The posts on my blog are all first drafts. I usually don’t proof read before posting. I just type and post. You may find repetition, spelling errors, or careless grammatical mistakes too. Kindly ignore them. That is what editing is for 😊
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“I’m so sorry, I’m letting you down.”
She whispered on a choking throat, dabbing her moist eyes. She knew that her tears unsettled him but this was something out of her control. She was losing power over her feelings, responses, emotions, and reactions. And she couldn’t help it.
This should have been the most beautiful moment of their lives and she had spoilt it. She hated it.
Manik smiled adoringly and sat down on her bed. Stroking her hand, he firmly grasped it, and said, “That’s it? That’s all you think about me? Isn’t it too shallow to think that we are letting people down if we are not in the best of our phases?”
“What else do I think? This was supposed to be such a precious moment… and…”
“This is…” He interrupted her, “This IS a special, precious moment, by all means. You are with me and our sunshine is breathing, healthy and safe, in this world. With us. How could this be any less precious? And no, it isn’t spoilt. The doctor said that ‘baby blues’ do happen. And they go away ‘like that’…” He snapped his thumb and first two fingers, and winked when he said – like that.
She smiled heartily, and cried too. She wished she understood what made her lose all the composure she had always maintained.
How carefully, how meticulously both of them had a carved a cocoon of their love to call it home. How delicately she had designed their lives together, he had planned their future, and how they had worked hard for it.
Certainly, not for this.
Not even in her weirdest dreams she had imagined something like this to happen to her. And this feeling made her feel more helpless. The constant nagging pinch that it should have been perfect made it worse and she couldn’t get over the shadow of darkness that drowned her further in despair.
Manik had always been perfect for her. He had never let her complain for anything. He had been excited for her pregnancy just like her and he had always wanted a daughter. Everything was so perfect.
Only she was not!
Nandini smiled for the sake of Manik, wiped her tears, and tried hard to feel normal.
If only the feelings were in our hands, and emotions in our control. But unfortunately, they were not. They were slaves to hormonal changes. And beyond explanations.
After a little food, Nandini drifted to sleep. She had been drained and exhausted due to the stress of delivery and surgery.
The nurse came to their room to change the baby’s diaper. Manik learnt from her the technique of changing the diaper and the way to hold her so that she was most comfortable. He didn’t realise that Nandini was woken up due to the noise and was now lovingly observing how he was painstakingly learning the basics of babycare.
She closed her eyes again, unable to keep them open, but this time with a peaceful look on her face. Manik with their daughter was the most serene visual she could have hoped for.
Manik was back to the sofa in their room, once he made sure that their daughter and Nandini, were both asleep. He opened his phone and read in detail about ‘baby blues’ and ‘post-partum depression.’ The details, the description, and the possible complications shook him. It went on to become full-fledged depression and most scary was a tendency to commit suicide. Overwhelming emotions and disturbance in hormones caused them.
He had been struggling to maintain a calm attitude before Nandini. Given the personality that he was, it was tough for him not to panic. He was fussy and very apprehensive about any unforeseen situation. A planner and a meticulous organizer that he was, situations like these baffled him. Being alone, added to it.
This was the first time, he was handling such a thing, without family. And when it came to Nandini, it added to his fears of losing his calm.
Keeping all of it aside, here, he had to pretend as if he was in control. In fact, he was giving confidence to Nandini. It was so tough for him that he feared that he would lose control.
He was scared that he won’t be able to manage. That he would start behaving like his old self – like panic-stricken, unnerved, anxious, lost soul.
As if it was not enough of a pressure that a new fear gripped him. What if Nandini’s depression extended for long? What if it progressed from baby blues to post partum depression? What if she developed suicidal tendency?
Even the possibility made him shudder. He buried his face in his palm and convinced himself that he could do it. He wasn’t going to lose his mind. Not now.
Nandini had the same fear. She had always seen an edgy, nervous side of Manik that she knew what he was going on inside. She exactly knew what went on behind his façade of trying to be strong for her. She hated it that she was the reason for his worries and she was only increasing them, instead of decreasing them.
“When did the doctor say that they will discharge me?” She asked him.
“On the third day. They are trying to relieve people as soon as they can,” Manik replied, “Covid is not a time for long stay in the hospital.”
“Manik, I’m missing my mom. And my family.”
“I know.” He said.
“I want to go to my parents’ home after we get discharged.” She said.
This seemed to be the only logical solution to free Manik of all his anxiety, and worries. He won’t have to deal with her labile emotions, her tears, and her weird reactions. He will be fine if he didn’t see her like this every day.
Manik didn’t reply to her. He simply looked at her face, wondering what made her feel so. Was he not good enough to help her in this situation? Did she think that he was not handling them properly?
He knew she was missing her family. And she had every right to visit them with the baby. But was it justified at this time? Her parents were old and frail. Her sister was ten years older than her. Nandini being the younger one, was born after a long gap from her older sister and brother. Her parents were much older than his parents too. Was it right to go to them in an unstable state of mind? More than anything, he was scared that he wouldn’t come to know if Nandini’s situation had deteriorated for worse.
He understood her state, now. Will her parents understand? What if she worsened and no one realised?
He wasn’t prepared to let her go out of his sight until she was completely fine. He couldn’t afford to let her go away. He would fret like a caged lion, if she left and he didn’t know how she was. That helpless, he would feel.
His face tightened and for the first time, he refused her blankly for something.
“No. You are not going anywhere.”
To be continued...