Monday, February 16, 2009

माय टेंपररी सन

हे पुस्तक इंग्रजी भाषेत आहे व हा लेखहि मी प्रथम इंग्रजीतच तयार केलेला होता. पुन्हा मराठीत लिहिण्याचा आळस करून तो तसच येथे देत आहे. क्षमस्व!
My Temporary Son
-an orphan’s journey.
Timery N. Murary
Published 2005-Penguin Books

This book tells the story of a boy child, born badly deformed and abandoned by its parents immediately after its birth and when found, sent to an orphanage in Chennai. The author is an Indian, Journalist and author of Novels in English, non-fiction, screen plays and stage plays. I had not read any of his books so far. This book, besides being the story of the child, is also the story of the author himself and the year the child spent in his home before it was adopted by a Danish family and eventually taken by them to their country. It is a very poignant story and the book is un-put-downable.
The child was horribly deformed at birth. His bladder was outside his body. He had no clearly formed sexual organs. The lower half of his abdomen was a mess. In the orphanage it continuously suffered acute pains and used to bang his head on the crib bars. It would have died early. The author’s wife, an Australian, was a social worker and had a large network of friends, wives of other Consulate staff of various countries in Chennai and NGOs. On one of her visits to the orphanage she noticed this child and took up his case. She took him up to a surgeon who said he could do repair surgery but the child would not become normal and the prognosis was very poor. Maureen, the lady, was not easily defeated. She took the child to another eminent surgeon in Chennai. Dr. Shripati said, he could do a lot of surgery and the child would become nearly normal but would need plastic surgery after some years to improve the size and shape of his penis. (The child was tested and found to be a boy.) The question of huge expenses was tackled by Maureen with the help of her network of friends and foreign aid NGOs. Still before and after the surgery the child was going to need continued love and care which obviously would not be available in the orphanage. The extensive surgery was done by Dr. Shripati and having no alternative, Maureen decided to bring the child, named Bhima, to her home. The author who was not directly involved in the affairs of Bhima was very much involved now.
After the child landed in the house of the Author, the book describes, in great detail, the continued involvement of the Author in the problems of Bhima. This is a true story and the progressive involvement of the Author in Bhima getting slowly better, growing and passing through various stages of his development into a happy, loving and intelligent child who gets deeply attached to the Author and Maureen is described in great detail on a day-to-day basis and reads better than a Novel. Starting from distance and aloofness the author gets completely attached to the child and starts feeling for him as his own child.
Efforts were on, from the beginning to find persons to adopt the child, who must provide all the special medical needs and loving care. The idea was to find a foreign couple to adopt Bhima . It was not easy and the book describes in detail the sustained efforts of Maureen, social workers and adoption agencies for locating such a family and to obtain all necessary permissions. That was a lengthy process and the author also has to get involved deeply, with his wife. The author had got so much attached to Bhima that he himself wanted to adopt him. But his age was 60 and that makes him question himself whether it would be correct to do so. His sense of helplessness and loss makes heartrending reading. A Danish couple was finally found suitable and they made a visit to India. The last part of the book deals with the visit, and the arrangements for sending Bhima away with them and describes the sense of utter loss and shock of the author and his wife and the pains suffered by Bhima also. The book ends on a happier note when the author visits Denmark and finds Bhima had ended up in the house of loving, young parents with a big network of friends and family who all had taken to Bhima and he had also settled down in his new home.
A wonderful book indeed!

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