Sunday, July 12, 2009

Arunabho - The glow of the Sun!

She had always liked the name 'Aditya'. It brought images of a warrior, of a chariot blazing with the gold of sun. It was an image of an invincible, uncompromising man who was powered by the courage of truth. Who stood tall without fear in the battle of life. It was also the closest image to her childhood sketch of Karna- her favourite mythical character.

A soft and shy girl, she got married with ease to a fairly good looking boy, from a decent family. There was no sparkling fireworks that she felt on seeing him, but that was ok, she had not expected any. The boy was educated, earning well, living not far from her city. All in all good husband material, somebody who would prove to be respectful and caring towards her parents and affectionate towards her younger siblings. A far cry from her warrior of the sun, his name was Soumya, meaning gentle, mild, a steady glow. She accepted the steadiness of a candlelight to that of the blinding blaze of the sun.

Life was smooth and easy. She liked his sense of humour, his soft spoken nature. She respected his meticulous habits, his penchant for cleanliness, his warmth was infectious and genuine, he was adored by her parents and her siblings, and she started falling in love with candle lights.

They planned their future amidst coffee and excel sheets. She offered a vision and he detailed it, He built the dream and she coloured it. They lived comfortably, enjoying small pleasures. An evening spent at the beach, a movie at a multiplex, a dinner out once a month, A rocking chair for a particular corner, a lamp shade for another. He bought home flowers every week. A few years passed and the stork came visiting.

Their joy was unbriddeled. They took all the guidance offered by the elders and bought Dr. Spock's book as well. They read the pages together and marveled at the miracle of life. The morning sickness, the pigmentations, the moods were accomodated happily in the larger picture of their baby coming to life. Monthly visits to the doctor, the sound of a heart beat for the first time, the first sonography were all milestones in this journey that brought them even closer together.

As months progressed, there came the issue of naming the child. At once she said ,"Aditya". The image she had stored away came in front of her eyes full throttle. The golden chariot, the fearless and strong warrior of the sun, the power of courage, all these images filled her to the brim and she said once again,"Aditya, thats what I will name my son." "And what if we have a daughter, what will you call her then?" asked Soumya, smiling gently. She had never considered a daughter, and after these images, she didnt even want to. So she feigned tiredness and turned on her side saying,"You think about that, I will sleep for a while."

A daughter, such soft and tender emotions the word can evoke. A smaller version of the only girl he had ever loved. The same eyes, the same dimple. Soumya stayed with this magical thought throughout the night, comparing his image to every name the internet sites offered, No name did justice, it seemed to his mind's image, but his practical and steady mind plundered on. His goal was to come up with a name by dawn.

'Abha' is the name he liked the most. It seemed to convey all the qualities he felt his daughter would possess. The warm and soft halo of light that softens all rough edges. His gentle nature evoked images of a shy and soulful girl and the name went with this image perfectly. Over tea the next morning he introduced his wife to 'Abha'. It was decided then and sealed with a loving kiss of the parents who were now counting days for their image to come to life! A boy would be named Aditya and a girl would be named Abha. They kept the names to themselves and did not encourage helpful relatives to come up with names for their baby.

Finally the day dawned and Soumya drove his wife to the hospital for the delivery. Things went as per his meticulous planning and he tried to make it as comfortable for his wife as possible. He stayed with her througout the long hours of labour, wiping her forehead everytime it filled with drops of sweat, encouraging her and calming her alternatively. As the final push came into play his ears were numbed by the cry of his cherished dream and also by the shrill ring of his mobile. Years of habit made him take the call as his eyes looked at the radiant boy that was born to them.

The news on the other end was shattering, His father in law had succumbed to a major heart attack. In the labour room the doctor was cleaning his son as his wife lay drained on the bed. His mind was reeling under both the emotions. The caller on the other end was saying a name.. he didn't get it first.. again after a few seconds the caller said, "Dad had thought of a name for didi's son. he was sure she would bear a son. He wanted the child to be called, 'Arunabha'(pronounced Arunabho meaning the glow of the sun)."

The call ended and he saw himself sitting beside his wife. The bundle in their joint arms. He held them both to him and said in a steady voice, "Our son will be called Arunabha. This was what your dad wished, and we will honour that." Nothing more was required to be spoken as the enormity of the moment where she had lost one and gained another dawned on her.

Arunabha grew up to be a warrior of the sun who fought to soften the rough edges of society with his courageous fight against the system and his compassion for his fellow countrymen. He shone like the glow of the sun!

A complete work of fiction, with shades of personality traits taken from people I have known. The story developed on an idea of naming kids given to me by my friend Amrit.