She had hoped the baby would resemble its father. It would have been easier to disown him. But after her aunt had cleaned it, he didn't resemble his father. Till that moment, It had been a parting gift from a rapist, a reminder of the humiliation and agony. But now It had become a Him, who was screaming for; her??
It had been easy for an eighteen year old unmarried rape victim, to decide to abandon It in an orphange when she had discovered, it was too late to abort it. But now, she felt a new sense of responsibility and comprehension.
The It was a new life, though born under unfortunate circumstances. Her throat filled with pain and tears dropped from her eyes. The cry had turned into a wail. What did he want after all? To be soothed, to be held, and few drops of milk?
Some months back her elder sister had given birth and she remembered, the sleepless nights and constant care. If it had taken an entire family to take care of that newborn, how could she expect the orphange officials to take care of all the children? When would he realise it would be pointless to cry, when would he realise its pointless to ask. How could she expect strangers to care for him, when his own mother had abandoned him?
Who would give him milk every two hours? And would they patiently burp him after it? Who would check his nappy? Who would smile and cajole him?
Who would hold his hands when he would want to walk? Who would share his dreams and tell him stories before sleep? Who would he trust? Who, Whom, How, the questions echoed in her mind.
And then anger rose like a volcano. The Why. The rape was not her fault, yet she had been told to be quite about it, since that wouldn't make her "marriage material"! She felt tempted to go back on her decision and tell her parents, let me keep my son, he is mine, even if it means being unmarried. But she knew she wouldn't have the guts to follow her instinct. Since her decision would be a stigma on the entire family and her younger sister too, wouldn't become "marriage material".
She felt shame and sorrow.She requested her aunt to hand him over for few minutes. Her aunt, had been hostile towards her till now, since she had believed, it was the women's fault if they got raped. But at that moment, even she felt a drop of pity for her niece. But she denied the request. It would become more difficult, she reasoned. And took him away. The baby's wail turned into a whimper. Perhaps he would learn to adjust soon.
She stared at the wall blankly, wondering if she would recognise him, if she met him again. Would they brush against each other in a crowd, someday. Would they turn back and feel a connection? Or would she simply move on from this moment, while he would continue to search for his mother, constantly, even in a crowd.
A marvellous chemistry called life, and humans find so many stupid ways to complicate and destroy it. Would times change she wondered. Ages ago, Kunti had felt it while sending away Karna. And she wouldn't be the last mother who would have to give away her child, fearing "They" would pour scorn on her. After all They had an abusive word for a child without father, instead of stepping in to help the mother.
How dare They decide the child is to be blamed, and scorned and abandoned. How dare They decide what makes a woman suitable for marriage and society? Even animals have better rules on caring for the infants.
Who are They to decide civilization is worth the wails of infants..
Hmmm, Who are They?