I let him go. I could see those dark brown eyes staring at me through the window. I could see the questions I had not let him ask. I waved goodbye as the train whistled. The tears appeared in his eyes involuntarily. He would not blink his eyes though. The lady next to him gave me a reassuring look as if to say " I will take care of him, don't you worry!".
Worry? Is that what I felt at that moment? He had been a part of my life for the past three years.
My days and nights had revolved around him. What it had taken me to take that decision. To be left at the railway platform as the train had sped out of the station.
So there I stood almost wooden, stuck to the railway platform.
He was true to me for the rest of the years. He wrote to me every week. I answered his letters with great caution. Never letting him know how much I missed him. He never hid his feelings. The feelings mellowed down over the years though.
He was changing fast. The new city envoirment, new friends. a new family did him good. He was growing quite mature. At the same time his cautious handwriting had turned into a hurried scrawl.
It was a decade later that I was back standing at the same railway platform. My life was still very much the same. I had become the principal of Saint Roderiques Orphan School. It was a very demanding position. The Orphan school was residential one. And there were new admits every few months. Sometimes I wondered who produced these orphans? At other times, I thought perhaps it was God's way of creating a balance in the world. Where childless widows like me could find love. I thanked the Lord every day for the small mercies! For I had been allowed to be a mother to hundred instead of none.
So there I stood at the railway station to greet my son, who had now grown up to be a man.
Ravi had been a shattered 10 year old when he entered the orphanage. He had lived a life on the streets most of his childhood. I don't remember quite how he came to live with me. But he had trusted me from day one. So he had stayed with me. That was the first time I had been a mother to
a child. There in started a new life for me, Rosa Fernandes, a widow of ten years, still very much in love with her husband. Through Ravi, I became a part of the orphanage in a way which was more than endowing them with my good fortune.
Eventually of course there was a family who came to adopt him. Away he went to the city to be a part of a family. But he never forgot his foster mother.
So there I stood at the railway platform looking a 23 year old young man with a moustache waving at me. I could recognise him from several photographs that he had sent me.
This time the tears wouldn't stop flowing my from my eyes but I refused to blink. I was so proud of him. Proud of what he had become, proud of what he had made me!