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Memories of a Little Girl Called Dolly (V)

One day, Dolly came running to our home and put her arms around Mom’s legs and started crying. When she was pacified by Mom and made to sit on her favourite stool in our home, she said, “They are calling me bad and dirty. They also say that I am useless and will make them spend money, marry and leave. Ronak will earn money and take care of us all.”

Mom asked, “Where?”

She replied, “At home.”

So Mom took her back to her home to find out what happened. A woman had come to their house. Dolly’s mother said, “Ronak complained that everybody loves Dolly. Nobody likes him. So this aunty said that Dolly is dirty and bad, to soothe him.”

Mom asked, “Do you realize what effect that is having on Dolly?”

Dolly’s grandmother blamed, “You began the whole thing by loving her more.”

Mom replied, “I will love any baby, who comes to meet me. It is your responsibility to convince Ronak.”

After some more argument, she realized her mistake.

The woman asked, “Why do you let the child go to this woman? There are 30 more flats in your building.”

Dolly’s grandmother said, “She is our Chati Mata. There was an 8 months old child called Rinku. She was born after 2 boys and post a lot of Santoshi Mata Vrat. The mother had also gone to Vaishno Devi requesting a girl child. Due to the mistake of her mother, the girl was burnt by washing soda water. She was burnt 35%. But the doctor told her mother to keep her at home. Everybody went there. The doctor told everyone to leave. He had given an injection to her and gave an ointment to apply. He had said that she would fall asleep in 1 hour. But she kept crying. This girl also was a regular in their home. The husband and wife brought the child out and starting crying loudly. The mother lamented, ‘I have killed Rinku with my own hands.’

“Then Mummy Aunty ran to the girl and held her in one hand to move her up and down so that she got cool air and the burning was reduced. She kept saying, ‘My Rinku Rani is fine. She will be alright soon.’ She would be silent when she moved her hand. When the movement stopped, she would start crying again loudly. Mummy Aunty was holding her in the right hand. She could not change the hand also, for fear that the hand might touch the burns. For 1 ½ hours, she did this with some relief to the little girl. She did not fall asleep. If someone else would try to take her also she would cry. So everybody said that let her be will her Mimmy. (She would call her Mimmy) Mummy Aunty told them to go to the hospital since her 2 daughters were expected back from school and her hand had become numb. They were thinking how that would happen. Then Mummy aunty told them to get a wooden plank. On this she made them place saris made into an oval ring and use one cotton dupatta like a swing so that it would not touch her burnt skin. That way they took her in a taxi to the hospital. In fact the taxi driver kept the doors of the taxi open. A boy from our building went with them on a motorbike in front to tell people to move away since they were taking a patient. Luckily they took her to a hospital nearby. 3 days later, when they returned home, Rinku’s mother took her to Mummy Aunty and gave the child to her saying ‘You are our Chati Mata.’ Since then she is our Chati Mata. Dolly herself made her friendship with her. Mummy Aunty comes even in her dreams. We could not separate them. Dolly is a nuisance to Mummy aunty. She remains with her for 24 hours and does not let her do any work. But she manages the girl and household work together saying that Dolly is my Vaishno Mata.”

To be continued…

About Gayatri T Rao

A double post-graduate (MSc. - Botany and MA - English Literature) Gayatri T Rao is a Senior Multimedia Journalist with vast experience in writing on varied topics.

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