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A half orphan

By AryaTara All Rights Reserved ©

Drama / Romance


'A half orphan' is a love story set in South Asia with a strange twist. Ash is a rebellious young girl raised by her widowed mother. She calls herself ‘a half orphan’ – her version of being fatherless. Ash lives in an old house with her mother who are both vulnerable in their society. She falls in love with Biju. the son of a wealthy Professor belonging to a traditional old family. When Biju’s parents hear their son professing love for Ash, a girl who they hardly knew, they quickly get him married off to Renu instead. Being the only son he is emotionally blackmailed. But he stands for his love and promises not to consummate the marriage and eventually returns to Ash begging her to have him back into her life. She agrees to go away with him secretly setting up a home of the own. Meanwhile Renu is dejected and leaves for her parental home for a break where she meets with a handsome man named Rajeev. They fall in love and one day she finds herself pregnant. The Professor, his wife and Biju are frantic. How can they have someone else’s child running in the Residence? What has happened to their traditional family values? The drama unfolds.

Chapter 1

"I call myself a half orphan, never knew my father. He died when I was a baby," said Anshu introducing herself to her class on her first day at campus. She looked at the class with a pair of large soulful eyes set on a pale face framed by huge dark unruly curls. She had just turned seventeen and this was her first day, in fact the first hour at her new class addressing a sea of total strangers her age. She knew what she was saying didn’t make sense to the class. It was an impulsive decision. It was wrong. She had to say her name first followed by all the nice things one could think of. Never mind, she told herself. Self pity was the last thing she wanted.

"I’m sorry," uttered Miss Dina, the teacher.

"Please don’t be. No one is to blame, not me, not even my mother." The class remained quiet.

"That was a rather personal intro," she said consciously pulling a lock of hair behind her ear.

"My name is Anshu. I live in a small world with my mother and I have come here with a purpose - to secure that degree that will help create opportunities for me to grow. Thank you." She returned to her seat amidst applause with mixed feelings.

When the classes were over she returned home. Home was an old worn out single storey building with a huge grass field in the front. The garden was unkempt with overgrown weeds that danced with the wind. Snakes appeared during summer but they were harmless unless attacked. Anshu threw away her sandals as she got into the house. The wooden floors creaked under her weight as she made her way into the kitchen to make a nice cup of tea. Her mother whom she called Ama was at work. She should be arriving any time soon, she thought.

While she waited for the kettle to boil, she remembered Ama saying, "On that fateful day your father was driving to the army cantonment after the Puja Festival was over. We had several days of fun and laughter in this house with goat meat delicacies served to all the family members who visited us. You were only three months old then. Your father carried you around to show you off to the family. Before he left he hugged both you and me tightly in his arms as if to say his final goodbye. I remember it was raining silently and that was the last I saw of him. They said that his motorcycle collided with a truck. It was an instant death. They assured me it was quick and painless."

Anshu wished she could see her father at least once in her lifetime. She yearned for the fatherly figure that was snatched away by "destiny" according to Ama. To make matters worse, his sisters never forgave Ama blaming her indirectly for their brother’s untimely demise. It was a pity that he was the only surviving male member of the clan. To add to the young widow’s woe, she had given birth to a daughter which, of course, ended the lineage. As far as she was concerned they came from a humble background with only a roof over their heads.

"We are destined to lead miserable and lonely lives, dear," said Ama. The one thing she never agreed with Ama was that of destiny playing a major role in their lives.

"I don’t believe in destiny. If it was true then we may as well be siting down in a corner waiting for things to happen. Why go to school, why work, why try to create wealth. Why do anything at all?"

Ama had no answers to those questions. But Anshu was determined to bring a change to their lives. She had to prove to her aunts what they could do. When her father died her mother was only twenty and he twenty five. She put aside her youth and her life to give her child a normal upbringing. Thus Anshu grew up fatherless and her poor Ama – husbandless. It would have been perfect had her father lived to father another child, preferably a male thus completing the cycle. Her mother would have been spared the pain of being the victim of circumstances. Perhaps he’d still be alive and they would be leading normal lives. But this was not meant to be. She never believed it was her mother’s fault. It was his. He had overtaken a bus when a car zoomed in from the front to collide with his bike. Both the driver of the car and her father died on the spot. End of story - for him. Not so for them. They had their whole lives ahead of them. And this was only the beginning.

Ama took the place of the breadwinner and raised her to upkeep what was left of the "lineage" moving. Tears and sadness became Ama’s constant companion while Anshu was determined to change the wheel of fortune. She named her Anshu, meaning tears. Maybe her little daughter reminded her of her husband who left them in uncertainty. But she had a growing daughter to bring up and she wanted to give her the best possible education and imbed proper life values.

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