Author: Madhura K
I have no doubt in my mind Prutha that you’ll achieve what you desire from life. I am truly proud of you’!
It was nothing great, she had merely won a quiz competition in the school, but Rohit ensured that he would never miss an opportunity to encourage his precious princess. Prutha’s eyes glittered with pride upon listening to her father’s encouraging words.
It seemed only yesterday when Rohit and Shriya first saw her at the Gokul Orphange in Indore. Prutha wasn’t what one would call an epitome of beauty. She wasn’t very fair, her brownish wavy hair screeched of not being cared for, she was short for her age, she was JUST an ordinary child. But her dark deep innocent eyes were filled with eagerness to explore the world, exhibited humility, glittered with satisfaction and no complaints! They seemed way too mature for a 7 year old. There was something about her overall being that instantly made Rohit and Shriya take her home. They officially became her parents! Her family!
Prutha had lost her biological parents to accident and thereafter nobody came forward to claim her guardianship. The decision was made to shift her to the Indore’s facility for orphan kids. She remembered her parents as a kid. She remembered how she slept between the warmth of her mom and dad. She remembered the taste of her mom’s cooked daal-rice, even as she was being taken to her new home of the Dixit’s!
It was all fresh in her mind, yet somehow, she seemed to have accepted her fate (the meaning of which she did not know). It was a tough decision for Rohit-Shriya too. They had consciously taken the decision to adopt a 7-year-old. They already were in their middle-age, tired of running around juggling with busy schedules and successful careers respectively. They were now completely ready for a family!
Prutha’s room was adorned with all the worldly pleasures a 7-year-old could dream of! There were books, toys, a lovely bed with a radium bedsheet which glittered at night.
It wasn’t all that new for Prutha though. Her parental home too had everything she would need.
Rohit and Shriya seemed warm and loving. They had meticulously gathered all the things a girl her age would need. The wardrobe had all kinds of clothing and accessories, the fridge was loaded with goodies. She had become a treasured possession for the Dixits! They were trying hard to be the best mom and dad in the world! Somehow, there still was a kind of distance and discomfort!
It had been more than 2 months in the new home now, but Prutha would mostly be quite. She showed no food preferences. She would eat what was being offered. She would prefer to stay in at home than go out and play. Rohit-Shriya had rarely seen her laughing her heart out. It broke Shriya’s heart when Prutha said yes for everything. She badly wanted her to be their own daughter who would at times throw tantrums. Ask for things. Make many friends. Laugh, cry, and do what other kids her age did! The only time she truly enjoyed herself was when she watched her favorite cartoon, Doreamon.
‘Rohit, would she never think of me as her own mother? Why doesn’t she come running to me?’
Listen Shriya, you’ve got to give her some time. Let’s plan a holiday together. May be it’ll break the ice for us said Rohit.
Over the next weekend, Rohit arranged for a secret destination for the trio’s trip. Shriya finished her last minute shopping for Prutha’s first ever family picnic.
Prutha’s eyes were glued to the window. She was observing the little huts on the streets of Mumbai. Boys her age tending to the new-born siblings, beggers, men getting shaves on the footpaths, fish vendors. In the backdrop of Yanni’s Nostalgia, it all seemed surreal! Like a completely different world! She was brought back to reality when her mum, shriya, offered her some cookies! Soon they were past the city and had hit the highway and Prutha slept like a baby in Shriya’s arms.
The car stopped at a gate! Prutha rubbed her eyes. She couldn’t believe what Rohit had done! She was home. Her real home. Her home where she’d learnt to walk, talk. She rushed out of the car and ran towards the gate. Rohit-Shriya followed her. It wasn’t too long ago when this was the only house she knew.
She climbed up the stair screaming “Aai, aai I am home. Open the door. Aai it’s me Prutha. Baba open the door please”. She reached the house. But it was locked. “Let me in Baba! Please let me in. I promise I would be a good girl, baba. I will not paint the walls, I will eat everything you ask me to baba. Please let me in. Aai please let me in. Please come back Aai. Please come back. Open the door for me. Please” tears found their way down Prutha’s tensed cheeks.
She clung to the lock on the door and tried pulling it hard. The door wouldn’t open. Shriya and Rohit reached out to the poor girl. Shriya was angry. “How could you do this to the little girl Rohit?” “Believe me Shriya, I did this in the best interest of Prutha”.
These few moments seemed like eternity. She knew that no matter how much she screamed, the door won’t open! Prutha realised that her loss was permanent. Like a brave girl, she controlled her sobs. She wiped away her tears and sat at the door glancing the floor. “Prutha, baby, do you want to go home now? To our home?” Yes Rohit uncle. Lets go now!
When destiny takes away something from you, it also already has plans for it. Seek closure and move on!