Second Innings5 mins 234 5 mins 234
Sambhav woke up with a start. He had had a nightmare and was sweating profusely. He frantically grasped the bottle of water by his bedside and as he took the first sip, he noticed that Siya was not there by his side. He gasped for fresh air and in a quest to look for Siya, jumped out of his bed. It seemed that his recurring nightmare had finally proved to be true. “Has Siya really…” he mumbled and before he could imagine the worse, Siya came out of the washroom. He heaved a sigh of relief, rushed towards her and held her in a tight embrace.
“What’s wrong with you?” asked Siya but Sambhav said nothing and took her by her hand to the bedside. He tucked her in the bed and planted a gentle kiss on her forehead. That night he could not sleep. It seemed as if the unpleasant experiences of the past would never leave him. He clearly remembered the dreadful day when his entire world came crashing down. That tragic accident eliminated all their hopes of ever bringing a new life to this world. Siya was eight months pregnant when she slipped off the stairs and they lost their unborn child. “I am afraid Siya won’t ever be able to conceive again.” These dreadful words of the doctor still haunt Sambhav and he blames himself for not having been there for Siya that day. Had he been at home with Siya, he could have taken her to the doctor in time and maybe the tragedy could have been averted. This guilt never let him sleep in peace.
The accident left a deep psychological scar on Siya’s subconscious mind and she gradually slipped into depression. She used to sit for hours in the room, they had so lovingly decorated for their child. She had stopped talking and often kept staring at the empty cradle humming a lullaby. Dr Mitra, their psychiatrist suggested adoption to Sambhav in order to give Siya a new lease of life. Months passed by and slowly Siya started to respond to medication. Time is a big healer, they say and Siya did get back to her normal routine. However, her liveliness and spark were missing and Sambhav could never come to terms with what he had lost; his happy and cheerful wife.
“Sambhav, wake up, we will get late… come on… get up now.” Siya sounded unusually cheerful. Sambhav had missed this tone so much… He quickly got out of the bed and got ready. Siya had put on her most favourite green saree and looked resplendent. He quietly went from behind and hugged his lady love. ‘Oh come on, we can’t be late, let’s go and get our baby home.” Siya freed herself from Sambhav’s embrace and looked at herself in the mirror. All she saw in the mirror was a happy, eager mother, waiting to meet her child for the first time. “We would name him Sid, such a short and sweet name”, Siya muttered. “Oh, that’s a lovely name”, Sambhav exclaimed.
Sid was a gleam of sunshine in the couple’s dull life. They never felt Sid was not their blood, he was too precious for both of them. Siya was happier than ever and Sambhav could not be more grateful to God. His Siya was cheerful yet again and that was what mattered the most to him. Their family was complete and they lived each moment to the fullest. Slowly the dark shadows of their unpleasant past were withering away and Sambhav could once again experience peaceful and restful sleep.
Days passed by and the couple could now hardly imagine life without Sid. His cute antics, naughty moves and innocent eyes charmed Siya and she kept hoarding stuff to adorn the apple of her eye, Sid. She left no chance to pamper Sid and Sambhav never stopped Siya from indulging. After all, she had waited so long for this day. Sid had the best pram, best toys, best accessories and Siya loved taking him out for evening walks. Sid started recognising close relatives and was the apple of everyone’s eye. All who loved Siya were happy that life had offered a second innings to her in the guise of Sid. Sid was very sharp and took all instructions obediently. His daily progress at learning something new filled the couple with immense joy. Their life was at last so perfect.
Sid was lucky to have got so much love and affection. The couple had found Sid abandoned on a deserted road four months back and at once developed affection towards him. Since it was raining heavily that time and Sid was totally drenched, the little baby had fallen ill. They picked him up from there and took him to a doctor and after a couple of days, he was discharged and they brought him home. Sambhav still recalls the blissful look on Siya’s face when she first held Sid in her arms. He realised that it was not her green sari, but sheer happiness that radiated her face that day and made her look so beautiful. That is how Sid came into their lives so unexpectedly and changed their lives forever. Recalling that day, a tear trickled down Siya’s eye. She hugged Sid tightly and planted a kiss on his forehead. Sid wagged his tail and Siya threw a ball away for Sid to bring it back. Yes, Sid was a dog, a cute little one but for Siya and Sambhav, he was their child. Siya often thought to herself, if only he could speak…