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“Hey, how is Sanskaar’s daughter, Ishani?” I asked interestedly. I like that kid, I only spent some time with her once and immediately started loving her. She is pure angel, nothing like her father. “Oh she’s good. I met her last week— she’s growing up fast.” She paused and sighed, “I wish Sanaya was here to see Ishani growing up.” She said sorrowfully.
I remember Swara telling me about Sanaya, Sanskaar’s wife, my heart aches for Ishani— I know how it feels to live without a mother and it isn’t pretty at all. “How old is she? Ishani I mean.” I asked, completely changing the topic, because I know how sad Swara gets when she talks about Ishani. “She will be two next month.” She smiled softly. “Great, so— is there going to be a celebration?” I asked excitedly.
Her smile fell instantly, “Uh— no, no celebration. Sanskaar won’t approve of it.” “But, it’s his daughter’s birthday. The daughter he loves the most. Why won’t he?” “Ragini, Ishani’s birthday is on same day as Sanaya’s death anniversary. Sanskaar don’t even show up on that day. He just close himself in his house with Ishani.” She answered lowly. “Anyways, which movie would like to see?” Swara asked. I didn’t say anything about Ishani or Sanskaar anymore. I don’t want to interfere in family matters. I shrugged, “Any good comedy movie. Wait, I have some in my room. Let me get it.” I said and stood up from my place and walked in my room. I kneed down and pull out a box from under my bed, it has all of my favorite movies in it. I started looking for some good comedy movie but, I couldn’t because now my mind was stuck on Ishani and— Sanskaar. I wonder how Ishani will feel on her birthdays when she’ll grow up, or what Sanskaar feels now— I know it must be extremely hard but, still Ishani deserves some happiness on her birthday. But, again who the hell am I to think about them? I’m nothing to them but just some stranger. God, I hate how I can’t get Ishani of my mind.
I chose some random comedy movie and walked out of my room. I was no longer in mood of watching any movie but, I don’t want to show Swara how upset I was. I don’t want her to question me and then think of how stupid I am to get attach to a kid I once met. When I walked out I heard her talking to someone. I entered the lounge to see her on phone. Her back was facing me so she didn’t know I was standing behind her. “Yes, I’m fine. Will you stop worrying?” She chuckled while brushing off the hair from her face. Laksh. I thought, it is definitely him. I don’t get Swara, even a blind person can tell that she’s head over heel into him. But, she’s too stubborn to accept it. Not even a single day passes by without her talking to Laksh or talking of Laksh. And Laksh— that guy is just crazy about her. She suddenly started laughing, “Oh my God, are you now? Poor Ishani.” She chuckled. Ishani? I suddenly alerted. What about her? My whole attention was on Swara and Laksh’s conversation. I know it’s bad to hear other conversations but, she mentioned Ishani and I had to know about that cute little munchkin. “Yeah, well she must be hungry or maybe sleepy. Why don’t you try to feed her?” Swara suggested. I mashed my lips together and slowly walked in front of her. She suddenly looked up and smiled.
“Who is it?” I acted unaware and sat beside her. In reply she mouthed, ‘Laksh’, I rolled my eyes and smiled. But actually inside I was dying to know what were they talking about Ishani. “Hey, why don’t you ask Ragini about it? She’s very good with kids. She can definitely help.” Swara said to Laksh. I frowned, is Ishani okay? I was now starting to get worried. “What?” I mumbled. Swara hand over her cellphone to me. “Here, please talk to Laksh. He is babysitting Ishani and she won’t stop crying. Sanskaar is in meeting—” she didn’t have to say more. I instantly put the phone over my ear. I was greeted by Ishani’s loud cry. I’m heart twisted— poor baby. “H-hey, Laksh. What happened?” I asked. “Hey Ragini, sorry I disturbed you but, Ishani just won’t stop crying. I tried to feed her some— uh, something Sanskaar left to feed her but, she’s not eating it. She’s not sleeping either, all she’s saying is ‘Da da da da’. I’m seriously —” he was rambling. I could tell he was also extremely worried.
