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Witness Of A Helpless Mother [a Short Story]

Discussion in 'Stories (Fiction)' started by sunkan, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    “I didn't dare look over my shoulder. I knew if I did, it would all be over. Madangi thought about what they went through and narrated:
    the month of June the travel to the hill station was a wet one with a slight drizzle all through the journey. She remembered a similar journey some 20yrs back when she had been accompanied by her sister and her own children who were then just 6 and 4.Today she was traveling with her second daughter the then age of 4 who is now 25 and heading for an unknown destination as far as she knew…

    Madangi was from an old school of thought, raised steeped in traditions of madi, acharam and so many other hindu cultural richness as far she was concerned. Time has a way of making people accept change. Today though she didn’t mind throwing in her shilling for change but this was just too much for her to digest. She had given up her madisaar for her children and so many other habits, which they felt was so outdated and not happening in these days of life. But to-day Mala her daughter broke all rules and seemed to have come up with this novel idea according to her. Though she was paid very well, she forgot all about what could be her future after this episode got over. She said this was going to be her profession, ‘so you might as well come to terms.’

    Madangi did not tell any at home as she never knew of it until this ride in the bus. Luckily, her elder son was now abroad so she needn’t mention to him about Mala’s plan but “what if?” is a very big question. She did not want to probe now. All tests were taken and they found Mala to be most suitable as her blood group was O+ nothing much to worry. They arrived at a house, very beautiful, though Madangi was unable to admire it due to her own turbulent mind churning up all unpleasant things, Mala seemed not to be perturbed at all. After all why should she be? She had chalked out her future, the way it was. 15 lakhs on hand is no joke excluding medical expenses, stay etc. Yes, from her point of view, all was fine. What about all my dreams of making jewellery and silver for her wedding? ‘All that was needed was to make the mangalyam and to-day this girl bolts me with this news,’ Madangi concluded. Mala had never told a word about it until they had boarded the bus to the hill station. Just said that it was a wonderful job with all amenities given and for one year, no one would be allowed to visit as it was inside the campus and not more than one person could stay along. Madangi, like a nut, was taken in by her daughter’s gab. ‘Ma wake up, don’t sulk, come to terms and keep the atmosphere more lively. Everything has been arranged and tomorrow is the great day when I will be going in to the Hospital to be artificially inserminated. I have already been on medication to take care of the egg count etc. Here I am thinking “It should turn out positive” and you’re still thinking along the lines of it being a crime and not a boon. You would rather prefer for me to do “daanam” in the form of money and food. I am doing jeeva-danam and making their life beautiful. Madangi knew she had no other go. Next day arrived bright and early and Madangi was sitting outside the clinic with all the buzzing going on, not knowing why she could not still come to terms with all this change. She felt misplaced for life, but that was life -wasn’t it? Nothing happened the way we want it. Surrogacy- an option never heard of aloud in her times, yes, they did occur but not so close in a vicinity around her where it was a thunderbolt to come to terms with.

    All tests done, they went home and then it was a round of so many visits which Mala did and then she came very happy about a month later excited that it was positive and from now on I should be very happy always as the child will get affected. Madangi’s mind kept telling wish you had a mangalyam; I think I would be overjoyed, my baby, to see you like this.

    Anyway life moves on. Morning started with a nice breakfast for her with all the nutritious items a dietician had given, then came the régime of keeping the body flexible by doing yoga. Then some sunbath and walk to the shop and all. Mr and Mrs Raghavan, were too highly obliged to Mala for her contribution. And they were telling Madangi, ‘You must be gifted to have a daughter like Mala,’ but her mind kept screaming, ‘Yes, no doubt…but who is bothered about her daughter’s life though. She tried her best not to show what was in her mind. It was better to go along now that the baby was growing… no use making it unpleasant for both of us. Mala subscribed for magazines and a lot of books which she was crazy about and Madangi supervised the kitchen, housekeeper, garden and so on…life was moving at a slow pace. With all her regular regime she seemed to be turning beautiful, for the first time she noticed her dimples had become more prominent and her smile had taken a vulnerable look she turned pale and wanted all sour things to eat and mango at that season was a rarity in the hilly region. With all this turbulence Madangi kept her temple visits regular, trying to get some peace or rather coming to terms and accepting the changes. It was nearing the time now and her back was aching more with the weight of the child, and sleeping in the night also was a tough while Madangi kept instructing her not to turn over just like that but to sit down and then turn onto the other side which was a little too much for Mala . Flowers were very expensive but Mrs.Raghavan kept sending a regular bunch every week for Mala who loved them a lot. The room was a light pink, her favourite colour and her moods were highlighting the anxiety of going through the pain. Madangi kept praying to the little Ganesha around the corner for a safe delivery and some modaks in exchange for the good favours.

    The season got very cold. Madangi knew her due date was in March and she was sure she would need some 3 months with the baby before parting with it. So her diet had to be more nutritious. She loved the oranges which were a nice deep orange inside and Madangi saw to it that she had a cupful all deseeded and the tops removed and the regular milk in the night with kesar which Mala hated, but drank as a ritual. Every now and then Mala started complaining of her lower back pain and Madangi kept massaging it. The regular check ups with the lady doctor, who was angel personified, relaxed Mala’s moods so well and kept encouraging her to be strong mentally and all would pass soon. Each time Mala would ask, ‘Ma will I have trouble giving birth? How painful it would be and so on. She couldn’t even opt for a caesarian section as she would not be able to have more than 3 babies at the most and if she wanted it to be in her profession, she needed a good doctor who would have patience and deliver for her. Dr.Latha was very good at that, she became a very close friend of Madangi and Mala. It was a cold night and Mala started to scream with pain, Madangi rang up the doctor and Latha who was with them in half an hour, checked Mala and found it to be only a gas problem and gave her an injection to relieve her from pain.

