Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cast Away

I watched a movie yesterday and it had a very sensitive subject-a mother’s passion and affection for her child. And how she could keep alive hope against dead ends and patiently waited for her child who was lost from home reunited with her. A poignant wait and only mothers would do. The loss, only mothers may feel more than the father. It reminded me of a real life story and I wondered….!.

I was introduced to this fair, tall handsome guy with round bratty eyes by a good friend. They were mates from their school days. And my friend being a person of intense emotions, feelings and conscientious too, I gathered that this guy too must be of the kind. Else do birds of the same feather flock together? That was way back, some years ago. I also remember meeting him a few more times once at my friend’s house and we even had some light hearted banter over drinks. My friend being keen in enjoying the art form of kathakali and a connoisseur of sorts of the dance drama, he used to hunt his way to the nether world to watch a performance. This guy, his buddy was the member of the once Royal clan from central Kerala and was also naturally a fan of this art form. And often they have both motor biked distance to enjoy the late night enactments in remote temples and villages. These guys had something in common and hit off well. It turned out in later years, perhaps there to end the similarity between the two. It was often that I have heard him, my friend, speak with great warmth and fondness about this chap. And though life took them distance apart, they were in communication and also used to meet.

From the few occasions I have had been with this guy, I did found him gregarious and fun loving. He was just like any of us in our youth, impetuous, and overwhelming confidence.

Years later, I heard from my friend that this guy married a city educated, sophisticated lass and settled in Bangalore.

I continued to hear stories 
occasionally, about this fellow from my friend. The last, I heard from him was that the guy had become an incorrigible alcoholic and self-condescending person. He was a recluse and thriving on self-pity and had lost all respectability of self. He lost his job and was now refuge in a boarding quarter in the old Royal household in a town off Cochin. 

The twist is from elsewhere. He had a great marriage and life thereafter, until his first child was born- a girl. She was born blind! He was devastated and naturally so. He used to seek his friend for solace and as a means to dispose his agony and trauma. What succor can one lend, but to advise courage and fortitude? Appalling stories continued. The poor fellow was almost over the precipice when he confided to my friend that his wife disliked the child and did not have any mind to tender it. She despised the child very much and wanted to give it away to someone. And that unperturbed by his miserable appeals and pleadings she stayed adamant and could agree to nothing but abandon the child. He finally could arrange child adoption through some NGO.  Though, fortunately the child was adopted by a wealthy couple from Germany. We wondered how a woman- a mother could gather does this!

Consequently, he moaned that his relationship with his wife was distanced and fast sliding into terminal point. He wailed that she despised him too, that he was undesirable and an infliction in his own house. He lost the will to work and had terrifying night mares that haunted him. He was always under the influence of alcohol. My friend was understanding and supportive, trying to wean him away from self-destruction.

The final blow was ironically to the poor fellow, my friend. After this man left Bangalore and found refuge in Cochin, he happened to meet him and also could speak to his wife. It was then she revealed that it was her husband who despised the child and did not want to keep the little one. And rubbishing her anguish and utterly terrified state arranged for the adoption and consigned the child to the German couple – her foster parents. All the subsequent affairs and his condition are the natural and direct offshoot of the guilt that began to plough and monstrously haunt him since. Later when confronted with the sordid facts, he confessed to my friend that he was responsible for the wretchedness in which he finds himself. And that the guilt was tearing away at his soul.

I wonder if he will ever have reprieve from guilt, it will gnaw away at him till he ceases to breathe.


kavita said...

Shocking.This guilt will haunt him until his last breath.I hope the girl child is being raised in a loving family.I also feel that before taking such a drastic step the couple should have sought some psychological counselling for themselves.Really sad.

Makk said...

Good for child I guess, if she is in right place.

Else, human being and their behavior.
Rather simple thing.

Happy Kitten said...

A sad story.. why did he feel so about his child? think he is a man who lives in his dreams... an escapist.. and now he pays for it.. but why did the Mother let the child go?

Insignia said...

Happens for good. I hope the child will be much better off far away from crazy folks as these.

Instead of rotting in self pity; the guy can instead do something noble like adopt a kid and pay for his deeds?

Balachandran V said...

