Little Meenu was spending her first day at home away from home. She was 6 a year old kid with her dark black unkempt hair running down her back.
Meenu had lost her father when she was a year old. After her father’s death Meenu’s world revolved around her mother. Her mother was her father, friend and everything. It was too much of a loss when her mother died in an accident.
It was her first day at ‘New Ray Hope’ - a home for orphans… She crawled on to her bed, pulling her pillow on to her lap. She sat their hugging it tight. All the others in the room were sleeping. She was the only one awake.
Meenu felt lonely, she wanted to run away from the dark room. Wherever she turned she saw darkness. Tears were streaming down her eyes and wetting the pillow. She cried and cried.
As if Mother Nature could not bear to see her child crying like this. A strong wind blew the curtains aside and now a new streak of light lightened the room. In the darkness, the ray of light brought a new ray of hope. Little Meenu walked up to the window and put her hands on the window pane. She slowly rested her head on her hand and looked at the stars.
“Ma, how come there are so many stars in the sky?”
“Meenu dear, all those who leave their abode on earth become stars by Gods side.” She remembered her mother telling her.
She suddenly smiled and wiped away her tears with her little hand, she pushed the curtains a aside so that the room would become a bit bright.
She slowly went up to her cupboard and took her notebook and pencil. She tiptoed to the door and opened it slowly… The door screeched in the darkness…
Meenu ran to her bed and lay their motionless… She was frightened, after some time she mustered courage and peeped out to see if anyone was there…
She took her book and pencil and sat at one corner of the corridor.
She started writing.
How ar youe. I bad. Why youe taik my mume? You have no mume. I feel afraied give me back mi mume. I no sleep. My bed big big big. No one sllep with me, no one tel me storie I feelied cold no one to hug me. Give me mi mume bacik. I give youe all mi choclate and doll. I give all. Pleaasie… I cry.. I no loieve you. Youe bad give my mume you good.
Little Meenu slept on the corridor crying… Her letter was all written with her tears.
Shantha was the care-taker. She had a soft corner for children. When she read Meenu’s letter she firmly decided that the next child anyone would adopt from their home would be Little Meenu.
She carried Meenu to her bed and laid her to sleep. She put the letter inside her pocket.
Rohith walked into the premises of ‘New Ray Hope’ disappointed. He had been there for nearly a month with the hope of finding a child. All the children were a bit grown up and had only traces of innocence. He wanted a child just out of the mother’s womb.
Mother Mary saw him and said,” Good Morning Rohith. Have you decided on the child you want to bring up?”
“Good Morning Mother. No Mother I am still searching for HER”, said Rohith
“Don’t be disappointed child. God has someone really special. If you have not found a child yet, it’s just god’s will.
Rohith was bought up in ‘New Ray Hope’. He knew the pain a child undergoes in the absence of a mother/father. So he decided to adopt a child.
He nodded with a little disappointment. Suddenly his attention was caught by a little girl climbing on to a tree. He rushed to the tree. He saw a little girl climbing a tree with something in her palms.
He called out,” Hey what are you doing? You will fall down. Get down.”
The command in his voice shook the child and she fell down on the ground with a thud. Thank God she was unhurt.
She got up and hurriedly looked into her palms… it was there. She was happy.
He looked at her sternly and said,” I told you that you would fall down.”
She looked at him with a smile and said,” That is why I fell.”
He looked at her shocked,” What? You fell because I said?”
She calmly said,” You know, God makes all our words come true. You said I would fall and I fell.”
Rohith was stunned, he was searching for words. They failed him. He finally went up to the child and dusted her clothes,” What is your name?”
“Meenu” she said with a giggle.
“Why did you climb the tree?”
“A row of ants carried this candy for their morning breakfast, but it fell down midway. I did not want them to go hungry so I thought I will put it into that hole for them.” She said showing him the candy, “Can you put it in that hole for me?”
Rohith was shaken with the child’s love. He could not deny her request.
