After spending a restless night missing Nikki and his daughter, Abhi woke up early morning and like a man in a tearing hurry, he rushed through everything just to get to them. In the passage, he bumps into Sid and as they tried to make way for the other, they ended up left-right-left-right blocking the other's path. Finally, Abhi roars "Grrrrrrrrrr" as loud as he could, making a trembling Sid turn his face to the wall and stand still, till his brother passed by. As he was rushing out, Rachna insisted he should have some breakfast because once he is in the hospital, he doesn't bother about eating. He protested but then with her scolding, he grudgingly sat down at the table. Even then, he only gulped down two spoons of muesli and dashes out of the house. Looking at her harried son, Rachna rolls her eyes in amusement.
When he entered Nikki's room, he was surprised to see she was already up and feeding Aahaana.
"Missed you," he tells her lovingly as he bends down to kiss her. "I missed you too," Nikki replies, her face glowing with happiness on seeing him. Looking down at his daughter cradled in her arms, they notice she stopped her feed and was staring at him. His chest squeezing with joy, he plants a kiss on her head and whispers "I missed you too Doll!" She immediately reciprocated with happy gurgling sounds bringing a wide grin on Abhi and Nikki's faces.
As she continued her feed, Abhi enquires about Kavita and Nikki tells him she needed a stretch, so she went to the canteen to catch up with some coffee.
Just when Aahaana finished her feed, Nikki's breakfast arrives. Abhi takes his daughter from Nikki telling her to have her breakfast.
"She has to burp," Nikki tells him
"I know, I can do it" he tells her giving his daughter his most charming smile.
He puts her over his shoulder and gently strokes her back till she burps. Holding her in front of him, he then looks down at her face. As Nikki was having her breakfast she fondly watched as he cooed and babbled to their baby who was enjoying every bit of his attention and gurgling back at him. After few minutes, he had her cuddled against his chest. By the time Nikki was done with breakfast she was fast asleep.
Abhi gently puts her down in the crib. Nikki smiles as she sees him watching their baby with tender eyes. She goes near him and removing his hand that was on bar of the crib, possessively makes a place for herself in front of him, bringing an amused smile on his face. As she looks down at their baby sleeping so peacefully, he puts his arms around her waist and rests his chin on her shoulder. Nikki puts her hands over his and they continue to look adoringly at their little girl. After few moments of observing her in silence, they notice her smiling in her sleep and look at each other, their faces filled with amazement.
"She looks so angelic in her sleep. I really can't seem to get my eyes off her!" Abhi mumbles in her ears, bringing a smile on Nikki's face.
"I already had this big distraction in my life," he nuzzles his nose against Nikki's neck making her giggle "Now, I have another! What am I going do!" he groans.
Nikki continues to giggle.
"Don't giggle you naughty imp!" he sways her side to side. "I have a meeting to attend and I am finding it so difficult to leave. I don't want to go."
"Then, don't go!" Nikki replies with a nonchalant shrug.
"I wish it was that simple!" he tells her sadly. "you take care of yourself and our little Angel!"
"No" Nikki shakes her head impishily.
"I can only take care of this baby of yours," she tells him, pointing to their daughter."
"And why not this baby of mine?" he whispers, burying his face in her neck, his breath felt warm against her skin.
"Because ," Nikki turns in his arms and taking his face in between her palms, tells him, "this baby is okay only if you are around, do you understand?"
Abhi chuckles. Tipping his forehead to hers, he looks deeply into her eyes.
"I do understand, Sweetheart! But since I have to advance my paternity leave, I need to delegate quiet a few things. That's why we are having this meeting in half hour. Its almost getting to 8."
"I know, but I'll miss you," she pouts.
"I'll miss you too, but I am around. I'll keep dropping in between. Do you think I can stay without you and our little angel for long?"
Nikki still looked displeased. Abhi smiles again
"Okay I can do something. I can give you a sweet dose to keep you going till we meet next."
"Dose?" Nikki's eyebrows narrow in puzzlement.
"This!" he tells her putting his lips on hers and keeps it lingering hotly till she responds. Her senses deeply stirred, Nikki scoops her arms around his neck making Abhi intensify the kiss further. It was with great difficulty, they manage to pull away. "This should keep you going till I give you another power dose, when I come to see you next." his eyes were dancing mischievously.
Nikki laughs. "That won't be possible," she tells him. "We are in the hospital and there is always someone around."
"You think that will stop me?"
"You mean to say you can still do this in a room full of people?"
"Yeah why not! Moreover no one will even notice it!"
