Sometimes, a touch means a world to those who crave to get a glimpse of it. Yes, it is weird but true. The relationship which is shared between a mother and a child is beyond the trivial perception of human minds.
I pondered over these higher notes of life while crouching in Disha's old farmhouse. Disha Verma, an old friend of mine is still pretty close to me. Disha and Rohan were now living in this farmhouse since 4 years. It was built by Disha's dad, Ronit uncle near the mesmerizing beach of Versova. This place has its own serenity which makes it antique amid the dense mortal conopy of Mumbai. You can get a glimpse of the blue sea, dancing with the beats of the tides. You can see the alluring sun kissing each wave of the blue with its scarlet lips.
But there was a black ball amid the gracious moon. I asked Disha about the entire incident. At first she felt hesitant but on insisting she began telling me the entire sequence of events that changed their lives for ever.
Three years back, Disha and Rohan got a confirmation about Disha's inability to conceive.
Their world was about to shatter in a while, when a phone call brought them back to senses.
It was Sujata, Disha's school buddy. Hey Dishu, how are you despo? The voice pierced Disha's blocked mind. Hey hi, I am good. How are you Suji? Disha forced these words out of her frozen brain that had those coagulated thoughts forming huge chunks with each passing breath. Disha, girl you are not good. Stop lying to me. You know you are too bad at lying. Tell me, what is it that's bothering you? Sujata insisted. Disha cried out. Suji, I can't conceive. No one will ever call me a mother. I am too bad a woman. I don't even have the ability to get my own baby.
Relax Dishu, I have a brilliant idea. Why don't you guys adopt a baby? Talk to Rohan. I am sure he will be ok with it. He is a cool guy. Consoled Sujata. Disha sighed with a deep breath of relief. Thank you darling. This is indeed a great idea. Let me talk to Rohan once. Disha replied.
Rohan strolled towards her with a sulky face.
His gloomy eyes were still and filled with strong silence and painful tranquility. Disha held his hands, kissed his forehead and wiped his misty eyes. They walked out of the clinic and got into their car. It was a 15 minutes long drive back home. Disha gathered all her courage and uttered few words. Rohan, I have something to talk. He gazed deep in her addictive eyes and said, I know what you want to say darling. We are not going home now. We are heading for the Central Orphanage. Disha's eyes glowed with pride and those drops of bliss poured out like wine drops from her pair of eyes. She went closer to Rohan and kissed him passionately.
They were filled with fervency and a strong aroma of their souls impregnated their hearts.
In next couple of minutes, they saw a jumbo sign board that read, 'Central Orphanage'.
They walked in through the long aisle to reach the cabin of the Head of the Central Orphanage. They went in and poured their wounded hearts in front of her. Mrs. Bhosle listened to them patiently and smiled for a while. She spoke with serenity. My dear Children, you guys are like my children. Come, I will take you inside. You can have a glance of our orphanage. I am sure we can make your unfulfilled dreams come true. They walked through those rooms which had a bunch of playful kids playing and cherishing their orphanhood. They were filled with unconditional mirth and were free from all perturbations that waft around this mortal globe. They were happy.
After hovering for minutes, they stood in front of a cradle. A 10 month old little boy gazed at their unfamiliar faces with a tinge of surprise.
Disha smiled and went down on her knees to kiss his little cheeks. The child smiled back. In no time he became so close to Disha.
He has been found from a fire devastated site. No one claimed him since last 4 months. He is very different from the other kids here. He never vexes our staff by nagging for anything. Neither for food nor for any other things. He is always smiling. Many people saw him but they all felt he doesn't carry luck or good vibes with him. Hence no one adopted this little one. Said Mrs. Bhosle.
Disha spoke, I want to adopt him Ma'am. Saying this, he turned her eyes towards Rohan. Rohan smiled with a wave of consent. Disha's face glowed once again. They went back to complete the official formalities. In another couple of months, they took the child with them.
One morning, Rohan kissed the child and left for his shop. Disha pulled the curtains to let the sunlight kiss the floors of the rooms. Ryan was busy playing with his toys. Oops! I forgot to mention. They named their child Ryan.
Disha turned on the washing machine and thought for a while to take Ryan for a shower to the washroom. She walked steadily towards the hallway. In a moment her feet held back to the floor. Her eyes enlarged in dread and her brain jumbled up. Ryan was floating in free air, giggling in a playful manner. An unknown force was swinging him gently in a to and fro style. Disha rushed to him and grabbed him immediately. She pressed him close to her chest and drenched him with her tears. He gazed at her and wiped off her tears with his tiny fingers. Mumma, please don't cry, his little voice muttered.