    Days rolled by with more readings and walks and massage for pain and some herbal juice for the swelling in the leg and so on, Mala was finding it difficult to walk but still made it a point to walk. As the Ooty roads were steep, the uphill walk along the roads was straining, so each day a search was on to look for even roads and with a nice shawl draped over, she felt the chillness and the mist which she loved so much all over she used to blow as if she was smoking and laughing at the sight of the twirls of her breath.

    Soon, Ooty was becoming pleasant and no more freezing winds and it was wonderful to walk without a shawl. Raghavan joined Mala and both were talking so many things related to books.

    Madangi noticed that Mala was having problem walking that day, with her lower back pain increasing and the pain of cramps troubling her. She immediately asked Raghavan to get his car to take her back, after that the next 24 hrs were like waiting out side the hospital for some news to come..

    Dr. Latha, came out with the good news it was a bouncy girl baby, and asked them to wait for just a few minutes when Mala will be brought to the ward. Madangi ran to the nearest Ganesha in the premises and thanked him and came back with vibhuthi for her daughter’s business or not she still had to think about the health of her child, when she went in she saw a very tired Mala trying to smile and when they brought the bundle Mr and Mrs Raghavan could not contain themselves. One could see their eyes dancing with joy, Mala the first breast feed opened a different emotion that every mother gets registered as one in this world and all she could do is close her eyes and get the feeling when the child suckled she felt the inner nerve bond just binding her for good. After some five days Mala was discharged and taken home, where they had to spend some three months until the child could be weaned slowly from mother’s milk. Mala was very busy taking care of the baby. Feeding burping , carrying the baby changing nappies, and walking inside the house had become a regular routine for Mala and Madangi.

    Amma! Amma! just look at her ! She recognizes my voice, Madangi’s fear kept mounting about this attachment which was not going to help Mala give up her child. As time passed, the baby started smiling at Mala, catching hold of her hands and taking it slowly to the mouth…she hugged it so close that she did not want to part, though she knew all along that she had to give it away as per her contract, but for some reason the baby had inherited her dimples, which was very surprising as she was under the impression surrogate children take after their parents and not the lady who helps them with surrogacy. Every night the lullaby was nice to hear with Madangi singing. The child looked so soulful, the thought kept echoing that this scene was not for long and all were going to miss it. The child was slowly changed to bottle milk once a day which she phoo phooed spitting it and then crying so badly then Mala used to interfere and breast feed again… slowly the child also took to the bottle and Kala, Raghavan’s wife, also took part in feeding and changing nappy so that they develop a good affinity towards the child..

    It was the last day and the baby had to be handed over, Mala had been crying badly though knowing that this was what was all about surrogacy. The trouble was Mala did not have any great burden at home. This was a business to her, yet, the parting was even more difficult.

    Mr. Raghavan hired a car for Mala and Madangi to go back to Bangalore and it was coming by 10 a.m. They had collected and packed up their things except for all the child’s clothes and sterilized bottles which Kala said she would take the task of packing as they wanted to stay back another week and then leave for Kolkata their home. Lots of pictures were taken and Raghavan promised to send them to Mala. As the car moved, it was a very depressing scene to watch Mala looking at the baby and holding back her tears, all her eyes were red and the tears were just trying to flood out, she kissed the baby for the last time and ran into the car, as the car moved, she cried uncontrollably and Madangi had a tough time consoling her. The bond could never be made into business but when done, one needs a steel heart to follow the rules….regards sunkan
     
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  2. chitrajan

    chitrajan Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Sundari,

    What you say is right. Human Bonds can never be converted into business.

    Good one.
     
  3. arch174

    arch174 Senior IL'ite

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    very moving story:cry: or:| ?
     
  4. Manjureddy

    Manjureddy Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Sunkan'
    A moving story indeed. I liked that phrase Jeeva Danam very much.

    Whatever the need for money is, however much we may try to reconcile ourselves to the business part of such deals, it must surely be acknowledged that human and blood bonds triumph above any economics.

    rgds
    manjula
     
  5. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    dear manju,
    this i had written with woman in mind who dont want to marry but want to enjoy the bliss of motherhood, and get paid for it, if there is a twin there is an option here for u to request for one child and if the parent agree they give u one to keep for self. my second daughter doing a lot of research and helped some couples, this instigated this story in me...ur very right never compromise on emotion but usually these things are done by woman from very tough background like young mothers to save their own children from poverty do this, and usually end up demanding a lot of money, and the indians abroad dont mind it at all, as long as they can get a very good healthy baby which the doctors approve...sunkan
     
  6. Mitra

    Mitra Senior IL'ite

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    hello sunkan,

    Its was such a heart touching story.Its really true that everything cannot be converted to business and motherhood is such a beautiful thing that we cannot bargain it for money.

    Keep posting such nice stories.


    Reagards
    Mitra
     

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