Chapter 1 Birth
Pennsylvania (September 7th 1997)
“Ahhh!” Martha McClean screamed.
“Martha, you’re almost there. One more push then the baby will be out!” The nurse said.
“One more push, Martha. I’m here with you,” Robert McClean.
Martha pushed her harder and the baby started screaming. Martha fell back on the bed, panting.
The nurse took the baby and cleaned the baby. After a few minutes, the nurse wrapped the baby in a blanket and walked towards Robert.
“Congratulations. Its a boy!” The nurse exclaimed.
The nurse gave the boy back to Robert. Robert couldn’t hold in his excitement by looking at his son.
“Martha, look at our son,” Robert told Martha.
Robert gave their son to Martha. Martha was happy to see his son.
“This is our last child. I’m done,” Martha said.
Everyone who was in the room, laughed.
“What name should we give him?” Robert asked.
“We can’t name him, remember? Roma insisted that she gives her brother a name,” Martha said.
“That’s right. How can I forget?” Robert said chuckling.
Martha gave the baby boy to Robert. Robert took the baby and went outside. Robert’s parents, Martha’s parents, and Robert and Martha’s 4 year old daughter, Roma were sitting on the chair. When they saw Robert, they immediately got up and went towards Robert.
“Yay! I got my baby brother!” Roma squealed.
“Yes, my little princess. And if I remember, my little princess, Roma said that she wanted to name her baby brother, right?” Robert asked.
“Yeah!” Roma exclaimed.
“Ok, Roma. Have you thought of name?” Robert’s mother asked.
“Yeah I did,” Roma said.
“What is it?” Martha’s father said.
“Ross,” Roma said.
“Ross. I like that. Your mom will definitely like the name,” Robert said.
NewDelhi, India (December 19th)
Mohan and Kanthi Malhotra were waiting for their last child to give birth.
Mohan and Kanthi had one son and four daughters. Their first daughter Neeti is 18 years old. Their first son Adi is 16 years old. Second eldest daughter Kirti is 14 years old. Third daughter Shakti is 12 years old. Fourth daughter Mukti is 10 years old.
Neeti was already on Christmas vacation from college and last three girls came back from school. Adi went to use the bathroom. Kirti, Shakti, and Mukti came inside the flat, put the backpacks on the floor, and ran to their mother.
“Girls! What are you doing? You just came back from school. Aren’t you going to put your backpacks in your rooms?” Kanthi asked the girls.
“Mom, we want to feel our little sister’s kick. Did she kick yet?” Mukti asked.
Neeti came out of her room and sat down on the couch.
“When I felt mom’s stomach, my baby sister kicked twice,” Neeti said.
“Come on, baby. Kick,” Shakti said.
“Ow!” Kanthi exclaimed.
The girls got scared and then beamed with excitement. Adi came outside of the bathroom.
“She kicked,” Kirti said.
The doorbell rang, Neeti opened the door, and it was their father, Mohan.
“Papa!” the four girls and Adi exclaimed.
“Hey! How are my children? You didn’t cause any trouble at school, did you?” Mohan asked them
“No Papa!” The girls and Adi exclaimed.
“Very good,” Mohan said.
“Forget school. Ask if they troubled their mother,” Kanthi said.
“That’s because they’re excited to see their little sister. You can’t blame them,” Mohan said.
“Ok. Put your backpacks away, change in your nice skirts, eat, and then we’ll leave for the temple,” Kanthi said.
The children took their backpacks and went inside their rooms to get ready. After fifteen minutes, they came out of their rooms, all dressed up.
The children sat down at the dining table and Kanthi served snacks to them.
“I wonder what our sister will look like,” Adi said.
“She’ll look like me,” Kirti said.
“Or me,” Shakti said.
“Or me,” Mukti said.
“Or neither of us,” Neeti said.
“Huh?” The four of them asked in confusion.
“She’ll look like either mom or dad,” Neeti said.
“I hope she becomes a dancer like me,” Shakti said.
The children finished eating and started watching TV while their parents were getting ready in their room. Mohan came out wearing kurta and pants, and Kanthi came out in a pink saree.
“Wow, mom! You look so pretty,” Neeti said.
“Thanks sweetie. We’re getting late? Let’s go,” Kanthi said.
Mohan, Kanthi, and the children walked out of their flat, went down the elevator to the ground floor, and then to the car. The Malhotra family piled in the car. Mohan started driving towards the Iskcon New Delhi Temple.
They reached the temple and they all got out of the car. They put their shoes on the shoe rack and walked inside the temple room. They bowed down in front of the deities. They got up and the children went to their friends and they all went to a room to attend the Sunday school class.
In the temple room, there was a class going on in the temple room for all adults. The class finished within one hour. After class, everybody went to the dining hall to eat. The children ate with their friends, Mohan was with the men, and Kanthi was with the ladies.
“All of sudden, Kanthi started to feel pain and held her stomach.
“Kanthi, are you okay?” A lady asked.
“I think my water broke,” Kanthi said.
“Its time. Mohan Prabhu! Its time for you wife,” the lady said.
Mohan and the girls immediately ran to Kanthi’s side.
“Children, stay with Neeti didi. Aruna didi, can you please take my children to the hospital with you?” Mohan asked.
“Of course,” Aruna said.
“Thank you,” Mohan said.
Mohan took Kanthi with him to the car. Mohan started the car and drove towards the hospital. Aruna took the children to the hospital. They waited outside and there was a lot of screaming coming from the room.
Then they heard a baby crying. After a few minutes, Mohan came out of the room holding a baby girl.
“Meet your baby sister, Preeti Malhotra,” Mohan said.