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Bundle of Joy

Silly. But the one of the high points of my life is flipping through Page 3 every morning with my cuppa tea and reading about fiery fashion, the celeb world, fitness... before I wade through the mundane but almost complusory fiscal deficits, mutual funds, hedge funds, GDP growth, etc. urgggggg!!! Complusory because thats my bread and butter work these days as an employee of a business magazine. Anyway... Reverting to my favourite, I am a little piqued by Anjelina Jolie slamming Madonna for adopting a baby illegally. Illegally here meaning Malawi the country from where Madonna picked her baby reportedly does not have a legal framework for adoption. A little trivial an argument I would say, after all think of the end happiness that the adoption ultimately brings -- both to the child and his/her inherited new family. But the joke doing the round is that Hollywood's new must-have now is an adopted child.

Closer home, I just discovered that my friend Shanti has a to-be sister-in-law who adopted a Down's Syndrome affected boy who is now 19-years-old. Jenny does a good job taking care of him. I have no words to express such nobility in people, the fact that you devote your life trying to perfect an imperfect life situation. And then there are others who express the desire to adopt a baby but are bogged down by criteria and selection dilemma -- brown or black, fair or white, Asian or non-Asian, the list goes on. And yet, there are others still who say they cannot think of adoption because they cannot love children other than their own. Believe it or not!

One of my favourite stories is the one my sister-in-law once told me. A couple adopted a baby. Soon after, had their own. One day while out on a family picnic, a friend points out to the kids playing and asks the mother which of the two kids was the adopted one? The mother replies: "I don't remember."

But equally overwhelmed was I, when little 'Likla' was brought to our home -- all of three months, unruly hair, bloated stomach, and in not too clean clothes (the Missionaries of Charity, Guwahati, her former home obviously did not have all the amenities for the upkeep of all of the hundreds of children it sheltered). There was some tension and nervousness initially as all her medical tests were done only after she was brought home. In their impatience, my brother and sister-in-law did not conduct these tests prior to getting her, thereby flouting the norms a bit. But what the heck, they had fallen in love with her instantly, the moment she gave that wry smile when asked "will you be a part of our family?"... This July Likla will turn five, and is truly the apple of our eyes. I asked my brother why Likla is named Likla, which in my native language Meitei means 'dewdrops'. Etched in my memory is the answer I got: "Because she touched our dry lives."

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