Thakkamma, the old village nurse, was handling this delivery, like she had done countless times before. There were no medical centers anywhere nearby, not that Rajan could have afforded it anyway! No doctors from the cities had cared to drop by for a visit in recent times, not even during the plague.
Shanthana was screaming inside the house while her two daughters looked petrified; the youngest daughter and the only son slept in Rajan’s lap; while the man himself looked quite perplexed as to what was to become of his household – a fear which every man possesses, albeit at different levels!
As the noise levels rose in the household the old nurse emerged from the mud hut and started to look around for something. The eldest daughter Shyama came forward and asked the old woman, “What are you looking for Thakkayee?”
“See if you can get me something sharp, a stone maybe. I am too old to search anything” she said raising her hand to her forehead and staring at the sun, “looks like the sun will be setting soon. Find it quickly so that I can turn back home soon.”