It was Saturday morning and nothing to do. Kavya was lying on the bed, looking at the old photographs, her childhood photos with her family. She had been at her parents' house for a week. Akshat had called her in between for just a normal conversation. Akshat didn't like her when she was planning to come back. Maybe she was postponing her stay, just waiting for him to ask her about it. He would ask her after a point, but what purpose that would accomplish? Akshat had a direct approach, if he wanted to know something he would surely ask. He could not hesitate.
Her mother, Maya walked in to see Kavya lying on bed with old photos. 'She had been home for a week, maybe she had fought with Akshat,' Maya thought.
It is normal to see a couple fight. Maya sometimes worried about Kavya and Akshat, so she decided to take Kavya for shopping, so she will get time to talk and get to know the issues.
"Kavya, let's go shopping."
"Mom! When did you come? What this sudden urge to shop?"
"Sweetheart. We are females, do we need any other reason?"
Kavya laughed, "Ok mom. You are right, let's go."
They both got ready for shopping. Kavya was enjoying herself. She and her mom had not spent so much time together in a very long time. They shopped for themselves, also for their family. Maya bought a shirt for her father, Pradeep, Kavya bought a Saree for her mother-in-law, Lata. She also bought a beautiful emerald shirt for Akshat.
They did window shopping too, looked at the people strolling together. On the middle floor, there was some contest for kids by Disney. They both were sitting and watching it. Maya looked at Kavya, she was happy to see her daughter smile. She had missed it.
"So cute," kavya's comment brought Maya in present. She looked at the makeshift stage in middle of the floor.
A small boy with dark hair was dancing. Maya laughed too.
"Yeah, they are quite cute at this age. Parenting is difficult, but the rewards are enormous," Maya said.
"When you were born, I became busy. Of course, we loved you, but my life changed so suddenly. You never know how the days went by. But I remembered one incident when I was feeding you, I was so tired that day. My back was killing me. I smelled of your pee and other things. I was thinking about what work was left off and then you stopped drinking, I looked at you and you simply smiled at me. Such a beautiful smile."
Maya smiled, "I forgot everything, that smile was the best reward for me. It Still is."
Kavya was not sure what to say. She always fumbled with emotions. She did not know how to react. But Maya did not notice and said, "when you have your own kid, you will know."
That sentence made Kavya nervous. She wasn't sure why she was afraid. "Mom. I am hungry. Let's go eat."
Maya decided not to ask any questions and they went to food stalls. Next hour went in deciding what to eat, there were too many choices. Finally they chose one.
When they sat, Maya thought this was the time to start the probing, "Do you and Akshat regularly come to this mall?"
Kavya took a bite of her burger, "Yeah, we come here often for shopping. There are so many shops, good choices to choose from."
"Did you tell Akshat you were coming here today."
"NO. Why?" Kavya said frowning.
"Just asking. Wanted to know if you two are talking to each other," Maya said while eating her wrap.
"Of course, we are talking. Why wouldn't we? We just don't need to be in touch all the time."
"Of course you don't need to. Just wanted to know if you had a fight with Akshat?"
"Mom. We are fine, we did not have a fight. Can't I come and stay with you without fighting with Akshat?"
"You can, whenever you want to. Just wanted to know," but there was something going on between them. Maya thought, but kept quiet.
It would have been better if it had been a fight. She thought it would be better to wait and find out what was bothering her daughter.
Kavya smiled at her mom, it was typical of her mom to assume she had fought with Akshat. Well, her mom was right, they had a fight, but not aloud. Just in her mind, but there was no need to tell her about that.
They finished their lunch and left the mall.
"Kavya, is anything wrong, you would tell me, right?" Maya couldn't resist herself. Before kavya could deny, Maya's claimed, "life is too short for regrets, also you both need to start thinking about kids now." Maya saw Kavya wincing, and still continued, "nowadays girls need to be told about these things before it is too late."
"Kavya," Maya said, but Kavya interrupted her, "MOM. Please. I …. I.... am," Kavya could not finish the sentence. What would she say, every woman wants to be a mom. But even the thought of that made her too nervous. It made her not nervous, but afraid. Afraid of what she didn't know, but it wasn't something she was ready to face.
They reached out of the mall and waited to get the rickshaw. Her mom's talk was giving Kavya a headache, to settle the matter she was crossing the road to stop a rickshaw. Maya was not sure why Kavya was so afraid of these changes. Right now she was literally running to avoid the discussion. She would have to be crafty to know the reason behind it. To get away from her mother, Kavya was almost in the middle of the road looking out for a rickshaw.
"Kavya get inside, it's dangerous," Maya called, but Kavya was looking at her phone and did not listen.
Then it happened, and that too very suddenly. For Maya it happened in a slow motion, but she could not stop it. Behind Kavya, signal turned green and load of cars came towards Kavya.
Kavya had turned her back to the cars coming and was checking the recent message from Akshat. She didn't see the cars which came towards her and flung her in the air. She was only thinking about her mom, and then everything went blank.
Maya saw it happen, even she had not seen the approaching cars. One of them had hit Kavya and she flew 7 feet up in the air. Maya's heart came in her throat to see Kavya flung and then drop on the ground.
It happened in seconds, but for Maya it was long hours. She rushed towards her, who was lying on the road. She started crying once she reached and saw her daughter unconscious.
"KAVYA. KAVYA," Maya was crying, but then people around her assisted them to get into a rickshaw. Maya sat holding Kavya's hand.
"Don't worry. We will reach hospital in a minute," someone said, but Maya only heard it. She was looking at Kavya in a hope that she would survive.
Soon they reached hospital, Kavya was taken into emergency ward. Maya had regained her senses in the ride and knew she had to be in control now. She could collapse later, much later.
"She is my daughter. Kavya Doshi. She was hit by a car." Maya said to the doctor in the emergency.
"Please wait outside. We will call you," the nurse said.
Maya collapsed on the seat, she took her phone out and called Pradeep. "Hello. Pradeep...... Pradeep... Kavya."
Pradeep heard Maya crying and understood something bad had happened to Kavya.
"Maya. Calm down. Tell me what happened and where are you?"
Maya took a deep breath, "Kavya was hit by a car on the link road. We have brought her in Navjeevan hospital in Malad."
"They have taken her in Emergency," Maya said and hung the phone when Pradeep told her that he would be coming.
"Madam, are you with the new patient?" A nurse came and asked Maya.
"Yes. I am."
"Please come inside."
Maya went inside. Kavya was in the bed lying still in her clothes. She saw the young doctor. "Maam, we are transferring you daughter to ICU. She might have a concussion and fractures. As she is unconscious, we need to monitor her closely till she regains consciousness."
Maya nodded to the doctor, "Please go with her on the first floor ICU." Maya went with the nurses to the ICU.
Akshat looked at the phone, it was from his father-in-law. Wondering why he was calling him.
"Hello. Akshat Maya just called me. Kavya has met with an accident. She was hit by a car."
"WHAT?" Akshat stood up.
"I didn't ask for details. They have taken her to the Navjeevan hospital. I am just reaching there."
Akshat turned off the phone and left the office. His mind was blank, Kavya was hit by a car, she was hospitalized. That was the only thing he could think of. What was wrong with her, was she okay?
He was shocked and decided first to reach the hospital to see Kavya.