8th September, 2005
Its 7.00am in the clock and alarm sings its boring beep song again. Today it’s different, as alarm tone doesn’t bother me because am so thankful to the alarm for waking me up, as it’s my 14th bday…yayy. I give a thankful kiss to the alarm clock for waking me on time and wish myself “happy bday”!!
As I turn 14 years old, I realize just one more year and then comes my 10th board and then am free to go to college in those colorful clothes. As I look at the clock, it’s already 7.15am and I really need to hurry up.
I quickly get off my bed and get ready for school in a colorful bday dress, oh! am so glad no boring one colour dress today. You know somehow colours excite me, after 12th class I can certainly think of taking up fashion designing as a profession but that’s got to wait for a while now.
I blow a kiss to myself in the mirror and quickly rush downwards for my bday presents, cake and balloons. I am surprised there are none of them this year but mom, dad and grandpa are waiting for me to wish me and they sing for me “Happy bday song”.
I quickly ask them with actions “where are my bday presents, cake and balloons this year”. To this my mom sadly replies “we are going through really bad times Mansi and its little difficult to celebrate this year, so my big girl can just manage with these chocolates, which she can give to all her classmates, principle, teachers and peons.”
To this I gave her a very understanding and mature smile and said with my actions “yes mom I do understand” and giving her a quick peck on her cheeks, I quickly picked up my lunch box and headed for my school bus with my girl friends waiting for me outside my house.
Uhmm…I speak with action because I can’t speak, not that I am dumb or something, it’s just some problem with my vocal chords. After all my checkups, my doc says “her vocal chords are fine and they are normal like everybody else and we will keep her treatment ON, but maybe it’s a miracle she needs” and am sure that miracle will happen someday for sure, oh yes!!
I went to all (normal) girls’ school which was 5kms away from my house. I didn’t go to any special children school because I am as normal as everyone else there. It’s just some chords placed wrongly in my sound system, which will start working some day.
The day really went well at school except for some stupid girls who still tease me; calling me “Its Mute Girlssss….haaaapppppyyy bdaaayyyy”. Initial years of my school, it really annoyed me but now I feel better as mute is better than being called dumb, right??
As my school bus dropped me home I was surprised to see my mom and grandpa decorating the front lawn for my bday. I asked in actions “but mom you said…” to this she said “anything for my love”.
I wore my beautiful bday dress and was waiting for my friends and others to come. Music system played the best songs and I saw all my friends coming and some of my dad’s friends and business delegates also came home, I wonder what are they doing here, but its ok ya!! Me and my friends danced and played games after this there was cake cutting followed by dinner.
I saw an audi stopping by our house. My dad rushed towards the car to receive the guest, am still wondering who the guest is as my dad never rushes to receive the guest.
I saw a beautiful tall lady with jet black long hair in her 30s, wearing a mini skimpy party black dress, walking towards me with a bouquet and a gift. Oh yes, I like gifts. She wished me happy bday and I smiled back to thank her. She asked me “What’s your name bday girl??” To this I smiled back and my father replied to her “her name is Mansi”.
Dad introduced her to me “Mansi it Ms.Teena my new business partner”. And then dad introduced her with all others. It’s something about her that gives me a weird feeling, as if something’s not right.
But I ignored her and bid goodbye to my friends and others. That night after the party, we all cleaned the after party mess. I thanked God for such an amazing day and went to sleep in arms of the warm bed.
At 2.00am, I heard loud voices; I rubbed my eyes and veered myself towards the door. Surprisingly, it was coming from mom & dads room. I dragged my sleeping feet downstairs towards their room and plugged my ears on their room door. Yup! Something smoking here, but about what, they never fight.
I heard, mom saying “isn’t it very obvious for what she has comeback in our lives, can’t you see??” To this my father replied as if helplessly “Vrisha you have been such an understanding and practical person until now, what’s wrong with your objectivity??”
Mom replied “You are right I have always been very objective but this time it’s about our daughter” and she started crying.
What’s wrong with my folks?? Suddenly, my heart stops beating for a second as I feel a hand on my shoulders, its grandpa. He sussssshhheesss me and we together continue listening.
Moms sobbing hard as she says, “I am a Doctor too and I will work very hard to earn every bit for her treatment.”
Dad replies “No matter how hard we work together, we still need more money for her treatment.”
Next I heard a sharp sound of a vase falling on the ground and heard mom shouting loud on my dad “I lost our son can’t afford to loose our daughter.” Grandpa looked shocked himself so he looked at me and suggested “It’s late, I think you should go to bed.” As he put me to bed, he got up to leave my room and I stopped him by pulling his shirt towards me. With all the questions popping in my mind now, I asked him inquisitively with actions “what was that, why were mom & dad fighting over me, I have never seem them fighting before?? And I had a brother??”
Grandpa sat on the edge of my bed and he began with a story “your father and Ms.Teena were in love in college days. It was all going fine until Ms.Teena discovered she was pregnant. Ms.Teena wanted to abort her baby but your father persuaded her not to. She gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and ran away leaving her behind as she always wanted to fly high.”
