Curiosity is the forerunner of discovery (concluding part)
Continued from here.
“Ok” she said, a little hesitant though. What she didn’t know was that the next few minutes were about to change her life forever.
“First of all, I’m Raj and this is Riya, my fiancée” I introduced us
“Great Mitali, now tell me something. Do you have any idea who I am?”
“No, but you look familiar to me” she said
“Ok, I’m technically your cousin brother and actually your elder brother” I said
“What do you mean by that?” she asked surprised
“Your mother and my mother are sisters, and in reality, you are my sister. My mother gave birth to you and gave you away to save her sister”
“Why would she do that? How do I know you are telling me the truth?” she asked
“You can ask your father about it; your mother doesn’t know anything” I clarified
“I most certainly will” she said and went up to her father
Her father agreed to the truth and asked for all of us to come up to the terrace so that nobody else can hear the truth.
“Pranam uncle” I said touching his feet. I made him meet Riya as well.
“How do you know about this, and what do you want from us?” he asked
“I saw her picture in mum’s wallet and just wanted to meet her. She’s my sister”
“You have made everything worse by coming here son. Things were good the way they were.”
“So, you don’t think Mitali deserves to know the truth? Don’t you think I deserve to know my sister?” I asked
“What you are saying is right Raj but there is a reason this arrangement was made” he said
“Dad, please tell me what’s going on?” asked Mitali
“Beta, we lost our daughter right after she was born. We knew your mother would not be able to bear this trauma. So, your aunt or should I say your actual mother gave you up to save her sister. And that’s how you came to us” he clarified.
“Why haven’t we met them before dad?”
“It was too painful for them to not see you every day, so, I and Raj’s father decided not to see each other ever again and that’s how they could manage without you” he said
“What do you want to do now Mitali?” asked her father
“I want to meet them. If that’s ok with you.” She asked
“Yes, its ok” he said with a heavy heart
“Don’t worry, I will always be your daughter no matter what” she said and hugged him tightly
“Come on big brother, take me home” she said to me
“I’m so happy right now” I said to her. I walked out of there with my sister on my right hand and Riya on the other
When we reached home the next day, my parents were flabbergasted to see Mitali in front of them.
“Son, you promised you wouldn’t do anything. How did this happen, does she know?” asked mum
“I’m sorry mom, I had to try and yes, she knows. She wanted to meet you guys and get to know you” I said
Mum hugged her so tightly that she could hardly breathe. Both of them started crying and stood there for a few minutes. Even I had tears in my eyes. I was feeling at the top of the world. Now I felt like my family was complete. I was a complete wreck, I could hardly control my emotions. Mum hugged me and thanked me for making this possible.
Mitali spent a few days with us and when it was time for her to go back, neither I nor anybody else would let her go. She decided to elongate her stay and to her surprise we called aunt and uncle over to stay with us.
Mum and aunt were more than happy to see each other and it was finally time to tell aunt the truth. Mitali was insistent that she should know.
“What? How is that possible?” asked my aunt
“It’s true” said my uncle
“Why didn’t you tell me about this before?” she asked my uncle
“We didn’t think you would be able to take it”
“Still I deserved to know. Didi (elder sister) I can’t thank you enough for saving my life. I love you so much” she said hugging mum
“I also have a confession to make here” said my aunt
“Now what?” I blurted
“A few days after I went home with her…” she said pointing to Mitali
“…I started feeling depressed and thought I wouldn’t be able to take care of the baby and that I didn’t deserve her. So, one night, I sneaked out of the house with the baby and dropped her off at an orphanage and quickly ran away before I could be seen. Then on my way home, I changed my mind and went back to get her but by then she had been taken inside and I couldn’t get her back. I started crying thinking I had made a huge mistake and I didn’t deserve to live anymore. That was the lowest I had ever felt in my life ever” she explained
“Why did you do that? You could’ve given her to me!” screamed my mum. I hugged her and held her hand.
“After that, I mucked up the courage to go inside and ask for my daughter back. When I did, they gave her to me but I don’t know why I had this feeling that the caretaker was lying to me” she continued
“Why do you say that?” asked mum
“She did not meet my eye when she handed the baby to me and couldn’t wait for me to leave” she explained
The very next morning, I went up to that orphanage and asked for the records to be disclosed about Mitali. The owner was insistent that it was not possible. I did everything in my power to convince him to give me records. Finally, after much insistence he agreed and gave me her file. It said that a baby had come to the orphanage that night but it wasn’t Mitali. The blood group didn’t match. So, my aunt was right. The baby did get exchanged. I also got the address of the caretaker who was in charge that night. She was retired now and taken care by her children.
When I went up to her house, she refused to meet me at first. But I convinced her daughter that I would just take five minutes of her time and won’t trouble her. When she came out she was on a wheelchair and very frail. She spoke very slowly and was hard of hearing.
I, very patiently, asked her about that night. At first, she denied changing the babies, but with the evidence I showed her, she agreed to have changed the babies. She also, confessed that she didn’t do it on purpose. It was just sheer luck that that night two babies suddenly came to the orphanage and it was only after a while she realized that she gave my aunt the wrong baby. And she had no contact with her so couldn’t correct her mistake even if she wanted to.
I asked her where the other baby was now. she said the baby had been adopted by another family. She said we would find her records at the orphanage. Once again, I went to the orphanage and requested to see the file and with much insistence and a bit of bribe I had the file in my hand. At that moment, I had no idea how my life was going to change minutes later.
The other baby was Riya, my fiancée. Oh my God, this was not happening. What will I do now? I went straight home and told my parents about her. They were also shocked. When we told Riya, she was also baffled. She said it was not possible. There had to be a mistake.
And indeed, there was. The other baby, or my real sister was a girl named Riya, but not my fiancée. In the excitement to know the truth I had read her name and assumed it was my fiancée.
We found out where my sister Riya lived and she agreed to visit us every month. Her adoptive parents were nice down to earth people who had raised her well. My family was now complete. I had my sister with me and I was about to start my new life with my beloved. All’s well that ends well.