine, like a lift from god. Her sister and brother- in- law were so proud and so happy and what was she thinking? How could she even think of it? She was furious with herself. She had dreamt of her baby often, a beautiful angel who would make her like meaningful.
Sonia was being torn apart, vacillating between two extremes. She wanted both. Could she have the cake and eat it too? Would she be able to do justice to both of them? Would one have to pay the price for the other? Too confused to have the bay, she called her mom.
"Sonia, what a surprise, is everything okay? Did you see the doctor?" Sonia mother asked answering the phone.
Neel am was not expecting Sonia call at that hour of a working day, but she was waiting to hear about Sonia health. Nee lam had not been very happy when Sonia and Rohit had planned to move to Dubai after Rohit had gotten a good offer there. Neel am had wanted her daughter to live close by so that she could take care of her, Sonia being the younger of her two children. Sonia had depended on her mom for everything.
Sonia hesitated a bit.
"Ma, I may be pregnant," She said slowly.
"That is absolutely wonderful, Sonia I am so happy for you, what did the doctor say?"
The reaction from the other side was not what Sonia was expecting.
Her mother bombarded her with a series of questions. Sonia did not bother to answer any of them.
"Ma, my project is in the final stages. I am going to head two new projects, I can't be away from office for the next two years. I can't have this baby! I don't know what to do."
Her mother was aghast. She had been secretly praying for this since a couple of years Sonia had been married four years and everyone in the family had been asking if there was any good news. Knowing that Sonia would not appreciate any intrusion into her privacy. Neel am had hesitated to bring it up with her all along. And now finally when her prayers were being answered, Sonia was having second thoughts? Neel am could not believe it.
"Sonia, my darling, calm down. Listen to me carefully" She coaxed.
"You are so lucky that it has happened so easily for you. Have you forgotten how long it took for your sister to conceive? Everything in life has an appropriate time. This is the best age for you to have a normal and healthy baby. The more you delay, the more it will be difficult for you. You have had great success in your career so far. Now slow down a bit and enjoy every moment of this very special stage in your life."
"Ma, you don't understand. I can't give up everything I worked for. My office will not wait for me. The contracts are already signed. We have to complete the project in one year. I can't afford to be away. They will give the projects to my junior!" Sonia said her voice full of panic.
"Baby. Trust me. What matters in life most is your own family. Your life will be full and complete with a baby. The job cannot give you that sense of fullness. Once you hold your baby in your arms, nothing else will matter more, my dear", Nee lam said.
She had been a working woman all along. Looking back at her own life, she now wished she had spent more time with her kids. They had grown up and moved on so quickly, even before she could enjoy them. She didn't want Sonia to miss out on life true pleasure.
In her heart of hearts. Sonia wanted to be convinced about the baby, her own baby. Her mother words reassured her. Coming from a middle class conservative family, she could not imagine not having the baby that was already growing in her womb. But the sudden shock of the impending total change of life she could not accept. She didn't know how to deal with her priorities and the wish of nature.
Just then Rohit opened the door.
"Sonia, where are you? Why are you not answering the phone? Is everything ok? I am frantic here with worry and you are nicely lying on the bed," He demanded.
Sonia could wait no longer.
"Rohit, the doctor said I may be pregnant." She replied.
Rohit stared at her blankly for a second and scoped her into his arms smiling.
"Sonia, is it true? We are going to have our own baby?" He emphasized the own like he had won the Olympic medal. He was so happy and proud that he had missed the gloom on Sonia face.
"But, Rohit, what about my new projects? You know how hard I worked to get them. How can I let go now when it has come into my hands. The timing is very bad Rohit. I don't know what to do." Cried Sonia.
"Sonia, my dear, what are you saying? Don't let your job come in the way of being a full woman. This is the best tribute to our love. We have come a long way since our marriage I am so prepared and ready to be a father, Sonia. Don't have any second thoughts."
"Rohit, nothing is going to change for you, but my life is going to turn topsy turvy! Don't you see that? I will be walking around with a huge tummy. The company won't allow me to take any serious responsibility and my junior will take over me I will be helpless. I can't imagine being a house wife all my life. Too much is at stake Rohit. I am not prepared for this!" said Sonia.
"Sonia, my darling. I can understand perfectly what you are saying. My sister went through the same phase but when the baby came, life was perfect and meaningful. The job and career are temporary but a baby is forever." Said Rohit.
Sonia knew that she was fighting a losing battle. She could not fight with nature. The mother inside her had already awoken. She could already feel the baby in her mind, she was already holding the baby in her arms. She had no option but to learn to let go of her career dream.