“What just happened? Did Mrs. Parmar really say this? How can she ask for my daughter?” Sapna felt she was going to faint. Just when she believed that there is humanity in the world – God decided to show her the reality. There is none, no humanity, no kindness. It is a bad, cruel world.
“Naina is my daughter. She is my life. I am not letting her go away from me at any cost. I am going to fight this with all I have.”
Mrs. Parmar’s words still ringing in her ears – “You yourself are struggling to make ends meet, how you can meet her demands as she grows up. She is a gem that needs to be polished and I am the one who can do it. Don’t let this flower perish in the heat of poverty.”
“Yes, that’s true. I am struggling to make ends meet but if I let my daughter go away – then what is the meaning of living.” Sapna was bitterly crying now. She was stuck, she was indebted to Mrs. Parmar – but the cost of debt is her life itself. Why couldn’t she ask for something else?
Sapna took her phone and called Mrs. Parmar immediately. After a few rings the call was received.
“Mrs. Parmar this is Sapna here. Do you have a few minutes to talk?” this time Sapna had a harshness in her voice. How dare this lady thought that she could just take away my daughter?
“Yes Sapna, tell me. When can I come and pick up Naina from you?” said Mrs. Parmar in a mocking tone that pierced through Sapna.
“Naina is my life, Ma’am. You could have asked for anything else, I would have given it to you. But Naina herself? I am sorry ma’am. I know I am indebted to you. I will work twice thrice as hard and return back all of your money with whatever interest you want. But I am not giving Naina away. This is my final decision. Please let me know how else can I repay you.” Sapna had a determination in her voice that she never knew she even had.
“Oh I see! Really Sapna, you are a fool to think this way. What will Naina achieve by studying in a filthy government school? What about her dreams, Sapna? Do you see that this girl might want to become something big – Fighter Pilot, Fashion Designer, Investment Banker or anything else? Do you think you will ever have enough money to support her dreams, to let her have those wings she can fly with?” Mocking tone still continued in her voice.
“Ma’am with all due respect, happiness matters to me and Sapna more than the amount of money we earn or the kind of career we make. She will become what she wants to be even in my limited income. Have some humanity, ma’am. You are a mother yourself, can you imagine selling off your 5 year old son for his dreams? We are poor, ma’am but we do have a heart which is not a stone. I am repeating again – please tell me how else can I repay you.” Sapna was shouting now.
“What happened Mumma?” Naina who was sleeping in the bedroom woke up with all the noise. She seemed scared and that’s when Sapna realized that she was shouting out so loud.
“Do you even realize Sapna who you are talking to? You are talking to the owner of the factory where your husband was working in meagre salary. Do you know what all can I do to you? I can crush you completely and even have your daughter kidnapped.” Mrs. Parmar’s voice now had cruelty and harshness.
“Ma’am as I said – I already know that you have no heart. Don’t try to threaten me with all this. I can understand how desperate you are for a grandchild. So, I have an offer to make to you. It is again a win-win situation. Tell me if you are ready to listen to my offer. I need to go now to my daughter. Please call me when you are ready.” Said Sapna without thinking. Words just seem to come out of her mouth as if she was possessed by something else.
Sapna disconnected the call. Her heart was racing, she was sweating, her feet and hands were trembling. She couldn’t even imagine where she got the courage from. And what the hell did she mention about offer. She has no offer to make. What will she say when Mrs. Parmar actually calls back?
Naina came running to her mother and wiped her tears off. That’s when Sapna realized that she was crying too. She hugged her little girl really long – thinking hard about an offer to make to Mrs. Parmar.
Another thought was running in parallel – what if she runs away with Naina to a place where Parmar’s cannot find them and trouble them? Kidnapping is also an option with them. We need to run. But where and how? They have no money and no place to go to.