He lifted her so that she herself would put it into the hole. She had a broad smile on her face, “Thank you.”
He did not have the heart to put her down. He slowly carried her around. He wanted to start a conversation but did not know how…
“Do you always wear such good clothes…? He was mystified with her question. He looked at her and said,” Yes Meenu? Why do you ask such a question?”
She said with a light air,” My Mummy gets me good clothes on my birthday. All the other days she gets it from my neighbor. I wear their clothes.” He felt a little upset and asked,” When did you come here?”
“I came yesterday night. I will be leaving soon. My mummy will come to take me…” She said smiling. “Your mother…? How did you know?” he asked her perplexed.
She asked him to put her down, which he did with little hesitation. She caught his two fingers with her hand and pulled him to her room.
She looked around stealthily for some time. Then slowly pushed her pillow and put her hand inside the pillow cover and pulled out a piece of paper.
She thrust it into Rohith’s hand and said,” Read it…”
Rohith read it….
I will send your mummy back to you. Your mummy will come back to you. Till that I want you to be smiling. Be a good girl, your mummy will come back to you,
Rohith knew very well that someone had played a trick on the little child, but he did not know why…
Just then Shantha walked in… She looked at Rohith and smiled, but when she saw the letter in his hand a chill ran down her spine.
She put her hand on Meenu’s shoulder and said,” Meenu go down for your breakfast.” And Meenu ran away hopping like a little rabbit.
When she was out of sight Rohith looked at her and asked,” Did you write this letter? Why did you do this to a poor kid, every day she will be expecting her mother… She is going to get disappointed…”
“No she won’t.” said Shantha with a confident tone. “I have decided to adopt Meenu.” saying so she pulled out the letter that Meenu wrote. She handed it to Rohith.
Before Rohith could finish he had a tear drop writing itself in the same piece of paper.
He looked up at her and asked,” Will your husband agree to it this?
“I am a spinster. I had plans of marrying but not after I saw Meenu. If you spend one day with her you will realize that she is the most priceless gift that god can ever give to anyone. I don’t want to miss her.” saying so she walked out of the room.
Rohith walked down to the dining hall… He saw Meenu sitting at the end. She slowly mixed the curry with rice. How much can a little hand do? She then slowly put a handful into her mouth.
Rohith wanted to SPEND A DAY WITH HER. He went into the Mother’s room sought her permission.
Meenu finished her breakfast and was sitting in the corridor looking at the butterflies fluttering around a flower.
He walked up to her, kneeled down before her and said,” Meenu…” She looked at him smiling.
“I want to take you out… Will you come with me?”
She looked at him and said,” Will you get me a chocolate?”
He smiled and said,” I will get you many…”
She immediately held his hand. He carried her and walked up to his car. Put her in the front seat and drove off…
He drove her to his house, on the way he had too many questions to answer. He thought,” There are no seven wonders in this world for a child there are seventeen hundred!!!”
He took her to HER room and when she opened… Lo! There were toys all around. He left her playing with them.
He fed her with his own hands and played with her… He felt that the world was beautiful when she was beside him.
Time went on… it was evening. She was playing in HER room. The power went off. In a few seconds the generator went on. He walked into the room just to verify that everything was fine. As soon as he opened the door she clung to his legs.
He carried her to the hall. It took him some time to console her. He finally asked her,” What Meenu? Why do you fear darkness?”
She looked at him and said,” There is a girl in our home who cries everyday when the sun comes up. I am much better than her.”
Rohith could not help but smiling. There was so much truth in the child’s word. When there are men who are afraid of light… how could we blame a kid for fearing darkness?
Meenu slept on Rohith holding on to the collar of his shirt and a thumb in her mouth. Suddenly she woke up startled and said, “Mani, Mani is alone. I need to go back to him.” She got up and pulled him to the door.
Rohith could not understand anything he looked at her and asked,” Who is Mani?”
