Sunday, January 13, 2008

A mother at heart!

This is a beautiful story that one of my professors forwarded. Though I've read many like it back in India, the ending is different. I hope you like it too and all kudos go to the original author of the story, wherever he/she is.

"Are you sure, you don't have any problem with this" Selvi asked him once again, probably for the tenth time.
Suresh smiled at her."No ma. I am in fact happy that you made this decision". She leaned on his shoulders and closed her eyes. They are heading towards Anbagam (House of Love). It's a home for homeless children. Only last night, she asked Suresh about this. "Shall we adopt a child?" Her lovely eyes were wet. "I need a child, A Child of my own." Suresh didn't utter a word. He knows the pain that she undergoes all these ten years of their life together.

Theirs is a Love Marriage. Its not a Love at first sight kinds. They have been friends since the age of 10 and God only knows when exactly the friendship turned to Love. No proposals, No Cards, No 'I love yous'. When Selvi's parents fixed her alliance with a bottle-faced Richie, She realized that there can't be a life for her without Suresh. They didn't need many words to be exchanged between them as he also had the same thing in him. After failing to convince their parents, they decided to elope. It took two full years for their parents to accept them, that too, not whole-heartedly. But they neither bother them much nor ignore them. They live such an intimate life they need none else.

She has a great love for children. At every journey, she will manage to attract a child and soon it will be seen on her Lap. "See how those tiny fingers look... See how she smiles... so cute with lovely dimple... See how he looks. sooooo sweet. He is almost a doll..... Like this She has hundreds of 'See hows' to be excited about a kid. Once a Mom astonished after 6 hours of train journey with us,"My Son does not go to anyone other than me. I wonder how he got attached to your wife".

As destiny has its own way of dictating things, they don't have a child. Though She is yearning for one, she found ways to cope up with it. Every day, one could find a minimum of 10 children at her home. She would feed them, play with them and go to temples with them. She had her own world with them unperturbed by the comments of others.

One day she over-heard his mother talking to a neighbour, "When you don't look at the horoscopes, this is how things will be. These young people don’t listen to elders. Marriage is not a joke. Why we insist on horoscopes and auspicious days and all. They simply went and married without giving ears to our advices. See now, its we who suffer. I am worried if there won't be any heir to us at all. But what to do. I can only pray to God"

That night she cried for the first time after they got married. It was very hard for Suresh to console her.

"Have I spoiled your life" She asked in between her cries.
"Stupid girl, Stop all these non-sense. There is nothing to worry about these comments. I am here for you always.
Believe me. Soon, we will have a beautiful child. As beautiful as my kuttimmaa. Now please stop crying. I don't like to see my dear like this"
"Shall we go to Doctor" She asked with all the seriousness in the world.
Suresh didn't know what to tell.
"Why ma, lets wait"
"No Suresh, Please take me to a Doctor".

They went to Doctor. Not one. For next three years, they went to many a Doctor. Lots of scans, tests, specialists.....
All of them showed the same result......They are medically fit and there is not a single problem with either of them.

But still, the result they wanted never happened. God keeps answers to few puzzles to himself. They are beyond Medical science, In fact beyond any science. May be He is of the opinion that 'if the man-kind can find answers to all puzzles of the world, His existence will be ignored'.

As years went, they had to cope and tolerate more and more comments. And some of them were made on the face and many behind. They got used to it. None of these comments came between them. Their love for each other grew with them, undeterred.

Last evening that happened. He came back from office to see selvi waiting for him anxiously at the gate. "Suresh, manju is not well it seems. She is hospitalized. Let's go now pls."

Manju is a two years old girl of their neighbour who is one of the darlings of his wife. He drove to the Hospital. All along, selvi was telling me how manju was active playing with her till that afternoon. By afternoon, her mom came to take her, telling that her Granny has come village. As he reached the hospital, she didn't wait for him to park the car and ran to the reception. He parked the car and checked at the reception. The Child was in Room number 202 and when he approached the room, he saw selvi at the door.

She looked transfixed.
Then he heard that conversation too.
It was the granny of the child shouting at the mother. "Its all your carelessness that brought this to us, You neither use your head, nor listen to us."
"What did I do, Aunt"
"Haven't I told you 100 times not to leave the child to that ill-fated woman?"
"No Aunt, there is nothing wrong with her. She takes care of Manju very well"
"Even now, after experiencing this, you don't understand, is it?,
Have you ever watched at that selvi's eyes when she looks at our kid. Its all filled with jealousy and inability. That's what struck our child now. Otherwise, will a child who was active till 3, start vomiting continuously like this"
"Aunty. Please don't blame selvi akka (sister).
She is too good at heart to think so mean"
"Oho! So Your Selvie akka is not mean. Its me who is mean , is it"
"Oh Aunty, Please don't play with words. I meant to tell you that she is good at heart, that's all"
"hmmm, Good at heart….As if you saw her heart to comment on it"
"Yes. It's visible by her deeds. I have never seen her putting a foot wrong. She is kind and helpful. You can see every kid of the street in her house, all the time. Though she does not have a child on her own, You have seen how well she takes care of all kids. That's why I call her good"
"You can't judge a person that easily. She has a crooked mind behind all her deeds. More than me, More than you...
God judges everyone so well. Tell me why she is not blessed with a child. Tell me. God knows what to give to whom.
Stop arguing with me. And listen to me. Our Child is not going to her home anymore. That's it."

