The Biggest Treasure of my Life! 881

Vibha was not home at her usual time and I sat with a cup of coffee when the phone rang.

“Hello, Maa! What are you doing? Had your coffee?” Asked Vibha from the other end.

Seeing the number on the caller Id I realized she has not yet left from work. I answered, “Just sat with a cuppa Vibha. Have you not left yet from work?”

“No mama, that’s why I called. There was a last minute decision on an important meeting that to be held and I had to stay back. So, I will be late. Tried to call Ansh too, but could not reach him. I must be home any moment. Will you please tell him as well. Ok, it’s getting late and I need to prepare for the meeting. Ok?”

I smiled into the phone while Vibha was talking and said OK before ending the call. I sat there sipping my coffee, wondering how soon children grow up. It felt like just yesterday when I called my mother in so many numerous occasions like this. Vibha and my son-in-law Ansh got married three years ago and because of his work they had to move to California. Vibha soon found a job in one of the software companies. I and my husband never wanted to have another child so Vibha was our only daughter. Now, I am staying with my daughter for a short while. I looked out into the window thinking about the time of Vibha’s birth.

“Beti huyi hai” announced the midwife when Vibha was born. My family stayed in a small town and the facilities of a hospital were less. Hence we had a woman nurse who visited me at home. Vibha was delivered at home and everyone in the house was sad that I gave birth to a girl child. Even my husband looked unhappy. But he could not stay without loving his own daughter and with all the love he began to accept our daughter.

Days/months passed while Vibha grew out to be the most intelligent child. People admired her wit, laughed at her baby antics and were surprised at her speed in grasping and understanding ability. Soon everyone in the family started to love her.

Now, years passed and she grew up to be a beautiful young woman and the day came when we have to see her married. Vibha and Ansh had been classmates from their Post graduation studies and liked each other and decided to get married once they finish their education and find a job. Both talked about it with us as well as with Ansh’s parents. Ansh is a very well behaved boy and we felt that he will take good care of our daughter and so we had no reason to say no to their marriage. On one such occasion when we visited a relative to invite them for Vibha marriage, my cousin asked me “ Bhabiji! So, Vibha will be married now and will go to her sasural. Isiliye, you should have had a son”

We were shocked to hear my cousin say so, but I was used to such comments numerous times by now, but Vibha did not take it lightly. She immediately jumped to answer “ Uncle, what makes you say that my parents should have had a son?”

“ Of course Vibha, if your parents had a son, he would have stayed with them and would have taken care, isn’t it? A girl has to go to sasural and she cannot take care of her parents”, answered my cousin.

“Uncle, I am sorry if I am rude, but I may be a daughter of my parents, but they do not need a son for support when they are in need” answered Vibha curtly.

Months passed again and soon Vibha was married. Right after a month of her marriage, my husband left me as he had a massive heart attack. Both Ansh and Vibha stayed with me for a couple of months. Ansh’s parents were always supportive and they took care of Vibha as their own daughter. Though there were minor disagreements now and then, Ansh always was careful to deal with the matter.

But one day, Vibha came home sad from work. Told me about Ansh job and they had to move to California. I was always prepared for this day because children need to go build their own lives, isn’t it? I just smiled at her and told her not to worry about me. I have plenty of things to keep me occupied and Vibha’s dad has left me enough savings that I can live without struggling for anything.

Soon, the day arrived and I said my goodbye to my daughter and my son-in-law who had become more than a son to me in just a few months. Returning back from the airport I felt a part of me is gone forever. I came home and cried so much missing Vibha. Days went by, and I started to feel lonely. Vibha called me as often as she could. One day she called me in excitement and told me that she is coming to see me. I don’t remember being this happy in my life ever. Finishing her call, I began to plan all the things I need to prepare before she arrives. Her favorite food, clothes, setting up her room and all the stuff. The day she arrived, nothing on earth made be happier looking at my child, standing at my door all grown up and independent. After a day or two, she informed me that I should get my passport done. We had some arguments as I did not want to move anywhere and not especially out of the country. But she was adamant and before she could go back she made sure all the process of applying for the passport was done for me. Soon within a month, the passport arrived and my flight was booked. I reached California and found both Ansh and Vibha waiting for me in the airport.

I looked at the coffee that was cold in my hands. Thinking about the days in India and since the day I arrived here are so different now. Vibha had never made me feel that I need a son even for a second. She has been a daughter to me that many sons cannot be. Today I feel proud that I gave birth to a daughter. Son or a daughter they are the same. Right then the calling bell sounded and I went to open the door “ Ma, did Vibha come yet” asked Ansh walking in, placing his office bag on the table.

I told him about Vibha’s call that she will be late.

“ Oh is it, no problem and I see, you forgot to drink your coffee hot again” smiled Ansh looking at my coffee cup that I had before when I had drifted to my old thoughts.

