Yes! yes! yes, you read me right. The heaven that I dream of should have all my favorites – books, dark chocolate, white truffles, cheese, and some more cheese, wine, mushrooms (you get the drift right?) but NOT kids. Kids somewhere do not fit into the surreal world, kids are for this planet, so that their laughter can brighten up the day, so that their smile can make you wish that time could stop and so that their wisdom can make you feel that not all is lost.
To say that I love kids, would be an understatement. I absolutely ADORE kids and mind you I am dead serious about that. I love being around them, taking care of them, changing nappies, telling them stories, cooking, feeding, cleaning, teaching and then craving some more cuddles. While I frequently get the “wait till you have your own” looks from people around me, siblings, cousins and friends are often relieved to have me around when they are with their kids. At ISB too, I was the pioneer in setting up story telling sessions for kids – my defense was that it refreshes me. They cleaned their throats, rolled their eyes and let me be for what is an ivy league B school worth without a few weirdos? 😛
Before you go on to ask me about my dreams of a house filled with kids, let me tell you that in all probability mother hood is ready to elude me. I would like to stay positive, hoping that a miracle happens and there is indeed a path breaking medical research, but let’s say on bad PMS days this makes me consume a LOT of chocolate! However, saying that does not take away my being proud of finally being able to sign up for the All Mumbai Single Parents Adoptions Group and starting my visits to the nearby child welfare center (orphanage to me sounds harsh, cause the very definition of the term “orphan” suggests permanent bereavement and abandonment).
This weekend I walked in there, promising myself not to choke like the last time. Alas but, for every weekend is the same story. I sat by the cot, all wrapped in a pink blanket two little eyes stared at me curiously. I was tempted to pick you up my little one, but then me who frets over cleanliness so much and hates it when people do not think twice before picking up babies in their work clothes and exposed hands, how could I do the unthinkable myself? So instead I sat by the cot and cooed and whispered what to me was a prayer for your well being. I could have stayed glued over there for the rest of the evening had not a few little muchkins demand a story telling session from me. I wonder what is it about 4 year olds that makes curiosity such a blessing – curiosity about every little thing, from my hair bands to the ink marks on my jeans, they want to know the story behind everything. I wonder if any day they would want to know the story behind their being left behind at the center by their family? Would they demand to know why despite their being such a long waiting line by couples, such sweet souls willing to adopt, the entire system gives into money game, waiting for green notes from a foreign land?
Yes, children should belong right here in this planet, but then should we bring them to this world unsure of what future we are to provide? I feel sorry for all those mothers who had to take this decision, forced by society, financial plight and reasons galore and then there are those for whom I have no remorse – deviant mothers I called them once, now I want to ask them “What were you thinking lady?” I want kids to fill up the world around me, but then, I want to do that only if I know for sure that, I can make them happy. When people talk about wanting “their own kids” and terming adopted ones with fancy terms, I wonder if they ever consider what makes kids their own and whether there is a dearth of kids on this planet to love?
We share pictures on FB, thinking a dollar would actually be contributed for the well-being of a child, yet we won’t give up a Diwali purchase to make sure a lesser deserving kid has a festive evening. I don’t want to wish a world bereft of kids, but then as I look around I wonder whether these angesl fit any other place better?
This weekend I spent providing legal advice to an old couple – grand parents to two little and adorable inhabitants of the welfare home. Let us call them G and S. G was 4 (and then S was 1) when G’s father set fire on their mother in front of her eyes. G remembers the incident vividly (now 6) and is a key witness to the case. They should try to rehabilitate and make her forget the episode, smother her with love and care, but then here it is the opposite. G’s (late) mother gave the dying declaration (fearing harm on her kids and knowing that she won’t be around to protect them) that it was an accident. G’s grandparents have however registered a case for murder against the father and since G is the only one to corroborate the fact, her memory is crucial. To safe keep her the court has placed both her and her brother under the care of welfare home. The case I know will take years to be resolved and might even be lost in the process, what happens then to G and S, don’t ask me for I know for sure that they won’t be adopted!
G asked her grandmother (as we were wrapping up our meeting) if she could go home with her for just one day and it almost killed me there. I took her in my arms and cuddled and smothered her till she was distracted enough to let her grandmother leave. As I left and those little palms waved me good-bye, I knew they didn’t belong there, they belonged in a much better place filled with love and devoid of vices. But, the question is WHERE? For the world outside is hungry for their blood, the eyes out here will scrape the little minds, the world in that welfare home is without a future, where is it that these kids should belong them? I wonder, I ask!!!