Excerpt from the upcoming book “The Folks From 13”.
Formerly Suite 1304 – The Singhs
Banji squeezed Indira’s finger. From her spot over the crib, Indira smiled down at her daughter. Yes, Banji was her daughter—the only mother the child would ever know. She had convinced Parminder not to tell the twins about their biological mother—it would be confusing for them she had said and in his sorrow and confusion following Banji’s death, he had agreed. As if sensing that he was missing out on something, Brewster cried out. Indira gently pulled her finger away from the baby girl and moved sideways to the next crib to rest her hand on and gaze down on her son.
The babies, while twins, were polar opposites in every way except for their obsidian curls. Banji was a very pretty baby and the splitting image of her deceased mother, with dark skin and large dark round eyes. Brewster was his father mirrored reflection. His fair eyes were set deep into a latte coloured face and he was mostly quiet where she constantly fussed and demanded attention. They were smaller than other children their age but then they were premature. At their age, they should have been crawling or even walking but they were just starting to scoot around. Indira felt herself blessed to have these two babies. She didn’t regret that Banji had died, though around Parminder, she had gotten very good at feigning sorrow.
The babies were now almost nine months old and she and Parminder had moved with them out of The Gate and away from the 13th floor. Banji missed her old apartment, though she liked their new home well enough. Brewster, the superintendent, had been kind enough to allow them to stay for two months until the home they had bought was ready. It was in gratitude that they had named their son after her. Indira had quickly gotten into the grove of being a mother of twins. She functioned efficiently and effectively and seemed happy when changing diapers or rocking a colicky Banji at all hours of the night. The only problem was Parminder. He had been so devastated by the loss of the twins’ mother that he wouldn’t or couldn’t bring himself to look at or even hold the twins.
She had thought that Banji out the picture would have given her the perfect life but instead, the young girl’s death had shattered Parminder. He had returned to his former disengaged self and had gained back most of the weight he had lost. And worse for Indira, he didn’t want to have sex. At first Indira was too busy with the babies to care but now, seven months later, she was pissed.
And things got even worse when she found out she was pregnant. Her joy turned to anger the night she told Parminder and all he could say was “don’t kill yourself bringing it into the world,” then he shuffled off to his own room and closed the door.
She patted her own belly, swollen with Parminder’s other son, and laughed at the irony that she was soon going to be a married, single mother of three babies. She had to devise a way to get Parminder involved with the babies. She knew he would love them as much as she did and would soon forget about their dead mother. But what could she do?