"How is that possible!" Nikki makes a wry face at him. "Being in the same room and they won't see? Are you going to be invisible? Invisible Dr. Abhimanyu Modi!" she mocks laughing heartily.
"Don't challenge me! I can do it." Abhi warns.
"Accha?" Nikki is trying her best to control her mirth. "Let me see it, then I'll believe you!"
"Okay, just wait and watch! Meanwhile how about a power dose for me, to keep me going till we meet next? I desperately need one!" he pulls her closer.
Nikki tweaks his nose. "You'll never ever be satisfied Dr. Modi! Will you?" "No!" he mouths. Nikki smiles and kisses him.
"Ah! Heavenly!" Abhi rolls his eyes dreamily.
During their lunch break, Anjali and Muskaan come to visit Nikki and find Simran there too.
"Good Afternoon Ladies," Abhi greets them entering few minutes later. As they reciprocate his greetings, he takes a peep at his daughter who was asleep in her crib and a tender smile spreads on his face. He touches her cheek gently.
"How long has she been sleeping?" he asks his wife walking towards her. He goes and stands near the the window side of the bed.
"About fifteen minutes." Nikki replies. "She should be asleep for a good hour or so."
"How sad yaar! Whenever we come, she is sleeping!" Muskaan tells them.
"Yeah we hardly get to hold her." Anjali agrees.
Abhi and Nikki smile at each other. Then looking intensely at his wife Abhi asks, "How are you doing wifey? I did come in between and saw you both asleep. Did the rest do you good?" She shakes her head in confirmation.
"Haan Nikki, we forgot to ask. how are you feeling?" Anjali tells her.
"Yeah, yeah you guys have forgotten me completely. Whoever comes, their first attraction is my daughter," she feigns hurt. "No one bothers about me, including my husband!" she bats her eyelids at Abhi who grins back at her.
"Nikki, don't say that yaar. Of course we care about you." Muskaan tells her consolingly.
"Di, I hope you are feeling alright. This must be a big stress on you," a concerned Simran also quips in.
"I am okay, but feeling a bit weak. I think I could do with a good power dose." She bites the end of her lip and looks at Abhi, her eyes were sparkling with mischief.
Abhi's lips pucker in amusement. She could see the colour seeping into his face and was thoroughly enjoying his embarrassment.
"Power dose? What powerdose ?" Anjali asks.
"I don't know I just feel I need something strong! Can anyone think of anything?" While the girls look confused at each other, she looks challengingly at her husband. They stare at each other, both, trying their best to hide their smiles.
"Well Hubby Dear, we have a full audience here. I would like to see how you still manage to do it," there was defiance in her eyes. "Better still, I am dying to know how are you going to make yourself invisible to them."
Abhi knew she had him well cornered and was testing him. "Ah ! Ah! Challenge wifey? You know very well, I love challenges" there was cool amusement in his eyes.
"Abhimanyu what do you recommend?" Anjali breaks into their eye exchange.
"I am working on it," he tells them, his fingers scrubbing his jaw, while his eyes were still fixed on his wife.
Then, to Nikki's astonishment, he bends over and brings his face closer to hers. She stares incredulously at him. She couldn't believe he was actually serious about it. She makes eyes at him but he wasn't paying any heed. He daringly kept bringing his face closer and closer. Nikki kept gulping in panic. Through the corner of her eye, she could see the girls were staring at them in confusion and embarrassment. Her cheeks had turned crimson red. She looks pleadingly at him but the determination in his eyes told her it was too late. She knew he was not going to turn back now. Her heart begins to beat rapidly.
Looking deeply into her eyes, he tells her. "Your eyes seem to be clear." He then touches her forehead "And your body temperature seems to be fine." Looking at the relief on her face, he grins mischievously. Her eyes were blazing as she darts a murderous look at him.
"We thought you were going to kiss your wife," Muskaan tells him and then exchanging looks with each other, the girls break into giggles . He turns and grins at them.
"Hey Girls, have you noticed Aahaana smiling in her sleep?" he tells them.
"Yeah," he confirms. "Observe her for good few minutes, you'll notice it."
As they eagerly turn their attention to the crib, he leans closer to Nikki. "And I'll give that much needed power dose to my wife," he mutters in a low tone.
Swatting him on his arm, Nikki chidingly mouths his name. He captures it with his lips kissing her deeply, sending her insides, into pleasurable raptures. However, she realized they were not alone. There were others in the room. Nervously, she drums her hand softly on his chest. "Abhi stop," she whispers shyly. "They'll see!"
"Wasn't it you who desperately wanted a powerdose, right here, right now, in front of them!" he teases bringing colour into her cheeks.
"I should have thought better than to challenge you in this. You are a pro in this field!"
