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Naina was unable to save her and saw her baby die in front of her eyes. “Good, it happened early. It was a girl anyway,” said her mother-in-law.
It was already eight in the morning and Naina was trying to finish her daily chores at a speed that can only be described as Super Sonic. Though her maid was helping her clean the house, cut the vegetable and do the dishes, Naina still had a lot on her plate.
Dr. Naina Pradhan, the mother of a toddler, was a successful paediatrician who ran her own neonatal care unit near their house. While she got ready her thoughts still lingered around the premature girl born in her ward. The girl was supposed to be operated upon that day.
She looked at the wall clock and hurried even more, ‘I need to rush, have to be there before 9,’ she murmured. And as she increased her speed she realised she had to get her child to school too. Her husband and mother-in-law were up and sitting in the living room watching the early morning news.
Once she finished all her chores, she decided to take her two-wheeler to the clinic and managed to reach just in time. She rushed to her chamber and opened baby Ayushi’s file. ‘Ayushi… the one with a long life.’ she whispered to herself.
The baby who was to be operated upon that day was a premature one. Her mother had gone into labour immediately after the godbharai ritual in the seventh month of her pregnancy.
Little Ayushi was just one kilo when she was born, neither were her vital organ well developed- including her lungs. She had an impaired respiratory system and weak kidneys. All this contributed in making her survival a little difficult.
Ayushi’s father was extremely nervous and worried since he had to arrange a huge amount of money for all the surgeries the baby needed for her survival. Her mother was still bedridden, very weak due to prolonged labours and anxiety.
She could not sleep for the nights and cursed herself for not taking good care when the baby was still in her stomach. Ayushi’s family wanted to speak to Dr. Naina urgently.
“Ladki ke liye kyun itne paise de rahe ho?” (why are you spending so much on a girl child?) Naina remembered her mother-in-law’s words. She had been in similar situation 5 years ago when her own premature daughter was born.
Even with her experience and skill set, Naina was unable to save her and saw her baby die in front of her eyes.
“Good, it happened early. It was a girl anyway,” said her mother-in-law.
Naina was shattered and depressed. Her husband, the director of a company, never argued with his mother. He kept mum on the death of his daughter which hurt Naina the most.
Naina did not fight with her family and somewhere accepted God’s decision. She delivered a baby boy a couple of years later and her family was elated.
With Ayushi’s file in her hands, Naina was lost in her past. She knew that baby Ayushi’s family won’t be coming forward to spend money on her surgeries. They probably would plead her to let the baby pass away peacefully.
Naina had seen this with many patients- a number them highly educated or belonging to prestigious families. Ayushi’s parents were neither educated did nor did they surplus money to spare, least of all, for a baby girl.
“Madam, may I come in?” knocked Ayushi’s father.
“Yes, please. Is there anything you want to say? We need to proceed faster,” Naina hurriedly told him. She was sure of their intentions.
“We will take some more time to arrange money. Please do not delay the surgery. I sold my small house in the village and will get the money by next week,” Ayushi’s father told her.
“This is some amount we could manage by selling my jewellery. My real goddess Laxmi is my granddaughter” said Ayushi’s grandmother.
“Ayushi’s mother needs some rest she is at my daughter’s place. She will join us immediately after the surgery,” the nine-yard saree clad woman added.
“Ayushi will survive, madam. She has to! Daughters come only to those who deserve and I am fortunate amongst them. I can earn money later in my life but can never get Ayushi back.” the baby’s father was in tears. “Madam, aap paison ki chinta mat karo. Meri beti ko bachao.” (don’t worry about the money. Please just save my daughter)
Naina was stunned and speechless. She’d just realised that education doesn’t make you a better person or ‘modern.’ Her heart ached for her lost daughter and she was ashamed of her so-called high class family.
Naina rushed to the operation theatre with her team and performed four complicated surgeries for close to three hours. Ayushi was under observation for the next 72 hours and she had already begun showing improvement. She moved her finger and Naina wiped her tears with satisfaction.
“Your Ayushi will survive. You were right, you are the Chosen One, with whom the girl will remain safe.” Said Naina to Ayushi’s Dad.
Ayushi’s parents were crying together near her crib. Her grandmother was praying for faster recovery.
“This is for Ayushi whose family broke social barriers.” Naina murmured as she paid Ayushi’s medical bills.
Picture credits: Pexels
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