The Orphan

I sit here in this deserted park, on an autumn afternoon, gazing at the leaves that fall from the branches of the trees. I wonder what a tree must feel when a leaf falls from its branch. I wonder what the leaf must feel when destiny snatches away the shade it has been living under, all it’s life. I wonder how terrible the pain must be for a parent to be departed from a being of it’s own. But I can relate to the autumn leaf that falls off and decays slowly into the ground.
Passersby adore even that tree who has been abandoned by leaves but never stop to look at the fallen leaves.
That’s how I feel too, as a part of this society.

I turn to my side where two children are playing and I see their parents sitting close, keeping a watch on them. They seem to me, the most carefree children around. After all, what do they have to worry for? Broken pencils and lost erasers? Yes. For all the other worries, their parents are there to look after them. It unknowingly brings a smile on my face. It’s nice to think about the warmth of parents’ love and care, and how it makes a protective shell around the child to keep away all the harm there can be.

I turn to the other side and my smile fades away on seeing a teen kid sitting on the other side of the road, begging. I’m then clearly reminded of the brutal truth that not every kid is lucky enough to have a shadow of their parents guide their way. Some are mocked by destiny and are being thrown into the world to take care of themselves on their own. They don’t get the warm beds to sleep or cuddly toys to play with. They learnt about life the hard way.

Isn’t it a destiny’s play that on one side of the road, there is happiness and contentment, and on the other side, there is suffering and loneliness? How different these two worlds are, separated by just a road!

I then turn to face the building in front of me, at the end of the park. “Sunshine Orphanage” reads the name of the building. It is followed be the statement, “an orphanage of lit up lives.”
I wonder how many times irony would’ve died in this destiny’s play. I think about the kids that live there. I think about the first thought that crosses every kid’s mind who lives there – Will I be the kid to get picked today?
That, and also the disappointment of many, for not being the chosen one. It feels like a vegetable in a food market. People will come and pick the ones that suit their eyes. Nobody bothers to know about the unpicked ones. Then be it a vegetable or an orphan kid.

I then look at a passing school bus and see the happy and enjoying faces of the little kids sitting in it. I think about how lucky they are to be able to attend the big schools, and to not have to worry about how things will work out. They just have to have fun and attend lessons. Yet I see so many ungrateful children fighting because they couldn’t look better than their mate, running away from their homes, everyone having their reasons. Some leave because they cannot adjust with their folks, some leave because they feel like they found someone to spend their life with, some leave because their demands were not fulfilled by their parents. I say, let them lead a life the children at orphanage do, just for one week. Let them struggle with the feeling of being left alone and no nearby door to knock for help. Let them live a week with the roller coaster, starting with excitement while dressing their best when someone comes for adopting a child and the disappointment that follows when somebody else gets picked. Let them live the life of an orphan for just one week and I bet they’d never in their lives talk about leaving again.

Sometimes you don’t value what destiny has already rewarded you with. The more you have, the less you care. That is why sometimes you need to lose what you have so you can realize what you had, and appreciate what you get. Some great man once said that “there is no better teacher than time”. I add to it “and no better lesson than absence of something.”

I then look down at the grass beneath my feet and feel thankful for at least having a ground to walk freely on. Thinking about freely, I’m reminded that I’ll soon be an adult and I’ll have to find a place of my own to live. The home schooling has taught me many things that might help me to set up my own base. Orphanages don’t usually support children over the age of maturity because they don’t always have the funds to support our careers and further lives.
I then look back at the giant tree and witness the last existing leaf on the entire tree, fall off. I saw it falling on the ground and getting mixed with the other fallen leaves, walked over by pedestrians and cyclists. I then imagine myself as one among the fallen.

Yes, I am the orphan no one cares about. My parents left me here when I was one year old for god-knows-what reasons. I don’t know what mother’s love and being daddy’s pride feels like, unlike the other privileged children. I long to get my hair caressed, and my cheek kissed, to feel my father pat my back, just like every other parent does with their child. My unseen wounds ache to be nursed by the care and attention of my folks. I want to know what family feels like. My eyes fill with little tears, thinking about how my parents must look or if I’ll even recognize them if we happen to cross paths. Will they recognize me? Whose looks feature more in me? Do they miss me? Will they ever come searching for me? Are they even alive?
A thousand questions to ask, just this deafening silence to answer.

I’m the orphan who exists in this society like particles of dust exist on the roadside. Yet I’m determined that I’ll fight the destiny for what I deserve, before I decay into the unknown depths of this ground. I’m determined to transcend what destiny wrote in my account, to make a place for myself.

One thing is crystal clear in my head – I’ll either make a place for myself into this world, or I’d decay and mix with the ground, trying. For hope is my drug of choice and I’m certain that it’ll either kill me or get me what I want. Both the chances are worth a shot. After all, what’s there to lose anyway?


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