"That's a good observation!" he grins. " Do you want me to make the dose even more powerful? I can. We are still invisible to them!"
Nikki giggles glancing at the girls as their eyes were attentively rapt inside the crib.
"Shut up!" Her cheeks felt hot, flushed from the uncontrollable blushing she was stricken with.
"Wow she smiled!" the girls exclaim ecstastically and turn to look at them.
"Perfect ! Mission accomplished!" Abhi winks at Nikki. She pinches his arm on the quiet and he grins wickedly.
"Oye Nikki, what happened to you? Are you feeling okay? Why are you so red?" Muskaan asks her, concern on her face.
"Yeah, Nikki you are completely flushed," Anjali agrees. "Poor You!" she coos. "Abhimanyu , you have to do something about it. You must work on something extra for her, a nice power dose as Nikki puts it! " Nikki was bubbling with laughter, but, she managed to stifle it.
"As you say doctors, I'll definitely work on it." he tells them, blinking his eyes innocently. He then turns those same innocent eyes towards his wife. The coy, abashment in her eyes clearly told him she was dying to kick him, once again bringing a wide grin on his face. It was Kavita and Rachna's entry that saved her from any further mischievous intention of her husband.
Friday afternoon, little Aahaana was warmly welcomed into the Modi House, blest with a little red tikka on the forehead by her grandmothers at the entrance of the house. There was a kind of festivity in the air, with family, friends, well wishers entering and leaving the house.
In the night, finding herself once again in a new surrounding, the little baby, kept her parents, the two grand mothers and Sid Chachu up for most part of the night with her bawling. The experienced elderly grandmothers were unable to calm her. The fact that her parents were doctors and doing all the right things that had to be done, didn't help either. No amount of feeding, cooing, swaddling, nothing seemed to work with her. As long as she was in either of her parent's arms, she was fine. However, every time she was laid down in the crib or on the bed, she would wake up crying.
Her confused Sid Chachu, kept biting his nails wondering if there was anything he could do! He had just managed to graduate to babbling with her in the day and being rewarded with some sweet gestures and responses from her.
Abhi's heart went out for Nikki knowing only too well she was finding it difficult to hold on to her baby for a long time as she was still recuperating from the surgery. She herself needed to rest. Taking over, he did his best to calm his daughter. Holding her gently against his shoulder, her head lying on his chest, he would softly whisper "love you baby" every now and then, in her ears. After some time, she seemed to have calmed down and finally fell asleep. When she seemed in deep sleep, everyone was relieved and went back to their rooms.
Sitting on the bed, Abhi rests his back against the headboard holding his daughter tenderly in his arms. "Let her settle here for some more time. No point in putting her down, she'll wake up again." he tells Nikki who nods her head in agreement.
Understandingly, she propped up a few pillows and cushions on either side, so he could support his arms. He murmurs his thanks. Climbing on to the bed, a tired Nikki leans her back against the propped up pillows, her head pushed back, she looks up at the ceiling.
Abhi could see she was exhausted and needed rest, but then, he also realized there was no point in coaxing her to sleep. Even if she dozed off in between, she wouldn't sleep properly till she had the assurance her baby was sleeping peacefully. He identified it as a mother's instinct and love. Gently he runs his fingers in her hair. He wanted to make things as easy as possible for her and right now, he was filled with a yearning to pull her in his arms and soothe her to sleep, like he always did.
Looking down at the new occupant lying on his chest, he smiles. Enjoying the feel of his fingers in her hair, Nikki turns on her side and looks at him. Seeing him smile, she realizes he was completely enamoured with their daughter, blissfully asleep on his chest.
"She looks so adorable in her sleep," she tells him, putting her hand over his hand that was holding their baby. "Right now her body clock is completely mixed up. It will take her a while to get into a proper sleep rythmn. Moreover, I think because its her first time here, she is restless. She just needs that comfort and assurance of our arms," she tells him.
"I know," Abhi nods his head. "Even though she slept here while you were pregnant, she was well cushioned inside you."
"Yeah and you always had your arm over us." Nikki smiles at him placing a kiss on his arm.
"Right now, it does look like you too, need my arm to sleep." he teases.
"I do!" she admits, puckering her nose sheepishly "But, I seem to be losing my favourite place to my daughter," there was a tinge of sadness in her voice. "Never Mind! Since its my daughter, I don't mind it!" she smiles again.
However, Abhi does not return her smile. He keeps staring intensely at her for few moments. Her eyebrows narrow together as she looks questioningly at him. He then gently shifts his daughter to the middle of his chest and with a warm smile extends his arm towards her.
"You will never lose your place! I can still hold both of you in my arms."