Selvi could not stand there even for a second after hearing this. She ran from there. The door was open and Suresh knew they were out there seeing them. But he didn't have time or courtesy to smile at them. Suresh had to rush back to his car where he saw Selvi in a totally collapsed state. He let her cry for sometime and that's when she asked him if they could adapt a child.

They reached that home by the prayer time. They joined the Prayer. They are singing a song praising the God for creating the world. Its thanks God for creating all beautiful things, Falls, mountains, landscapes, greens, creatures, man-kind.......and Love..... It ended saying that everything is His and everyone is His children. Its so touching to see all the innocent faces with pure hearts singing the song.

Selvi looked at all the kids. Her eyes are searching and he could see her eyes smile on seeing each face. Suresh knows that its going to be tough for her to single-out a child. The home is called 'House of Love' is run by the Jesuits and Father Ignaci Muthu is the Director of the Home. Prayers are over and now they are in Father's room. Suresh knows Fr. Ignaci very much as he got graduated from a Jesuits college. Suresh sees some tension creeping on selvi's face.

Actually they went with some sweets and we decide to distribute the sweets to all children. The Plan is to have a look at all children while giving the sweets. Selvi is given a list with all names of the children. They looked at all the children.

Children of different ages....
Fair, dark, lean, stout, special needs........
some are smiling...
some didn't bother to.....
A few thanked immediately.....
a few did after insistence by the Sister who accompanied them.....
one started feeling Selvi's saree with wide open eyes.....
one got curious about the Suresh's spectacles .....
All of them have many things in common.
they all have no mask on their faces...
they belong to same religion, religion of Love...
they have same parent.. The Almighty...
they have same character... Innocence...
they are all punished for a fault which is not theirs,
Yet, they are not aware of it and they don't hate the world or they don’t know how to....

By another hour, the sweet distribution is done and they are back in Father's room. Father asked Suresh "So My Son, Have you chosen a child, or do you both need to discuss" "We don't need any discussion father. It's going to be selvi's choice" Saying this Suresh looked at his wife. Selvi is biting her lips with a lowered head.Then she told, "No. I don't want to adopt a child"

Suresh is shocked.
And Father looked confused.
"Selvi, what are you saying?"
"No, Suresh. I don't want a child. Leave me like this. I don't want to adopt a child. I don't want. I don't want." With that, she started crying.

Father looked at Suresh without losing his calmness.
"Son, don't force her. Leave her. I guess you should have talked to her little more, before taking her here."
"No father, it's her decision to adopt"
"Yes, I did take the decision. And I am stupid. Now, I don't want to adopt. Please take me out"
She fell on the chair and she could not be controlled.
"I am sorry Father. Will meet you later"
Suresh took her out and didn't want to look at her.

She slept off on the way after weeping for sometime. They reached home and Suresh saw the paper with all names of the children in her hand. He is surprised that no child impressed her. He slowly tugged the paper and looked at it.
She has marked a tick on.......All names.

Till night they didn't speak much to each other. She came and asked if she could keep her head on his lap. He nodded and she did. "Are you Mad on me" she asked. "Yeah, Initially I was."

"So you are not, now"
"hmmmmm, but I am still confused"
She remained silent.
"I know you like all those children. But why did you say, you don't want to adopt a kid"
She asked him back, " If I asked you to select, whom you would have gone for"
Suresh thought for few seconds and told "That Amudha, 3 yrs old girl"
"Then don't you like that little Aruna who cannot walk".
Suresh didn't know what to tell.
"We can adopt both if you want".
She spoke after few minutes of silence.
"Suresh."I like all those children. It was not easy to choose one of them. Even if I choose one, that child will get a Mom and Dad in us. Don't you think it is an injustice done to all other children? If I have not seen all of them then it's a different thing. I saw them, each one of them. I can't say one is better than the other. Or I can't find out which one needs me more. All I can say now is I love them all and we can't adopt them all. Can we?"
Suresh looked at her face and didn't even try to reply.
She continued, "I know. We can’t. I don't want to disappoint other children by choosing one of them. They all are equal They all are good. They all are beautiful. Better than me. Better than you. They cannot be discriminated on any basis. They all are blessed and children of God. Can we make better parents than God? Let's not adopt a single child and try to give it a king's or queen's life. Let's adopt the home. Let's give all our money for them. Let's visit the home whenever possible. Please allow me to join them as a teacher. I don't care the world. Let me be, an issue-less woman who cannot be a mother forever. But let’s not adopt a child".
Suresh nodded his head in silence.
He understood that though selvi is not blessed with a child, she is already mother in heart.
A true Mother indeed.


Arun said...

do prof also send fwds?
i didnt read the story(yet), it was too big :)

Ridhus said...

That was a touching story.

Though I look back at the simpler pre 90's with nostalgia, I am pretty sure that certain characteristics like rigid beliefs,social stigmatization and gossip of idle people won't be missed as we move forward.

Vishnupriya Janardhanan said...

that was beautiful . .well written :)

alpine path said...

arun, yeah! This one does. Though its mostly technical stuff, sometimes he sends out good normal stuff too. And this forward was one of them.

ridhus, thanks! yup! Some changes are for good and some are for bad. We only have the choice of coping with those changes and moving on in time.

vishnupriya janardhanan, thanks a lot. All kudos to the original author!

Ann Sam said...

It's really very touching...

Alpine Path said...

Ann, yup! I love this story even after years of reading it first :)