Abandoning the Bundle

The darkness and the downpour were competing, as if to see who was creating more trouble to the poor dwellers of that run down village. The rains were definitely heavy, but heavier than that was the bundle she was carrying. Muttering a few cuss words when her big toe stubbed against a big rock lying along the road, she continued to heave the bundle and carry on, with her path illuminated only by the purpose in her mind. When she was awaiting the bundle, she expected nothing but joy from it, never even dreaming that one day she would part with it.

The lorry driven by a highly inebriated sardar had claimed all of her husband’s family and their impoverished shed they called home. She was strangely saved without even a scratch on her and now she was left to fend for herself and her little bundle that was supposed to be joyous. Not that she particularly loved any of them, but it was better when they were around. Loneliness and poverty did not seem so loud back then, and there was no way she could care for her little one all by herself. Finding a meal a day for a woman who refused to sell her body for food or money was tough as it is, she definitely did not want to rear her child to be another frail being living off the scraps of the better off. In those rare moments when she conversed with her Maker, she had always asked one question, were dreams only meant for the rich?

Squinting and struggling against the almost absent light from the halogen street lamp, she made sure she was going the right way. Just a few more moments and she would be there, but was she ready? How could a woman ever be ready to abandon her child just like that? Thoughts were aplenty going on in her mind, but the only comfort she had was that she was not leaving her child in the dustbin or on the road for beggars and dogs. This was a place she had heard about, children would be well looked after and if her child was lucky he would be adopted into a rich childless couple, and he would never have to slog through her life.

Then she saw the board, ‘Ammathottil’ and the welcoming sight of a comfortable cradle cushioned with soft down and protected by high steel barriers. There was no bigger comfort she could offer her son in his life. With a prayer that he would understand the reasons why his mother was leaving him there, she turned around, wiping away the single tear that fell and consoling herself that it was for his own good, she left, unseen, unheard and unknown.

The next morning at the Ammathottil would be a busy one, with a new child to be taken care of, with a few curses uttered for the heartless mother who abandoned such a sweet little baby boy.

Ammathottil (also called Amma Thottil in Malayalam, meaning Child Cradle) is an initiative brought up by the Kerala State Government under The Kerala State Council for Child Welfare. Ammathottil provides care and services for abandoned children.

Image Courtesy: Roobo69

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Writing to me is therapy, it frightens and comforts at the same time. Liberates like nothing else. A book in my own name is a dream, but a bigger dream would be to write something that haunts the reader even after the last page is turned and the book is shut. I enjoy reading and music, spending time with family whilst battling my social awkwardness.

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29 thoughts on “Abandoning the Bundle

    • I am glad my post touched you. About the amma thottil, the sad truth is that like all government funded welfare projects, they too are facing financial crunch. The good part is, many families come forward and adopt from these places, which ensures that the child would be looked after and loved.

  1. Your post a message to everyone who has the wrong notion that only illegitimate children are abandoned in Ammathottils. There are an equal number of poor and helpless mothers who are forced to leave their children in Ammathottil, hoping that they will get a good life worth living. Good post! Keep writing!

  2. Really sad that the woman had to part with the only thing that was right in her life. Nevertheless, its great that she thought of giving her child a future which she possibly could not (maybe). It breaks my heart to think about all those parents who cannot feed or provide for their children and do not know how.

    Good thing there are places like Ammathottil who take care of such children. God bless!
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    • Yes, we can blame them all we want for abandoning a child, but at least, it is better than ending the life of the child itself. Thank you Kajal 🙂

  3. It’s so sad that there’s that level of poverty and a mother becomes helpless and have to leave her child. Today only I heard fron a friend about a lady who’s begs for livelihood willing to leave her child for the childs better life. She don’t want her child to grow up in poverty and distress. Ammathottil is a very good initiative from gvt but there also they suffer from financial crisis.

  4. Bhavyakutty..that just made me cry.. It must be so hard for the mother to abandon her child..It must be so hard for a child to grow up without knowing the real reasons why he was left there..

    • I am glad Dee, that my post touched your heart. It truly must be unimaginably painful for the mother to leave the child, and for the child to grow up without ever getting that loving caress or a warm hug from his mother…. 🙁

  5. Hmmm. I like that initiative by the Kerela State Government, but I can’t find any sympathy in my heart for such mothers in our country. Having a child should be a well-thought-out decision. If parents are not financially, emotionally, mentally and physically fit enough to provide a good upbringing to the kid, they should not have one. Whatever her intentions and reasons behind abandoning her child, the child is probably going to grow up feeling abandoned and unwanted throughout his/her life.
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