Mira – The Miracle of My Life

                                                            Mira – The Miracle of My Life

“Anil has met with an accident. His wife and parents are dead. He is in a critical condition,” echoed my brother’s voice over the phone. There was a surge of strange emotions inside me as I listened to this, and my thoughts instantly went back in time to 20 years ago.

 I was 11 years old that summer. It was during the holidays when I met Anil for the first time. He was a friend of my elder brother. He was my brother’s age, a good 8 years older than me. Anil was a friendly, cheerful boy – always helping others with a big smile on his face. In just a few days, he had won over everyone in the house. Even my usually solemn father couldn’t help smiling at his antics.

His true face, of course, was hidden from everyone. It would reveal itself in the most hideous manner in a few days. And I would be the only one to witness it. On that fateful day, I was in my room alone, playing with my dolls when I saw a silhouette in the door frame. As the figure approached, I could see that it was Anil, but the look on his face was the one I had never seen before. I couldn’t quite comprehend that look, but I remember being terrified. Before I could say anything, he put his hand on my mouth and overpowered me. Thinking about what happened in the next few minutes still makes be infinitely sad.

The incident left me with an immense sense of guilt. It was as if I had done something wrong. How could an 11-year old child explain to anyone what had just happened to her. Anil left a few days later. But what he had done to me had left me scarred for life.

As I grew up, my guilt and fear translated into hatred for Anil. I constantly hoped for something bad to happen to him, some miracle that would avenge me.

So when the phone rang that day, I felt a lot of emotions, but the one predominant emotion was – I felt avenged. I had prayed for this miracle for over 20 years, and the cosmos had provided me with justice after all. I wanted to go see the man, who had poisoned my childhood, in his pitiful plight. I could not wait to see fear in his eyes – the greatest fear – the fear of death.

But when I reached the hospital, I suddenly didn’t feel so good about my “victory.” In front of me was a small, broken man. There was a lot of pain in his eyes, but there was something else too. There was a certain helplessness I could not fathom. Suddenly my eyes fell upon a little girl standing beside his bed. My brother told me that Mira, Anil’s daughter, was at school when the accident took place. Now I knew why Anil looked so helpless. Who would take care of his little girl once he was gone? Perhaps he knew too well how brutal the world can be to little girls.

“I want to adopt Mira,” I found myself saying to my brother once we were outside the ICU. I was at my own home when I was violated, I thought. I could not even imagine how cruel the world could be to a fatherless girl. I would not let what happened to me happen to this little girl. The darkness that engulfed my childhood should never be a part of Mira’s life. Anil’s accident was not the miracle of my life. This little girl was!

Three days later, my brother called up to say that Anil’s condition had deteriorated further. We rushed to the hospital. Few hours later, as I walked out of the hospital, the monster of my past was no more. In its place was the hope of a bright future, the possibility of another world, whose tiny hand I was holding as she smiled at me.

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