Eerie blessing

Sheetal was all alone in the room of the lonely resort that stormy night. She, her husband Rajiv and her one year old baby had arrived at this resort for the weekend. The baby had not been keeping well for the past week and Sheetal was stressed out and in desperate need of a change. They reached here after a three hour long drive at dusk. The air here was cool and calm and alighting from her SUV she could feel its gentle caress. There were about ten cottages but none of them were occupied. “Even better”, she thought. They settled in the room and relaxed with tea and some snacks. The baby, too, was quiet and they decided to retire early for the night. She woke up early next morning feeling rested and totally relaxed.

Leaving Rajiv and the baby, both of whom were sleeping soundly, Sheetal moved out of the room and starting walking in the emerald green lawns. “This was what I needed”, she felt. The daily morning chores over, they set out for sight seeing. At around 2pm Rajiv received a call from his office asking him to attend an urgent meeting at 7pm. “The mobile phones are such a nuisance” was Sheetal’s reaction. Having faced situations like this time and again this time Sheetal was better at handling it. “We will have to leave”, Rajiv announced. She was in no mood to cut short the trip. She wanted to stay back. Though Rajiv was not comfortable at the thought of leaving her and the baby alone here, but seeing that both of them were having a good time, he agreed. “In any case I’ll be back by night”, he said and dropping them back at the resort left.

After putting the baby to sleep, Sheetal was relaxing with a book and soft music in the room when suddenly the sky started turning dark and it looked as if a storm was approaching. The baby woke up with the noise of thunder and lightning and started getting cranky. The electricity, as expected, went away and in no time it started raining cats and dogs. Normally Sheetal would have loved such an evening but the baby’s condition was troubling her. The medicines were not working. The lone man managed reception desk was a good 500 meters away and no way could she go there at the moment. The phone lines were dead and her mobile phone’s battery was not charged. Completely alone, with a sick, wailing baby, Sheetal started losing her nerves. “I should have not stayed back”, she thought. She was pacing up and down the dark room frantically when she heard the doorbell ring. Without thinking twice, she opened the door to find an old man with a flowing, white beard and white clothes. His clothes were dry and suprisingly he was not carrying an umbrella. With a pacifying smile he asked in a very gentle tone “Is the baby unwell?” and put his hand on the baby’s forehead. “He’ll be Ok” said he, and moved out into the rain before Sheetal could react. She was numb and closed the door as if in auto pilot. She was breathing heavily but the baby was calm and about to sleep in her arms. The storm started subsiding and the current came back. She looked at the watch – it was 12 midnight. “Trrrrng”, the doorbell rang and she opened the door to see a wet, tired and worried Rajiv standing there. “Hope all is Ok”, he said. “Yes, now it is, because of the eerie blessing”, Sheetal replied.

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