A Mango Tree
A Mango Tree9 mins 12.3K 9 mins 12.3K
Shiva, a cute boy of 9 years, arrived at Maenka orphanage 9 years ago when he was just 11 days old. The first day of the baby was still alive in Maenka’s memory. He was the only infant whose cry was the wish of everyone to hear in the orphan house. He seemed to be the most satisfied soul and thus needed never to cry. It was the responsibility of the maids to offer him food time to time and to check his nappies every after half an hour. Dare not to think him a deaf and dumb boy. He was a normal baby, placed at midnight in the swing of the orphanage. His first sight was so angelic that all fell in love with him instantly. His cute smile, innocent look and fair, very fair skin made him a desire of every heart. So it was decided unanimously that he would not be brought in front of any childless parents as he would be raised by Maenka, a childless owner of the orphanage.
Shiva was intelligent as well as a fast learner child. In the orphan house various language- speaking people were employed and they had a single determination to teach Shiva their languages. The children were always ready to teach the child tricks of their games. The cooking section tried delicious dishes to prepare for the most adorable Shiva. The kid was under tight security. He was always introduced to the charitable organisations, visited the House to donate money or other articles, as the son of the owner. His first step, his first spoken word, his charming acts all were recorded as memory. He was the most beautiful gift given by God to the orphanage.
Each child is blessed with a single father and mother but that dejected boy from his own parents was destined to have several mothers and fathers in orphanage. Nobody forgot the moment when he was vaccinated and for the first time doctor was hated as a demon. Even the doctor was nervous to see a huge gathering around the toddler to soothe him when he would cry due to pain. Shiva was once caught by malaria. The narration of that event was in everybody’s lip- how daily visit to temple, mosque, church and gurudwara became a routine, how sleepless nights were the personal choice of the children and how the only moto of life was to cure the angel of the orphan house.
Shiva started running around trees in the garden, playing games with friends, talking to uncles and aunts in their languages and liking dishes prepared with love for him. Maenka was very conscious about his style and look. Thus he was always dressed with utmost care of latest fashion. Maenka was lucky to have caring and lovable staff. Sometimes she had nightmares too in which she saw Shiva leaving her. Her entire attention was devoted to that lovely bundle of joy. His day to day activities, his queries which mostly left her confused, his small demands and his naughtiness – all were giving a meaning to her life. She started living in the present and spinning threads of beautiful future with Shiva. Among the children of the orphan house he was the star whose light was glowing hearts of everyone. He was so charming and his smile was so radiant that even the most depressed person wanted to live life with happiness.
Maenka and Indrajit tied the knot when she was just 24. It was their love marriage. Indrajit, a well settled investment banker, was madly in love with Maenka. They both had a common dedication of running an orphanage that would be equipped with all modern facilities to bring smile to the face of orphan tiny tots. They had trained staff, paediatrics, modern playgroup school, big comfortable rooms and a very big garden with blossomed and shadowy trees. Their sources of income, in addition to the donations, were organic farms as well as fruit orchards. They were very strict in following adoption policy. Without a detailed knowledge of the childless parents they never allowed parents to adopt children from the orphanage. It was this reputation that the elite class of the country loved to cooperate Maenka and Indrajit in their efforts to make a positive change in society. The irony of their fate is to live as a childless couple as if God had chosen them to shower their love on homeless children.
It was 28th January 2007, the most unfortunate day; Maenka was busy with wrapping up her day’s activities. She was feeling restless and made several calls to Indrajit but his phone was unreachable. The doorbell rang. It was midnight. She rushed and opened the door hurriedly. It was not her Indrajit but his body was brought in an ambulance. He succumbed to an accident injury. Maenka’s whole world crumbled down as she was left alone by Indrajit. She slowly assembled the broken pieces of her life due to the presence of the orphanage and the supportive staff. New entrants engaged her and she immersed herself into work. In her orphanage experts trained the children in different arts so that in future they could lead a comfortable life. Gardening, tailoring, sewing, pot making, various indoor and outdoor games provided a homely environment to children.
