A Tough Talk
The day is breaking slowly through the womb of darkness. The leisurely-pleasurely jostles of the early morning creatures in the garden in front of Maria's balconyis prophesying a new day. A new day for a lot of work to start and finish, for a lot of secretto hide and discover, for a thousands of reasons to smile and cry.
But there is nothing new to Maria, nothingimportant for her to rush toward; nothing significant that awaits her. So she has been sitting on the balcony who knows for how long; may be for an hour or two or more. She is sitting there with a weird dullnesswith nothing particular in her mind. The only thing she counts is how a new day is always like an everyday xto her;how the first ray of the sun appears to her like the empty-handedold beggar at the corner of the street; nothing big to give, nothing big to get.
But once there was time when the same early morning moments would come to her with hundreds of promises. There was time when the world was full of motions and movements, songs and sounds. Chirping of birds, rattling of the fallen leaves, jingles of rain and even whispers of dew drops would come to her with lots of words, lots of messages.
That was the time when like a coffee-freak waits for a brooding cup of Cappuccino at a bar, Maria would wait for a blessing from the Mother Nature. A blessing of a tiny creaturetaking a shape in the womb of a lady that would give her the sweetest pains, the prettiest worries anda bundle of joy to a family.
Ahhh! The family! Once it was! Oh, the cordial scuffles!Once it had! Maria remembers!
"Hey Maria The Mom," Rayhan called her one day out of nowhere.
"Mom?Who's Mom?" Maria asked with an artificial frown at her eyebrows.
"Where is she?"
"Here in my heart, in my dreams"
"And Jorina is the name you got for her?"
"Didn't like it? Ok then, Sokhina?"
"Nothing, We will have a boy first. 'Shopno', I will call him or how about 'Purno'?
"How about Jorina, Sokhina, Shopno, Purno all together?"
"Hmmm, your head"
Life was so good then. Everything was in shape, in harmony. Every day was a new day that could have turned to be a memorable one.
But it didn't……………..
It didn't come with the good news they were desperately waiting for. It didn't bring the joy they were so madly craving for. No one came to Maria.Jorina, Sokhina ,Shopno, Purno, no one came in last ten years. No one came into existence to call Maria the Mom.
She remembers the worries and excitementsRayhan could not hide anyway every time they went to see the doctor. She remembers their sleepless nights, ardent prayers, heartfelt tears that were never answered.
And now it is all quiet; the hopes are gone now, so are the worries. The cheerful combats of those days have now sought refuge in utter silence. No one talks about theissue anymore. Now they know it's not going to happen. Now they know she cannot bear a baby.
But Maria sometimes can't bear the silence anymore. She wants to talk. She wants to talk to Rayhan about something that has been haunting her mind for the last couple of days; something she knows can at least compensate the void they have now in their life.
She wants to adopt a baby………
She wants to adopt a baby and leave the city. She wants to leave the city forever and go somewhere far where nobody would know that it's not their child; where nobody would know that it was not their own.
But how can she say it? How can she ask Rayhan to accept something for their own what is actually not; how selfish it would sound to persuade him to leave the place,leave the people he is so rooted to; and most importantly how the other members specially her mother-in-law would react to this? What if it turns out to be fueling the fire and turningit from bad to worse?
She can' think anymore. She can't bear the turmoil between her conscience and the concern anymore; it is simply sucking her blood every day,every moment; The dilemma between a motherly instinct and a loving caring partner is killing her; but still, she wants it………….
She wants to make it with all her effort but her tongue becomes stiff like a stone every time she attempts; she can't move it even a bit.A fear of denial, a fear ofuncertainty chocks her voiceevery time she wants to start the discussion.
Can she say it today? Is today the day? What would be the best time? During breakfast?At lunch?Or over the evening tea?What if he denies!!! What if he goes mad at her!!! What if he simply shrugs his shoulder and walks away?
She is so absorbed in her thoughts that she doesn't notice when Rayhan gets up and comes to her.
" You didn't sleep the whole night?" Rayhan's voice breaks the silence.
"Oh,you! Got up so early!" she asks.
Rayhan doesn't answer. He drags another chair and sits close to Maria. He sits close enough that Maria can even listen to his heartbeats, yet, far enough that the heavenly morning breeze of autumn can play between them.
"Iwanna say you something," Rayhan says.
There is something so deep, so concerned in his voice that Maria forgets her breathing for a moment. She simply looks at him and waits for him to carry on.
"Amma says………"Rayhan stops for a moment, composes himself for a while and starts again,
"Amma says, a home is never a home without a baby ;"
A chilling sensation runs through Maria's spines. Her heart turns cold all at once. She closes her eyes and gets herself ready to whatever Rayhan says.
"She wants us to do something."
"Do what?" asks Maria at a nearly inaudible voice.
"I don't know how you would take it;" continues Rayhan "but she wants us to adopt a baby."
"SHE WANTS US WHAT?" a flabbergasted Maria asks as if she has been dumb so far and has learned how to speak right now.
"Yes, she wants that we adopt a baby; but, look I won't even think of it twice if you disagree"
Maria's hands are shaking out of excitement; her lips aretremblingin disbelief. She still can't believe what she listens to is true. She tries saying how desperate she was to saythis to Rayhan but only manages to hug him and cry like a crazy. She repents for not saying it much earlier. How come she would know that it would be so easy if she only could start!
Rayhan keeps looking at Maria. Who says teardrops have no color? He sees spectrums of hundreds of rainbows in every drop rolling down from Maria's eyes.
The Writer is founder and head of Gurukul English Language Centre