I was eighteen, when i adopted a seventeen and a half year old girl as my daughter.
I should have put an exclamation after the above sentence. I did not, because it is not something funny. At least i don't find it funny. Although, I can't put a leash on myself when in moments of anguish, as well as moments filled with her 'cute' charms, she calls me 'mumma', calling her 'kid', 'baby', 'bachcha' and everything of the ilk had been natural since a very early age. I don't just say it, I always meant it.
She is my earliest memory of a friend, a friend who depended on my for nearly everything. I read somewhere- "Like cars in amusement parks, our direction is often determined through collisions". I don't remember when i collided with her, i was in kindergarten, but she became my only object of love. Then came a time, when i lost her; but when i found her back, after a hiatus of nearly 6 years, it was a renewed relationship that started maturing between us. We were nothing close to the proverbial 'joined at the hip' friends, we never stood as a paradigm of ideal friendship, we did not come across as the 'oh so in love, inseparable' friends; but, we were there. We were always there with each other, though not many realized the depth of our bond, till much later.
She sat demurely in class, her long black hair tied neatly in a ponytail. She was the fairest among them all, had the most beautiful eyes. She was unassuming, at times even a little scared, of the reckless, impudent and insolent demeanor of the others towards her. She loved limitlessly, but faced betrayal. She never hurt anyone, but God hurt her right where it pained the most. She wanted to spread smiles, but was a victim of tears. She, who could never think wrong of anyone was misunderstood and disregarded by many.
And then she found me, and i found her. I tried to be there with her, but was blocked by her 'well-wishers'. It was only a matter of time, that I triumphed over all of them, and today, this precious, little gem is mine to possess.
She is strong, but gullible. Her heart is of gold, but melts at the slightest display of emotions. She has seen much in life; I've tried to be her bulwark. Whenever i looked into her tear filled eyes, I felt responsible to bring her smile back. Whenever i saw her anguish-ridden face, i felt responsible to put her heart at ease. When she got hurt, I HAD to make life better for her.
I've fought with her, fussed over her, taught her, watched her, protected her, cared for her, loved her- I've done everything in my capacity that under the facade of a friend i could. In my heart, this bond was always more than friendship. She was my family. A family away from home. I've cared for her for so long, that now not caring for her does not seem an option. She was sad, and angry, and dejected the day i 'adopted' her over a late night phone call, and she instantly brightened up. It remained a joke for some days, it still is. However, it is not she, or anyone else who can undermine the motherly (euphemism-sisterly) love i have always held in my heart for her.
I only want her to know one thing. When life is dark, and no respite in on its way, you can pose blind trust in me- I'll be somewhere around. My hugs for you would never end. My warmth for you would never cease. I'll always be around. Always.
Before i thank you for writing that wonderful post about me, i must share a secret. Every time i have pulled you out of your bed, ruining your compulsive habit to sleep late in the day, i have always spent a moment or gazing at your face..your serene and calm features, and the little smile behind your eyelids...it's a sight which makes me smile. And then I simply sigh, and shout "Charu! Wake up or i leave!!!"