Before reading this piece, read Part 1 of the story. Part 2 concludes the story.
Anjali and Riya both looked at each other and knew there was just one way to find out. They both rushed to Siddhant’s house. Neelam answered the door and was happy to see Riya. She was excited since Siddhant had conveyed his intent to marry Riya that morning. She welcomed Riya and looked at Anjali. “This is my mom, Anjali” Riya said softly.
“I wish you had called before coming. I would have asked my husband and Siddhant to be there”, said Neelam. “They are at work now and may not be able to come at such short notice. But now we are family. Let’s plan a dinner together soon!”
Riya and Anjali looked very uncomfortable. Neelam was not sure what was going on. She enquired, “Is everything ok?” Just then, Anjali handed over the letter to Neelam. Neelam recognized the particular colour of the paper and the design on it even before she read it! “How did you get this?” Neelam looked puzzled. But before Anjali could even open her mouth, Neelam looked at Riya and understood. “No wonder I felt like we had a special bond Riya. When Sid told me your birthday, I thought to myself that my own daughter would’ve been your age too. I didn’t realize that indeed you are my own daughter!” Riya was flabbergasted. So, it’s true!
Neelam sighed. It was her turn to tell Riya a secret that only a few knew. Neelam said “I had you when I was unmarried and couldn’t keep you. When I got married I confessed to my husband and the gracious man that he is he did not make much of it and said its okay. We moved on with our life but were childless for a few years.”
Neelam gulped some water as she continued “Siddhant is not our son. He is my best friend’s son. When he was about 7, they died in a car crash and since there was no family to look after Sid, we adopted him officially. Siddhant knows this but we asked him not to tell anyone.” Anjali and Riya were relieved to hear that. Neelam sensed it and said “So I am happy to have you as both my daughter and daughter in law now. I am fortunate to get this double bonanza to make up for all the lost years. I’m sorry for having done what I did but relieved that you got such a wonderful family! Let me call Sid and his dad home and fill them in. This is a big day for all of us!”
Riya had instantly forgiven her birth mother. Anjali was happy but wondering if she will lose her daughter now. Neelam understood her situation and assured her that Riya will always have two mothers and no one could replace Anjali. We can keep this whole story between all of us only. Neelam then added “But I have to show you what I have saved all these years. I missed her every day and a part of me told me that I would see her one day.”
She opened an old cardboard box. It contained Riya’s new born photo and her first dress. Neelam said “She may not have been with me but I would go over what memories I had of her day with me. I endured these memories and never thought this story would unwind like this! We are so fortunate indeed.”
Every day, life brings disparate pieces together and weaves a perfectly placed jigsaw puzzle. These designs are not apparent to us at start but deep desire and memories endure through time and create these miracles of the heart.