Sana took the soft cottage cheese from the thick creamy batter and dipped it in the hot oil. Her mind wandered to those lovely days when she first met Suri.
He had given her a bouquet of wild flowers but she was too surprised to take it from a stranger. She had run away that day but he never gave up on her. He would be there without fail on her college gate with those bouquets every day and Sana gradually gave in after a month. Months passed and though their love bloomed, she could not convince her orthodox parents on Suri. Then one day they eloped and registered their marriage.
After she was done with making his favorite fritters she set them in a white porcelain plate. Next she prepared some mint chutney, poured them in a small bowl and placed it in the middle of those lip-smacking crispy delights. Sana carefully tucked the end of her elegant saree in her waist, carefully avoiding the small scar that hasn’t healed yet. Her hair was tied into a neat bun and a pinch of vermilion adorned not only the parting of her hair but unknown to her, sprinkles of it had fallen on her nose as well.
She felt refreshed and looked radiant today. A little bump could be seen through her synthetic saree. After two unsuccessful pregnancies, she was pregnant again, after a gap of seven years. The doctor had asked her to be careful. She tries not to think about the previous occasions. On previous similar incidents they were more than pleased and happily consulted the gynecologist. But as three happy months passed, the doctor was bribed*, and an ultrasound conducted on her each time.
They had waited to see if the mail would read Barbie or Spiderman. Both times it was the pink colored flowing font that had popped up. But the reactions were different both the times. During the first time he had cursed his wife and beat her up with a cane. And on the second occasion he got hold of her by one hand and taking the lit cigarette he had punched it deeply into her waist and bringing his dreadful face close to her had said, “You bitch, you cannot give me a son. I should have taken heed to my mother’s advice. Should never have married you at the first place. I thought your father would forget everything once we are married and transfer his property in your name”. Her mouth opened wide at the last line he just spoke. Was she dreaming? No, it was real. He had just said that. He left hold of her and immediately covered up by changing the topic. But she slipped into a state of shock. He had then dragged her to the hospital. They had taken the bumpy road in the public transport. He had made her stand the entire journey. Her husband had a little chat with the doctor and she was taken into a cold room, general anesthesia was induced in her body. After she regained her senses, she felt her tummy sink in. A drop of tear passed without anyone’s notice. She signed a form in agreement to the doctor’s examination stating that it was a therapeutic abortion.
All of their friends and relatives had interfered and Suri and Sana met a counselor. Everything changed for the better. It took time but it paid off. Suri was a different man altogether, he took care of his wife and he even started decorating his child’s room, they haven’t even conceived. Sana was assured that they were ready for the baby now.
Here she was four months into pregnancy. She took the fritters and slipped it on the computer table. Suri was checking his mail. He looked at her happily and took a bite at the snack. They then headed towards the unborn baby’s room. They had continued to furnish the room and huge posters of happy babies adorned the wall. They kept the color of the walls white. It was difficult making arrangements without knowing the gender of the baby, and so they chose bright colored soft toys. An orange colored carrot hung from the wooden baby cradle. Some glow in the dark stickers made place on the ceiling. One cabinet was filled with baby accessories. Everything was done, but they were stuck at one place. The wardrobe cannot be filled right now. “Its fine, we can do the shopping after the baby is born”, Suri said. “Take some rest, I will bring you a glass of milk. ”He left for the kitchen saying that.
Sana went to her room, loosened her hair and slowly laid herself on one side of the bed. She forgot to tell Suri to put in a few strands of saffron in the milk. “Saffron will lighten the baby’s complexion”, her mother had said. She got up and walked towards the kitchen.
She heard Suri talking on his phone, “Yes, it’s a girl again, let me see what I can do”. He hung up the phone and added some rat poison in the milk gave it a stir and put it on a tray.
* Prenatal sex determination & sex selective abortion 's are illegal in India.