“Ok, Ma! I am doing a fresh cup for myself. Let me do it for you too. I have some interesting things to tell you that happened today in the office”

We had a cup of coffee together. Ansh shared his day with me while Vibha walked in too. We altogether had our dinner and went to bed.

I cannot thank God enough for giving me a daughter and a son-in-law who is more than a son to me. There is no comparison between a daughter and a son. Both are equal as long as they are grown with good principles and a sense of responsibility.

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Let there be no other Pradyuman! 1926


Dear All,

This is an open letter to whomsoever it may concern, I am really shaken by the death of Pradyuman and series of events that have surfaced in different schools victimising little kids.

I am a mother of a 2-year-old child and the day I saw the news about the cold-blooded murder of a 7-year-old Pradyumn, I was left dumbstruck. Well, I never doubted the fact that human is the most dangerous animal but the way this little boy was murdered is… word can describe it.

I don’t know if there was something wrong with schools or there is something seriously wrong with the school management. But, another point that I would like to raise here is about the playschools.

I think most of the parents nowadays send their kids to playschool. It’s a place where children learn the basics of life and get geared up to enter the real world of schooling. But, have you noticed that there are so many playschools have mushroomed in every nook and corner of the city.

I just want to know how many such schools are affiliated or is there any system in place which assures that these playschools follow a set pattern. It might not concern a few but to many of us, it is a point of worry. Knowing the fact that our little ones are very small, they can barely speak clearly, they are too naïve to understand the ill-intentions and malicious thoughts; under such circumstances, there is a dire need to have a system in place which sets the certain protocol for opening playschools.

Even if there are parameters that need to be met to open playschool, it’s important to check for those schools which are running in a room or in a small area where no amenities are present.

What can we do as parents?

I agree to the fact that schools are the second home for a child but, taking into account the recent precedence, it is the time that we as parents take up the charge and become proactive.

If you are planning to enroll your child or have already enrolled then you must have these pointers on your radar-

  • You must know about the playschool and its staff.
  • Try to stay personally connected with the staff members and other staff of the school
  • Enquire about the verification procedure of the staff members
  • The schools should have enquired complete details about each member of the staff, starting from the teachers to the watchman
  • Enquire about the first aid facility available in the school
  • Make sure that you drop your child to his/her class
  • You should do a surprise check in the school
  • Don’t forget to meet your ward’s teacher regularly
  • And the most important thing, you should observe the behavior of your child. It’s very important that you must check if your child is happy to go to school and at the same time he/she is happy while coming back.

These are a few suggestions from my end, you can obviously leave your opinions and feedback on the same. Let’s promise to ensure the safety of our children and their childhood.




Why is ‘Adoption’ unapproved by society for an unmarried single parent? 1383

I was preparing for sleep last night when my friend Asmi called me up. She was sounding flustered. More than flustered, there was a rage in her voice. It happens rarely that Asmi cries. She is 30, strong, self-reliant and a career-oriented woman. She didn’t marry because she chose not to marry. There is no catastrophic heartbreak story behind. Her focus has always been on her career. She is practical and staunched.

I understood her heart is really heavy else there has never been any place for tears in her eyes.

I quizzed her the reason.

“I am not crying because am sad, I am crying because am helpless and exasperated.” Asmi retorted.

I didn’t interrupt and allowed her to put her heart out.

“Preeti, I called my mother last night and had an argument with her.” she continued.

“I told my mother that I want to adopt a baby. Before I could say anything further she started yelling at me. She scolded me saying, Asmi already because of your decision of not getting married we are in pain. Why are you adding troubles to our lives? If you really want to adopt a baby just forget us. We have to live in this society and will have to answer people around. You have always done whatever you want but this time you are crossing your limits.

If not today, maybe tomorrow you will get married. Who will marry a girl with one child? Such things appear good in movies only. You better start focusing on marriage now. Preeti, My mother wasn’t even ready to listen to my thoughts”. Asmi started sobbing.

I really had no words to console her. Her thoughts were irreproachable and valiant.

But we cannot even disregard the fact that we live in a hypocrite society. When celebrities like Sushmita, Angelina, Sunny and more adopt a baby, we eulogize, lionize, praise their thoughts and we consider it as an act of kindness. We appreciate their humanity. We deduce that they gave a new life to someone. But when anyone from our own house even thinks of adoption we make them go through ignominy by coming up with the questions like is there any medical issue? Are you not straight? Why don’t you marry and then plan your own baby? Why are you trying to shame your parents? Why don’t you understand this baby won’t be your own blood? Are you kidding? Etc.

I’ve read somewhere that parenthood requires love and not DNA. I wish we really understand that. Your genes won’t define your family, our family is built with love care and respect. There are many people who do have a heart for adoption but fear comes in between. Fear of society.

I wish people understand that adopting a baby whether you are single or married isn’t a crime.

Adoption will not only give a baby a family but will also give us a special feeling. A feeling of being human. Probably the purpose we all are here for, giving life a life.