Nikki's eyes begin to moisten with joy. She moves closer and leaning over him, looks down into his face.
"And what happens if we have another baby?" she teases.
"He or she will be here" he points to the other side of his chest "and you'll always be here," he points to his heart.
"And no more please! " he grins. "Let me get used to handling you two dynamites first!"
Nikki laughs. A tenderness then sweeps over her. Framing his face in her palms, she whispers "Thank you," and places her lips on his. With his free hand, Abhi firmly holds on to her head and hungrily responds to her kiss. When they pull back, they continue to stare passionately at each other for few minutes.
Then caressing her face tenderly, he whispers, "Sleep Sweetheart, don't worry, I am here for both of you!"
Nikki smiles at him and rests her head on his shoulder, her face just above her daughter's head. Putting her hand on her baby's back, she leans over and kisses her head. Then tenderly placing a kiss on her husband's chest, she blissfully closes her eyes and falls off to sleep. A tender smile erupts on Abhi's face as he looks down at his two precious babies in his arms. Some time later, exhaustion overtakes him and he too succumbs to sleep.
A couple of hours later, discomforted with the position, Nikki wakes up and manages to wriggle herself out from Abhi's arm with just a soft grunt from him. Looking at Abhi and Aahana in deep sleep, she knew he would be aching all over, when he woke up. "Abhi sleep properly," she whispers trying to take her daughter away from his arm, but, he was holding on to her tightly and wakes up with a start. Holding their baby with one hand, Nikki soothingly caresses his face with the other, telling him it was time for Aahaana's feed.
Once she took the baby from him, Abhi lowers himself down on the bed and sleepily enquires if she needed help. When she told him she didn't, he went back to sleep. After Nikki had fed and cleaned her daughter, she put the sleeping baby in the crib. When she was ensured the baby was sleeping blissfully, she went back to bed. Feeling the mattress sink in with her weight, Abhi puts his arm possessively over her.
The sleep deprived and exhausted first time parents finally got an opportunity to sleep and so they entered into a blissful sleep!
By the next day, little Aahana recognized her home, her crib, and her family members.
In the afternoon, Nikki's happiness was complete with the arrival of her closest friends Riddhima and Armaan.
"We told you, even if its for two days we would come," Riddhima tells her. "We are lucky, Monday is a public holiday." She winks. They were enchanted to see the adorable little baby.
Taking her in her arms, Riddhima had tears in her eyes, "Hey little doll," she coos. "I was the first to discover you in your mother's womb and its so nice to see how lovely your are!" Everyone in the room smile. Abhi and Nikki who were holding hands look at each other and also smile.
"She is really adorable!" exclaims an elatedly smitten Armaan taking her from Riddhima.
"Hey Sweetheart! Nice too meet you," he tells her She stares at him, putting one fist in her mouth. "You are so beautiful. Absolutely lovely!" he smiles at her.
"Listen carefully to what I say. Don't be khadoos like your father and neither like your mother who is ever ready to fight!" As he winks at the baby, Nikki gapes open mouthed at him.
"Be like me Cool! As you can see I am such a Cool Dude!" he boasts.
"Hey Cool Dude!" Abhi roars, going near him, "keep your coolness away from my daughter!"
Armaan rolls his eyes in irritation. "You always have a habit of tapkaoing in middle!"
"Me or You! You have that habit of butting in the middle,"
While Nikki and Riddhima slap their heads as the two obstinate men begin to argue, little Aahana seemed amused as she kept staring from one to another.
"I tell you stay out of this, Dr. Modi. This is between me and my darling Aahaana. Right Sweetheart?" he smiles lovingly at her.
"If you are going to teach her such stuff, Cool Dude, then you better stay away from my daughter."
Little Aahaana found something funny in their argument. She begins to gurgle happily. Fascinated by her sounds, the growling men immediately turn towards her and the scowl on their faces was replaced by enchantment.
"Hey Doll!" together, they call out to her. As she pushes her tongue out at them and kicks her legs, they stare mesmerised at her.
"Dude, your daughter is such a doll!" Armaan tells Abhi
"Thanks. Yes she is! " he replies proudly, giving his finger to little Aahana who held tightly on to it. "Put your finger in between her palm," he tells Armaan. "She'll hold on to it." Armaan does as he suggests and when she holds on to his finger, they both look at each other and grin.
Nikki, Riddhima and everyone present in the room watch in amazement as the two smitten men were busy cooing and babbling to the little baby.
"Nikki, I must say, your daughter definitely knows how to handle them, way better than we do!' Riddhima remarks and they both laugh heartily.
