The outbreak of pandemic was beginning to affect me and I longed to go out. After attending online classes where I sat in front of the laptop for eight hours straight, my eyes were hurting. So, I poured a drop or two of the eye drops into my eyes and demanded my mother to take me out of the jail-like home.

She was going somewhere, and I too hopped into the car. On our way, I saw a sweetshop and was instantly reminded of my dry taste buds which had only tasted plain daal-roti for months. Hence, I demanded pyaz-kachori and mother slapped a clear ‘No!’ on my face. Knitting my brows together, I folded my hands and began to look outside at the vehicles passing by. “I know this covid 19 is bad, outside food is bad but so is ghar ki daal-roti. Life has become hollow,” I complained to an unknown voice in my head.

The car stopped in front of an orphanage. I remembered that a relative of ours was willing to adopt a child. We then walked into the gate of the orphanage and my mother began to enquire about the necessary details for adoption, about which I was least interested in, as I was busy peeking through a hole in another gate inside, that led to the living space of the orphaned children.

I still remember the scene vividly in my head: Two children in faded clothes were chasing each other, laughing, and suddenly they stopped to gaze at me. They were about five years old and an ocean of questions poured over my head. “Will they be adopted, too? Will they be loved as well? Do they remember their parents? Whom do they demand pyaz-kachoris from? Are they children or mere roll numbers here?”

Jumbled emotions of pity,  empathy, helplessness, thankfulness, gratitude engulfed my heart, all at once, to the point that it became so painful that I could no longer look at those innocent faces anymore. I went out of the orphanage again.

We came back to our car and a tear trickled down my cheek. I saw my
devi-like mother who would never leave me. I realized that I was in a car, had a phone in my hand, a full stomach, a home. I had love — I had everything that I could ask for. Everything.

Just when our car was about to start, a boy, almost my age, tapped on the window. We had two bananas in the car. I gave those to him and he went away to another car. Two people, same generation, different destinies. One sits in the car, the other taps on the window. I said to myself, “This privilege should be of some use.”

Eventually, my mother brought a plate of momos for me but they didn’t taste that delicious. I said thank you to the Divine as I remembered the last chant of Swamiji in the guided meditation in Black Lotus App:

From complete has emerged complete. When you take complete out of complete, what’s left is also complete. You are complete. This world is complete.

We indeed are complete.

Picture: Representative photo from Pexels.com

Thank you for reading.🙏

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Suguna Ganguly

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