Prerna is the iconic businesswoman of today. Having graduated five years ago from IIM Ahmedabad, she is the Head Marketing –Asia Pacific for a monumental multinational company, which has tens of prestigious brands under its umbrella. She is a young achiever and a role model for young ambitious girls in the country. She is also interviewed and quoted in leading magazines and journals.
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Prerna is a feminist and a staunch protagonist of women rights and gender equality. In many interviews, she urged girls to never give up education and to never compromise between career and marriage. Three years ago she had married Rohan, a handsome, ambitious Marketing Director she met at a conference in London.She had just fallen for Rohan, who had virtually swept her off her feet by his intellect and charm. The prudent and pragmatic Prerna was head over heels in love and agreed to marry Rohan soon as he proposed. But they had not thought about having children and raising a family together yet. They were both immensely busy in their highflying meetings and business commitments.
She did not pay attention for a month when she missed her period and the month after, jaws of fear gripped her tight. This could not be happening to her! Rohan was out travelling so she went and saw the doctor and to her dismay, her worst dreams took the shape of reality and stood in front of her like an invincible demon. Yes, she was pregnant! Someone just pulled the ground from under her feet and she frantically called Rohan and started blaming him for the predicament she was in. Rohan tried to console her that together they could work a way out.
Both of them discussed when Rohan was back and agreed to get the fetus aborted before it was too late. There was absolutely no place and time for a baby in their bustled lives. Then they sought opinions from their parents and both their parents were overjoyed at the news of a grandchild. They offered to take care of the baby while Rohan and Prerna could tend to their careers. After much contemplation, Prerna decided to carry forward her pregnancy.
Everybody said she would feel maternal once the baby started kicking, but she never did. She was annoyed and embarrassed that her peers in meetings would see the kicks. She blamed Rohan when bouts of nausea hit her. She canceled international travel towards the last trimester and worried about what repercussions that would have on her career. She could not wait for the baby to emerge and hand it over to her mother, so she could head back to work.
Eventually, nine months passed and one morning, Prerna went into labor. Each contraction lacerated and stabbed her and she admonished herself aloud for letting herself in this pathetic condition and not opting to terminate the pregnancy. After eight long hours of excruciating pain and exhaustion, she heard the baby cry and heard someone say, “It’s a girl”. She saw the baby’s bloodied face, puckered and distorted with crying as the nurse took her out. She was too exhausted to think and just shut her eyes in relief that the ordeal had passed.
When she woke up, the nurse handed Prerna her daughter—a bundle of pink in a matching soft blanket. Prerna lifted the tiny face to her face and the baby took out her tongue to touch Prerna’ s cheek. That wet touch of the tiny feather-like tongue sent electricity down Prerna’s spine and she shook as if touched by a naked high voltage wire. Before she knew, unbridled tears started rolling down her cheeks as if a dam was let open. A whirlpool of conferences, foreign delegates and brochures swam before her eyes as unfamiliar entities .All her life’s achievements floated in front of her in a surreal blur as she held her daughter in front of her eyes. That moment she felt that her unmoored boat had found its anchor and it lay in the innocent black eyes of this little angel—her daughter.
That first touch of her daughter transformed the relentless and competitive businesswoman to a mother, as gentle as spring wind and as fierce as a lioness. She was ready to give up the world and herself for this little being. She was ready to cross fires, traverse deserts and climb mountains to nurture and raise her child. All her bitterness, regret and exhaustion of nine months melted away and left the space for love to fill—the love which started with the touch, reached each nerve and cell of her body and which she felt engulfing her. She was lost in the ocean of her own love as she pressed the bundle to her chest.
She was changed forever. And she thanked the Almighty profusely for this unique gift of love.