The Orphaned

He peered into the mirror and stroked his hair into a perfect set across his forehead. Words echoed in his brain.
“So, you want to terminate your parental rights?”
“We can’t have him. We want someone who can carry our family name into the future. Not someone who can’t even pronounce his own name properly.”
“There’s a legal procedure involved...”
“Will this cheque take care of that?”

“Neer? Neer, why are you all dressed up so early on a Sunday?” The echoes in his head were disrupted by a warmer, realistic, female voice.  
“I am going to the Orphanage.”
“Your Orphanage?”
“No, Sandhya Bhawan.”
“That’s an old age home.”

The Place was in tatters; the people strolling around, looked like they were once a part of the building, but have now been ripped off. He looked around for the faces he came to see. One of them was struggling with an old transistor that squeaked, every time the song touched a high note. The other was peering into a glossy, yellow piece of cardboard.
“Ma, Papa, how are you?
“Akash!” The couple looked up with twinkling eyes.
“No, Neer.”
“Nirvan, as you used to call me.”
The couple stared, dumbfounded.
“Don’t you remember me? How would you, I don’t stammer anymore.”
“Ni… uh… van?” The old man managed his name. But before he could say any further, the moment was interrupted by a bored question, coming from a rather bulky lady, draped in khadi and wearing irritation all over her face.
“Yes, may I help you?”
“Of course, which way to the office? I need to complete the formalities here.”
“You, their son?”
“No, but they’re my parents.”
“I’m sorry?”
“I want to adopt them as my parents.”
The irritation on the lady’s face was just about to burst into volcanic anger accumulated over years of monotonous work and triggered by Neer’s incomprehensible request, when the old couple gave out a cry, with all the energy they could pump into their ageing respiratory system.
“No, no! No.”
“Akash will come and take us.” The old woman continued.
“Akash is in Zurich”, Neer replied. “He is a father now.”
“Akash, married?” The old man’s wrinkled stare widened.
“Yes, three years ago.”
“Is it a girl or a boy?” The old woman could still not believe her ears.
“You still care?” Neer tried to keep his cool.
“We want to see our grandchild!” Old man’s eyes, still brimming with hope.
“You will, hopefully, in a few years. I am getting married next month.”
“Nirvan… you… why?”
“It took me a long time to find you. But I never stopped loving you.”
“ a… are… so… sorry.” They stuttered.


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