I had a habit of writing diary in my early childhood days. Today I found one of my diaries while cleaning the room. It was the one which had the most precious page that I wrote 30 years back. I exactly remember what I wrote that day. Yet, I stopped by to read it again.
Today is my 15th birthday. My family gave me a surprise party. Infact every year they organize a party on my birthday but to my surprise, this time none of my friends were invited. Only my great big family members gathered for the event. I have a really big family of around 50 members, so I called them ‘The great big family’.
When I asked them whether my friends were coming over, my cha-cha (uncle) said, “we can invite them some other day Mahesh. This is a special family treat for you.” I wondered why!
I wanted to stop right there and go on with other pending work. But some unknown forces did not allow me to do so. I continued reading.
I loved it whenever my great big family gathered at our home. Finally after cake cutting, I got my birthday gift. Usually I got gifts separately from each family member, but today they all together gave me a single gift. It was a huge photo frame, photos of mine with each one of them clicked at various occasions of my 15 year old life journey.
After dinner, I was sitting on the sofa eating my favorite chocolate ice cream. That time my mama and papa came and sat beside me. Slowly the whole family gathered. Papa placed his hands on my shoulder and said “Mahesh, we have to tell you something.” I guessed there was some more surprise. And yes, it was indeed a shocking surprise.
“You should patiently hear what we are trying to tell you. We wish we told you earlier, but we had no courage to explain it to you. We feared we may lose you. Before you know it from someone else, we would like you to know that you were adopted. We adopted you when you were three months old.”
He paused for a while. I looked at mama.
“We had our own reasons for adopting you. But for us it never made a difference that we did not give birth to you. You are and will be our son forever. This should not make a difference in your mind. We just wanted you to know this fact.” She said.
I looked at everyone around me. I thought they were playing some prank on me. But soon I realized that it was no joke.
My brain stopped working. I did not know how to respond. I went to my room and closed the door. I heard papa telling everyone not to disturb me. He wanted me to take my own time and accept the reality.
I tried to imagine the truth I heard from my family. No, I couldn’t. I couldn’t imagine myself as someone else. Many things ran through my mind. I always believed my family to be my greatest strength. I was proud to be a member of the great big family, which most of my friends envied.
I was loved by each and every member in my family.I remembered mama saying
it should not make any difference in my mind, but it did. I could not accept the reality, nor do I wish to accept. I need more time. I don’t know how much ….
Even at the age of 45, I am stuck in a situation where I know the truth but not being able to accept it. My love for my family never changed. But I wish I never knew that truth. I wish that day was deleted from my life. I wish life had a delete button.
A Short Story by Maya Bhat