‘Sneha Nilayam‘ :
It was a cloudy day. Rukmini was busy in the kitchen preparing neyyappam. It was the first thing Sanvi asked for whenever she came to meet her grandparents.
Sanvi was a sweet little girl who turned 7 few days back. Every year she celebrates her birthday with her grandparents, Ramesh and Rukmini. But this time her father, Gireesh had an emergency operation to attend in his hospital. He was a heart surgeon. Hence they missed Sanvi’s birthday for the first time since she was born. But Gireesh promised to visit ‘Sneha Nilayam’ very soon along with Sanvi.
Rukmini finished all her chores and joined Ramesh who was sitting in the veranda reading Newspaper. Sanvi had called early in the morning saying she is coming to stay with them for a few days since she have some holidays coming back to back. Gireesh was very aware how much Rakesh and Rukmini loved Sanvi. To cover up their missed birthday celebrations, he decided to leave her with them for a few days.
They eagerly waited for the arrival of their son in law and grand daughter. Rukmini said, “I hope they reach before it rains.”
Seeing Gireesh’s car turning in the street, they got up and hurried towards the gate to welcome them.
The weather slowly started showing faces. Clouds turned darker.
Sanvi jumped out of the car and ran towards Ramesh and Rukmini. They hugged her tight and kissed on both her cheeks. Ramesh holded Sanvi’s hand and gestured everyone to get inside the house as it had already started raining.
As they moved to step inside, Sanvi loosened her hands from Ramesh’s and ran towards front yard to dance in the rain. The kid loved to do it every time.
Ramesh called her back. “Sanvi, come inside, see what your grandma has made for you.” He tried to divert her mind. But she didn’t listen to him. Meanwhile Rukmini went inside to bring towels.
“She loves rain. Whenever she gets a chance, she is excited to dance in the rain. It reminds me of Sneha…..” Gireesh tried to control his emotions.
Ramesh looked towards the sky and said,
“I hate rain Gireesh. It hurts to see raining everytime. Reminds me of those horrible days.
You know, Sneha was the happiest person in our house whenever the clouds showered rain on earth. We did not even imagine the flood coming over in our farthest dreams. We thought it was just rain and will stop at some point of time. But it was very late when we realised we were in danger.
We couldn’t get her inhaler, Gireesh. Sneha was a severe asthma patient. When water started entering the house, only thought that crossed our minds was to move upstairs for a day/two. Being a first time mother, Sneha’s focus was all on her one month old child.
It was our duty to take care of her. But we failed to be responsible parents. We missed to carry her inhaler while moving upstairs. We couldn’t save our child. We saw her….. “
He couldn’t finish his sentence. Tears rolled through his eyes. He and Rukmini were living with heaviest pain of life in their hearts.
Till the rescue team arrived, they had lost their daughter. Nobody to be blamed for the misfortune brought in by mother nature. The couple didn’t want to live either. But they had to think of Sanvi. She was the only hope that pushed them to survive the situation. Saving Sanvi’s life was the least thing they could do for Sneha’s soul to rest in peace.
Click here to read another short story : They faded away from her memory
Ramesh continued, “I fear the day when Sanvi will ask about her mother’s death. Will she ever love rain once we tell her about those incidents? Will she ever love us if she come to know that her grandparents couldn’t save her mother’s life?”
Gireesh stood in silence. He was a person who saved lives of people everyday in his hospital. That day when his beloved wife died struggling for breath, he was saving another life away from the city. His heart sank for a while.
He turned towards the kid, “Sanvi, come inside. Enough.”
“Daddy and grandpa, see how good it feels to play in rain. Why should I come inside?”
Because….. the rain hurts –
Their hearts whispered together.
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