“Dhruv!!” Rishabh was shocked to hear this name again. “Smriti please get over that incident now. We are not naming our baby Dhruv.”
“Rishabh, we are handing over Dhruv to Arjun and Madhu. As soon as Dhruv turns six months old, I will hand my baby to Madhu and then he will grow up as Arjun’s and Madhu’s son.” Smriti had tears in her eyes while she held the baby.
“This is nonsense Smriti. I am not ready to hand over our son to them. How can you alone take this decision?” bellowed Rishanbh to Smriti who had made up her mind.
“I took that decision because I committed a sin and I need to repay the same. It will be my repentence”
“Oh please!!! Just Shut up Smriti!! Listen to me now, he is our child. Look at him! He needs us.”
“Arjun and Madhu too needed Dhruv and I took him away from them forever.”
“Smriti it was an accident god damn it!!”
“Whatever it was, it happened because of my fault.”
“Arjun and Madhu never felt it was your fault.”
“They are nice people with big hearts. They will never say this but i know what i have done.”
“Once and for all now Smriti, we are not handing this baby to them and neither are we naming him Dhruv.”
Rishabh went out of the room where Smriti’s mom was sitting, waiting for both of them to end their conversation.
“Mom, Smriti is adamant on handing over our baby to Madhu and Arjun. Please make Smriti understand that giving Dhruv to Arjun and Madhu is just not the right decision. Only you can make her understand this.” Pleaded Rishabh.
“Beta, I am not the right person to speak in between a husband and wife. It is your matter and the decision has to be taken by you both. If I do tell, it will be intruding.”
“When it’s time for you to speak, you keep your mouth shut and at other times you have a big tongue to intrude in our matters.” Smriti’s mom said nothing but tears swelled in her eyes. Rishabh hastily left from there.
Smriti’s mom went inside. “Mom am I doing something wrong?” there were tears in Smriti’s eyes.
“No beta, you should always do what your heart says is right. As of now don’t think about it. For six months baby is with you and you should just concentrate on nourishing him and cherishing the moments you spend with him. It is not easy for a mother to hand over her child to another woman.”
“Mom, Madhu is still feeling the pain I gave her three years back. It’s time to heal that pain which I induced. Only I can do it.”
“Just one month more and Dhruv will be six months old. The time will be right to hand over him to Madhu.” told Smriti while she dressed Dhruv.
“Smriti what is wrong with you. Our baby is so happy in our arms. Why on earth do you want to give him away in charity?”
“Charity! Rishabh what is wrong with you. Did you forget that Dhruv was in my hands and…. He died… he died…” Smriti started to sob holding Dhruv in her arms tightly.
“Smriti it was an accident and could have happened had Dhruv been with Madhu.”
“Rishabh it could have happened is just a probability, the fact remains that the incident happened when Dhruv was in my hands. He was just six months old just like our Dhruv will be next month.”
“You are gone mad Smriti. I am not ready to give Dhruv away.”
“You will have to be ready.”
Rishabh was very angry this time. “You have to choose whether to live with me and our child or hand over my child to Madhu and sacrifice our relation and togetherness.”
“Togetherness! When were we together Rishu? Never. It was always you and me. It was never US.”
“What do you mean?”
“You have forgotten everything but I have not.”
“Please be specific.”
“To be specific, your tantrums about this house being yours coz you pay the EMI, your hitting me when I told you leave cigarette and liquor, you talking harshly to my parents, your taunting me always in front of guests, making fun of me and my looks even though you were the one crazy behind me when I denied your proposal, you making fun of my family everywhere you go. You never know how much all this hurts. In all this I don’t know when were we together? I always keep my mouth shut to avoid any arguments as I know you will always prove me to be wrong and would never accept your own mistakes.”
“I am your HUSBAND!! Do you know what that means??”
“Haa.. Husband!!! If this is what husband is I wish I never had one.”
“But you do love me right?”
“Yes I do. And that is why I am still with you. Maybe I am just used to you.”
“If you love me why are you keeping all the past stuff in your mind?”
“Because I am a human. I too get hurt. I am not a doll to be emotionless about whatever you do. At the end of it all I just sit and wonder what have I got from this relation.”
“You have got my home to live, you get everything you desire. What else a person needs?”
“Is that all a person needs and desires?”
“Yes. What else?”
“I need respect, love, care, pampering.”
“You are not a kid to demand this.”
“You will never understand me.”
