The Silver SUV halted with a screech, its tyres leaving their mark on the road behind, the muddy rainwater splashing on his already wet face.
“Can’t you see these bright flashing lights or were you intentionally crossing in order to extract some money, the driver screamed in anger.”
“Driver bhaiya, please don’t shout like this, just look at his condition and his expression. He seems to be in deep grief”, Yashodhara remarked as she saw him backtrack along with his feeble child making way for their luxury car.
It doesn’t usually rain during this season but that night it was so raining heavily as if the sky wanted to pour its heart out.
She took out a two thousand rupee note from her purse and beckoned him. With folded hands, he politely nodded his head in refusal.
“You don’t know these people living in these roadside slums. They do this all to extort money from rich people, madam”, said her driver. But Yashodhara could see beyond his tearful eyes. Before she could decipher the sadness in his eyes her driver zipped past the church on the other side of the junction.
Candles all around Mother Mary’s statue holding baby Jesus in her arms were making the atmosphere divine. In spite of the bad weather, the church was crowded by young and old alike.
Her eyes gazing at the statue, her heart weeping to be in her shoes, to caress a child, to be called a mother she wiped that teardrop in her eye even before it flowed out.
“Abba, I had managed to get just this small piece of the candle to light before Maryam Ma. This also broke, even before I could ask for her blessings and request her to send my mother back from heaven. Was Ma so angry with me that she left me never to return.”, the child asked his father.
He didn’t know what to explain to the innocent child. All he had told him was that his mother had gone to meet Maryam ma in heaven and get gifts for him. For years he had been brewing up this tale and the child was growing up listening to the barbs about being an ill-fated child whose mother had left this world for her heavenly abode just after she birthed him.
He took the child to the church, asked him to wait near the statue until he returned with a candle. The poor innocent child thought of pouring his grief before Maryam Ma before his father returned, only to be woken up by the gardener the next morning and realise that his father hadn’t returned back. The poor boy was all drenched.
The gardener took him to the hostel. The Father of the Church tried to pacify him but the more he tried, the more the child cried. There was a buzz amongst the crowd too about the poor child found near mother Mary’s statue.
Yashodhara along with her friend Aana was a part of the crowd trying to figure out the details of the abandoned child that day.
She used to accompany Aana every year to the Church and then distribute gifts and necessities in the nearby slums.
After hours of pursuing, the child told the Father, that he belonged to the nearby slums and that last night his father after leaving him there had gone to get a candle for him and never returned back. He sent some people along with him to his room there. The room was still locked. Nobody had seen his father since the last night.
Yashodhara was a witness to all these events. Her heart was signaling something which she wasn’t able to make out.
After the scenario normalized, she left the Church after praying before Mother Mary.
The child had caught her attention to an extent that she even forgot to light the candle she had brought. As she exited, her driver escorted her to the nearby slum in her car, with the boot full of necessities.
The poor people seeing on someone coming in their area to distribute essentials to them crowded around her. After distributing the gifts as she was just about to leave, her eyes fell again on the poor child. She went near him and offered him some money as the gifts had already finished by then.
With folded hands, the child politely nodded in refusal. His act immediately reminded her of the last night’s incident.
The boy said, “if you want to help me Amma please get me a candle. My father had gone to get one for me but hasn’t yet returned. I’m afraid if I don’t light a candle and request my mother’s return, my mother wouldn’t come back to reunite with me and Abba “.
Oh! the candle, she immediately remembered not lighting the candle before leaving the church.
“Son, I have a candle as coincidentally I also forgot to light my candle. If you don’t mind we can go back to the church and light the candle and pray to Mother Mary to reunite us with our loved ones together”, she said.
Sure Amma, the child smilingly responded.
She took the child along with her to the Church and together they lit the candle before his Maryam Ma. As they were returning, a body was brought inside. There was a word around that the man had perhaps died after being hit by a speeding car last night.
Amma, abba…. abba…., the child hugged her tightly and cried.
Yashodhara clearly remembered the face of the man. He was the same person who had come in their way the last night.
He was saved then but destiny was behind him supposedly.
Amma, abba….. abba….., the child’s cries shook her.
“Maryam Ma has called your father to be with her for some time and look after her son Jesus in return for your mother my son”, she said.
“As I am back after a long time, I don’t remember your name son.”
Krushna, the child replied. “That’s the name abba told me that Maryam Ma had given me while promising that one day she will send Yashoda Ma back to me.”
Yashodhara hugged him tightly, tears rolling down their cheeks.
Ma……. I missed you so much……
People said I am an ill-fated child. Tell them Ma I am not, tell them na……….
No, you are not my son. You are here to light up your parents’ lives…..
Come let’s go home…
3 thoughts on “The Christmas Saga”
A beautiful, heartwarming Christmas Saga. Must read!
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