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It was fifteen past ten o'clock in the night, there was a huge thunderstorm and it was raining incessantly, I had come home from office. ‘It’s raining since morning’ said my wife Shubhasi. She was trying to inform me. ‘I know that dear, my office is just 20 minutes away from house’ I thought in my mind. ‘Oh really’ I supported her statement; I knew she wanted to tell me something else so just allowed her to complete her statement. ‘I had just washed clothes and had kept for drying in the backyard and it started raining, By the time I go and get the clothes they were all in the grass with dirt. You know I had to wash that again. I tell you this rain…….’ she finally complaint in an annoying voice. ‘Then?’ I asked, as I knew she wanted to tell me more. I knew there was no one in the home with whom she could talk. ‘There were no vegetables in the house so I had go in the rain to bring them from the market. And on the way back my chappals broke. Why does it have to brake when I am just in the rain?’ She was becoming more furious now. I thought she had a bad day. I looked at her and smiled and asked ‘How did u come back then?’ I wanted to show her concern. ‘I took rickshaw’ replied in an angry irritated voice. I knew she never loved rain since last 3 years.

‘I hate this rain’ she said. I looked at her she was all red and was very frustrated.
Her eyes were moist.

‘What’s for the dinner tonight?’ I asked to change the topic.

‘I thought I would prepare bhajiya and gota that would go with this atmosphere and Rinku liked it a lot…..’She stopped in between. She had her throat choked up. I went near her. She turned her faced acted to be normal and said ‘Make it quick, Bhajiya won’t taste good if they are not hot.’ She did not want to show me her feelings. I thought not to provoke it if she has managed to control herself.

‘Ok’ I said, and went inside. Both of us were silent were trying to behave normal. This was not first time in last 3 years.

I sat on the chair and looked outside the heavy leashes of rain ‘Pappa how we can just empty this water out of the house?’ I remembered my son Rinku asking me.

3yrs back it rained like never before in the month of July. It was rained for 10 days continuously like never before. It did not rain like that before in Baroda. Our society was flooded with water. We had water till knees in the house. I and my wife were busy shifting our furniture and other things.

‘Can I play out with my friends outside?’ ‘No, go upstairs and study’ I replied. ‘No, I want to play Pappa, I will be back in 1hour’ Insisted Rinku. ‘But you can’t play outside’ we were still discussing. ‘Can I go to the terrace then? I want to get wet in the rain. Deepak and Sammer would also join me up stairs.’ he was persistent. ‘Ok but just for 30 minutes. Go.’ I melted. He took off his clothes and went out. Both of his friends then joined him.

It was not raining heavily. Just a few scattered shower. Rain had stopped since morning.

They were playing and suddenly after 15 minutes I heard the voice ‘Mummy……..’I immediately recognized that it was Rinku. Without thinking anything of a second I rushed up. I saw Rinku had fallen down and was drowning. My poor kid of 3 years did not know swimming.

I cried for help ‘Rinku… somebody please save my kid’. I ran down, ‘Subhashi Rinku is drowning’ Subhashi ran out. Both of us were scared to death. We did not think anything like this could ever happen to our son. I jumped in the water. Rinku was struggling I could see his head; I swim faster got hold of his hand and brought him out. His eyes were closed I tried to wake him up. ‘Rinku, Rinku wake up’ I then notice that his back side of head was bleeding heavily. There was a severe cut there. ‘Rinku …wake up beta…...Subhashi…Rinku is not moving He has blood all over… did this happen…Help…..I could not figure what had happened……I looked up And all I could see was the roof titles on the first floor.

Oh God….. Was he hit by that and then he feel down, so the time he fell down he was badly injured….He could be still alive. I checked his breathing and it had stopped functioning. We had a doctor living next door. She was standing beside my wife. She was Smaaers mother. ‘Sunitaben can you please check what has happened to my son’
Rinku had swallowed lots of water. Sunitaben then immediately gave him CPR, but then she looked at his injured head and said his head had struck badly roof tiles and may be me might had a brain hemorrhage. But he was no more and that was confirmed.

I took my little boy in my hands and hugged him .I did not wanted to leave him that day. I felt like my heart had stop beating. I could not believe he was no more. I kissed him again and again. I looked at him and remembered his tiny hands the first time he holded my hands. He learnt to drive cycle. All his happy and sad moments flashed my eyes. I thought I could now never ever get my boy back. I was so happy when he was born. My heart sulked in sorrow and deep grievance.

My wife could not understand what was going on. ‘Take him to the hospital’ She said repetitively. ‘Don’t waste your time here. Take him immediately, why are you wasting your time here? Common take Rinku, call ambulance.’ She still hoped her Rinku could have survived that fatal accident. I looked at her and said Rinku is no more. She said stop talking rubbish, I don’t want to believe you. Get up. She leant forwards, took Rinku from my hands, this time she realized her son was no more. She cried like anything. ‘Rinku come back beta, come back Rinku, Rinku, please don’t go. Sunitaben you are doctor can you bring my rinku back. Please try Sunitaben, He could be alive.’ Sunitaben sat beside her and said Rinku is no more……She again hugged her child tightly through her chest and cried a lot…and we both kept on crying…that day…….

I saw Rinku dying but could do nothing about it. I was the most pitiful father of the world that day. Since that day there is not a single day I would not have cried hiding my tears from my wife.

My eyes were full of tears again, I could not control myself, I broke down in to tears.
‘Pankaj…….the dinner is ready…..’ my wife called me before I could stand up she came to the door. She looked at me, we both stared into each other eyes. I wanted to cry aloud but controlled my emotions. She came near me, rested her head on my chest and said ‘I hate this rain pankaj…It took my Rinku away form me’ She was crying. I could not control my emotions and said ‘Yes I hate it too……and tears rolled down my cheeks…….’

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by PVShah

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