“That’s not the point. Is this why you called me to your mom’s place today? You wanted to tell me something.”
“I already told you.”
“That I am handing over Dhruv to Madhu next month.”
“I am not going to let that happen.”
“You don’t have an option Rishabh.”
“You have to choose from the options I already gave you.”
“After these seven years of our marriage I feel even if I am not with you I don’t have anything to lose.”
“You can’t do this Smriti. You love me right.”
“Yes I do but this time I want to move ahead in life. Till when will I be stuck with a relation where the feelings are not being reciprocated?”
“You and your useless thoughts. Stick to them and ruin everything. That’s what you always deserved.”
Rishabh left from there highly agitated.
Smriti was just relaxing on her chair while Dhruv was fast asleep. Her phone beeped and she got a message from Rishabh.
Message read, “I have filed for divorce with mutual consent with my lawyer. You will receive the papers shortly.”
Smriti had not expected to receive this message. She thought at the end of all this Rishabh would accept her even after handing over Dhruv to Madhu and Arjun. They have had these fights earlier and had also spoken about separation but this was the first time Rishabh had actually filed for a divorce. Tears started flowing down her eyes. But she wiped her tears and started reflecting about the seven years she gave to this relation. She looked at Dhruv. He was sleeping peacefully with a cute smile, a smile just like Madhu’s son. This decision was equally hard for her but she was firm to go ahead with it.
Smriti went on the sixth floor of the apartment and rang bell. She was holding Dhruv in one hand and luggage in the other. Door opened and standing in front of Smriti was Madhu. She was still looking very dull after the loss of their only child.
“Hi Smriti” Madhu smiled seeing Smriti with the kid.
“Can I come inside?”
“Of course. Your baby is so cute. Come sit.”
Smriti sat on the couch. Madhu bought sparkling water for her which Smriti had immediately as she was tired.
“You look so down Smriti. Are you alright? And what is the name of your baby?”
“Yes I am good. His name is Dhruv.” This bought tears in Madhu’s eyes. She looked at Arjun who was equally startled to hear this name again.
“Can I hold him please?” begged Madhu
“Madhu, Dhruv is yours. I have come here to hand him over to you.”
“To me…. Uu…” Madhu was speechless.
“Are you serious Smriti? Where is Rishabh?” questioned Arjun
“Well, yes Dhruv is your baby who accidently fell from my hands from your balcony three years ago. This is the only way I can repent for the sin I committed.”
“Smriti, it was an accident. Dhruv was moving and in a very playful mood and you just lost the balance. It could have happened when he was in Madhu’s arms too. The circumstance was such that finger cannot be pin-pointed at you.”
“I am so glad that you have forgiven me for what I did.”
“Smriti we were never angry on you.”
“Yes Smriti. Never.” Seconded Madhu on Arjun’s statement.
“Dhruv was, is and will always be your baby. Please accept him. I don’t want to die with the burden of snatching away your baby.”
“We were actually planning of adopting a baby since you know the complications that happened while I was pregnant with Dhruv and doctor had strictly advised me not to conceive again as it might be a risk to my life.” Spoke Madhu
“I know about the complication and hence…” Smriti got emotional
“Where is Rishabh?” questioned Arjun again
“Rishabh and I are no longer together.”
“what….” Spoke Madhu and Arjun unanimously, startled
“Yes. He wanted me to choose between our relation and giving Dhruv to you.”
“You are sacrificing your relation for us?” asked Arjun
“Relation… this makes me laugh. It wasn’t a relation but a burden for both of us. Moving ahead would be good for both of us.”
“Smriti, I have known Rishabh since college days, he is a nice person.”
“Arjun, knowing someone and staying with that someone are two totally different experiences.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Nothing. I can just say that the differences between us are irreconcilable at this point of time.”
“Why this luggage? Are you heading somewhere?”
“This is Dhruv’s stuff. Whatever I had, I bought it here.”
“You are handing us Dhruv right now?”
“Yes Arjun, right now.” Dhruv was happy in Madhu’s arms. He was laughing and cheering.
“I don’t know what to say to you.”
“Don’t say anything. Just do me a favour.”
“Please tell me what can I do for you?”
Smriti took out some papers from her bag and handed over to Arjun, “Can you please give this to Rishabh? I don’t want to face him anymore.”
“What is this?”
“Divorce papers that he had sent. I have signed it.”
Your understanding of emotions beneath the surface is excellent.