Yes, the little doll seemed to have both men putty in her hands. Everyone had wide grins on their face as they watched them singing her praises. Armaan was happily swooning over her little gestures, while her father was proudly sharing with him all the cute little things she does.
By the end of the day, Aahana Modi recognized her family and friends and there were so many of them! She realized she she was the centre of attraction and basked in the attention and compliments she was receiving. She also knew if she was ever uncomfortable or unhappy all she had to do is wail loudly and her father or mother or both, would be running at her side and wrap her protectively in their arms. It felt so good and safe to be in there!
Later that evening after dinner, when Aahana was asleep in her little crib, the gang Abhi, Armaan, Atul, Anjali, Rohit, Sonam, Rahul, Muskaan and Sid sat on the floor in the living room, playing a game of cards while Nikki, Riddhima and Simran were sitting on the sofa and chatting. Abhi sat beside Nikki, his back leaning against the sofa and shoulder touching her knees.
As she watched the group playing, arguing, teasing and laughing, there was joy in Nikki's heart. She kept running her fingers through Abhi's hair. She felt so contented with life. The worry and stress about her baby right through her pregnancy was now laid to rest as their little bundle was sleeping peacefully in her crib.
At the beginning of her pregnancy she was far, far away all alone by herself. Today, at the end of her pregnancy and beginning of her daughter's new life in the world, she is surrounded with all the people who love and care for her and whom she loves. Above all, she has her loving and caring husband firmly by her side. She looks down fondly at him. While exchanging a sly smile with Armaan, which told her someone in the group was being a butt of their joke, he looks up at her. Noticing an affectionate look on her face, but, her eyes glistening with tears, he raises an eyebrow questioningly. Nikki smiles and shakes her head in the negative, indicating everything was fine. He then takes her hand that was caressing his hair, kisses the inside of her palm and goes back to his game.
The baby monitor alerts them of the baby crying.
"Well guys, I have to go. It's Aahaana's feed time. You guys hang out."
"No even we should be leaving," Riddhima tells them, nudging Armaan.
"Yeah, we'll leave in 10-15 minutes," Armaan confirms.
As Nikki takes their leave, Abhi tells her he would be with her in few moments.
Twenty minutes later, when Abhi entered their room, he was surprised to see Nikki on the sofa.
"Why are you here?" he asks her.
"See Abhi, for good five minutes I am trying to get this madam to burp but she isn't," she tells him wearily "If she doesn't burp, she'll be uneasy in the night. I was feeling exhausted roaming around with her, so just sat down for few minutes.
"Here give her to me," Abhi tells her sitting beside her at the edge of the sofa. Taking Aahana from Nikki, he smiles at his daughter.
"You are a good girl, Right?" he coos at her, flashing his most charming smile. She sleepily sticks out her tongue at him, bringing a giggle from Nikki. "See, she says she'll listen," he tells Nikki with a smile.
He holds her straight, strategically placing her tummy on his shoulder and taking care to hold her head with his left hand, he gently rubs her back with his right.
With three tender strokes. "Burp, Burp" his daughter spits out the air.
Abhi grins while Nikki looks disbelievingly.
"How do you manage that?"
"Lets say I have the art of handling my women!" he laughs wickedly
"Oh thank you so much," Nikki was too relieved to be instigated by his teasing.
"Just thank you, won't do," he tells her "I need to be rewarded with a kiss."
"You'll get hundred of kisses if you do this for me everytime she has her feed!"
"Really? How about a demonstration of it?"
Nikki grins and proceeds to kiss him starting with his lips, then seductively moving to the the edge of his mouth, his chin, his neck and every spot her lips touched, an ecstatic Abhi would dreamily roll his eyes and let out an "aaahh"
"For this I'll do anything, change the diapers, even feed the baby if you want!" he exclaims excitedly
Nikki laughs out aloud. "You do help with changing the diapers and the feeding part, I don't think you can do anything about it, so I'll manage that!" They both chortle loudly.
Then looking at her daughter asleep on his shoulder, a smiling Nikki also lays her head against his chest.
"Ah!" he sighs, looking down at the two women snuggled against his chest, one on each side. "Two gorgeous ladies in my arms! Feels like heaven!"
At that very precise moment, his gorgeous ladies, simultaneously lift their heads up. While his daughter sleepily rubs her nose against his shoulder and goes back to sleep, his wife places a loving kiss on his shoulder and closes her eyes. His chest swelling with pride a happy and contented Abhimanyu Modi, tightens his arms around the two special women, he loved more than his own life.
They are truly and completely Connected in Love.......
Picture is courtesy my sweet Sayru.....Thanks a lot Sweetheart.