By Susan Kutar ( )

I walked outside the door hopin that I don’t have to come back home, that miraculously I ll be sucked into the earth o will disappear in thin air. But I cud only wish. I didn’t wanna go back home. I didn’t feel like facin da troubles at home any more. I was 21 yrs old I sud b enjoin what ppl call the most imp yrs of ur life, which neva come back,n here I was fightin a battle that wasn’t mine. I didn’t deserve it. After holdin on to my fake brave face for three mths I decided this was it. I was goin to get out n live my life.

I used to leave home at 8 in da morning ,come home only for brief moment whn my dads in the office n get out n come back only around 11 so that I see them all asleep. They didn’t yell at me. I wasn’t really talking to my dad so guess to live upto his ego he let me have my way. As for my mom well she was too afraid to speak. She was tryin to live wid this too. So slowly n even widout me knowin my family was taken away frm me. Well we all lived under the same roof, shared the same last name but no connection, no warmth n most of all no love. I was fine wid it as long as I was away frm all the mess.

I wanted to get even wid my dad so did everythin tht was wrong. Went out parting till wee hrs,smoked, drank n got drunk. Did silly stuff like drove my bike at 2 in da morning. But I didn’t care. I didn’t even feel like a person anymore. I used to despise these stuff n here I was livin each moment of what I hated the most. Then how was I punishing my dad. Infact I was punishing myself. I felt like a lil gal who was lost.

I woke up one morning wid a heavy head, I wasn’t sure if it was a hangover o just my conscience banging on my head to put some sense in it. But now I realize it was more of the latter than the former. To stay away frm home I took up a part time job. In exactly 2 mths I wud turn 21. a turning pt in most ppl s life, a significant day, but not for me. I started thinking what was that one thing I really wanted to do for yrs but used to always ignore it. Well few wks of rattling my head got me the answer. I started working on it. I felt happy, contended, alive.
2nd March arrived , I wasn’t excited abt my birthday,so unlike me, but for what I was goin to do today. I took the help n support of my 5 best friends back in coll n started off working on da day details. We blew up like 15 balloons, we double checked da number of party hats, the whistles n paper plates. Called in for the cake delivery n we all were set. ( still no conversation wid my dad). We reached the entrance of SOFOSH, Sasson Hospital. It was a home for those lil orphan kids who belonged no whr n to no one in particular. My eyes filled, my heart was cryin out loud not on their misfortune but my fortune. I entered into a room of smiling faces. At first all of them were distant. New faces who were here for awhile n then jus leave. All 5 of us eased in slowly. Started playin wid them handing out party caps n whistle n ballons. We all were enjoin like we were the ones who needed them n not they. It was true,I was doin this moreso for me than them. I had to make myself see the obvious n not turn my back to it anymore. I forgot abt everythin as I played wid them. There was a boy of around 11 yrs of age his name was Mayur,he got particularly fond of us. We played football, n Neha played the guitar while the kids danced.A moment of joy for all of us. They actually drew a rangoli wid my naming n wishin me a hearty birthday. Did an aarti, gave me a small present ,which was the best one I got that yr, n cut the cake.

But after 4 hrs it was time for us to leave. We all had our favourite kids my the end of it. We kissed n waved each one of dem goodbye But Mayur was silent. The rest of them were too small to care,but Mayur was well aware of wht was happenin. He got up came close to me n start hitting me. As if to say,’Why do u walk into our lives, if u only have to leave’. I cud not control tears filled my eyes as I wiped it away n pretended to b strong. I bent down hugged him n promised him I ll be back. At that I kicked the ball hard n made my first goal of the eve. He smiled n said, ‘I told u, u can do it ‘. I knw he meant more than jus da goal.

That day on my way home I got thinking, why I cudnt see this earlier. I have a family,somebody I can call my own. I have a last name, a home to live in. Those kids had nothing that was theirs. Nothin and no one they can call their own. But still dey were smiling and helping me make my birthday the perfect one. I was a changed person ,a bigger person. I cudnt forget wht happened but cud let it go for now. I knw my family needed me. I got home, n looked my dad in the eye, smiled at him which felt like the first smile in 3 mths n walked away. I knw I wasn’t ready to forgive him yet but wid time I ll learn to put it all behind me..

2nd March,2005, will always b the best day of my life. Those children who had nothing gave me everythin..-A reason to live life wid a smile..

—-by Susan Kutar—-