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A Time to Mend-contd

by Eva Bell
(Bangalore)

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A few months later, when Romi announced her blessed state to Jatin, he all but collapsed with surprise. But there was not much he could do. He had bragged about his potency to Romi, and sworn to his mother that he was not at fault. There was no way he could back track now. He was a prisoner of his own lie.
“I thought you wanted a family very much,” said Romi. “But now that I’m pregnant, you don’t seem too happy about it.”
“Of course I am, darling,” he said, without a trace of enthusiasm. “I’m looking forward to becoming a father.”

Romi knew that he was baffled.
“Could she have taken a lover,” Jatin wondered. “How else could this have happened? How will I ever know? What a coward I am, not to come clean and take her into confidence!”

Plagued by doubts and suspicions, Jatin barely spoke to Romi. She knew pretty soon, a private investigator was trailing her. The guy was a novice, and stuck out like a sore thumb. Romi smiled at his amateur attempts to hide, whenever she looked directly at him. What made Jatin’s life even more unbearable was the happiness of his mother. She just could not do enough for Romi. The tastiest dishes were painstakingly made for her. Mrs. Das fussed over her, and attended to her every need.

Romi gave birth to a beautiful girl. Jatin kept up the semblance of a doting father. But inwardly, he was being consumed by doubts and fears. Romi bided her time for about three months. Then one day, she abruptly announced, “Jatin, I’m leaving you.

I can’t keep up the pretense that ours is an ideal family. Not for your sake or for your mother’s. This way, we’ll only end up hating each other. I need a break.”
"But the child?” he asked.
“What of the child?” she challenged.

Jatin turned away before she could see him wince.
Mrs. Das couldn’t stay away from her grandchild.
“None of this foolishness between you both can prevent me from enjoying her company,” she said.

She insisted that the child be called Parinita, Pari for short. She brought back glowing reports of the child’s milestones, after each visit. Jatin listened silently. Inside was the terrible pain of rejection.
“But the fault is mine alone,” he thought. “I and my stupid ego. If only I had unburdened myself to Romi!”

It took a whole year, before Jatin could summon up the courage to call on Romi.
“I’m sorry. I wasn’t honest with you. I guess it was my stinking pride. Or was it cowardice? I can’t live without you. You’re the only one I love. The child needs a father, and I’m offering myself for the job. She will be ours.”

“But you’ll still have doubts. You’ll still keep wondering who fathered the child. You’ll start doubting every casual encounter of mine, with other men. Wouldn’t that destroy even the memory of the good times we’ve had together?”
“No, I won’t ask any questions. I want you home only on your conditions.”

“I’m glad you’ve learnt your lesson, Jatin. I am just one of the many millions of women, who suffer because of cowards like you. But I’m not stupid enough to send you away, because I love you too. There is a time to be angry, and a time to mend. Frankly, I don’t know who the father is, and I’m not bothered about finding out. She was conceived with the help of a sperm bank, and it should make no difference to our relationship, if we mean so much to each other.”

The End

Comments for A Time to Mend-contd

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Apr 27, 2013
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Masala with Real Info
by: Kiran Jhamb

Very well told. I think this story should be translated into different regional languages and be adapted into a teleplay also.

Dec 09, 2012
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A Time to Mend
by: Pushpa Raghram

"Infertility problems" Still a taboo topic for many millions of couples has been dealt with candidly but delicately.

The story is educative and it has been written with in the frame work of our customs and culture.

Thanks Mrs. Bell for sharing the story with us.

Mar 02, 2012
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Nice read..
by: Anonymous

Insights from medical arena and the creativity made this a naturally gripping piece

Jan 10, 2012
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A good time-line
by: Radha Bantwal

Eva, I liked the way you took us through different stages of this couple's relationship - college romance, early days of marriage, the pain when a serious problem rips them apart and then the reconciliation.

Jan 09, 2012
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A Time to Mend
by: Sneha

I was missing your writings, Eva. I chanced upon some of your previously written short stories and loved the newness of theme. I really feel you have an almost healing touch (understandable as you are a doctor) to the plot.

Jan 07, 2012
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A Time To Mend
by: Eva Bell

Thank you Lakshmi Bhat for your comments. I'm glad you liked the story.

Jan 05, 2012
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Well written story
by: Lakshmi M Bhat

I liked your story very much. Yes couples draw away from each other and usually it is because they do not talk to each other.
Most of the problems in any relationship is due to lack of communication.
Thanks for a nice story.
Lakshmi

Jan 04, 2012
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informative
by: vimala ramu

Informative as well as authentic and interesting as only you as a doctor can do.

Jan 04, 2012
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A Time To Mend.
by: Eva Bell

Thank you Mr. Mathur for reading the story and taking time to comment on it.

Jan 04, 2012
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A Time To Mend
by: Eva Bell

Thank you Geethashree for your encouraging comments.

Jan 04, 2012
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Good
by: Jitendra Mathur

A simple but impressive story. The novelty factor is missing, yet the effort and the result is highly laudable.

Hearty compliments.

Jitendra Mathur

Jan 03, 2012
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As always...
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

Enjoyed reading your story which is educative as well as informative and supplements the Health Article on Infertility.

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