“Mrs. Madhavi Soni, there are many other children in our orphanage. Are you sure you want to adopt Mehransh only? He was a part of the disastrous accident and was an eyewitness of his parents’ fatal death. Do you know what was its collateral damage? At a delicate age of six years, he was shattered with horror. That boy is completely heartbroken, beyond repair. Adopting him will only bring you more despair than happiness.”


Madhavi and her husband Hemant, had weathered the heartache of being childless for over five years now. All medication had proved to be ineffective. Upon entering the orphanage for the first time, amidst all the noise and running around of other kids, Madhavi’s eyes fell on the small boy who was sitting in the corner all by himself. His head was hung down and hands clasped between his knees. Uncharted feelings surged through Madhavi and for reasons unknown to herself, she wanted that boy to be her son!


Only for a minute, the matron’s words crumbled her joy and Madhavi saw her wishes slipping through her fingers. But she had met Mehransh. Even though there was a sea of painful emotions in the depth of his sad eyes, behind his forlorn and frowsy exterior, Madhavi could see the shadow of an attractive and cheerful child. Suddenly, she was washed over with an overwhelming desire to heal his bruised life.

“Madhu, it goes without saying, that I’ll always stand by you, but adopting Mehransh is going to be a painstaking journey of falling apart and recuperating back together. Are you confident of taking up this challenge?”

Hemant’s fear did not fade away her hope and love. She squeezed his arm and said fervently, “Hemant, Mehransh will restore not only our hearts, but also our family. I can feel it in my bones.”


Bringing Mehransh home was just the tip of the iceberg; the long, patient and impending odyssey ahead was nothing short of a difficult battle. They sent him to the best school. As parents, both Madhavi and Hemant thrived to talk to him, play with him and did their best to make him feel homely and comfortable. Nevertheless, they failed to pull him out from the depth of his immeasurable wounds. He never addressed them as mom or dad, or anything for that matter. Mehransh was extremely quiet; as good as mute. Although they tried to fathom his thoughts, he remained impenetrable. He ate very little and always preferred to be alone in his room. Many times Madhavi saw silent tears streaming down his soft cheeks. If she dared to go close to him, he ran away to the washroom and locked himself inside. His rejection of their love was quite tangible and so very disheartening.


Self neglect led to sickness. Mehransh fell ill. Madhavi and Hemant left no stone unturned in showering him with tender loving care. During his three weeks of sickness, Despite the fact that his attitude was crushing her very soul, selflessly, Madhavi was by his side all the time. Apart from food and medicine, she forced Mehransh to play games with her and told him bedtime stories.

Mehransh’s illness proved to be a blessing in disguise. Three years after his adoption, one night Madhavi read the last sentence of the story and closed the book with a smile. Tucking him under the blanket, she fondled his cheeks and turned on the bedside lamp. She was about to leave his room, when Mehransh said softly, “Mummy, can you give me a hug?”




Did he really say that or were her ears ringing? Wheeling around she saw Mehransh sitting with his arms outstretched, waiting for an embrace. She rushed to pull her son in her arms and drenched him with kisses, “Mehransh….my baby!” They both cried….and cried a river of tears; letting the years of painful emotions drain away, replacing them with love and happiness!!


Shamim Merchant