Dec 16, 2012


The morning sun was playing hide and seek in between the clouds. Vanitha wanted to go out and play the game with her friends. "Your father will be home in a while Vani. We are going out today. Don't go out for playing. Get ready soon", her mother ordered.

She does not have a new dress to change, nor does she have a soap and water to wash her face. She limped back inside and waited for her father to arrive.

"Are you ready?", she heard her father's voice as he was entering.

Muthu whispered something in Banu's ears as they were leaving. They walked to the bus stand nearby. 

Vanitha was jumping in joy when they reached the bus stand. She had never been to the bus stand even though her slum is only a stone throw away from there. The bus stand was buzzing with activity, buses coming in and leaving out boarding and dropping passengers to and from their destinations. 

Muthu helped Vanitha who was walking with a limp as he was searching for the bus that would take them to their destination, if only he had one in his mind. He found an empty seat in the waiting area and said, "Vanitha, sit here. Mom and I will be here in a while", leaving her on her own.

After a few footsteps, her mother turned back, hugged her, planted a kiss on her cheeks and gave a biscuit packet to her. "Here Vani, take this. If you feel hungry, you can open this and eat", she said. 

Vanitha looked at her mom with a puzzled expression. She had never given her a biscuit to eat, leave alone a full packet for herself!

"May I eat all the biscuits mom?", she asked.

"Yes dear", she replied and left before she could hold the tear that rolled off her cheeks and disappeared in her lips.

"Mom had changed ever since she met the doctor today morning", Vanitha thought to herself.

"I will wait for you here, mom. Come back soon.", she said.

Little did Vanitha realized that her name would appear next day in all the newspapers, "Three-Year-Old polio attacked girl was found abandoned at a bus stand. If you have any information about this girl, please contact the nearest police station with details".