Welcome back! 🙂 Thank you so much all of you for the love, encouragement and comments. Especially to Dad’s friends who take time out, read my blogs and encourage me to write more. The love for this story is really special! Truly means a lot. Thank you so much. 😀
Devika’s Point Of View
I sat still, knotting my fingers nervously. After a few silent minutes, I took a deep breath and all the agony stashed within plummeted out in a daze of haphazardly formed words.
“I was barely 2 years old when my parents met with an accident and passed away. That put an end to my childhood, which I did not realize then. Obviously I was too tiny to understand the graveness of the situation. I was then left to stay with one of our relatives. All I did was cry for my parents, especially my mother. I could somehow sense the lack of love around me. But I couldn’t find any outlet to explain myself as I grew up. It was at the age of 6 when things got worse for me.
They abused me physically and made me do odd chores at home.” I paused recalling all the horrors. “I took the beatings because I atleast had some food and shelter. I couldn’t escape until the time was right. The final straw was when..”
Anna squeezed my hand asking me to go on. “I was 8 then. Due to fatigue I hadn’t cleaned some utensils properly. I was taken to the kitchen where the lady placed a scalding hot steel spoon on my back. Later that evening I decided I had to escape. That night itself gathering all my courage, I ran from that house. I ran for my life. Soon I reached the doorstep of a large building and all strength deserted me. I fainted right there. The next thing I saw when I awoke was Nani’s kind curious eyes and a blanket covering my weak body. I saw other kids like me gathered around.”
“You are safe now dear.” Nani said gently.
“I knew was. I had been miraculously led by fate to this orphanage.They arranged for my treatment and I recovered physically. I pushed all the thoughts and pain I couldn’t understand deep inside. I was admitted to school. Some 5 months later you entered my life. And things began to look up. I learnt to be grateful, to be happy. God had blessed me with good shelter, with You. Just when I thought all will be fine, all of a sudden the past 6 months have been horrendous. I only enjoy attending your programs. It is like,I have fallen into some deep dark pit.” I ended.
“I did not want to succumb to any kind of intoxicants, hence I took to writing. Combined with your presence and songs, it helped me remain afloat ” I added weakly.
ARUN’S POINT OF VIEW
I found myself facing a paradox of emotions as I held her in a consoling hug. On one hand was rage for those people who had trampled upon the growth of a budding flower, who had made Devika’s life a living hell. I vowed at that moment to hunt them down even if it took me years. With great difficulty I had controlled my tears when she spoke of the scalding steel incident. I wish I could scald their heads with the same steel.
On the other hand, I felt grateful. The Lord I so fervently believed in had been with her and led her to safety. I thanked him for being able to help her.
As all these thoughts ran through my mind, one stood out. I never understood why she loved or trusted me so. I knew the time had come to actually do something for her. Devika needed to heal.
DEVIKA’S POINT OF VIEW
Just when I was wondering as to what he was thinking, Anna let me break the embrace. He got up and knelt in front of me, cupped my cheeks and spoke, “Kanna, you have been immensely strong. You now need to heal yourself. And I would like to help you take the first step. Remember, I am always here with you.” he paused.
“I would like to take you to a psychologist who is a friend of mine.” He said haltingly.
“Psy..psychologist?” I stammered, scared.
“Don’t be afraid ma. There isn’t anything wrong about visiting one. They only help us. And I am here. Okay?” he re-assured me. “Take your time and think about it. Meanwhile I shall sing for you.” he smiled.
As his voice filled the room, I made my decision. I had come this far. Now, I had to save myself.
The very next day, Arun Anna took me to the psychologist’s clinic. It was a neat place decorated aesthetically, designed to give out positive vibes to people and brighten their moods. It calmed my nerves down.
When we met Dr Shaina who would be my psychologist I instantly took a liking to her warm smile and welcoming demeanor. She put me at ease by gifting me a book, which I happily accepted.
After some words around the bush, she said in a life changing conversation, “My dear, your concerned brother out here has told me everything. You know what? You are one strong girl. I admire, in fact respect your inner strength. I am not going to help you. You are going to heal yourself. I will only support you. Don’t worry about anything. You have taken the first step toward healing your mind and soul. Will you let me hold your hand and take you to safety?”
I closed my eyes. “Now that I have decided, let’s do it.” I told myself determined. “Yes. I am ready.” I replied, opening my eyes.
She then asked me to wait out, probably wanting to speak to Anna.
Arun’s Point of View
I was happy that Devika had agreed for counseling and treatment. She seemed to have taken a liking to Shaina.
“Depression and trauma. Must salute her spiritual stamina.” Said Shaina making me look up.
“She buried all those tragic memories, negative emotions within her. They have worked their way through her mind. This explains her lack of interest in things, the screams at night and her nightmares, low performance and everything else that has been happening. You fortunately discovered her plight at the right time. Not everyone is this lucky.” She explained, sending shivers down my spine.
“She will be fine right?” I asked her.
“It may take a year or more, but she will surely be fine and whole with her kind of spiritual strength. Not everyone makes it this far. She has. And she will go far ahead. Don’t worry.” Shaina continued.
I heaved a deep sigh of relief.
“Anyways, I need you to keep a close eye on her poetry. Once her poems start showing a positive graph, we will know that we have succeeded.”
I nodded. Finally, Devika would be fine. She would surely find light again. And I had a huge surprise in store for her, once she would heal completely.
Devika’s Point Of View
It took two years of therapy and counseling sessions. With the combined care of Dr Shaina and Anna’s family, I was responding well, all the negative emotions leaving my system slowly. It was an arduous journey to recovery.
Anna shaking my shoulder brought me back to the present. We were now in his home which was surprisingly decorated as per my liking. His parents were present with Dr Shaina and Nani.
He fished around in his bag and out popped my diary. He opened a page and gave it to me. In his handwriting was a long poem. It seemed to outline my journey to healing. To think that he had written for the first time in his life, that too on me. I began reading it but three lines drew my attention.
“Proud of you, my Strong Devika. Know that I love you a lot. Welcome to our family!”
I looked up surprised. All the five were smiling hard. Nani handed Anna some papers who in turn said, “Take it. It is our present to you.” His voice sounded heavy with emotion.
I scanned the papers. Their contents shocked me. Tears of joy hugged my cheeks. Anna’s family had adopted me! These were my adoption papers.
“This family is now yours Devika. Are you happy child?” Nani cupped my chin.
I looked up at Arun Anna whose eyes glistened with unshed tears. “Happy Birthday Devika. It is your 17th birthday today. Welcome home kanna.”
I found myself at a loss of words, feeling delirious with joy. Every bit of my soul cried in gratitude. This indeed was a birthday it its literal sense for a new life had begun for me. I now had a family, a home to call my own. And above all of that, I had healed in all totality. While I held the adoption papers close to my chest, Anna gently stroked my hair and smiled.
Arun’s Point Of View
I settled on the sofa watching Devika prancing about, a bundle of energy. How I had longed to see this sight. Her happiness, her recovery was all that I had ever wanted.
Suddenly as I reached for my phone,I found her diary on the table, open on the first page. It read,
“Your presence made me strong,
Your resilient love became my anchor.
I just want to tell you,
You will always remain my entire world.”
My eyes welled up as I finished reading. From the farther end of the hall, Devika smiled at me.
THE END 🙂
P.S. As a society there is still some amount of shame and fear associated with visiting a psychologist or a psychiatrist. While we are slowly overcoming the same, we must realize that visiting a mental health professional doesn’t mean anything is wrong with us. It only means we have taken the step to heal ourselves, to rise above our problems.
Three Cheers to Mental Wellness! 😀