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Can you see the light?
There it was. So beautiful…..so pure. It’s mere presence radiated joyousness. It burst into perfect strands of raucous laughter. It’s aura lured, it’s beautiful spectre beckoned. There is no satiable description. There are no words – mere words are not worth. There it was….naive and young. Happiness. She reached out, to touch it, to let it overpower her senses ,to surrender herself…….
Then, she woke up. She woke up to reality. Reality was harsh, tough, ruthless. It is amusing how easily humans get pleased. She nearly forgot her pains in her dreams. She had not laughed or cried for ages, she no longer recognizes emotion. She lets herself go, wherever destiny leads her. Destiny is such a nuisance. It intervenes in everything.
“Life needs purpose and reason to flourish. Reason may not be present all along , but , purpose is essential.” Her friend had once told her. She was hopeful those times, almost too hopeful. Expectations are the worst kind of tormentors. There is no pain greater than losing to great expectations.
The corridor of the orphanage no longer heard shouts and the loud scuffling of children, only the wind’s shrill whistle. It was not a pleasant sound, it was haunting. Her room was downstairs, near the main door which now bore the taunting sign “ For sale”.
Only seven months back , the Head announced to the children that they had a minor issue. The orphanage had no funds, with their head trustee’s untimely demise the year before, their funds had been exhausted. Charity does not come free, you see.
Families are not merely that of blood. The orphanage was home to the young children, who basked in the warmth of relations build by humanity. Losing each other was unimaginable, but what could be done? Gradually but steadily, the numbers went down. Adoptions were the new trend. Childless couples, frustrated widows, sympathetic families-the orphanage was desperate and it showed. Within a span of two months, they managed to clear out more than half of their tiny population. The teachers left, the staff fired. The Head, clearly mentally tired and dissatisfied , was begging the authorities to extend their time. Only five children remained, kindness would be appreciated. God would bless them.
Another month. God was kind.
She was not a very popular choice, though she cleared many rounds, the final round was always her downfall. She hardly complained. Her friend, Asha was in the same boat but Asha was smart, funny and friendly. She must have been pretty too. She was sure that she was going to lose Asha. But she was not selfish. Asha deserved a better life…..she had big dreams, dreams about changing the world……..
Next week , they took away Rudra. She heard it was a rich family. Good, old Rudra, he always had all the luck. Some people just have it all. Kabir was next. He threw lot of tantrums, he did not want to leave his little sister behind. Mercy was not shown. Completing only six years of her life , Maya could not understand why they took Kabir. She believed they were going to put Kabir behind bars. She cried the entire week.
And then came the Monday. The woman seemed pleasant, a constant smile hung on her lips. She was beautiful with black curls, Asha had described. The lady had a choice to make. She took her time. But the real anxiety was felt by the two girls . They were the choices. With Maya down with scarlet fever, the doctor foretold a total of two months remaining for her. The only two healthy children remaining were Asha and she. But she knew . Always. The woman was nice enough to apologize to her when she chose Asha. She could not afford another child, she reasoned. Asha cried that day.
Asha never cries.
That was the last satisfied customer. The deadline had neared. The Head panicked, with Maya down, only one remained. She cried too, week after week, until the urge to cry left. Tiny, jolly Maya was counting her last days. What could be worse?
The Head had promised her that he would find her a place. He said he would have adopted her himself , except that he could not. He never explained why. But she knew. Every time someone rejected her , she knew, every time.
Life is not easy for the disabled. Perhaps, things would have been clearer, different, if – if only she was not blind.
If only people would build worlds, rather than destroy.