Sunday, October 28, 2012

Family khap panchayat

Approximately ten years to this day, she held the tiny sleeping bundle in her arms and smiled at the miracle of creation in her hands. He slept blissfully in her arms, wrinkling his face and stretching, like little babies do.  She giggled at the funny faces he made in his sleep and hugged him closer...a wave of maternal feelings sweeping over her. As she drifted to sleep with her little one beside her, a smile lingered on her angelic face.

Her sweet slumber was broken by harsh voices. They had come for him, her precious little bundle of joy. He was a mistake they said. His father was no good they said. They wanted her to abandon her little one. She clung to her precious bundle fiercely…protesting against the injustice. But no one would listen to her. They took him away and gave him to the old lady who lived down the road in an orchard.

A few years later, she was walking down the road by the orchard when she saw a familiar face. She instantly recognized him, her little one who was so cruelly taken away from her years ago. He was playing blissfully with some kids. He had grown big and strong and handsome.  He stopped and stared at her when he felt her watching him. He looked at her quizzically, before returning to play with the boys in the orchard.

Years passed and one day her feet took her down the orchard road again and she saw him again. He was playing with a little one who looked so much like him when he was small. She felt a rising excitement within her. She was a grandmother!! Her grandson, like his Dad was the cynosure of all eyes. She picked him up and looked at his playful eyes. He wriggled impatiently, like little kids do. She put him down laughing and watched as he bounded off to play.

Next day she took her parents to see her son and her grandson.  She hoped they would feel remorse for what they had done when they beheld their great grandson. The parents looked at the stray dog and his puppy, gamboling around and scratched their heads. They wondered which one of the 568 stray pups they were forced to remove from their stubborn little daughter hands and hand over to maids, car washers, vegetable vendors, security guards, dhobi, meter reading man, LPG supply boy etc etc etc … was this dog and his pup.  The father was sure this was puppy number 431, but the mother felt it was puppy number 315, judging by his age. Then they looked at each other as a startling revelation hit them. It didn't matter which puppy this was, what mattered was they managed to get rid of it. Then they heaved a sigh of relief and slinked away shadily into the sunset.