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The empty room

Our reader Anannya Mukherji on her sister-in-law.

sex and relationships Updated: Jan 14, 2009 16:33 IST
Hindustan Times

She came to our house four years ago as my brother’s young, innocent bride. Her wonderful smile and hardworking nature soon endeared her to all of us. She was a nursery school teacher and loved children. She had been married for a year. She wanted to have a baby.

Various tests
But unfortunately she couldn’t conceive. She went through various tests but they didn’t yield results. Finally she opted for invitro-fertilisation. She went through an endless round of investigations. She was hospitalised a couple of times. But she never complained. Finally she conceived. She was advised bed rest. Being away from her school kids didn’t dampen her spirits. After all, she would have her own baby soon.

No movement
Her baby had reached its full term. The doctor was relaxed now. So were all of us. She could feel it kicking around. Just a few days before Diwali when everything seemed fine, suddenly she felt that the baby had stopped moving. She was rushed to the hospital for an emergency Caesarian. The baby was breathtakingly beautiful but it couldn’t breathe. We couldn’t believe this. Even before she could touch or feel her son, he was whisked away to the ICU.

Her tears
A day after that, its lungs gave way completely. It was heart -wrenching to look at the empty crib and the baby clothes being packed away. I couldn’t bear to see tears streaming down my sister-law’s face. A few days later, she composed herself and even managed to look into our eyes with a hint of a smile. I often wonder why life had to be so cruel to such a nice person.

First Published: Jan 14, 2009 16:30 IST