Sia flung open the gate and in a flurry threw her school bag on the bed. She sat at the edge cupping her face. In-spite of just having entered her teens, she would usually not let her hormones mess with her mind. But today was different.
“They keep telling me that I am a stranger taken from filth? Who am I mom?” Spat she spoke amidst the sobs.
The moment that I had been bracing myself for years, had come.
Clasping Sia to my chest I regained my composure, “They are wrong in saying that you were picked up from filth. It was I rotting in there.”
Baffled she turned to me soliciting more information.
“15 years back while I was dish-washing my mom-in-law commanded me to get ready. Adi, my husband was on his way home. They had secretly scheduled an appointment with gynaecologist. My heart thumped at this sudden revelation and I rose in protest, ‘Why? I have already told him I am not giving away my baby. I am ready to raise her on my own. I will manage your home, my child and her expenses myself. Where is the problem then?’ I howled. My instincts kept screaming, my baby was in danger.”
“With blind love for her son and coldness towards the woman who had taken a slice out of her well-managed home and son’s life, she had her own reasons to support him through my gloom. But Adi.., I was so pissed off talking to this guy. All he ever had to say was, ‘Just 2 years of marriage, we have ample time to plan a family. I am working so hard for you, no?’“
“His mom chose his wife just the way she chose her maids. Who can adeptly manage the household chores, then serve to their fancies unquestionably. And my sought after groom, a hot-shot investment banker, all he ever cared for was his own needs, career and social engagements. And a well-qualified accommodating wife serves well at all fronts.”
“So where was I in all this?” I shifted to Sia repeating the question that I had asked them years ago.
“He filled the consent form and my baby was aborted.” Mellowing my tone I encapsulated the harrowing grief in a sentence.
“I was dragging myself through life when one day I found you in the municipal dustbin across the street.” A spark emerged from the corner of my eyes as I spoke.
“But the year old history was soon put on replay. I was still unsure how to deal with this when…one day she snatched you from my arms to send away, and you rebelled…, you rebelled, screamed just the way I had done once.”
“I slapped her right across the face. Then walked out of their home forever.”
“So Sia, who was really taken up from filth?”
Sia hugged me tight and her tears said it all.
I still sometimes wonder, who were really the strangers in my life? Sia or them?
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