“Did you check her diaper?” I cut him off. I have an instinct that she has dirtied her diaper. He didn’t answer for few second. “Uh— no. Why?” He hesitated. I rolled my eyes. Typical. “Laksh, check her diaper. She might soiled it.” I emphasized. “What do you mean?” I never thought Laksh would be this dumb. “Seriously Laksh, she might pooped or peed. Check it, she might need to be cleaned.” I said urgently. Ishani’s cries were getting unbearable for me. “How— how do I check it?” He stalled. “You don’t know how— never mind, have a little peck in her diaper see if it’s dirty.” I instructed. “What?! No, I’m not pecking in my niece’s diaper. No!” “For God sake Laksh, she’s a kid. She might not stop crying if you won’t do it.” I scolded him. “Okay listen, is your or Sanskaar’s secretary with you?” I asked.
She might help. “Uh— yes. Sanskaar’s secretary is here.” He answered. “Okay, then ask her to check Ishani’s diaper.” I suggested. “Never! Because it’s not her it’s him.” He snapped. I sighed and tightly close my eyes, some uncle Ishani has. “Then you have to do it, Laksh! She won’t stop crying otherwise.” I snapped back. “Urgh! Uh— okay. Okay, I’m — I’ll do it.” He sounded nervous. I waited for him to check, I was feeling extremely uncomfortable because all I could hear was Ishani’s cries. I felt a tap on my shoulder, I look around to see Swara standing behind me, “Why happened?” She mumbled worriedly. I sighed, “Nothing, Ishani might soiled her diaper and you boyfriend is making issue of it.” I replied lowly. She rolled her eyes, “He’s not my boyfriend.” She said in a whisper. “Seriously, don’t get me started.” I replied her. Before she could say anything I heard a horrified voice from the other side of the phone.
“Damn it! It’s full.” I knew it. “Oh God! It stinks. Ragini?! What to do? Damn it, I told Sanskaar to let me attend the meeting but, no!” He sounded horrified. He was panicking way too much over such a little issue, I wonder how he runs a company. “Relax, relax Laksh. You have to change it.” I said. “No! I can’t—” before he could protest further. I heard another voice from the background. “What are you doing, Laksh? Why is she crying?” Sanskaar sounded anxious. Thank God, he’s there. “Thank God, Sanskaar. She was crying so much. I tried to feed her but, she didn’t eat nor she slept. Ragini said she might have pooped and God, she was right. Clean her, Sanskaar. And get a babysitter!” He yelled at Sanskaar. I stayed quiet and kept hearing Laksh yelling at his older brother. It was like Laksh forget that I’m still on phone. Should I cut the call? I thought. “Wha— give her to me.” I heard Sanskaar and within a second Ishani stopped crying. “Are you alright, cupcake? Sorry, it took so long, honey.
Dada’s here.” I heard Sanskaar’s soothing mumbles. My heart clenched, such a good father he is. “Never in my whole life I’ve been through such situation. She was crying and crying and crying — I thought something happened to her. Thank God, Ragini was on call—” Silas was cut off short. “Who’s Ragini?” I heard Sanskaar. It was getting really awkward. Maybe I should cut the call — maybe not. Urgh, why am I hearing their conversation. I bit my lip and waited for Laksh response and Sanskaar’s response over Laksh’s response. “Hey! Is everything okay?” I heard Swara’s voice from behind. I jump a little and twirl my head to see her frowning, “Ishani’s okay?” She asked. Swara, couldn’t you wait for two seconds. “Uh— yeah. Here, Laksh’s on line.” I stood up from the couch and hand her over the cellphone. She sat down beside me and put her crutches on the floor, “Laksh? Laksh? Hey? Yeah she’s here. Oh okay.” She talked to Laksh. I walked towards where my DVD player was and started putting on the movie. “Hey, Ragini. Laksh’s saying thank you.” Swara said. I smiled and nodded my head. I’m confused, Does Sanskaar really don’t remember me?
Credit to: Liba Afaf