The Broken Doll – Part 2
Anjali ran to her room and started looking for her doll. She found it under the pillow. She pulled it out and started combing its messy hair. The doll was missing the right hand, and its clothes were torn, but Anjali had still kept the doll. She would never throw her mother’s birthday present away.
Two years back, when her Mom had come to visit her on her birthday, she had received this doll as a birthday present. She knew that this time, she would get an even bigger and better doll as a present. Till then, she would not part with this one.
The children stayed in large rooms with bunk beds and in each room at least 5 to 6 kids used to stay. Neeta, who had occupied the bed next to Anjali’s jumped off her bed and started pulling at Anjali’s hands.
“Come on, let’s go out and play. I will be the police, and you be the thief” she said, eagerly tugging at her hand.
That seemed to be an excellent idea for Anjali. She wanted to be busy with something to get her mother’s thoughts away. Not that she wanted to forget her mother, but she wanted to forget the fact that she was not here as promised.
“Come on, let’s go, it will be fun” she replied.
She jumped off the bed and ran to the playground. For the time being, she left behind the doll on the pillow.
Anjali and Neeta, along with some other girls, had a nice time in the playground. There were older girls who would play games like Kabaddi, Kho Kho and Throwball. Younger girls used to watch them play. Anjali had a great time on the playground, laughing loudly and singing songs. She almost forgot about her mother.
Soon it was time to get inside and do the homework. Anjali was a studious girl, but today was a different day she was not in the mood to do any homework. But the orphanage had its time table and schedules which everyone was supposed to follow, and she was not an exception.
The orphanage had a small study hall which had tables lined up in the middle with chairs around it. It could easily accommodate 30 kids at a time. In order to reduce the space constraint, the same space was also used as the dining hall.
Anjali was sitting around the table doing their homework. Her hands while writing the alphabets of the English, her mind was wondering what had happened to her mother. Where is she? She was supposed to come by now. What has happened to her? Is she alright? Is she in some danger? Many questions ran across her mind, but without any answer, she continued to do her homework.
Anjali’s uncle was staying in the same city, but due to his greedy nature and because of the long-running property dispute, she was not kept in his charge. She thought that probably her Mom had gone to her uncle’s place. Maybe she would have her dinner over there and would visit her at the orphanage late at night. And probably she would catch the next train and go back to wherever she came from.
It was almost 6 o’clock, and Anjali had just finished her homework. She wanted to go back and play with her doll. She sat on her bed and looked at the doll eye-to-eye. She saw her own reflection in the doll. She ran her fingers over the place where the arm was missing. The broken doll was a stark reminder of her broken life.
Suddenly she started searching frantically for something under the pillow. She threw the pillow to the ground and started searching under the bedsheets. She could not find it. Her heart was beating faster. She pulled out the pillow from the cover and searched inside and there it was, she finally found what she was looking for. It was a letter from her mother which she had received a week back. Unfolding the letter she read it again.
My dear Anju,
How are you, my darling? I hope you are fine. I miss you badly. I want to see you. I want to hear your sweet voice, my love. I have not seen you for the last 2 years, and I know I have been a terrible mother. I should be with you helping you with your homework, helping you to do your projects, helping you to go to school, making you breakfast. But here I am far away thousands of kilometers away.
But I have good news for you. I will be coming to visit you on your birthday. I am going to bring you some chocolates and a special gift. I promise I will spend the whole day with you. We will go out and eat. We will talk for the whole day. I will take you to the zoo. We will have a great time. I can no longer wait for that day. I will be there with you soon.
Anjali read the letter five times over just to be sure whether or not her Mom was supposed to come and spend the whole day with her. The day was going to end, and yet there is no trace of her mother.
Tears started rolling down her eyes. She was a strong girl; she never cried despite all the hardships she had faced in her life. But today she could not stop the tears rolling down from my eyes. She did not want anybody to see her crying, so she wiped them off before the other girls could see.
Holding the doll in one hand and the letter in the other, she lied down on the bed waiting for her mother. She looked at the letter, read it once again and kept it under the pillow. Gazing blankly at the turning blades of the fan she thought about the time she had spent with her mother the last time.
As her mind wandered through the sweet memories, she didn’t realize that she was falling asleep.
There was a big cake with “Happy Birthday Anjali” written on it. It was a chocolate cake; her favourite. A big doll was wrapped in a shiny wrapping paper. She ripped open the package in one go and pulled out a brand new Barbie doll. Suddenly she was in the zoo holding hands with her mother and watching the monkeys swing from one tree to the other as if they were free inside the cage. The bell of the candy floss seller was jingling, taking her mind off from the beautiful animals. All the while, she clutched hard at the doll, holding it close to her.
“It’s a birthday party come on kids let’s assemble down in the dining hall” someone was shouting, and it seemed as if the monkey was screaming at the top of its voice asking the kids to gather around the dining hall for the birthday party.
Party with the monkeys Anjali loved it. Then she felt the monkey holding her shoulders and shaking her furiously and yelling “wake up it’s a party; it’s a birthday party wakeup.”
***to be continued ***
About The Author
Sydney Billford Monteiro
Sydney Billford Monteiro was born and brought up in Mangalore, Karnataka. An HR by profession, he has a Masters in Social Work and is working for the Hospitality Industry in Bangalore. He is an avid reader of Crime Thrillers, Mystery novels, and Science books. Creative writing and poetry is his passion.
He loves exploring the world of stories. His favourite pastime is experimenting with real-life events, creating characters, and turning them into engaging storylines.
Apart from reading and writing the author loves football; his favourite game and watching movies that depict unusual concepts and real-life events.
He also loves to have a healthy debate over a scientific idea.