“He is my friend. He is a small puppy. Come dada lets go.” The way she called him made his heart skip a beat. He decided… MEENU IS MINE. I WILL NEVER LEAVE HER.
He got into his car, called up Mother and asked her the address from where Meenu was brought. He had lot of confusion in finding his way out. Suddenly Meenu pulled his shirt close to him and dozed off on his shoulder.
Finally he reached the little hut. When the car jerked Meenu woke up startled… She looked out of the window and saw her home - sweet home.
He got out of the car, opened the door for Meenu to get down. She looked around with tears in her eyes… her eyes were searching for her little friend. All the while she was holding on to Rohith’s pant. She looked at the corner of her hut and saw a small thing moving. A tiny pair of eyes looked at her and then it came running to her. Her joy knew no bounds. She carried him in her hands and wiped all the dirt off him with her dress.
She kissed him, fondled him. Rohith was looking at her with a smile.
He thought, “I love you Meenu, not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. She is not an Orphan by choices of her own but by the choices of others. I can’t let this happen. Not to the one I love. “
She came running to Rohith. He carried her and Mani into his car. They drove off back home.
All night he saw her play with Mani, He heard her talk. She was laughing, she was bubbling with joy, and she was full of life. Everything in his house seemed to be blessed with the touch of her little hand. And now he believed that joy and happiness came in small packages.
Finally she fell asleep, holding on to his ears with a finger in her mouth. She felt cold and she pushed herself close to him for the warmth of his love and affection. He put his hand around her, carried her and put her on his chest. He held her close so that she would not feel cold.
He looked at her and said,” You taught me how to love, but not how to stop. I can’t lose you Meenu. I LOVE YOU with all my heart and soul. It is really hard for me to accept the fact that you were someone else’s and you will be someone else’s. I have spent less than a day with you, but I just feel that it is only now that I have started living. You have just been with me like the dew on the blades of grass. The dew can leave the grass with no trace of it having been there; but, only the blade of grass knows how painful it is to lose the dew.”
He could no longer bear it. He put Meenu down on his bed walked up to the phone and called ‘New Ray Hope’.
“Yes tell me Rohith…” said Shantha.
Rohith was perplexed,” How did you know that? Okay. Whatever it is… I need Meenu. I can’t give her to anyone. I will do anything for her. Just tell me how much…”
“Rohith, wait… I knew you would never leave Meenu. I just wanted you to spend a day with her after which I was sure you could never leave her. I was expecting your call. All children deserve someone to love them, but, children like Meenu deserve more love. SHE IS YOURS… If Meenu agrees to be with you, we do not have any problem. There are many more children who deserve a home. I will take one of them as mine. Sleep peacefully. Good Night Rohith.”
Rohith was dumbstruck. He could only say,” Err… Thank you. Good Night Shantha.”
He spent all night wondering what Meenu would say. He fell asleep on the sofa. When he woke he was surprised to see Meenu sleeping on him. He carried her on his shoulder and prepared milk for her.
He then put her on their bed and sat there looking at her. After some time she woke up she looked at him. He wished her good morning and gave her the cup of milk. She pushed the glass of milk aside, hugged him and said,” Dada will you sending me back to that home? I don’t want to leave you. I want you. I won’t ask you chocolates, I won’t ask you toys. Please don’t send me away. When you were not by my side yesterday night I felt like crying. Please don’t send me away.” She kissed him hard and held him close.
He did not know which word could explain her how much he loved her. If he said I LOVE YOU will she understand…? A tear ran down his cheeks and he said,” Your mine Meenu, you don’t have to go anywhere. I don’t want to miss you”
Being myself is Dad for 2 Year old kid, and kind of person who feel the kids are precious gifts and, I will become one among them when I play with them. To be honest, it was really Heart touching and it took me to the Level to curse the God who made Meenu Motherless.
I am praying not to have such kids in this world .I am proud of the person who runs the orphanage and taking care of such kids. Hats off to them.