Karthik rushed his wife, Pramila, to the hospital as she felt uncomfortable and wondered if it was time. But, she felt at ease after reaching the hospital. The doctor informed that they need to admit her and she might deliver any moment. The doctor also asked Karthik to inform his closest relatives, in case they want to be there when the child is born. The doctor was Pramila’s friend. So, she took all the extra care and allowed them to get people, which is usually not the way these hospitals function.
Within a few hours, Pramila’s parents reached the city and came directly to the hospital. Karthik was too exhausted because he handled everything alone, until then. He told her parents that he would wait outside in the lobby and take a quick nap. He hardly got time to sit in the last few hours because of the false alarms that Pramila has raised repeatedly.
Karthik walked away from the maternity ward to the lobby area where posh sofas have been neatly arranged with a good view of the television set. Karthik was not at all interested, even to watch his favorite team playing the cricket match. He was not at all happy with the way in which Pramila handled the situation in the past few days. He tried his best to make things easier for her. Despite that, she has been irksome and constantly shouted at him. He thought that he needed a break. He has been eagerly waiting for this day when his kid would be born. But, Pramila has ruined the entire experience by constantly bickering and arguing with him. He wondered if she really loved him. Why would she be so rude with him if she really loved him, he thought.
He tried taking a quick nap by sitting on the sofa. But, the constant ringing of mobile phones and people shouting at each other disturbed him and he could not sleep. He always needed silence to sleep around. He tried plugging in his ear phones to listen to some loud music and get some sleep. That did not help him either.
His mother-in-law asked him to go home and get some rest. But, he was pretty sure that his wife, Pramila, would get angry if he left her parents alone at the hospital.
He sat there and thought about the wonderful days when they were in love with each other before the topic of marriage came up. He wished Pramila realized her mistake and changed again.
As he was lost in thought, a small girl who might be around the age of eight came to him and started speaking to him.
The small girl said, “Don’t go anywhere. Please be here. I’m coming. Mama needs you. She will not be happy if you leave her and go now. Don’t listen to people who call you to come urgently. Please be here.”
Before he could respond by saying anything, the little girl ran away. More than her words, it is her features that surprised Karthik. He immediately took out his mobile phone and browsed the photos album. He went to the childhood pictures album. He was right when he saw that little girl. She resembled him in his childhood and his mother in her childhood. The features are remarkably similar. This cannot be a coincidence, he thought. He thought there might some other woman who resembled his mother in the hospital. He ran around in the hospital to find the girl. He could not find her anywhere.
Karthik got tired searching for the girl. He immediately called his mother and told her that he saw a girl who looked just like her. His mother laughed and said that he is too anxious to have a baby and any baby might look like her or Pramila. Karthik’s father asked him he was drunk or if he was hallucinating.
Karthik was pretty sure and remembered the girl’s words exactly.
After a few minutes, Karthik got a call on his mobile phone from one of his colleagues, Meera.
Meera said, “Hey Karthik. Did I disturb you? I need your help.”
Karthik said, “No, you didn’t disturb me. But, I’m not sure if I can be of any help. I’m in the hospital and my wife can give birth to my kid at any moment.”
Meera said, “That’s wonderful news. I wish you all the best. Is she in the delivery ward already? I mean, is she in the last stages of delivery? I’m sorry I don’t know how to ask these questions. These things are new to me, you know.”
Karthik laughed and said, “That’s alright. She is fine for now. She did not go to the delivery ward yet. But, she has had some pains a few minutes ago.”
Meera heaved a sigh of relief and said, “If she is fine for now, it might take some more time. My house is very near to the hospital. Can you quickly come and help me with this important presentation? I need to present it tomorrow. I have taken some of your work after you applied for paternity leave for these two weeks. I’m feeling clueless. Can you please try and come and guide me for a few minutes?”
For a moment, Karthik remembered the words of the little girl who told him not to go anywhere.
Karthik said, “I’d love to help you as you are doing my work. But, let me check with the doctor. If the doctor says that there is time, I’ll try and come. I’ll call you back in a few minutes.”
Karthik went and met the doctor and asked her about Pramila’s situation. He also checked if he could step out for an hour or two. The doctor said, “You can go. There should not be any problem. I don’t think she is there yet. We might have to wait for six more hours. But, again, these are just guesses. It can happen any moment. So, I’ll leave it to you to decide.”
Karthik felt glad he could step out. But, the girl who came and told him troubled him. He was terribly confused and hated this dilemma. Unable to decide, he thought he will wait for a few minutes. He quickly fell asleep.
Karthik had a dream.
In his dream, he went to Meera’s place to help her. Meera mixed some drug in the coffee she offered for him. He felt very drunk after that and he slept with Meera. His mobile phone was on silent mode. It kept ringing again and again. His father in law tried calling him saying that Pramila was ready for delivery and she asked for him. But, Karthik did not pick the call. Karthik woke up after four hours and he hated himself for being in a compromising position with Meera. He quickly rushed to the hospital. Though he was happy to see the baby, Pramila was angry on him and started shouting at him.
Karthik suddenly got disturbed from his sleep as someone’s mobile phone rang. Karthik hated this nightmare. He never wanted to do anything like that to his wife. He called Meera and said, “Hey Meera. I had a word with the doctor. She said that Pramila might be ready any moment now. So, I’m sorry I cannot come now. You can call up Satish or Hemant and seek their help.
A few minutes later, his father-in-law came running to the lobby saying that Pramila started getting labour pains. Karthik was terribly anxious But, he felt glad that he did not go to Meera’s house to help her.
After an hour, Pramila delivered a baby girl who resembled Karthik and his mother.
When he saw his baby for the first time and held her in his arms, he could not believe his luck. He would not trade this experience for anything else in this world, he thought. He kissed the baby on her forehead and thanked her for telling him not to go anywhere.
After all the anger and depression all these days, Pramila smiled at him and said, “I always wanted you to be the first one to see the baby. Look at her nose. She resembles you and she is so beautiful. I’m sorry for the anger all these days. And, thanks a lot for keeping up with me all these days. You are the best husband any woman can ever get.”
Karthik could not believe the gifts his daughter bought with her. As she grew up, Karthik felt happy his daughter resembled his mother.
Eight years after her birth, one day, his daughter came to him and said, “Thank you for listening to me. I’m happy that God listened to my prayers.” She never talked so weird, before or after that.
Immediately, Karthik got a call from Hemant. In a very anxious tone, Hemant said, “Can you please help me find a lawyer? My wife wants a divorce. You remember the day when your kid was born. I went to help Meera. I don’t know what happened to me. But, I ended up sleeping with Meera and my wife came to know about that. She is not able to forgive me for that even today after so many years. We have been fighting on this topic every day. Instead of fighting, we decided to break up. ”
Karthik thanked God and his daughter for not keeping him in that situation. He realized that his daughter traveled back in time to save the marriage of her parents.