Radhika, The Little Girl
- by Ayesha Parveen 06 Sep 2008
This story has been read 1767 times.
Manoj was thinking about his wife as he walked down Park Street. Even after ten years of marriage, the couple remained childless. Though the marriage was stable and a happy one, Manoj knew his wife agonized over the fact that she had not been able to conceive. Endless visits to doctors had not helped and he had almost given up hoping; but had never expressed it to his wife.
“Sir, will you please help me?” a soft voice was heard and Manoj saw a girl, about eight years old, looking at him. “There’s a kitten fallen in the gutter and I cannot reach it. Will you please pick it up? It will die otherwise; please, Sir!” Her pleading brown eyes were filled with tears and Manoj was pleasantly surprised to see that she cared for the helpless animal. In a country where sometimes starving people are beaten to death if caught stealing, here was a person with compassion in her heart.
Not wasting time, he bent down to reach the frightened kitten and could hear its faint, piteous mew. However, he could not reach it; the little thing was just a few inches away from his fingers but that small distance could mean death for it. Manoj, now was on his knees, and not caring about the stares he was getting from passers-by, stretched his hand once more towards the kitten, asking God for help.
His fingers finally grasped something soft and wet and as he brought the trembling kitten out of the gutter, he could hear the little girl’s cry of joy: “thank you Sir, thank you so much.” Wrapping the kitten with his handkerchief, he handed it to the girl. It seemed like it would live. Now the girl looked at him with troubled eyes and did not utter a word. Manoj asked her what the problem was to which she replied that she could not take the kitten home as her father did not allow her to keep pets.
Wondering how a parent could be so uncaring towards his child, Manoj was at a loss for words when the girl spoke again. “Will you please keep it, Sir? You are kind and it will be happy with you”, she softly put in. When he agreed, she requested him to call the kitten ‘Muskaan’. He wanted to walk the girl home but she said there was no need to do so. When asked, she said her name was Radhika.
Manoj took Muskaan home and his wife wiped away the filth from it and gave it milk. Thus, Muskaan became the lonely woman’s companion when Manoj would go to work.
Exactly three months after Manoj had saved Muskaan and made Radhika happy, he received an important call from his wife. As he entered his office, his wife called to say she had conceived…………….
Now, as Manoj plays with his two-year old son Govind or rocks his six-month old daughter Sharannya to sleep, he wonders who Radhika was. Muskaan often comes and sits on Manoj’s lap when Govind and Sharannya are not occupying it.
( This post is dedicated to my dear Appa as a token of appreciation of the affection and encouragement he keeps on showering on me.)