There is always a light

There is always a light
Don't be afraid if you are alone or surrounded by darkness. In some part of the world, the day has just begun. There is a always a light waiting for you to find your way to touch its radiance.

Monday, July 5, 2010

My Bed Time Story

By Anindita Baidya
Anand, Gujarat, India
I am Tehani, which, in Hindi, means ‘branch’. My ma, poetic ma named me Tehani while my papa was all set to name me Marushika, which means ‘born out of blessings of Lord Shiva’. Ma argued that Marushika seems to be a twin sibling of Hiroshima and so Papa dropped his idea.
I am eighteen now; an ardent reader and net surfer. Those are my favourite extracurricular activities.
This hunger for books, I inherited from Papa. He is a voracious reader while ma…! Oh what a story teller she is!
I remember, as a child, I would never sleep until ma and papa read to me from my story books. I had a huge collection of books. Animals, fairy tales, mythology, alphabets, rhymes, I had the full range.

And I had built my own world of imagination around them.

But my favourite bed time story is not from any of my books but from the lips of my ma.

She has been always narrating me the tale of my homecoming; since when, I do not even recall. But I remember every night the last and most awaited story would be this. I knew every detail of the story but I just loved listening to this, again and again. Ma would rest on the bed with the support of her left hand, her right hand affectionately fondling with my hair, in an effort to put me to sleep. I played with her mangalsutra, entangling it between my little fingers while papa stroked me on my back. Her managalsutra, papa’s stroke, her fingers and sound of her metallic bangles and the story would all conspire and put me into a deep sleep.
Ma told me that I was not born out of her tummy. Like a fairytale, she narrated how there lived a couple who wished to be parents by adopting a baby from orphanage. And how these couples brought home a two month baby girl and named her Tehani.
Since very early age, I knew that my ma had not given birth to me but then, I did not understand the whole process of birth, at all. My ma tells me today that I had developed an understanding that all babies come from orphanage!
With my age, this bed time story did not change. Only the intricacies changed and I demanded more details. Whose tummy did I come from? Ma and Papa said they did not know. But they explained that whoever my biological mother was or parents were, they must have been good. They said that my biological parents must have found it very difficult to raise me and so handed me to the orphanage, requesting them to find a family for me, someone to nurture me with love, shelter, protection, education as well as provide materialistic sufficiency.
As years passed by, my questions grew from ‘intricacies’ to ‘confrontation’. Was I an unwanted baby? Was my birth unwelcome? Ma and Papa said my homecoming has been the most welcoming event in their life.
There have been nights when, during the story-time, I cried and lamented that I was not born out of the body of the woman I so much loved. Ma did not try to render any philosophical reply. She simply cried along with me, we shed tears together and went to sleep, all three of us cuddled together.
It has never been, nor will be easy to wish away the one month of my life before I came home. I will forever wonder what my biological parents look like. I wonder if I have brothers and sisters related by birth! I will never get over the strange feeling at my fingers to touch the tummy of my biological mother. Sometimes a crazy wish maddens me that I want to see the inside of the womb of my ma. I sometimes wish to be inside it once and change my birth story forever!
I will live with it, only because I love my ma and papa. Only because I know they are there with me.
One day I wish I meet my birth mother and father, I wish to I see them once for just knowing who they are. For quenching the thirst of mine for knowing the reason why they relinquished me. And after meeting them, I wish to come back to my home, to my adoptive parents and listen to my favourite bed time story again!!!


  1. beautiful read! a simple rendition of the complex emotion Tehani went through. I best like the part where she wishes to cuddle, for once, in her adoptive mother's womb. cheers to motherhood!

  2. beautiful read! a simple rendition of the complex emotion Tehani went through. I best like the part where she wishes to cuddle, for once, in her adoptive mother's womb. cheers to motherhood!