“Didi, vo-voh mele mama hai. Mujhe bhut malte hai. Voh bhut bule hai. Sabh bhut bule hai. Sabh malte hai. Mujhe vaha ni jana didi.. mujhe bhut dal lagta hai. (He’s my uncle and he beats me a lot. He’s very bad. Everyone is bad. I don’t want to go with him, I’m afraid.)” The girl was sitting between Mukti and Nandini in the car’s backseat. She was telling them about that person who was beating her. She was sobbing badly and rubbing her eyes with knuckles. They were looking at her sadly with teary eyes.
“Your Mama will be punished and now you will not live with him. You will live with me. There nobody will harm you.” Nandini reassured her, wiping her tears. The girl was looking at Nandini innocently.
“Right, didu?” She asked, looking at Mukti. The girl looked at Mukti and she nodded at that girl, caressing her face.
“Sachi mein kya aap mujhe vaha nhi bhejoge? (Really! Won’t you send me there?)” The little asked in disbelief. First, she looked at Nandini then turned her face to Mukti. They both nodded their head.
“Thank you, didi.. aap bhut achi ho.” The little girl smiled and hugged Nandini. Nandini also smiled, hugging her back. Nandini and Mukti were happy now, seeing the girl happy.
“You didn’t tell us your name. What’s your name ?” Nandini asked, raising her eyebrows after breaking the hug.
“Mishti.” She cutely told her name to them. Then they both told their name to her. They tried to cheer up the girl by cracking jokes.
Abhi came back after few minutes. He told them that police has arrested that bastard. He also glanced at Mishti sadly who was now sleeping, putting her head on Nandini’s lap. Nandini was caressing her hair.
“How can anybody beat the little girl like this. I am feeling so sad. I am feeling like crying, seeing her condition.” Nandini said in a sad tone, looking at the girl. Abhi and Mukti also looked at her, dejected. Abhi took a deep breath and started the car.
Abhi stopped the car in front of their house and said, “you both go inside and I will drop the girl in NGO.”
Mukti and Nandini were looking at him shockingly.
“No, jiju. Mishti will live with us.” Nandini said, looking at Abhi and Mukti also nodded while now Abhi was looking at them in shock.
“Are you both crazy? This girl can’t live with us. There are so many NGOs for these girls. She will live there.” Abhi tried to argue with them, forgetting that they both were pregnant and they would not going to listen to him.
“No, Abhi jiju. She will live with us. I won’t let her go anywhere.” Nandini said stubbornly and Abhi looked at Mukti with pleading eyes to make Nandini understand.
“Abhi, we promised Mishti that she would live with us now. Please, let her live with us.” Mukti pleaded and Nandini also pleaded, joining her hands cutely “please.. jiju.” Abhi shook his head in disbelief. He agreed because he couldn’t handle them more. He thought to talk about this with Manik because only he could make his pregnant wife and his sister understand.
“Hubby, when will you come back? Your baby is missing you so much.” Nandini was standing at the balcony and talking to Manik on phone. Inside her room, Mishti was sleeping.
“Missing you more, baby. I am just on the way. First, tell me, did you eat anything?” He asked in cornered tone and she smiled like always seeing that how much her hubby cared for her.
“Hubby, don’t worry. Your baby is going to become Mumma. She will never take of herself because you are there for her but she will always take care of her chotu baby.” Manik was smiling proudly, listening to her words. She was right, she was ready to take the responsibility of a mother.
“Now cut the phone because You are driving and it’s dangerous.” She asked him to cut the phone and Manik chuckled softly.
“Wait wait..” he was just about to hang up the call but stopped listening to her words.
“Come fast. I want to make you meet someone.” Saying this, she disconnected the call and made Manik confused with her words.
Manik stepped into the room excitedly. He was going to meet his baby after seven hours which were like seven ages for him. He wanted to spend every second of his life with his baby. The happiness to meet his baby was visible on his face. But the next moment his facial expression changed from happy to confused, seeing the unknown kid who was sleeping on his and his baby bed. He became angry because this bed was only belonged to him and his baby. Nobody was allowed to sleep there except them.
He heard the voice of opening of washroom’s door. He turned and saw Nandini, coming to him. He strode to her, taking long steps and opened his mouth to ask about the girl but Nandini stopped him.
“Sh… she will wake up.” She murmured, putting her forefinger on his lips and pointed her eyes at Mishti. The next moment, she took him on the balcony, holding his hand.
“What? You want to keep this girl with us in our house. No way..” This was Manik’s reaction when Nandini told him the whole story. He freaked out and denied it. Nandini made a cute puppy face.
“Baby, your heart is so pure and innocent. I can understand that you want to help her and it’s good. But there are so many other girls in this world like her. We can’t bring them to our house. There are NGOs for these girls.” Manik explained her calmly, clasping her face. She was still looking at him pleadingly.
“Hubby, she is scared. She needs me. I promised her that I would keep her with us. Hubby, please, for me.” She requested, putting her hand on his face while Manik became angry because she wasn’t understanding him.
“She will not leave with us. You have to listen to me this time.” Manik growled in dominating tone, holding Nandini’s arms. She felt like crying seeing his anger. Because of pregnancy, she was becoming more sensitive.
“Hubby, Why.. why are you getting angry ?” She asked in shock because, for the first, she was seeing the real anger in his eyes. His eyes were spitting fire.
“Because you are bringing that girl in between us. You made her sleep on our bed which belongs to us. She is no one to take what’s mine. You are my Baby. Your love is only mine. I can’t share you with her. She is no one.” Manik said, pulling her toward himself. He was becoming over-possessive for her. For the first time, Nandini was seeing his over possessiveness for her. His behaviour shocked her. She became blank for a moment. She didn’t expect this kind of reaction from him.
She shuttered, “Hubby, wha-wha-what are you saying? I just want to help that girl. I didn’t know that you would get so hurt by this. And.. will you-will you not share me with our chotu baby also?” She asked disappointedly, putting her hand on her belly and taking few steps backwards.
“Don’t compare that garbage with our baby.” Manik shouted raising his forefinger at her, making her more shocked. She stared at him in utter disbelief. For the time Manik’s anger was overpowering his love because he was over possessive for her. This was happening because for the first his baby was bringing some else in between them.
“How could you call that little girl Garbage, hubby?” She asked in a disbelief tone and tears brimmed in her eyes. Manik averted his face on the other side because he couldn’t see tears in her eyes.
“What happened to you, hubby? You never behaved like this before.” She asked in a crying tone and made him look at her, holding his face.
“Because you never brought anyone in between us until today.” He answered her, looking directly into her eyes.
“I can’t share you with anyone except our kids.” He stated after cupping her face, wiping her tears with his thumbs. He walked out from there, leaving her alone because he didn’t want to hurt her more with his words. He knew that he was hurting her but his mind was not in his control. His possessiveness was overpowering him. Nandini was standing there in shock, having tears in her eyes. She never thought that one day she would have to see his this face also.
What do you think, is Manik’s behaviour right?