As the one who introduced him to you, I may point out certain inconsistencies in your depiction, but more or less it is true. You might remember that Parvati and I had offered to adopt that child. The girl, the second child is in the US, and the last I heard was that she is a swimming champion.

Whatever justification the couple had in abandoning their child, it remains an unpardonable crime. Sad to say that my friend ( in spite of what he did and the fact that our relationship went sour after the incident, he is still a friend to me - one cannot abandon friendship, can one?) has plummeted down and his life is wasted - a brilliant mind lost forever. One just cannot undo one's mistakes.

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

How simple a creature is man, yet, how complicated he is!

A Bystander said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A Bystander said...

Your riveting narrative reminded me of Camus’ play, Cross Purpose, for some reason. There are no parallels at all. Even so, I felt the same disquiet all through. Perhaps a stark reminder of the irredeemability of human condition, yet one would remark: how sad!

anilkurup said...

@ Kavita,

K, as Balan said in his comment human fallacies once done cannot be undone, more so in certain matters.
Why the unthinkable was done ,may be even he could not tell now.

@ Makk,
Sometimes we forget the ramifications of our conduct. don't we?

@ Happy Kitten,

Your askance is valid. Escapism , yes, perhaps. But he did not realise or think that it will be a perennial torment and no where to escape.

@ Insignia,

Self pity itself is a miserable attempt to escape.isn't it?You must ask him now if he can think of a redress.

@ Balachandran,

Yes now I recollect you and P mentioning this plan / offer.
When after watching the film on the subject of a mother's loss, strangely this incident came to mind. And since I was attempting from the info you have given long ago and during various intervals, the inconsistencies may have cropped in.

However the subject was more the matter and hence also the attempt to not mention names as usual.

@ Arun Meethale,

Strange, this morning , when going through the Blog, I wondered about your absence from Blogging. Good to see you back here.

Yes indeed we are adept in complicating our lives.

anilkurup said...

@ By Stander,

Thanks for the comment.

....Petty Witter said...

Such a sad tale, I feel there must have been an answer to this ..... perhaps as Kavita suggests some counselling.

Meera Sundararajan said...

My God... I would like to say "shocking" but I will not be judgmental. Only the parent who has such a child probably understands the agony. I pity the poor child who was cast away for no fault of hers and admire the German couple who came forward to adopt her. When I wrote "Bonds and Barriers" on my blog Kaleidoscope- I thought it was fiction but it looks like life is stranger than fiction!! One of my professors from school adopted a child who was later on diagnosed with autism- she loves the boy and is a great mother. Her husband is also a great father. Between the two of them they adopted another child as a companion to the boy -a little girl who I hear from friends seems to be also autistic! "How awful!" we sometimes say to ourselves. But both she and her husband say "It was God's will that we were chosen to care for these children. That was how they landed with us"!

anilkurup said...

@ Petty Witter,

T, this happened a few years back. And the person who is more comfortable with the man's life is his close friend Balachandran @ MY Travels My Life blog.. He could tell. By the way check his blog too an unique one you will enjoy.

@ Meera Sundarajan,

It defies an adjective - the horrible apathy to ones own blood. don't you think so?

The examples you mentioned are another aspect of human psyche that defies description.

rama said...

One story led to your sharing another with us. I am so happy that the child is fine with good people in Germany. As for the mother of the child if she was so attached to her child as she claimed , she could have kept the child with her as anyway she was not living with her husband. I feel that they both are regretting and escaping the truth by putting the blame on each other.
As for the child i would say good riddance to bad rubbish, she is free from the constant nightmare of living with her original parents.

Ruprekha said...

My work often makes me face this situation. Initially I thought only those who are financially weak or uneducated can commit such an act of abandoning or surrendering their children. But gradually it was clear that I was not fully right. No amount of awareness or education seem to remove this negativity from the minds of some parents.
Hats off to the German couple and many such adoptive parents with golden hearts.

anilkurup said...

@ Rama,

I guess that the mother still lives with her husband(* the father). Honestly, I cannot comment more as the facts known to me are confined.

@ Ruprekha,

There may be often not much difference between man and beasts.And education may not be helpful either.

The last I heard was that the girl is in her adolescence and a great aquatic promise.