Sh se Shatabdi
Akka went into labor at 8 ish Friday evening, in fact she responded to II's text from Shatabdi
"I made stuffed baby eggplant" "Do u want to eat here tonight?" :P
"its has ur fave fennel seeds in it"
"SEND SOME TO ME" II texted "I am running out of paper listing all the things u owe me"
"I better go sit down my lower back is hurting" Akka muttered groaning
"DO TO A DOCTOR" II texted
"Podi!! BTW ur Cas lock key is froxb" she said unable to type (frozen)
"See u are in so much pain" I am calling Athim"
"Please do... he is so hapy with car, he will even beat me up for free" Akka responded with with losing energy
II leaned on the window and stared out, the coach was choc a block, yet she scanned to make sure there were no creepy group of men
she texted Sam "all Hindi or all Tamil"
"All Tamil songs bhi chalega" "Many of them at the call center are from Kanataka and Andhra, some from TN"
"I dont know any Kannada songs" Ii responded
"DO DIN HAIN, Seekho" Sam ordered
"ayyo... u sound just like my Amma"
"she tells me u dont practice and I must be on ur tail"
"I had the boys last Sunday, no two Sundays ago... so I went to my class, last week I couldnt because I was working" II texted defensively
"Not good enough" Sam said sternly
II sent tears
Sam sent a smiley
"I will sing mostly Hindi and one Tamil?"
"Whatever u want love"
"Can I send u a list tonite?" she asked
"sure, u dont even have to.. Ive heard u sing... I dont even want to be involved... I only want to listen"
"Oh no! U must, Tan must be busy na... unko bother nahi karoongi"
"He is never home" "yes" Sam sent a smiley
""Why didnt he invite Shaan or Sunidhi?" II texted
"Because hamare ghar mein Shreya hai" Sam resonded
II blushed with pride
"thanks... Amma forced me to practice everyday, for 20 years..."
"AND it SHOWS. Dont let my bro distract u" "Keep doing it
I WILL JUST GET UP AND DO SOMETHING IF HE DISTRACTS
HE HOUNDS ME
I THINK OF HIM WHEN HE IS NOT HERE AND WHEN HE IS HERE
HE PROBABLY NEVER THINKS OF ME
BUT THATS OK
I WAS DESPERATE TO MARRY HIM
SO ITS ONLY FAIR I PINE FOR HIM
HE PROBABLY HAS "MOVED ON"
WHATEVER THAT MEANS IN THE DATING SCENE
HE HAS NO IDEA I AM GOING OVER TO SING AT TAN'S EVENT
"I wont" II promised softly
Shutting her eyes leaning back on the seat
she called Amma, Appa, Bala... nobody answered
Akka had left her phone at home "No texting while pushing" (for women in labor) policy at the hospital
I mean... how much more cruel and ancient can it be...
she finally called Ranjan
He heard the railway announcements at the back "Godavari Express... platform number"
"where are u beta?"
"I am home. But Dad nahi aaye" II was worried "Is Periappa OK?"
Bala was too stressed to inform Tan or Sam, so Dad didnt know anything
"Oh no betaji I dont... aap WAHIN ruko, driver aata hai"
"I can get a cab" II promised
"NA JEE NA. Bilqul nahi... wait in a crowded hall" Ranjan ordered
"Dad... ITS 10:30" she laughed hysterically
"Dad?" she called again
"Maine text kiya hai driver nu, nikal pada" he said
"DADDD" she whined
"shhh ekdum chup" he ordered "I will send Mahavir to D II to find out
"Oh no... no.. I will check on my way home" II promised
"U come home" he said sternly
She went home, Sam had gone to bed early since she didnt feel good, Lasya and Tan were in bed playing
Nandu was fast asleep too
when Ranjan called
"Sam ki baat hui Amma Appa se?"
"woh D II mein koi phone nahi utha raha"
"Maine aadmi bhejta hoon"
"Nahi mahavir gaya hai" Ranjan reassured
"achha... aap mainnu dass do" (keep me informed) "I ll try calling Bala"
"arey na puttar.. its almost 11" Ranjan warned
II came... and within a few Mahavir did too, his face beaming with a toothy smile
"Bhabhiji sab hospital mein hain"
"Didi ke bacha honey waala hai" Mahavir gushed
II dropped her duffel bag and purse on the swing and jumped up and down like a pogo stick
Ranjan and Mahavir watched the sight and exploded into laughter
the guard peeked..
