Saturday, 28 June 2014

The Silver Pendant (A Story)

I can see her walk away from her father and shut the door in distress. She had an argument with her father again. It hasn't been like that always, but there are some aspects of life which are too complicated to understand when one does not know the realities. Yes, realities are too twisted at times and nobody but the one who knows them completely can possess the courage to accept them.

But she does not anything about those realities and I, being the one who has been with her since she was born, know it better that she is unaware of the reasons why her existence is questioned so much. Yet, I support Arindam, her father, because I know that he is not wrong; because I know that he has seen this world, because I know that he wants to protect her. All his life, he has been doing that- trying to protect her from the world.

She has been a darling to Arindam and she loves him back the same way. More than that, she respects him for the efforts that he has put in to raise her alone. She understands that he has not just been a caring and responsible father, but her best friend and guide too; and she has always loved him the most in this world. But...as this but always comes...she does not understand why there is no presence of her mother's memoirs in this house.

She does not get it why her father avoids talking about her mother. She, being a girl, has always craved for the love of her mother, but it seems as if destiny had other plans for her.

Even though her father has never let her feel lonely, she thinks that she can no longer stay unaware of her mother's whereabouts. It has been very often now that she demands the story of her mother from her father and today is one such day. Some times, I wish I could speak so that I would at least help her to get rid of a small portion of the pain that she hides in her heart. But how could I? Only in some fairy tale or in a dream I might get some magical powers to speak and then I could narrate everything that she wants to know. I wish that happens, for it will be another journey for me to explore. As of now, I am a mere silver pendant close to her heart ever since she was born. Even if she thinks of me as a pendant, I have seen her as my only friend always because she gifted to me a world which I love, unlike the world from where I came.

'Vrinda'. Yes, Arindam has given her this beautiful name, which is also a part of his name. He has wanted her to be a part of his existence since the day he found her. It has always seemed to the world that she is a part of his cells too. He had always been lonely. I have been the only one who knows him since he was a child. I was a pendant back then too, but I belonged to somebody else at that time. Yes, I belonged to the warden at the orphanage. I was her only priced possession, which traces back to another story I know, but for now, I belonged to her.

Being an orphan, his life had been full of struggles. He was always surrounded by boys who would find pleasure in stealing money, or some who would invite him to enjoy with momentary pleasures that would ruin his life. But he knew that he would never like to live this way. He knew that he wanted to live like so many other children whom he saw when their parents came to his orphanage to adopt his fellow beings. He wanted to take the best opportunity to stand on his own feet and create a world of his own. He often dreamt of a family of his own. He never wanted to be caged in some unknown house, so he never tried to behave properly when families came to talk to him.

As a result, the orphanage authorities always considered him to be stubborn and seldom payed heed to his cravings for affection. He found his solace of peace only in his 'Warden Aunty'. She would listen to Arindam and understand his dreams. She would encourage him to follow his heart. She would appreciate him for his efforts and would tell him stories that she had heard in her childhood. He did not know who named him Arindam and he would often wonder about it, until his Warden Aunty would call him. Yes, she was not less than a mother for him. He often dreamt of staying with her once he achieved something in his life.

Time is the fastest entity in this universe. It has always been. I saw Arindam growing up as a man with a kind and generous heart, despite his sufferings. I saw him study hard to fulfill his dreams. I saw him cry in despair. I saw him smile when he got his scholarship. I saw him leaving the premises to become a successful doctor. I saw him promising his Warden Aunty to come back one day and take her with him to their own place. And then he left.

His Warden Aunty missed him whenever she looked at children and wanted to see him again. She believed that he would come one day. But she did not know that she would not be there for him when he came. I remember that dreadful night too. When she was alone in her room. It was raining very heavily. All the children were asleep already. The thunderstorm outside the room was scary enough to make anyone stay awake, but none could dare step outside. Yet, a dark figure moved towards her room.

She was about to close the door but the other person was fast enough. And then I saw the lights going out. Next what happened, I could never find words to describe it. All I knew is that I heard her moan in pain. I heard her cry and shout. I heard her struggle with all the might that she had and I heard her give up and surrender in the end, until the beast left her in despair. I saw the lights coming back. I saw the devil. He warned her to remain silent and left.

In a few moments of devilish desires, her dignity was ruined. But this did not end there. He was a regular visitor, who did all that he wanted to with her, whenever he felt like. The person was a known one. He would come as a financer to the orphanage in daylight and as a devil at night. He would be a saint to the world and a nightmare to her. After many days of horrible experiences, she left the place. And nobody knew that she was planning to take a revenge on him by deciding to bring his roots into this world. Yes, she had gained courage to bring his child into the world and show to everybody his real face. All she needed to do was see Arindam, his dear son-like Arindam, as soon as she could.

And he came one day. He came to the orphanage to take her Warden Aunty with him. He was now a successful doctor. He owned a house for the world he wanted to create, of his own. But he did not find her. All that he found was a letter given to him by the watchman, the only thing that his Warden Aunty had left for him. And after he read it, all he wanted to do was to find her. He tried his best to find her wherever he thought she could be, but he couldn't. All his efforts had failed. And he was again left alone in this world. He did not know what to do with his new found world without his Warden Aunty.

