Sunday, February 19, 2012



The next day, Reshma, Hema and Guddi were asked to dress in brand new clothes and to wear their most sparkling smiles.  They were called into the headmaster’s office after breakfast where they found the same tall man and the small woman seated in chairs.  All three flashed their widest smile with eyes twinkling.  The woman got up from her seat to walk towards them by the door.  She stood there for a short moment, bent down with extended arms and engulfed them into a warm hug.  They inhaled the sweet aroma of her perfume, nestled closer to her bosom and fell into her embrace.  Over the next few days they met the couple daily and spent several hours with them outside of the school.  They began to pick up some of their language with the help of a teacher in their school.  They learned that once again, the three sisters will be moving to a new home and this home will be far far way, across the ocean, over the clouds, past the mountains.  Their new home will have a mother and a father and it will be cold there with snow and many lakes but no mountains.  Everyone in their new home only spoke the new language the girls were learning so they’ll have to learn it fast and be good at it.  In their new home there will always be warm food, clean clothes, comfortable beds and lots and lots of hugs.

At first it was all strange.  Their new parents were gentle and loving.  Each sister had her own room with so many stuffed animals, colorful walls, princesses or clouds on their bedcoverings.  They were all tucked in on their own beds every night after their new mother or father read a story from a beautiful book with lots of colorful pictures.  But as soon as their new parents went back downstairs, Guddi and Hema tiptoed to Reshma’s room and all three slept huddled together in her single bed.  The sisters discovered new parks with swings that did not squeak, went to large buildings with so many shops where they bought new clothes, toys and books and to museums where they could see and play with so many interesting things.  They saw so many lakes and even went on a boat ride.  They went to a very big school with so many children that had blue or green eyes and very light hair.  Schoolwork was hard and their parents helped them with homework every day.  Hema had a very hard time with her numbers and dad patiently explained.  Guddi got all the words confused in her books and mom helped her read them.   Reshma kept her distance and watched over her sisters.  Then one day, just when they started to see the magic of trees changing into beautiful colors, they went to a meeting.  There they saw lots of children who looked like them who had parents of lighter skin and blond hair.  There were also some adults who looked like the adults at the orphanage.  These adults talked to the group about Diwali, the festival of lights.  Reshma knew all about it but her new parents did not.  When they went home that day, her parents asked her questions and wanted to know more about other festivals and of the land she came from.  Reshma educated her parents with pride and hugged as hard as she hugged her grandmother the night of Guddi’s birth.  Genuine smiles began to appear on all their faces and stayed there for longer times.  They were afraid to sleep for fear of waking up on the cold sidewalk and realizing this new life was all a dream. 

-          The End -

Tuesday, February 7, 2012



Just as the heavy clouds laden with snow loomed over their heads, reminder of a dismal winter ahead sat like a heavy burden.  Reshma nestled her sisters closer to shield them from the torturous wind that shrieked from the mountains.  The next morning, standing next to their angel was another woman.  With her body wrapped in a simple but clean sari, her face wearing a smile, she extended her arms towards them.  Before they could comprehend, all three of them found themselves sitting in a bus next to the sari-clad woman.  The bus took them to a bustling city with wide roads and flat land. Reshma remembered their bus drove past a huge gate in the shape of an arch.   From the bus, the woman carted them towards a three-wheeled scooter and they sat squished inside the noisy monster.  It stopped in front of their new home of another large gate.  This time they were led inside and taken to a spacious room lined with mattresses on the floor.  They heard sounds of children from the small window and Reshma caught sight of them playing outside.   Before they could join the playing children, they were carted towards a bathroom where they received haircuts and a thorough scrub down.  Dressed in clean clothes and full with fresh food, they settled in.  They met new children but couldn’t understand their strange language.  At first they stuck to each other and Reshma watched over her younger siblings, protecting them from the new, strange environment.  Hema, the more talkative one of the three began to venture out of her cocoon and began to make a few friends.  She quickly picked up Hindi and taught Guddi the new words.  Reshma eventually let her guard down slightly and started to absorb the new environment around her.  Soon the sisters adopted the new language and used it often.

It was the day before Guddi turned four; Reshma remembered that date well for that was also the date they lost their mother.  On that day, the sisters heard a commotion in the front yard and ran out to observe from the doorstep.  They had heard such commotions before as various adults walked through their home, gawked at the children, tried to smile and be friendly with them while keeping their distance.  It was also not unusual to see people with light hair or blue eyes like the ones in the compound on that day.  Hema and Guddi dashed out into the yard and joined the other children crowding around a tall man with brown hair and a small woman with blue eyes.  Their kind eyes smiled at all the children as they tried to follow the headmaster into his office.  Just as the woman was about to enter the building, she saw Guddi.  The woman bent her knee and came down to Guddi’s eye level to say hello.  Guddi took a step towards the woman and climbed onto her lap and started talking to her in Hindi.  Hema tried to pull her sister off and called her to get off but was ignored.  The woman intently listened and nodded her head as if she understood everything, all the time a warm smile pasted on her face.

To be continued…..