‘Which idiot is calling me at midnight?’, I yelled and opened the front door, eyes half closed and half opened. The huge figure wrapped in a big sari, the lady in the opposite house was there and I rubbed my eyes to make sure that it was not a dream. Damsels from heaven used to appear in my dreams earlier but of late, only negative feminine characters of Ramayana are visiting me in sleep. But this is not a dream, it is real. I’m awake!
‘Meera, eami sangathi ? You? In this midnight? What is the matter?’, I muttered, giving respect to her gender and age.
‘Pada, take me to the Saibaba maternity home’, she ordered in her hoarse voice.
‘Santhosha vartha meeru naakku cheppalaeaethae’. Oh, congrats! You didn’t give me the happy news earlier ‘
I looked at her middle part but was difficult to gauge whether she was pregnant or not as the entire front portion looked like a vadu mangai bharani, the pickle storage barrel, covered with a color cloth.
‘Not me, my daughter in law Ramalakshmi. Jeldi randi. come fast’.
I pleaded my helplessness . ‘ I’m not a doctor, not even a midwife, in what way I am going to be useful to your DIL?
I have never delivered a baby ’
‘You can make it happen. You have an obligation, nay responsibility, my Rama says.
‘Obligation, responsibility, my God, what am I hearing! I was shocked. ‘upon God, I’m telling you, I have no obligation, no responsibility. I’m totally innocent, harmless, came here just a couple of months ago, friends m USA . I was away for the whole last year’
‘Don’t tell me stories. ‘I want SP, I want now’, says my daughter in law’
‘But, for her I was uncle, while in good moods or thatha while in not-that – good mood. She never used to call me SP’
‘You too call me SP?’
‘She is waiting for you, carrying a baby ready to come out, which will happen, the moment you land there. You have to make that happen’.
Putting a shirt on, I followed her reluctantly.
‘Uncle, I’m in a critical position,’ Rama was in tears.
‘ It is going to be Caesarian for me. My husband wants my baby to be a boy and he has gone to Tirupathy seeking Lord Venkateswara’s help. The doctor has posted my case for tomorrow morning and I need 40k before 8am.. I have my husband’s two ATM cards but don’t know the passwords. . I know two passwords but the relevant cards are not with me. The moment my husband is back, your money will be returned ‘
‘If the Baby happens to be a girl again and your husband in utter dejection goes back to Tirupathy, what will you do?’ asked the old lady.
Wrong question in wrong time, which deserved no reply. But, the daughter in law had a reply, which shook me to my roots.
‘Shut up, mom. I’m sure my next baby will be a male and I know that SP will make it happen ‘.
While I was standing stunned without knowing what to say, Rama asked, ‘SP, will you please go home and get your ATM card? There is an ATM center right across the road’.
‘SP will make it happen’, assured the mother and asked the riksha wallah to take me home and bring me back safely.
‘And come again tomorrow morning with sweets to bless the baby, your baby!’, the mother -to-be-soon again ordered, while I was coming out.
‘My baby?’, I turned back and asked, anger unavoidably reddening my query.
‘We too are your babies, SP’, hailed happily both the wise women!
‘You too, my baby, madam?’, I turned my sharp eyes towards the obese old lady .
‘Me too’, she declared clearly, loudly and vehemently .
My doubts are cleared. I can make anything to happen!