I was up early having hardly caught a wink the previous night.. tossing and turning the whole time. Too nervous with so many questions haunting me from all directions. Am i taking the right decision? Am i capable of pulling this off? How Will my family react to this? Being decisive was never my strong point. And this one was too daunting a question for me to find an answer objectively. I ran through my daily chores with questions ringing all over my mind. The clock ticked in 11.45 AM. I was staring at my mobile, willing it to ring. And as if on cue..it began to ring. Controlling my trembling hand i picked the call.
"hel..hello..yeah..Ram here......sure...anytime..was just waiting for your call. I've taken off today...so 3 o'clock it is..i will meet you in your place.....yeah..i have it...bye"
I vividly remember the day i first saw her. Right from the moment i entered that place my eyes never left her. She was standing like a freshly blossomed flower in the middle of a well groomed garden. Her smile radiated a glow which seemed to fill the entire room. She had a cute little dimple on each cheek that made her look even more lovely. I fell head over heels in love with her. From that moment onwards i competed with myself for every living moment of my life to love her even more. I never wanted someone so much in my life before and never felt so obsessed. She became an inseparable part of my life. My friend who had come along with me must have noticed the gamut of emotions on my face. She placed her hand on my shoulder as a calming presence. It was almost like a silent communication to hold myself and get a control over my feelings as there were still lot many things to get done. After so many years of struggle and wait i've at last reached this stage. I didnt wanted to mess it up this time. I took a deep breath and was awaiting for the person in charge with bated breath.
I was brought back to real world when a voice asked
"Are you Mr.Ram.."
"come with me"
I followed the owner of the voice, a middle aged woman, who at that moment looked like an angel without wings, with my heart beat increasing with each step i took. That lady entered into a small room, which was half covered with a desk. The walls had paled with years of neglect. May be they couldnt find a patron or was it due to corruption?? i sushed these thoughts quickly as i had a more important task to attend to.
"Ram will do.."
"ok..Ram..i've given your application serious thought. I wudnt have called you here to waste your time and mine had the result been negative. Congrats. You are lucky. Your application went through the approval process and your request has been approved."
I couldnt believe what i was hearing for a minute. It took a while to sink in. Atlast....after innumerable rejections..my request for adopting a baby has gone through. All my efforts..struggles..pain and humiliation i went through quickly traced before me. I was in a haze. I simply closed my eyes and wept.
'amm...raaaam..." I felt as if the earth shook. I opened my eyes to see someone shaking me. Must have blanked for a moment.
"Are you okay"
"yeah.yeah...i am fine..guess got bit too excited. Sorry"
"Ram..i want to make one thing clear. Being single..that too a male..generally we dont approve such candidates. But in your case, we have made this exception, considering the results of background verifications and the recommendations we received. Having said that, we simply cannot take it for granted as its related to the kids future. There would be periodic visits from our office to monitor the child's progress. Initally it would be once a month and gradually we would reduce the cycle. Hope you are ok with that."
"we would intimate you one week in advance so that you plan your schedule accordingly"
"great..that would be great..so..shall I....?"
"Sure.." She rang the buzzer and called for the child to be brought in.
In she walked with tears welling in her eyes. She looked terrified in the company of strangers. Since i had been to that orphanage many a times before, she smiled and came to me. I lifted her and hugged her like a precious parcel.
"why you didnt come to see me" slowly she whispered in my ears.
"sorry about that..was busy...hey you want to come home?" I whispered back.
"warden will shout"
"no she wont. i've got the permission"
"But all my toys are here.."
"We will buy new ones"
"what about my friends..they are all here"
"hmmm...we can come and meet them regularly"
She pondered over it..silently thinking as if weighing the pros and cons. (I love her more when she does that mannerism)
"ok..it would be fun i guess..lets go home"
She clutched my fingers and led me outside. I walked out a.. proud dad.