She was trying to walk as fast as possible; it seemed that she would miss her flight if she didn't reach her destination the next moment. Swarima was in hurry as she had left Tanvi at home, sleeping soundly. She thought she would return in a while as the photographer supposed to be ready with Tanvi's 2nd birthday photographs. But the photographer took some time in taking care of an old uncle, who was arguing about the bad quality of the pictures coming out from 38 year old negatives.
Tanvi was the world for Swarima and Jatin. Why not she should be; after all, they waited eight long years for her. What didn't they do to get a child: Wandered from one temple to another, didn't let a mosque or Gurudwara left and visited every possible church for prayers. Finally, after 8 long years, God responded! 9 months passed as if it were 9 centuries and then their most prized possession embellished their life.
As soon as Swarima reached home, she saw the locked door just as she had left it and took a sigh of relief. But, what was that! All of a sudden, she noticed some red water in the drainage along the house. Dark red color took over the dirty water in the drain. Even a pointed line of bloody-like color was leaking from the door. Suddenly Paranoia choked Swarima as she imagined all the worst possible scenarios in those 20 seconds. Her heart started pounding faster in her ears. She took the keys out from her purse with trembling hands, put the keys in the lock in 3rd attempt and opened the door praying.
On opening the door, she saw Tanvi busy… Apparently, the child was smiling and playing happily in the bathtub with the red color leftovers from the last Holi.
PS: I want to take this opportunity to thank Sakhi, Monica and Manish for their wonderful contribution in making this story look as it is.