Kumar heard her distinctly. It was his dear mom’s voice calling him by his name. He could see only a hazy figure. He cried out “Mom, where are you?”Then the figure became clearer. He could see her smiling face and kindly eyes. She was much fairer and healthier than he knew ever. He saw two feathers on both sides giving her an angelic look.”Do not worry my child. I am always around you. Think of me whenever you need me” she seemed to say. Even before he wished to say that he wanted her always by his side, she had vanished when the bell in the home began ringing. He heard the voices of boys around. He woke up from his dream.
Kumar, just eleven years, came to this orphanage when his mom had died. His father had deserted her for another woman and she struggled hard to bring him up. She was neither wealthy nor had any relatives to support her. When he asked her once about his dad, she remained quiet for long with sad eyes and then said”He is not a good man and had many vices. He did illegal things in association with undesirable elements and has a deep scar on his leg. His desertion is good for you in a way though it has left us poor.” He still remembered how she did strenuous jobs in other houses till her last days suffering in pain due to cancer. Tears always trickled from his eyes whenever he thought of her.
“Kumar, have your bath and get ready for the breakfast” he heard the warden telling him. Kumar knew he was kind to him and took a special interest in him. Though all the kids in the home were destitute orphans, Kumar stood out different by his cheerful disposition and smartness. He assisted the warden in small ways and studied well.
The orphanage functioned on private donations that were neither regular nor adequate. It reflected in the quality and the quantum food that children got. The warden, a kind man, struggled hard to keep the children away from hunger. He was ever on rounds soliciting help for the poor orphanage. The children studied in the adjacent municipal school and availed of the food served in the mid day meal scheme. Whenever childless couples came for adoption, the warden gave away the children after proper scrutiny.
One day the warden called him to his room. He found a tall and big man with his wife there. The warden called him by his side and putting his arms on the boy’s shoulder said ”Kumar, this gentleman is a well known and influential politician and he wants to adopt you specifically. They have seen you at a function in the school. Though I like to have you with me, the adoption will do you immense good in several ways. I could not also refuse his request”
“Ayya (Sir) please do not send me away. I am very happy here. I do not need any comfort than the joy of being near you” Kumar said along with sobs.
“Kumar, I have promised him. Please go with him. You can always be in touch with me. Be a good boy and do not turn down my advice”
Kumar was feeling uncomfortable in the spacious bungalow with many servants. He did not take kindly to the master of the house who insisted that he call him daddy. He did not like his domineering ways and the look of his visitors. The master’s wife was very affectionate and caring. She got him new dresses in plenty, had him admitted in a good school, sat by his side when he took food and even played with him. Whenever he was with her, he felt as if he was near his mom.
One day as he was returning in the car from the school, the driver told him “Kumar, when the master asked you a question in the morning, I noticed you ignored him. When he repeated the question rather irritably, you answered him in an indifferent manner. It is not proper. Be attentive and polite. Otherwise he will throw you out of house.”
“Who will throw out one’s own son, though adopted?”
“You don’t know him. He will for he has left his first wife and child mercilessly years back when he was no one in particular. He is an angry and vengeful person. Please be careful. I tell you because I like you”
Kumar kept quiet as he did not wish to discuss about master with him. A week later one Sunday morning he was playing some game with master’s wife whom he addressed as mom. She stood up abruptly when the master came out of the bath room after a shower. He had just wound a towel around him. Kumar saw a deep scar in his leg. He immediately remembered what his mom had told him long back. He realized at once that master was his biological father and hated his presence the next moment.
It was 4pm the warden was resting after a tiresome day. He was surprised to see Kumar standing before him with a bag in his hand. ”What brought you here, Kumar” he asked
“Ayya, I have come back for good. I do not wish to stay there anymore. I am happy to be here. Please accept me”
When asked why he had come without their permission, he narrated how he realized the master was his dad and his aversion to live with him who had deserted his sick mom. He pleaded with him that he can never be happy there despite all the comforts.
“This is the only way I can honour my mother. If you reject me, I would rather take my life than go back there though I would miss the affectionate master’s wife. Please take me back” the boy said as he fell at warden’s feet
Warden wiped his eyes and said ”He will create problem for us using his power and influence.But I am determined to face it all than forsake you. Do not worry. I hope you have not brought anything from their house”
Does a child have a say in his/her adoption?