reconnecting - a story in six pictures

It was a very special day, Utpal was to visit his mom. He got up early. wore his new sweater and shoes, and was all set to go. He has asked his best friend Kiran to accompany him.

His little head was filled with confused images. there was a time, only a few months ago when he and his mom and the man he called dad lived in a tiny room together. True that those days were sometimes not the best, but everything was bearable when one had a mom's love, even if it was punctuated by drunken violence. Then one day, that little world came crashing. A long trip across town resulted in mom going to a rehab centre, and Utpal learning to live alone. he was just four!

His new world was filled with nice people, and pals and open spaces and song and laughter and though at first it was not easy, utpal the ultmate survivor set out to play his part with perfection. He made friends, walked into many hearts and stood first in his class. His mom fought her demons and in spite of all stuck to her programme.

Last month she was moved to a midway place where she was reunited with her daughter and ready to take te first haltinf steps into a new existence. Little four years old do not know how to express their inner most thoughts in words. If you want to know them you have to look with your heart.

I did not go with him, but six pictures said it all. We adults who have thought that a four and a half year old meeting his mother after some months would rush into her arms and smother her with kisses. Not quite. Utpal is not your regular four year old.

When his little world came to naught, it was Utpal who emerged as the man of the house. He let his mom go, not creating a scene and settled in his school knowing intuitively that this was the only way to heal his shattered family. But the long nights in a lonely place were not easy and even f he did not have the words it was time to show what he felt. As he entered the premises of karam marg he suddenly detached himself from the little group and walked on alone, like any little man would. And as his mom tried to hold him as if nothing ha happened, Utpal resented this attitude. What did not wash away the hurt s easily.

The silence was overflowing with emotions and unsaid words as he held on for a while, keeping at a distance, trying to make his mom understand. And then when he was ready, he walked towards her telling her that he cared and loved her but conveying at the same time that in this new journey they were beginning, he would show the was and set the boundaries.

They had reconnected but this was just the beginning...