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Shagun was busy arranging the breakfast table as Prem got ready to leave for office. Meenakshi devi was busy with her prayers as she paused to call out to Shagun that she should not forget to prepare fruit salad for Divya. Divya was Shagun 's sister in law who had come home for her first delivery. Shagun ran to the kitchen and back as she laid the table in haste. "My coffee Shagun ",called out Prem as she came from the kitchen carrying his cup of coffee. She rushed to the kitchen to answer her phone which was ringing for quite some time. Prem was almost done with his breakfast when Shagun came and told him that she wanted to go to her parent's house as her mother wanted her to help while selecting sarees for her would be bhabhi. With a cold face Prem said "ok, I will pick you up in the evening."Shagun's lips were only half way to smile when her mother in law interupted, "how can you keep going here and there in such a condition. It is not safe for you and the child. It is better you stay home. This is a very crucial time for you. "Yes, Shagun was also five months pregnant, but seldom did the people of her house realised the same. "But maa I am going to my own home, my mom will definitely take care of me,"pleaded Shagun. " It's ok maa, it's a matter of a few hours, don't worry," Prem clarified as his mother hesitantly nodded in consent. Shagun's joy knew no limits as she enjoyed all the attention, love, care and pampering at her parent's place. She had her favourite food, took rest, chatted and laughed her heart out. It was evening now, Prem was about to come to pick her up. Shagun got ready and made Prem 's favourite cup of coffee. She was waiting in the lawn outside when she accidentally stepped on a water hose, slipped and fell unconscious.
Shagun found herself on the hospital bed when she regained consciousness. She felt incomplete, shattered and agonised when she learnt about her miscarriage. She cried out in pain. Prem too looked pained, sad and somewhat angry too. Meenakshi devi entered the room, only to console her son and blame his wife for the unfortunate incident. "I told you in the morning not to go out, but who cares, it's all because of your stubborn nature that I have lost my grand child today , "she said in disgust pointing out towards Shagun and her parents who stood helpless by their daughter's side. Shagun was taken aback . Not only her in laws, even her husband was not ready to sympathise with her. She felt like an accused victim. She was the one who had suffered this great loss but nobody seemed to bother, instead she was accused and blamed for the same.
Days passed, the arrogance continued and life went on sluggishly. Time and again meenakshi devi would remind her that she was the one responsible for the baby's loss.
Vidya gave birth to a baby boy and there were celebrations all around. Shagun consoled herself with the baby, tried to pacify her emotions and forget her misfortune, but only if people would allow her to do so. She overheard a neighbour talking to her mother in law, feeling sorry about her miscarriage. To this meenakshi devi replied "It's only because of the apshagun (she addressed Shagun as apshagun ie badluck ) of my house that I have lost my grand child. She did not take care of herself, despite my disapproval she went here and there and killed my grand child. "Shagun could not control her tears and ran to her room. She was totally broken. Prem entered and found his wife in despair, on asking she narrated every thing. Prem stood like a stone unaffected by her tears and sorrow, instead he said, "maa is not wrong completely. She said so in the love of the baby. She is always so concerned about us. "Shagun could not hold it any more. "Concerned! she is concerned about you, not us, she never was. Where was this so called concern when I was doing all the household chores single handedly in my pregnancy? Where was this concern when you all took me to the wedding in your native village, that long journey on those uneven roads? Where was thisconcern when maa would stealthily feed dry fruits to her daughter? Where was this concern when you called your colleagues for dinner and there was nobody to help me out? Tell me where was this concern? You people were not aware of my condition, who took care of me"? She screamed in anger. "My miscarriage was just an accident, that's it, and I am the victim , the sufferer. I have lost a part of me, can't you see ", she said as tears drenched her face and her legs seemed to loose all the strength. Prem held her shoulders , made her sit and gave her a glass of water. He remained silent as usual, didnot utter a word.
Shagun was back to her normal routine, she looked fine but her heart bleeded and her silent eyes spoke a thousand words . But.,hold on, behind the dark clouds of her fate, she could clearly see the silver lining. Gradually the darkness was disappearing and the sunlight was quite evident with all its brightness and warmth. Prem was transforming. He had started caring for her like never before. He tried to heal her wounds with not only love but also respect.
Months passed and Shagun was expecting once again. The couple was extremely happy and hopeful. Meenakshi devi (she just won't let us ignore her )sarcastically instructed "take good care of my grand child atleast this time" , "definitely maa " Prem replied "she will definitely take care of the baby, after all its our baby "he added. "We have to take really good care of Shagun this time", he promisingly announced. Shagun was overwhelmed with joy. Prem held Shagun's hand firmly between his palms when a pearl fell from her eye and sealed this bond of love till the eternity.
Hold my hand, stand by me,
let's talk us, let's be we.