লিখেছেন- শাখা নির্ভানা
The Rodham couple are now in Congo. They come here to see their adopted child. Adopted or natural, they don’t care. They believe, affection never runs out. They are from the west, polished with well manners and riches. It’s not a big deal for them to sponsor a child and to come here few often to meet their daughter. Once their life was full of care of careers, but those days have gone. Now they are free. Few years ago, they were retired and blessed with free forehead and leisure. Once they liked to run their lives in rush and hurry, but they enjoyed Society, friends, and careers too. There was a wormhole, often they realized in their happiness. That loophole could be called childlessness. How there could be a child? There was not enough time and space for a child of their own. They didn’t like to break the rhythm of their rushed time-stream. That’s the reason, why they passed their golden years without a natural child. But they loved pets. Some extra moments they got were spent with the pets in ease and contents. Even they know better, child can’t be replaced by pets. There was no way but to be happy with them. It was their time’s demand. But after retirement things were changed. A huge idle time wrapped them with some sort of do-nothing feelings. So they decided to make a difference and that was to sponsor a black child in Congo. For them that was the best idea ever. From that very moment affection for a little human started overflowing their mind’s pot and an unknown dream of having a child began to bud. Thus Shama, the black-little girl was chosen as lucky to get her living from her dream parents on the other coast of the Atlantic.
Shama is growing up in an orphanage of the capital city now. Everyone likes her there as people love little birds. Who doesn’t know about the flying beauty of the bird Shama? It also sings well. Our Shama is now four. She can’t and never try to recall her past. That’s very normal. Her nanny used to tell some of her story at night’s fairy tale hours. She loved to listen those. It’s felt like dream to her. When she was one year, her parents left their own home and hid them in a remote village at one of their kin’s house to escape racial riot. Fury breeds on fury as hatred gives birth hatred. It was their own battle, have been ripping them for almost four generations. Blacks were killing blacks. Brothers killing brothers, friends for friends. The boy who just turned into a man was killing his neighboring old woman, whom he called grandma once at near past. Some illusion makes them all enemy to one another.
That day Shama and her parents were sleeping in shelter as they sleep every night. Riot never gave up, ran after them with silent creep, not in the nightmare, but in the reality. The couple was killed by rioters deep at night. At dawn little-black Shama woke up for milk-thirst. She found her mom by crawling, found mother’s breast also and started sucking, but there was nothing, not a drop of milk. The mother has passed away long since. Shama cried out in protest of unjust done to her. That sound of protest hit the rescuers’ ears. Shama was brought to the orphanage.
Shama found everyone is nice here in the shelter. Nanny is good, cooks are good. Her white parents are also good. She saw her parents’ pics; nanny showed them up. Last month she wrote a letter to her parents with little shaky hands- mom and dad, I want to see you. Come soon. I am curious and waiting. Rodham couple could not but to accept that call, the call from a child. Obviously, some magic was in that letter. That’s the very magic brings the Rodham couple here in the capital of Congo. Shama is now in Mrs. Rodham’s lap. Once she is grabbing her, then Mr. Rodham grabbing back their black bud. They are hugging, kissing their daughter every now and then. Still they are thirsty. It’s the thirst for parenthood, the hard-earned gift of nature, that can’t be ended as much affection you offer your child. Every time the daughter is overflown with their love. Her pockets and hands are now filled with candy and gifts. She is full. She is filled with her parents’ affection. She never tastes those joys before. She cannot but to remember her hero, the big grasshopper of everyday cartoon. Big happy grasshopper, very kind and generous, likes children to carry on its back and fly around the blue sky. Happy faces are everywhere around the pretty grasshopper. Today she is on the grasshopper’s back, not in dream but in real. The Rodham couple is her hero, her dream grasshopper today. Shama prayed in her mind- long live Mr. and Mrs. Rodham.
Foot by foot hour of departure has arrived. Nanny takes over the girl; parents ready to go. Little girl dares to ask- mom, dad, am I not going with you?
Her voice is shaky too. Rodham couple stops for a moment, grabs the girl with care. In a moment, her pockets and hands are filled with enormous gifts again. Next time we must bring more gifts for you, don’t worry my dear- Rodham couple make their daughter happy. They start to leave with slow feet. Thoughts pop up in Mr. Rodham’s mind- that’s not a big deal to take her to America. In a week, they can arrange it. But he imagines something else- how he will feel when his friends will ask him with crocked smile in the Sunday church- hey Rodham, is it your daughter, good, good, very good!
Mr. Rodham just flinches for a moment. He stops and thinks- it’s better to come here once or twice a year to see their black bird. He has unconditional love for his child but he doesn’t know how to ignore those crabbed smiles of his friends. He can’t ignore. He is undone! He hesitates. He fluctuates between to be or not to be for a moment. Then he with his wife start moving forward again and look back for a while. He notices, nanny holds the girl tight. The girl is weeping with silent flush but there’s a hopeless smile sticks with her lips, like the crooked smile of his friends that pushes him back from the decision to take up the girl with them. Mr. Rodham flinches once again. He is really undone! Slow feet of the Rodham couple start moving to way America. Their feet beat each other and grappled. Mr. Rodham muttered in agony- how my goddam feet read my goddamn mind!
Mrs. Rodham’s eyebrows ripple- what’s up honey, anything wrong?
Mr. Rodham hide a big sigh, mutters again- everything is fine, should be fine.