That evening, Disha was more anxious and was waiting eagerly for Rohan to return. She restlessly strolled in the front yard. Suddenly she heard the honking horns of Rohan's car. She felt relieved. She couldn't even wait for Rohan to enter the house. Her shaky voice poured all the happenings from the scratch. Rohan laughed out in amusement. Common Disha, you are getting too much stress. Take some rest. It seems you are hallucinating. Disha was loosing heart now. She was saying the truth. She was not hallucinating. She knows it and she is pretty sure.
Few more days passed without much hassles. That day, Rohan returned a bit earlier. He wanted to spent some time with his beloved wife and their cute new guest. They were sitting on the sofa and Ryan was playing on the floor with his favourite remote control car. Above his head, there was a window which overlooked their portico car parking. Rohan's eyes deeply gazed his little child using the best of his childhood. Suddenly, his eyes stopped scanning and was locked in the window glass that reflected a woman who stood right behind Ryan. The woman was more of a fuming silhouette and her open hairs were brushing over Ryan's face. Rohan felt a cold air wafting through his ears and skin. He stood up, walked up to Ryan and picked him up. He rushed out to his car outside. Disha rushed behind. Hey Rohan, what happened? She asked. Disha, we are leaving this place now. I have seen her. Rohan spoke with a fear filled voice.
But where? Where do you think we can go? Do you think this spirit will leave us if we leave this house. She is behind our child. She will follow us wherever we go. Said Disha in tears. Rohan stopped. He gazed into her eyes and said, I will get her removed from my child's life. All of a sudden, there was lightning streaks and a bunch of dark clouds covered their sky like a dense conopy. The sullen sky looked yet more treacherous and daunting. Rohan saw, the fuming silhouette was standing at the main door staring at them with grudging eyes. Those white eyes gave chilly shocks to each and every veins of Rohan. Despite seeing her, they walked back inside. All of a sudden, someone lifted up Disha in free air. Disha screamed in fear. Rohan tried running to pull her down but his feet were held back by something. He couldn't even lift them up. After few minutes, Disha was brought down automatically and Rohan found himself free from those invisible shackles.
The next morning, Rohan got a holy thread to be tied around Ryan's neck from a temple nearby. They said, it will protect him from all unknown evils and filthy spirits. Ever then, no other perturbations bothered them for a long time untill one day, when Disha was alone in the house with Ryan. She cooked few veggies for Ryan and walked out of the kitchen to take Ryan for a shower. Ryan was 2 years now. She saw Ryan playing with his toys but at the same time he was smiling at someone looking at one of the corners of the room. A gust of dread flowed through Disha's blood once again. She rushed to Ryan and asked him, Baby, whom are you smiling at? Ryan looked at Disha for a second and replied, Mumma I am smiling at Maa.
No baby, there is absolutely no one there. Said Disha. No mumma, look, she is right there. She likes you Mumma. She has told me that your mumma loves you a lot. Never talk rude to her. The words of Ryan pierced through her skin and soul. She felt her pressure falling down and in no time her eyes were filled with darkness. She fell down on the floor unconscious. After a couple of hours, she regained senses and saw Rohan standing by her side. She was lying on the bed and the family physician was examining her pulses. She is fine now Mr Rohan. I have given her the injection and her pressure is normal now. Take care of her. Said Dr Sen.
Rohan escorted him out and quickly came back to Disha. Disha called him closer and in a feeble voice spoke out. Rohan, she is Ryan's real mother. The one who held him in her womb for 9 long months. She must have died in the fire accident and her body was never found. We have to live with her. She likes me. She will never harm us. Rohan understood Disha's words in and out.
Sir, your coffee. The voice of Disha's maid brought us back to senses. I asked her immediately. So Disha, how did you get rid of that spirit finally? Disha smiled, who told you Rahul that we got rid of her. She is still with us. She has been an invisible family member since then. Saying this Disha got up and walked towards the refrigerator to bring me a bottle of water. She slipped and was about to fall off on her face on the floor. But what I saw that day, changed my perceptions as well. An unknown force held her firmly and she was half floating in air. Waves of dread ran through my entire body.
But one thing I understood very well that day. Being a mother is something that is beyond all mortal relationships and even beyond common perception. The touch of a mother is like those drops of rain that can spell life on any barren soil.