Adopting A Mother
Adopting A Mother12 mins 426 12 mins 426
SUPREME COURT’S VERDICT ON LAKSHMI GETTING ADOPTED AS MOTHER is SCHEDULED NEXT WEEK.
It was at about 11.30 pm the lights were still on, I ring the bell , the owner of the house Lakhsmi does not open the door. I was staying at Lakshmis house as a paying guest for the last five years. I had one set of keys of the door and I open the door, I see Lakshmi shivering on the sofa in the hall and uttering Raja Raja, Raja was her son’s name. She was breathing heavily. Her body was burning it looked like. I just checked the temperature it was showing 103 F. I told to myself that there is no point in keeping her here and take her to the hospital. I slowly put her hands on to my shoulders, get through to the car, which I had parked, and take her to the hospital. She was in a position to speak but her voice was very feeble.
Lakshmi would be about 60 years in age; she has been living alone for the last 10 years. Her Son Raja went to US for studies and has settled there. Lakshmis husband had passed away about 10 years before due to a sever stroke. He perhaps could not withstand his separation with his only Son, who went abroad for his higher studies and got married there locally and settled himself there. He had apparently comedown to India when Deven, husband of Lakshmi expired. Lakshmi was reluctant to go to US along with her son hence stayed back here.
About 5 years back I accidentally met her in a mall, she was struggling with her bags, I help her till the car, while she was boarding the car and taking the drivers seat she had asked me, what do I do and where do I stay. I had told her that I am working as a representative in a leading paint company, and I am staying in a lodge, which gives rooms on monthly rent. One person and me share the room I said. She had asked me to come to her home on Sunday morning for a breakfast, and she gave her number and asked me to give a missed call. She asked my name. I said Nathan and she stored the same. This happened on a Sunday. I thought that her invitation was only a formality of expressing her thanks for the gesture that I had done. Even in my wildest dreams I could not think that someone be so serious to call me for a breakfast for a small acquaintance. Further she had not given where she stays. But it was not so, on Saturday evening at about 5 pm Lakshmi texts me, the address and tells do not forget tomorrow is the day of breakfast at my house. You can come anytime after 8 am. I ignored the message too, as there was no reason for me to go to her house for a breakfast. At about 9.30 Pm in the night she calls me and confirms if I would come. I hesitated a bit but the tone and the earnestness of her finally made me to accept the invitation.
I went to her house; it was a three-bed room apartment. There was a big hall in the center and beautifully engraved wooden furniture adored the hall. She comes and asks me, if I would want to freshen up. As the distance between her apartment in Bandra and my lodge at Dahisar were quite a distance and I had taken the Mumbai local train to reach to her house, I was already sweating perhaps she recognized that. I go the washroom, the washroom was lavish, with a cream color bathtub, and the washbasin looked to be porcelain with golden borders. I washed my face, there was a towel there, and it was so bright and white that I feared touching it. Remove my handkerchief out and wipe my face.
I thought perhaps maid would have made the break fast. She asked me to sit at the dining table. She had already made two chutneys put it in a plate and started serving me hot masala dosas. I ate one, the taste buds asked for more, she kept on making and serving dosas, Actually I had asked her to sit and have it together, she said hot dosas taste well only when they are served hot. I will join you in the end she said. In the end she of course joined me. After a long time I have had homely Dosas. Lakshmi Madam asks me about my family background.
I tell to her I was brought up by my Grand father and Grandmother as my father and mother died in a bus accident when they were going to Tirupati. I was just 3 year old. Since I was having severe fever and they had taken a Mannath they left me at home with my Grand Parents. I got educated in a Govt school at Guntakal in AP and completed my college education too there. My Grandparents had a small farm near Kasapuram and they were very poor. Kasapuram is a small temple town of Lord Anjaneya. There is a firm belief in people that the deity makes everyone healthy hence all the mentally challenged people come and visit here regularly. I too had been to temple on almost all Saturdays. May be god was kind enough immediately after graduation I applied for a job in a paint company and got posted in Mumbai. Since last five and half years I have been in Mumbai. I go and visit my grandparents every six months. I keep sending them money regularly and invariably I used to speak to my Granny at least once in three days just to check their welfare. We used to talk about what we ate etc . My granny was so loving that I really felt like bringing them here but as they were with their son and daughter in law there I felt they had that comfort hence were reluctant to come to Mumbai
Lakshmi Madam listened to my story and said, if you wish to stay put as a paying guest , you can stay here , as there is none here other than me. I told to her I would come back. She at the same time said it is not an obligation if you wish to you can.
I was deeply impressed by her gesture, and the way she treated me. In this world of materiality there was someone who cared and recognized. I was thinking how could someone leave her. I felt Raja should have convinced her mother to take her to USA. Why he did not do that I am not sure but she was a great lady.
I decide to shift to this Lakshmi Madams house as I thought this would be a nice home unlike staying in the lodge. I had told to her that I cannot afford paying more than what I was paying in the lodge as I was just a representative and did not have great salaries but sufficient enough to lead a good life at this point of time. She was ok to get an amount of Rs.3000/- per month. I had told to her that I would have food outside.