One fine morning a peon entered and handed her a visiting card. An old couple was waiting outside to talk to Maenka. She called them. They were known to her as they regularly donated to her orphanage large sum of money. They were from a royal family and were looking very sad. Maenka offered them water and the old man with much hesitation asked,” Madam 9 years ago an infant of 11 days was left here. Is he still with you?”
Maenka replied,” Sir, many children were left mercilessly at the entrance of our orphanage house. It is difficult without any further detail of the child to find whom are you talking about.”
The lady said,” It was a baby boy. The only thing we have is this photograph in which he is seen at the corridor of this orphanage.”
Maenka at once realised they were talking about her Shiva. She controlled her emotions and asked,” I shall have to ask my staff. Can you please tell me why the child is so much needed to you now?”
“It is a long and very painful story. Our son who is now the king of our dynasty is married to a princess nine years ago. Unfortunately, till date he is childless. The couple is medically fit and fine to have their own children. They have made several visits to shrines; have done whatever is said to them by priests and doctors. Last night my son came to us and divulged the secret of having boy child of his own. We could not believe him. He said before marriage he was in love with his college friend and who was from a non-royal family. He secretly married her and could not muster his courage to tell us about the wedding. His wife died while delivering the baby. My son could not understand what to do with the baby. He was very disturbed and totally broken. He was aware of the good name of this orphanage house as we used to donate here regularly. So he left the baby here with a hope that he would adopt him later and could raise him without damaging his reputation. Destiny, however, had other plans for him. We sent him to London for further study and arranged his marriage thereafter. Madam, we shall be grateful to you if our grandson can be traced. He must be of nine years old and we are dying to meet him.”
Maenka was left in deep grief by them. She was in dilemma. She immediately called a meeting and discussed the situation. The entire staff was in great shock. Shiva had become their life and they were in a wretched position where they had to sacrifice their life willingly. True Love does not allow us to bind someone. They agreed to inform about Shiva’s presence to the royal family only for Shiva’s golden future. That night was painful yet hopeful. It was amazing. All gathered in the garden and it was proclaimed, “Today our Shiva’s identity is revealed as an heir to a royal family. We are blessed having him for so many years as our own son. It is a hard decision to send him to his family but we are helpless. For his betterment we need to return him to his father. Tomorrow 28th January he will be united with his own people. Let us all pray for our lovely Shiva.”
Maenka was stunned to hear the date. It was the same date and month too when Indrajit left her alone. It was the first thought that came to her as she woke up. He was gone. And soon the eastern corner of his bedroom where he used to sit, and the tiny garden outside with its old red hibiscus plant and the half grown mango tree they had planted together, all those would be a memory only. It was the strangest feeling ever. Shiva was sent to his own, but a totally new family. Maenka was regularly informed about him through mails and pics and one day he too went to London for studies.
Maenka is 60 years old gracious lady now. 25 years passed without seeing Shiva face to face. Though she knows how successful he has become in his life. Every year he wins prestigious awards for his philanthropic works. A king from heart Shiva always helps the war victims and the sufferers due to natural disaster. One morning when she opens the newspaper she finds Shiva’s picture having Man of Millennium Award. She is overwhelmed with joy and pride. The news is the enough reason for the orphan house to celebrate. Sweets are distributed. They are in front of T.V. to watch Shiva. The moment arrives and Shiva receives the award. He soon is surrounded by the reporters who want him to say something about his life and the person behind his success. Maenka rises up to complete some urgent office work.
As she goes inside she hears, “Mom.” She cannot move ahead and turns towards T.V.” The inspiration of my life is my Mom, Maenka mom. The world knows me as a prince. In reality, the royal family abandoned me when I was just 11 days old. I was in Maenka orphanage for long 9 years. There I learnt the value of life, love and humanity. There I was treated like a prince though they were totally unaware of my real background. My royal family has provided me all the facilities to run my social work as they know my life is meant to take care of the poor and deserted people. I dedicate this award to my Maenka mom as she is behind the real Shiva.” Tears are rolling down the cheeks of the people of the orphanage. Maenka has never been childless. God has gifted her Shiva, her son. She goes inside the bedroom and looks outside the window. Her half-grown mango tree is now fully grown, laden with fruits, and is a shelter of various species of birds, insects and provide shadow to the tired.