“Ohhkk, so where does mom fits into the picture and where’s that beautiful baby girl?? ’’ I asked with actions. To this grandpa replied “that beautiful baby girl is you my dear!!” and I was zapped for a second. He continued speaking “Your mom was your fathers childhood best friend, she met at the same hospital where Ms.Teena gave you birth. Your mom helped your father raising you and in this process your parents fell in love and they got married when you were two. ”
Whoa…well this is too much of information for today, but where my brother comes in the picture and where’s he now, I was thinking just then he broke in my thoughts and said “You were three when your mom was pregnant and she gave birth to a baby boy, who only lived 10 days of his life. After that, you were the centre of your parent’s universe; they did everything possible so you could speak…but”
I drew a deep, shuddering breath, and he continued “but… even after spending all the money they possibly could, they couldn’t make you speak. Now since they are broke financially, your father sees a ray of hope, as Ms.Teena is back and has agreed to land her hand financially in your father’s business. She’s coming tomorrow morning home with her lawyer with all the agreements and your mother is suspecting she might want you back in return, of this favor.”
Guess, grandpa realized he spoke more than I could take, as he said “I am sorry” and kissed on my forehead and left the room.
Next morning I missed my school, I woke up at 10.30am. I walked myself down to see everyone busy in their work. I acted normally as if I don’t know anything and wished mom, dad and grandpa “Good morning”. I rushed towards mom for breakfast and she managed to give me a smile and we all sat together for breakfast.
Dad asked “so how was your bday party last night, you and your friend’s enjoyed??” I gave him a fake grin and nodded my head. As soon as, we completed our breakfast we heard the door bell ring. I quickly walked to the door to open it and as expected found Ms.Teena with her lawyer.
She hugged me tightly and gave a kiss on my forehead and gave me some nice chocolates, which I hid them from everyone so that no one could see me throwing it in the kitchen bin.
They all sat over the coffee table to discuss documents. I sat nearby them with a novel, acting disinterested in their conversation. After their minimalistic formal conversation, Ms.Teenas lawyer started reading the agreement “blah blaah blaah….”he continued as I didn’t understand a word of his boring law language.
I was caught by surprise as I heard my name, what is my name doing in the document, in anyway. All my wrath surfaced over my face as I heard him say “Declaration by Person surrendering the child or children I/We Mr.Rahul & Mrs.Vrisha Jain, have read the following statements carefully and understand the same. I/We have received counseling and information about the effects of my/our consent and I/We am/are making the statement without coercion or threat and without receiving any payment or compensation of any kind…………………..”and he continued as I went blank.
I saw everyone around me in tears; my father gathered all his courage to speak “Teena you mentioned you were helping me financially in business in good faith, as you were genuinely interested in my business prospects.”
Chokingly, as my mother was walking me upstairs, Ms.Teena spoke “Vrisha, Please let her be here, I want her to know the truth.” Ms.Teena continued speaking “Mansi I am your biological mother not your mom…” and I saw my mom breaking into tears.
And she continued to speak with my dad “In return of this financial help I just want my daughter back, that’s it, I know I did make a mistake in the past by leaving her….but don’t you guys think am human to do it. And I very well know you guys need the money for your loss making business and you also know I am very much able to pay for her treatment. I leave it on both of you to decide…do you want Mansi to talk or not??”
For the first time I saw my family broke and helpless. Ms.Teenas lawyer asked as they both stood up to leave “So Mr.Rahul will you please join us for all the formalities??”
Dad stood up to leave with them; I had tears of wrath in my eyes. How can God be soo partial with us?? She left me and ran away and now that she’s all alone after 14years of my existence, she realized I exist….bravo. I don’t care for the first time if I don’t speak throughout my life but I am in no way leaving my parents.
As tear rolled over my redden face, I observed him carefully as he walked to the door. I knew that time was running out but suppressed the urge to check my watch. I took a deep breath and started counting in reverse under my breath. “Ten, nine, eight, seven…” and gathered all my strength and I shouted out loud “Daaaaaaaaddd, hell am going nowhere.”
I was breathing soo hard that I felt dizzy and passed out on the floor. I woke up next day in the hospital hearing to some faint noises around me; I saw mom, dad, grandpa and Ms.Teena around me. I asked, to my surprise in words “what is she doing here??”
Mom helped me sitting on the bed and comforted me with pillows behind my back and she explained “Ya ya sweetie just relax, no one’s taking you anywhere, she’s just here to know you are fine.”
I was taken aback as Ms.Teena sat close to my bed, holding my hand, she spoke “I am sorry that I left you then, I was blind not to see what I was losing behind. So, as soon as I came to know about you, I wanted see you and it could be only possible through your dad. Yesterday night I came to know everything about you, then I thought, having you treated is the only way I could have you back. But now am soo happy to see my doll speaking….iii…aaammm veryyy sorry….please forgive me for my sin” and I saw her break into tears, so I hugged her to make her feel warm.
Today, after 5 years, am here with my family. Teena aunty visits us sometimes and am no more called Ms.Mute girl as my vocal chords started working properly. Right now, I am not only pursuing fashion designing but am also working for an NGO that helps physically disable people.
It’s so well said “whatever happens, happens for good”. Sometimes it’s not the end we are looking for or we expected, but it’s much better than the end we expected.
!! Happy Beginning !!
By Monika Shrimal