Lalkiran Vadde



Lalkiran Vadde


The Other Mother

The Other Mother

3 mins

6:00AM Ruxshin’s Home

With alarm ringing in the morning, rubbing her eyes, she searched for the glasses on the side table. Her fingers felt a rolled paper instead. She got the glasses which were little behind and sat up to see what the paper was.

A rolled drawing sheet was kept on the table, surely not by her. Curiously she took the sheet. She unrolled the sheet and saw a picture showing a toddler holding a woman’s hands, both walking towards distant buildings and people. On back of them was debris and demolished buildings.

And written at the bottom was “It was you who brought me from ruins to life. Though I was not born to you, with adoration I want to call you ‘Maa.’ Ruxshin rolled the sheet got up from her bed.

Slowly walking she went to Arman’s bed room. He was sleeping. It was like she saw him yesterday. This teen boy, she saw him first in UNHCR camp. He was around 3 years then.

Wearing a murky Pashto attire, sat at a corner with his legs folded and hands pulling his legs further closer to his body. His hazel eyes, spoke about the horror he witnessed. She went near him and asked "Have you eaten anything?" He didn’t utter anything. She gave him one of the food packets, which the volunteers were distributing to the refugees. He got the packet with both hands, opened it. He kept a piece of bread in his mouth and looked at her. After a few seconds, he asked ‘Mer?’

Mer is mother in Pashto language. Her eyes turned wet. She didn't have any answer. She took him near to her and hugged.

Later that day she kept on thinking about him. He made a lasting impact on her. After many days of effort, she adopted this kid, the kid who is sleeping in front of her now.

A day before, 9:00 PM

Arman completed his sketch and looked at it with admiration. It portrayed his life’s bitter and better times. While seeing it, his past flashed before his eyes.

"9 years of Soviet- Afghan War, scattered many lives, and my family was one among them. Our houses damaged, families parted, hopes trashed. This war made me a refugee. I was sent to UNHCR camp in India along with other 60,000 war trodden lives.

Many helping hands around and still I felt alone. After few days, this volunteer took me with her. From then, I was with her and many years passed. Her compassion drew me close to her. But still exists an emotional gap which I want to close today with a word so wonderful in this world ‘Maa.’ Yes she is my other mother." Arman wiped his tears from his eyes and went to bed hoping for a wonderful tomorrow.

The next day in the morning, when Arman opened his eyes from sleep, he saw Ruxshin sitting next to him, looking at him with affection. He smiled looking at her. She bent down, kissed him on his forehead and said “You became my son, from the moment I saw you in the camp.”

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