II stopped "Oh! sorry... I am sorry"
"kis baat ke liye?"
"I jumped like that"
"Malcha Marg waale bhi naachte hain puttar" he said sadly
"Haan yeh aur baat hai is ghar ne bache ki khushi nahi dekhi" Ranjan moistened his lower lip trying to hold its quaking down, as he choked up
"I am going to go take a shower and go to the hospital.
Mahavir "Main khaana oopar laaoon?"
"Nahi neeche se jaoongi na" II chuckled
She got ready in 20 minutes flat, and ran down the stairs... ate standing, walking
It was the most delicious fried rice and sauce
"Manya kidhar hain?"
"So rahi hain" Mahavir said
she left as fast as she could reaching the hospital by midnight
Amma Appa were already there, they were very shocked to see her, Amma had left her phone home in a hurry to get there, Apa's phone had died in his pocket
As he sat praying in a corner, chanting softly
Bala paced the waiting area... texting his relatives and friends
"Enakku sollave ille" (U did not tell me)
He hugged her smiling
"U are the most important Raja, I CALLED U but it said network down" he hugged her tight, releasing some of his stress
"Shravu enge?" (where is he?)
"At home, Amma Appa are awake... praying
"Its early no?" II 's face was pale
"Its normal da... two weeks is not terribly early" Bala explained
"The nurse walked by... and asked him to come over
The Doc wanted to do a C section...
they needed him to sign papers...
He went in...
Sam and Tan arrived after 1:30
"I would have come first to tell you" II argued
"Akele enjoy karti apni Shruti ko?" Sam teased
"I wanted to" II hugged her tight
"Ghar jao aur gaane ki practice kar beta" Tan ordered
"are u serious? I dont know if can even breathe leave alone sing" II was jumping like a pogo stick again
"aunty agar ISKA hua to?"
"I dont know... they will tie her up mostly?" Amma chuckled with pride
II blushed ... "I am getting another lil now, I already have a lil one. I have two"
"I am goingt to start charging a fee for Lasya, then u will have urs"
"We are hoping she can give us good news too" Amma prayed
"Amma for that, people have to be in the same room and bed"
Amma stared at her horrified "Enna pechu di Ishita? (WHAT are u saying?)
sam laughed hysterically
"shes right" Tan nodded "Batata hoon usko main" "Koi intezaam karte hain" Tan winked
"No thankyou" II said vehemently
Sam and Tan brougght with them, coffee, steamed milk
and blankets for Amma Appa and a couple cars in case a back forth to Munirka was needed after the baby was born
Sam and Tan cuddled in a corner, Tan convincing her they should go for another baby girl
Amma and Appa were dozing II WAS NOT
She HAD TO KNOW FIRST
At 3 08 AM on August 1st 2015 Akka delivered a "fat" (well by Iyer standards)... baby boy, 7 pounds and 8 ounces
Bala was tearful and speechless, he couldnt even tell Appa what happened
"Ippove seriyana vayadi ya irukkan... vai moodave maatengardu, ivala madiri varuvan nenaikaren" (he just moves his lips, motor mouth like her, wont shut up)
He hugged II as she broke down and flew in like a torpedo, washed her hands and face and washed her hands and face again, wore her scrubs, and gloves
Akka lay tired and exhausted... the lil guy lay in a crib forming words with his mouth as his 28 year old teacher looked on
"WHY did u lie? U said it will be a girl. Naa boy names think pannave ille. I only had Shruti
WHAT WILL WE NAME HIM? I dont even know any good boy names with Sh ... u just changed ur plan in the last minute"
Akka smiled weakly "Neruthave maatiya di? (wont u ever shut up?)
She wasnt even listening, she was bent over the lil human...
"Yenn da... avlav avasaram? (what was the bog hurry da)What is your plan? Couldnt u wait until the "due date?"
Thank God I arrived, if I had been on the train... u would have heard from me the rest of ur life.
"I KNOW A NAME FROM SH" she yelled suddenly
Waking a dozing, just beginning to slip into slumber Akka... "SHATABDI VEKKALAMA PER?" (Lets name him Shatabdi)
Akka shook with laughter, it hurt her bad to even lift a finger or laugh, or smile...
"Onakku Pulitzer kudukanum di" (U deserve a Pulitzer)
"WHY? I came in a Shatabdi, u reneged on ur promise and changed the gender before shipping & delivery, so his name will be Shatabdi"
"PODI!! I dont know WHAT hurts more, ur jokes or the sutures from C Section" Akka wailed