But she had to meet him too. Because Arindam was not the only one trying to find her. And that is how it happened. I remember the moment when the devil came to know of her plans to bring his reality to the world and started to look for her to destroy her remains. He found her. But she was lucky enough to escape and reached the orphanage where the watchman told her that Arindam had come and gave her his address. She wanted to reach there as quickly as possible, in her state of pain. She knew that she would not survive. I remember the painful expressions on Arindam's face when he took her to the hospital. I remember the moment when she handed over her daughter in his hands. I remember her last words, "Make her live and one day tell her who she is." I remember the moment when she handed her diary and me to Arindam. And then she left the world. I remember that night when Arindam brought me and this little girl home. I remember how he cried like a child who had just lost his mother. I remember his determination when he looked at the girl and at me.

But that was the last time, I saw him crying until today. Yes, he never cried after that. His whole world was confined to the girl whom he named 'Vrinda', a part of his own existence. She was an angel in his dark life. She was not just his daughter, but his life as well. He could not imagine a day without her. He would never see her in despair. All he wanted was to protect her from the world. He was her best friend, her guide, her only companion. And life was beautiful for them. He never let their dark past cast a shadow upon her existence.

And she grew up into a beautiful, brilliant, decent young lady whom every father would be proud of. She felt blessed that she was Dr. Arindam's daughter. She felt on cloud 9 because her father was the best father anybody could ever have. He never let her feel lonely. I knew that Arindam did not want her to feel like an orphan. He knew the pain. So all she knew was that her mother passed away after giving birth to her. She never asked more. Her father was her biggest asset and she did not want to make him feel sad. There had been times when she wanted to know why they did not have any relatives or why there were no signs of her parents' memoirs together or why there was not a single photograph of her mother. But she let those doubts remain in her heart till she had a reason to find that. She often had the urge to know about her mother, but she did not want to hurt her father. All she knew was that I was her mother's only treasure for her and she preserved me like a star close to her heart.



Time travelled like earlier and she grew up to the day when she decided to find somebody for her and she wanted her father to be happy about it. Arindam met, Krish, the man whom his daughter had chosen. He found him perfect for her and the proceedings for the marriage began. Although, he knew that he would be left alone but he remembered the promise he had made to his Warden Aunty and also his daughter's happiness, he had to choose between the two. He was in a dilemma.

Everything was fine, until Krish's mother insisted upon knowing Vrinda's past, because she knew that Arindam was not married. She questioned and insulted Arindam in front of Vrinda and Krish. He still remained silent and it was then that Vrinda burst out her anger on her father. It was painful to see him being questioned by his own daughter, his darling angel. But what broke her patience was the fact that her marriage was cancelled due to her questioned existence.

"Tell me dad, am I your daughter? What happened to my mother? Did you leave her? Why do I never see anything about her? Do you know that I feel hurt? Am I illegitimate? Tell me! Don't stay silent now!"

But he did not speak up and she left the room in distress. He got up and entered her room. And now I see Vrinda reading the letter he gave to her and her mother's diary. I see her getting everything from the beginning. I see her crying like a small child. I see him consoling her. And I see her apologizing.

"You raised me out of your duty. I am sorry dad! You never had a family because of me. I am so selfish dad. I am sorry that I hurt you. I love you dad!"

All he says is, "I raised you out of love. You are my family Vrinda. I am sorry about your marriage. I will do anything to fix it all."

"No dad, I want to find that devil first. I want to ruin his life. I want to fulfill my mother's desire."

"I know. I have found out about him. He is a famous businessman now. I have the courage to challenge him if you are with me my dear. I just want to protect you."

"I am there dad. I am there always."

I see a ray of light in this darkness spreading across the room, the light for Arindam and Vrinda. The light of his Warden Aunty that would guide them all along.....

                                                  *****************************************************************

I have witnessed the struggles that Arindam and Vrinda faced, the battles that they have fought together, the hopes that they have given to each other, and the courage that they have mustered up to face the devil, to confront him legally. They were noble, they had suffered, they had the will to show his reality to the world. I see the media covering the news about the famous businessman being proved gulity of the Warden's rape after the DNA reports were declared positive. I see Vrinda crying out of happiness for her mother who brought her into this world and for her father who had raised her. I feel proud to be a part of their lives. They have won the biggest battle of their lives.

And she had realized that her father is her only best friend and loves her more than anybody else in the world. I felt proud when she answered Krish today, "The fact that my existence was questioned was enough for you to step back, but the fact that a famous businessman is the one whose blood I share brought you back. I am sorry Krish. I cannot forget that my real father is the one who has given up everything for me in his life. And the ones who do not respect him cannot expect respect from me either. I don't think you are the right one for me. I am sure my father will find my man. Dr. Arindam he is if you can remember."

I see tears in Arindam's eyes which he does not try to hide. I see Vrinda taking me in her hands and looking up to the sky with tears. She walks upto him and I see that they love each other so much that I realize- A Father and a daughter need not share the same DNA to love each other.

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