That night, B was alone for the first time. She had to spend the night wihout the comfort of her mother's presence. As usual, B was roaming between my house and aunt's house.
Aunt's and our family stay in the same house, with a narrow strip of verandah separating, the two households. Thus, B flits between the two with utmost ease. She has been doing this since her birth. Before she learnt to walk, M, mother, and me carried her into my house.
Aunt was feeling sleepy and putting B to sleep was her job. Now B is a very stubborn kid. She is most active during the night, with father adding impetus. Even with sleep in her eyes, she simply refuses to sleep. That night at about 11 in the night, aunt tried her level-best. Realising that her mother(R) was absent, B searched for her everywhere. Visited every nook and corner of both the houses. B started wimpering, which yielded to hot tears running down those tender cheeks. M other went to help aunt, but was not successful. All of us were standing in the verandah. B refused to go near anyone. I put out my arms, and she willingly came to me. I sang her lullabys', spoke to her in hushed tones which soothed her, to some extent.
I thought that i had almost reached my goal, but she began to sob again. I went through the length of the verandah, pretending that we were on the look-out for R. Tired, and feeling utterly lost, B slept, while the sobbing ceased. My shoulder was wet with her salty tears. I continued with my lulling notes.
IAunt took her from my arms. Aunt went inside, lay her on the bed. Reaching my room, i let tears flow. Trying to hide my emotions before B, mother and aunt was a mammothical task. Tears which connected me to B. Those tears of anguish, despondence, made me weak.
Mother saw me and she related her experience, when she cried when M and i felt pangs of distress.
I lay on the bed, with tears wetting my pillowcase. I slept in peace.
This particular incident will remain fresh in my memory for all time to come. A moment in time when i gave B all i could give her, love and affection.
My eyes are moist. Moist with tears, of fulfillment.