Sunday, November 9, 2008

Nadine, Chapter two

For twelve years, she waited and waited for her Gods to answer her prayer. Everyone could see that Patel was her answer to her prayers for a good husband. He tolerated her grouchiness, and her gloomy and bad-tempered disposition. Where would one find such a good natured husband, the Pukekohe gardeners gossiped. If he came home in the evening and the table was bare, he quietly cooked dinner for the two of them. He accepted his lot, it was his karma. People said that in India Chandra would not have been so lucky. There were many bride suicides, but here, Patel was putting her on a pedestal and pampering her when she should get down from her high horse and be like any other Indian wife in Pukekohe.

When she was giving up hope, at last it happened. She was pregnant. She felt Patel was being extra good to her; he pampered her and took her to Auckland for shopping. When she felt nausea with morning sickness, Patel cooked the meals and left them on the table to eat during the day. Chandra enjoyed this attention Patel was giving her. When the first trimester had passed, and she got better, Chandra still behaved as though she had the morning sickness. For the whole nine months, she never had it so good. The women gossiped again that Patel was an old fool. He was fifteen years older than her and was blinded in his devotion. He was approaching forty five and he was elated to be a father for the first time, when he could have been a grandfather.

There was much joy in Patel’s family. Chandra was convinced that the Gods of Krishna and Vishnu had blessed her with a son. On the happy day, Patel took Chandra to Middlemore hospital to deliver the baby. He took the day off and sat waiting in the corridor. The long awaited boy, according to Chandra, was arriving. Chandra’s water broke but her cervix was not dilating. Nothing was happening, and the midwife told them that Chandra had to stay overnight to avoid infection. Patel sat on the chair next to her bed. After a long and difficult labour of twenty-four hours, Chandra was spent both physically and emotionally. The baby came. Chandra was anxious to have her first glimpse of her baby boy.

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