In the name of the father
And the Son
And The Holy Ghost amen.
6th of April 2020
The memories of childhood studying in a Convent School with the nuns around, a chapel where we went two times daily during school hours to kneel down and pray with hands moving in all directions. This habit was so very much instilled in the heart which it later diffused with the heart beat as we did it spontaneously on seeing a church as an omen of prayer.
Today on 6th of April 2020, driving towards the cardiac therapy center of Holy Name Hospital, the medical escort driver did the same movement of the hand in silence when we crossed a church. The glowing look of her eyes and the peaceful gesture while driving captured my attention and I was tempted to converse with her as I was sitting next to her driving seat in the front.
May I know your good name?
Idelka ... smilingly she looked at me.
It sounds like an Indian name Alka… I said with an intention of prolonging the conversation.
Oh, you are from India. You don’t like one. But you speak good English
Oh thankyou. Saying so I remained silent for a while.
The road to the Cardio therapy center was about 18 minutes away. So I had some time to talk to the lady and know more about her. Breaking the short gap of silence I started with a question….
How do you like this job of driving, picking people, dropping them back, at times giving them a helping hand. It is not easy in this cold weather?
Yes, I know. I have a full-time job and this is my part time job, three times in a week, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. It pays me well, hence…
I understand. You must be reaching home late I suppose. I stopped abruptly guessing that she might not like to be intruded. So I continued with a sharp twist.
It is nice to be busy in this country as it gives a firm financial footing, experience and also opportunities to learn new things.
Yes, I agree. I have to work hard to provide for my family and children.
How many children do you have? I touched a mother’s heart in a way.
Six daughters’ and she smiled mysteriously.
Six daughters’ …my reaction made her instantly look at me
Yes..three of own and three adopted…
That is interesting…adopted daughters? I said with multiple questions floating in my eyes. My puzzling reaction received a clear transparent answer as she said-“Just wanted to bring up girls who were orphans or those who had a stepfather.
My mind was in utter quandary, could not think straight respite clear answers from her.
Was adopting your choice or your husband?
What was his reaction…
He was not willing at all, with the very fact that we have our own daughters, why adopt? Moreover he was very reluctant for the reason that it would increase their expenses and everything related to the children's need, but later he started helping me to perform all the chores that a father would do.
Wow….I couldn’t believe that in today’s world, when coping up with one’s own family of four or maximum five, this couple has taken this responsibility willingly on their shoulders.
But I was adamant and bye and bye adopted three more in some time frame.
How old are you?
I am forty and my husband is forty two.
And you are a mother of six daughters…unbelievable..but incredible.
Thank you ….she murmured gracefully
So you look after them, send them to school and manage home chores and two jobs. Vow….
Yes very true. I do work hard, have two jobs. She turned towards me and gazed in my eyes, may be to read my intentions. Continuing she said- “I do get up at five in the morning and do all the work that I need to do and then go for my full time job at eight.
My God how do you manage all this.
With my husband’s co-operation, who has come in terms with the situation. He works at night and during the day he manages to bring girls from school, cook at times…and some other chores as shopping, laundry at times.
How old are your daughters?
My oldest adopted daughter is now 19, going to college. All try to help me in the evening when I get back home…
I see, so they all love you, care for you as any other child would do.
Yes….and she gracefully smiled without looking at me.
Unbelievable…, can I please take your phone number and call you if I want to know more about the facts of the relationship of your daughters and your family.
Oh sure… saying so she dictated her number to me.
I wrote on a piece of paper her name and number
(6th April 2020)
I was then silent and lost in my thoughts thinking of all the dimensions and the possibilities of such noble an act in modern days…having three own children and three adopted ones. Multiple questions did come up in a flash, as to why she didn’t adopt a boy, as typical Indian mentality couple would do. But the very thought of six girls was now spreading the essence of grace, making the world more beautiful with the purity of the very thought, giving home and shelter to orphans and the ones with step father. I simply started looking at Idelka in silence.
Can I ask you one more question Idelka…I became more informal. It was a mother to mother talk. So was she.
Why you did not think of adopting a son….
Oh no, no way…. you know what I mean! Girls are safer with girls.
I admired the gracefulness of her thoughts and speech. Immediately her poise connected me to Mother Teresa who had taken in her arms the responsibility of taking care of many such children, orphans, sick children and had opened centers all over which were run by nuns in different parts of some cities. I have visited a Center a couple times located in Ville Parle in Mumbai, with a friend who wanted to adopt a child.
It is really heart throbbing scenario to see the babies in the cradles, that bring to mind the jolting thoughts as to why were the babes here when they should be in the warm bosom of their parents listening to lullaby from them under the secure and lovely atmosphere of their homes?
Why is it that they are disowned and at times left at the doors of the orphanage centers, near garbage cans, or in the lonely corner of some garden on a bench. These unidentified babies cry, shriek, scream with voices that go unheard by hearts of mothers who gave them birth. Ruthless face of humanity! How could a parent be so stone-hearted to leave the baby in the open area depriving her or him of the blissful canopy of love, parental care and security of their homes.
What is your name? Idelka’s voice suddenly pulled me out of the web of my thoughts…
Nice name, easy to remember Devi.
Thanq Idelka. I am happy I met you. Knowing you was a pleasure. Don’t be surprised if I call you some day.
You are welcome Devi.
And with a tender jerk she stopped the van in front of the main door of the therapy center. She opened the door for me and helped me get off safely and assisted me to the entrance.
Thanq Idelka…..I shook my hand and once again asked her permission to talk to her someday.
Oh sure but after 7-30. It will be pleasure to talk to you.
I then walked towards the destined room for physical therapy.
21st December 2022
Today after a long lapse of three and a half years after 6th April 2018, I saw some old papers with scribbled notes about Idelka with her phone number. In a flash memories were highlighted and my curiosity to know more about the six growing up girls was on the topmost priority of the TO DO list.
In the evening I made a random attempt to call. She did pick up the phone but could not grasp by the number, hence disconnected. In my next attempt she said ‘hello’ and I rushed to show my anxiety to connect to her.
May I speak to Idelka?
Having the right person, I stared with the reminder tips.
Hi Idelka this is Devi Here. Remember you drove me once to the cardiac therapy center at Holy Name Hospital. It was long time back. We spoke about your family and your six girls, three of them adopted. This is the number you gave me. Thank God it connected me to you. Do you remember?
Oh, wait a minute, wait a minute I'm trying to remember. Yes I do remember. How are you? So nice to hear from you after a long time Devi.
I am good, my heart is functioning well after the therapy and now I have moved from NJ to New York.
“How are your daughters? Wanted to know more about the girls. They must have grown up by now from 19 to 22-23 age I suppose. Tell me more about them please.
“Yes they are fine and doing well. Two got married last year; one was arranged marriage and the other love marriage. Two girls are working and the other two are in high school. My husband also got promotion at work; hence all compelled me to give up my part time hospital job.
So the girls have been a bliss to you and your family. Idelka I have a request. Can you send me your family photo with the girls. Want to attach that to my write up if you don’t mind.
Oh no problem. I shall send you tomorrow; rather I would ask my oldest one to send you as she is more technically efficient.
Thanks Idelka. Thanks for sharing with me and responding to my calls. Good night. God bless you.
Good night to you Ms. Devi
Bidding good night to each other was a pleasant feeling with a magnificent thought of remembering each other, sharing with each other the joyful moments of present to connect to bright future ahead tomorrow.
She did send me the group photo, but with a request not to put it for publication. And I am bound to be honest to her.