As the days passed by for the last almost four and half years, but for the first six months I would have had my food at her house. I used to come late in the evening after the market visits; invariably she used to wait for me. She used to sit along side with me and eat food after carefully serving me. On my birthdays she used to make special dishes like for example Jackfruit kheer etc. and she used to always add almost equivalent to the money I had given monthly and purchase a gift for me on my birthdays. On every Sunday evening we used to have some or other special dishes. She was very good at cooking. As soon as I used to leave to office she used to come and clean my room. Many a times I had left my shirt pant just like that.
She used to get them ironed and properly placed in the cupboard. I used to tell her don’t do it but she used not to listen. Sometimes due to lethargy I used not to wash my clothes and leave them in the cloth basket, but by the time I used to come in the evening I used to see these have been neatly washed and kept. I do not know how mothers care would be, all the things my granny brought me to the best of her abilities. But here was a lady who was giving me all the care like any mother perhaps would have done to her child. There are a lot of weekends where she would have taken me out for a movie too. Over a period of time as I realized that she had wishes of visiting a lot of temples in India I had been taking her to various temples across the country. Once we had been to Kanyakumari too. A few of the places she had already visited with her husband Deven, but a few places like Mahalakshmi Temple in Kolhapur, Shiva temple in Kalahasthi were certain temples she was visiting for the first time. She was very God fearing and use to observe all the festivals. I had taken her to my Grannys place and Kasapuram too.
As our relationship started blending she used to tell how Raja used to vomit after taking food when he was a kid, and still she used to feed him after vomiting too fearing that he should not become imbecile. She used to say he was a bit hefty and did not walk for about 3 years , and there was not a single temple which she would not have visited during those periods worrying perhaps that he may not be in a position to walk in future. As times turned he started walking and Lakshmi Madam used to tell to ensure that his legs are strong she used to take him for tennis clauses and running early in the mornings. As he grew up he became very bright and into almost all the activities including sports. One day she opened a cupboard and showed me the various trophies that he has won. I was overtly surprised by the brilliance of the Kid at the same time could understand the psychology of the son getting detached with his mother.
As the days passed by as much care as what Lakshmi Madam used to show on me, I started slowly getting emotionally connected with her. I could suddenly see a motherly attachment getting built up. I was wondering what is happening in my life, but fact was that even if she had a sneeze I use to get worried. At dinner I used to tell her all the activities that I had done during the day. She used to patiently listen and sometimes suggest too that you could have done like this.
Occasionally she used to get a call from Raja, just enquiring about her health. In the last five years since I have come here Raja has not attempted to come to India even once. Yet Lakshmi never complained about her son or daughter in law. She used to always praise them of how good they were. That is mother perhaps I used to think about. I hardly had any of these experiences.
One fine night I decided to adopt Lakshmi as my mother. I go and consult a lawyer. Lawyer was a bit surprised that I am keen to adopt Lakshmi as my mother. He said there are no provisions like that, while you can still contemplate adult adoptions where in Lakshmi can adopt you as a child, why don’t you do that . I said to the lawyer it is not she who is adopting me as a Son. I am adopting her as mother. I need provisions for this. Lawyer suggests why don’t you write to Central Adoption Resource Authority(CARA). Central Adoption Resource Authority wrote back to me why don’t you go and ask Lakshmi to adopt you and that does not require any thing other than the consent of you being an adult. Post which I had applied to Supreme court of India for adoption of Lakshmi as my mother and seeking court intervention to direct CARA to enable this adoption and the case was heard for over a period of three months. I had presented my case saying that she has taken care of me for the last five years. All the mother’s emotions, which I missed during my childhood, I could get from her. She was caring, loving and attended to me like any other mother would do to her Son. I have got emotionally twined on to this and I am keen to legalize this relationship. I had even taken consent of Raja her son; he did not have any concern if mother is ok with this subject to not putting any claim on the wealth of family, which I had agreed unconditionally. I just wanted her as Mother and nothing else. I was confident that I would be in a position to take care of her through out my life till her last breath. I had told to the Judge that here are two adults who are willing into a mother son relationship and why should anyone have any objection to the same. The courts decision was still pending.
Laksmi was very serious her condition was worsening. I applied for leave and stayed back in the Hospital. Early in the morning Nurse calls me and says mother wants to speak to Raja. I connect and give it to her, she holds the mobile in her hands , the hands were shivering, and were losing control. Raja be happy she says and closes her eyes, water oozes from both the eyes and flows through. The mobile drops, the heartbeat appears flattened in the monitor, doctors try to give electric shock but in vain. I talk to Raja if he could come; he says it looks difficult you take care of the same. I take her to the cremation ground, do all the religious rites as pandit explains also arrange for the 13th day function. After doing all the things when I sat back, and started reading the newspaper. One of the headlines in the newspaper was SUPREME COURTS LANDMARK JUDGEMENT OF LAKSHMI GETTING ADOPTED AS MOTHER SHEDULED NEXT WEEK.