Krishnendu did not want to wake her up thinking of the high fever that Rai had since late last evening and things had got little serious as the evening had advanced. At one point, he was pretty tensed, especially when the temperature shot up to 102 degrees Celsius, leaving him clueless about where he could find a doctor in this alien land. He felt helpless and could not think of leaving her even for a split of a second. Rai was clutching his hands tightly and would not even let him call up the reception to get the medicines. “Rai, let me please make a brief call and order some medicines for you”, Krishnendu pleaded with her, but Rai was behaving like a child. She was perhaps determined not to let him go anywhere from her side. “Look Rai, this is your biggest problem, you simply behave like a child at times,” Krishnendu reacted as his tension was mounting. He was wondering why Rai did not understand his worries, his helplessness and in fact his increasing irritation, but he knew he could not expect any mature behaviour from Rai during these moments; she had always been like this. Perhaps this is the only way Rai could get undivided attention from Krishnendu and snatch him from his ever busy schedule even though momentarily. Krishnendu was indeed helpless and just decided to sit beside Rai and comfort her.
“Krishu (as Rai lovingly addressed Krishnendu), take me in your lap and let me just hug you,” Rai spoke in her faint voice, as if she were Krishnendu’s little daughter. As Krishnendu spread his arms to take Rai in his lap, Rai hugged him around his waist and placed her head in his lap and he said lovingly, “Rai, at times I really get confused thinking, whether you are my wife or my daughter,” and smiled to himself. “Both,” Rai replied hugging him even more tightly and with a smile of immense gratification glued to her face. Her face was completely hidden behind her deep burgundy curls as he was trying to locate it inside his lap. He gently removed a few of them from her face with his fingers and felt like holding her face inside his palms to give a peck on her forehead. He was unable to resist himself as he saw her kohl smudged eyes. He had always loved this look because he believed this brought out the real essence of his Rai, her free and passionate spirit. Rai just loved to talk and most of the times, Krishnendu had no choice but to listen to her quietly. He found it the best way to just look into her sparkling eyes, her ever lively expressions and her million dollar smile – these were his sources of sustenance. Rai was a beautiful balance of intelligence and simplicity, Krishnendu always thought and a perfect blend of childishness and maturity. He remembered how maturely she handled their relationship when everyone was completely against it just because he was twelve years elder to her. With a beautiful yet confident smile on her face she always consoled him saying, “Don’t worry Krishu, everything will be fine one day and we would always be together, no matter what.” So many thoughts were ushering in his mind as he saw her sleeping on his lap as peacefully as a child.