My wife had to undergo a surgery under general anesthesia, soon after my daughter was born. I was near her hospital bed, looking at her face awaiting the moment her closed eye lids would open up. My ears also were standing alert not to miss a single lip movement, soon after she recovers from sedation.

She opened her eyes partially and murmured, ‘ ‘Aparna’. That was the name of our days – old daughter.image

I was disappointed, terribly disappointed. Even annoyed. I’m ashamed to tell you, I was really jealous of my baby daughter, for no fault of her but for her mother calling her name and not mine, the moment she regained consciousness!

The woman, for whom I was prepared to sacrifice everything, when she was seriously ill, within a year after our wedding, with whom I shared her mental agony from a fake alarm by a gynecologist, during the entire course of her first pregnancy, called her month – old baby’s name and not mine, when she regained her conscious!

“Sorry, you should not have done this to me” I whispered into air, while exiting the ICU.

I was ashamed to mention to her my disappointment in the ICU, for many days after she came back home . When I did so, much later, we shared a hearty laugh.

“What do men know about mother’s love?” She made a casual remark in her proverbially slow and soft voice.

Time rolled by.

I was in Florida when Raaghuv, my eldest grandson was born, some ten years ago.

Anxiously awaiting his arrival, I prayed sincerely that my wife should respond, at least once, to the many distress ‘ Amma ‘ calls from her daughter under deep labour pain.

”Utter just once, her name. Just call ‘Aparna’, from wherever you are, just once, I pleaded. “Your response will reach her, breaking the barriers of space and time, columns of air and clusters of cloud”

She didn’t respond . No, she didn’t.

She was perhaps in a world, where no calls, even distress calls from her daughter, would not reachable.