Roshni ran to her room as soon as she entered the house. She opened the room, put her bag on the carpet, slided the curtains to allow the light enter the room and stared out of the window.
She noticed the mango tree in the backyard had grown taller and wider. The tree blocked most of the light entering through the window. She looked around the room. Everything was as it was when she left for college a year ago. Now that the summer vacation were on, she could sleep longer, eat home made food and hang out with her old friends. She looked out the window again. A smile covered her face as she saw the big green mangoes hanging from the tree. She loved raw mangoes.
Then suddenly she heard the caws. The crows were all over the mango tree. They continuously made sounds as if there was a fight going on. Then Roshni noticed a crow being attacked by other crows. The crow being attacked was a very small one and was a bit different. It took a while for Roshni to figure out that the little crow was not actually a crow but was a baby cuckoo. What stunned Roshni was the fact that there was a crow who was protecting the cuckoo from the attacks. Roshni had never seen this thing before. Her grandmother had told her stories about the cuckoo bird. These lazy birds don’t build their own nest. They instead lay eggs in other bird’s nest…mostly crow’s nest. Thus the crow…probably a female was not protecting the cuckoo but she was protecting her child. The crow knew that the baby was not hers but she knew she was it’s mother. Roshni kept looking at the crow and the cuckoo until they flew to a farther tree.
Roshni then walked slowly to the other wall. And gazed at the framed photo. It was her mother’s. She took out a match stick and lighted the candle kept on the shelf close to the photo. “Mom…I wish I had some memories of you…” Roshni was very young when her mom passed away. She had only heard stories of her mother from her grandmother.
“Roshni…” Called her father. Roshni at once went running to the dinning room. The table was full of all her favourite foods. Her Dad stood at the corner with a sweet smile.
“Dad…what have you done!”
“So you don’t want all this?” He frowned.
“Of course I do want all this.” Roshni uncovered all the dishes one by one, taking the delicious scents in and smiling all the time. At one such dish she uncovered the lid and held on for a moment. “Coconut prawn? Mom loved it when you made this for her…right?
“No darling…I made it because you love it and…who told you about your mother?” Roshni’s father seemed a little annoyed.
“Grandma did. You loved Mom very much didn’t you?”
“I…I don’t….why don’t you start eating. It’s getting cold.”
Roshni went closer to her dad and hugged him tightly.
“I know I’m not your…blood” Roshni cried as she tried to complete the sentence.
“Who told you that? You are my daughter and I am your father…” Her father couldn’t hold back his tears either.
“Grandma told me that mom cheated on you. You still accepted her. You accepted me and…oh dad.” Roshni gripped him even tighter.
“Stop your rubbish. You know I love your mom. I loved her with all I had. And will continue to love her till my last breath. And I love you my darling.” He kissed her on her head. “Don’t bring all this up ever… understand. Or…or I’ll never talk to you. Now please would you start eating!”
Roshni smiled and wiped her tears. “Dad?”
“I think you are the best mother in this world!”