“Maa, The ice cream is really yummy. And it’s your favorite Pan flavor. Why don’t you take one scoop maa. And what’s the fun of pandaal hopping if you don’t enjoy the yummy street food here in Kolkata” she said.
“I don’t wan’t it, Protima” maa said a little irritated this time. “If I want to eat something I can get it. Don’t advise me like you are my maa. OK.”
Protima knew something is definitely bothering her mother, otherwise she is never irritated with her & in no case she rejects an offer to have Pan ice-cream.
“Maa, have you been diagnosed with Diabetes?”
This time maa just laughed. “No silly. I don’t have diabetes, and I am not that old OK.”
But something was visibly bothering her. Next morning when Protima visited her maa, she sat down by her side with a cup of steaming hot coffee in her hands. “Bolo na maa, Kee hoiche.” (Tell me mother, what happened?) Maa had tears in her eyes. She could’t say much. She just looked at Protima with all the affection in her eyes & managed to say, “May maa Durga bless you this year.”
Now Protima understood what was bothering her mom. Her mom had this age old habit of giving up her favorite thing when she wanted to ask something from the gods in return. Mannat she used to called it. “I am having a fight with Maa Durga, and she has to make me win this time. She has to bless you with a baby this year. Till then I am not going to touch ice-cream. Let me also see how my maa can see me suffering. If I can not see my child suffering, how can she see me suffering?”
It has been 12 years since Protima married Avijit. She was still in college, was just 20 when they got married. For the first five years they decided not to become parents as she wanted to finish her post graduation & get a job. Two more years passed by while she was settling in her job & making a career for herself. It was then that people started to point it out & give advises & suggestions to the couple about conceiving a baby. They did start to try & consulted few local doctors too, but 3 years passed by & still she never conceived. It seemed like everyone in Kolkata now knew about their condition. Even their maid had once given them the contact number of a tantrik baba who could have helped them.
For last 2 years they had been undergoing infertility treatment, have spent a fortune on those painful treatments & hospitalization. 8 IVF cycles had failed before they were exhausted & decided to take a break before they start to try again. Now even Protima was loosing hope & was desperate to become a mother.
One year passed and it was Durga Pujo again.
Protima entered the room with a bowl of Ice-Cream in her one hand while holding the hand of a 3 year old girl with her other hand.
“Maa, see Maa Durga finally listened to you. Come on, Let’s have some Ice-Cream.” And finally Maa had some ice-cream with little Adina sitting in her lap.
Author’s Note – Not everyone can become a parent the natural way. Some might find success in fertility treatment, while some may not. Adoption is a blessing not just for parents who can not give birth to a DNA child, but also to millions of kids who are not blessed with parents & luxuries in life, but equally deserve them. There is a Whole New Breed Of Parents these days who choose Adoption over Pregnancy. (Click to read my article about Adoption over Pregnancy)
Featured Image – Painting by Avijit Banerjee
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