‘The tiny plant embryo embedded in the seed remains dormant and when the conditions are favorable it germinates.’ But in a human life, for some people, it has become an unpredictable task to produce a zygote or a human embryo.
Research studies have found out the declining ratio of the capability of a sperm to bump into the human egg to produce a zygote. The evolving life style of the people living in this century has degraded the quality of the human reproductive system. Along with the growing concern about the exploding population of the world, the concern to become biological parents is also on the rise.
Though Celina knew she is not alone in the world with her problem, the impact the problem had in her life grew unmanageable day by day. Society at large sneered at the women who failed to conceive a baby and become a mother. The social restrictions denied them the opportunity to be a part of the religious or social rituals and showed an indifferent attitude and kept them in seclusion. Just as Raja Ram Mohan Roy was there to abolish Sati, another social activist needs to be born again to change the attitude of the society towards women who failed to conceive and become mothers.
Something or other prevented Jason to accompany Celina to undergo the tests as advised by the doctor. To convince him to come along with her became a task every time. Celina though educated and employed with a decent job always felt at heart that she has failed to achieve something in life.
She always wondered how complicated things can be in life. Is there anything that cannot be resolved with the scientific breakthrough?
It is quite intriguing to know how much time a pollen grain takes to move down the stamen to fertilize the ovary that is embedded deep inside a flower.
In the same way how much time will a sperm take to bump into the egg released from the ovary and get it fertilized?
Celina remembered the dissection sessions when they were asked to dissect a frog and show their systems. Usually the zoology practical sessions happened between 12 noon and 1 pm in the afternoon. With an empty stomach, Celina always felt haze and dizzy. Celina once got a female frog for her dissection. After pinning the four legs of the chloroformed frog with the bell pins on the dissection table, with the scalpel from the dissection box, she cut open the abdomen of the frog.
Celina could not withstand what she saw. The abdomen of the frog was filled with greenish jelly like substance. The flavor that arose from the jelly like substance churned her empty stomach with an uneasy feeling and made her puke instantly. During mating, the male frog holds the female frog in a tight embrace. The female frog discharges the eggs in a safer place in the water and the male frog sheds the sperms over the eggs.
“Jason!” the girl at the desk called.
Jason who was standing in the narrow passage outside the lab, rushed to the counter.
“Are you Mr. Jason?” the girl confirmed with him.
She then gave him a sterilised plastic container.
“Please go to the room at the end and get the specimen. Once done, hand over the container at the lab,” the girl gave him the instructions in a monotonous tone. So many patients come to the lab every day, and whoever he is, it is immaterial to her. It is her duty to tell him what to do.
With an awkward feeling, he took the container and walked into the room at the end of the passage. The room was well lit by the sunlight that came through the window high on the wall.
After locking the door, he looked through the iron bars on the window. He felt so delicate and embarrassed to think what the people will who are waiting, sitting or walking in the passage in front of the lab will think about him.
For a second, Jason felt angry with Celina. Jason constantly refused to come along with Celina as he felt embarrassed to go for the test. Even though the doctor insisted that it is important to take the test as it can rule out the initial problems.
Jason felt awkward to loosen his belt, unzip his pants and do the job. Doing like that inside that small room looked odd and it disturbed him, and he started to feel irritated and restless.
Jason’s hand trembled till he did a neat job, and after handing over the container, he asked for some soap to clean his hands in the running water. After a few wash, Jason felt relieved and he walked down the steps to the front door of the hospital.
"Where are you?” Celina came searching for Jason.
“Why don’t you wait in the reception? Why are you standing outside the hospital?” Celina asked him in a lower tone.
“Have you finished all the tests? Are you ready to go?” Jason frowned.
“I am done. Just wait. Let me get the file and come back in a few minutes.” Celina ran inside the hospital to collect the file with the prescriptions and the test details.
“Is this done, or do you want me to do some more tests?” Jason questioned her with a scorn.
Celina followed him without answering. She knew if she answered him that could lead to a heated conversation that can spoil the harmony at home. So, she kept her mouth shut tightly.
“I just can’t tolerate people who ogle at me. I hate it.” Jason screamed when he stepped inside the house.
“Why do you look at them? Just ignore them, things will be fine.” Celina replied him back in a softer tone.
“Don’t try to convince me. I am not ready to go through all these stupid tests. Don’t involve me in all these. I just hate it.” Jason’s words tore apart Celina’s ears. She could not answer him back except crying silently within her.
After two days, Celina went to collect the reports. Much to her relief, the reports showed everything normal with both of them. The doctor then asked her to do the post coital test that brought added problems between her and Jason.
The ordeal started the next day in the evening. The gynaecologist visited the clinic in the evening only. So, she asked Celina to come for the test and submit the sample at the lab the next day at 6 pm. Celina collected the request for the test kit from the doctor and went to the lab to get the kit.
The person at the lab asked her to come and get the kit the next day evening before going to meet the doctor. As the kit needed sterile condition, he asked her to collect the kit just one hour before she went to the doctor.
Celina did not find it difficult to explain Jason what they need to do. It became a difficult task for her to make him realize how important the test was to them and how she desperately needed his cooperation. Though the lab was near to her house, she had to walk at least ten minutes. She started around 5:30 pm and collected the kit. When she reached home it was around 6:10 pm.
Jason so engrossed in watching his favorite soccer match, did not want to move away from the chair.
“I have brought the kit,” Celina informed him. Jason did not take his eyes from the television. He deliberately ignored Celina.
“Please” Celina pleaded, and her eyes brimmed with tears.
“What do you want me to do?” Jason looked at her irritated. Celina felt ashamed and embarrassed. She prayed any other woman should not go through such a humiliation for the sake of having a child.
“Coming, go and lock the door. Close all the windows.” Jason still had his eyes glued to the television.
Without uttering a word Celina went inside and closed all the windows. Jason joined her after ten minutes.
Both of them felt so odd to be in bed at that hour. Evening time happened to be the most favourable time for lovers to exchange their sweet nothings and enjoy the nearness of each other. In their meeting places, lovers never failed to take advantage of the growing darkness to feel each other.
“Do I need to stoop so low to become a father?” Jason passed a sarcastic remark.
“Please.” Celina requested him once again.
“I hate you. I don’t know why I married you.” Jason kept on murmuring something or other.
Whenever he needed Celina, Jason always wanted her to cooperate. It is immaterial if she liked it or not.
“Wait.” Jason moved away from her and went outside for a while.
When he came back, he treated her just like a test animal on the desk of a research fellow and finished his job.
“It is done, now leave me. Let me go and watch the match.” Without waiting for an answer from her, Jason left the room.
Celina climbed down the cot and changed into a new dress. With the kit in her hand, she walked to the doctor’s clinic as if in a dream. The doctor did not allow her to wait at the clinic. She immediately took the swab and asked her to handover the kit in the lab.
Thanking the doctor once again, Celina walked to the lab. After handing over the kit to the person in the lab, Celina reached home feeling heavy at heart.
“Should he treat me like dirt?”
Celina opened the tap to fill the bucket with the cold water. Though it was eight o’clock in the night, she desperately needed that bath. She felt relieved and relaxed after taking the bath in the cold water.