An ode…

Taru

Taru stood crying in the corner

The place she was now destined to be

No one to wipe her tears

No one to hear her plea.

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All was so rosy and fun filled first five years.

Her parents showering their attention and love

Her grandma fulfilling her every whim

Time meted out to her at every juncture.

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Then her sister arrived.

Lata was meant to be her playmate… her everything.

But even at three she sat still

Lost in her world of the complex cartwheel.

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Autism… her papa said Lata had.

Would she still play with her…?

Like Ria’s little brother or Sohail’s little sister…?

Would Lata trail her and trouble her asking for her toys…?

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There were only questions with no answers.

Ma was busy all day with Lata’s activities and exercises.

Ma even cried at times and Taru was saddened.

Papa worked extra hours… for Lata’s treatment he said.

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Whom could she say anything now…?

Her tender childhood mind at eight knew nothing beyond play.

When would Lata be normal…? Or would she ever…?

When would ma and papa play with her again…?

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“You have to understand…” Ma said

“…can’t you keep quiet Taru…?” Papa scolded all the time.

“…Lata is dependent on you Taru…

 …you have to help her…” Grandma said

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But Taru meant tree and Lata would be that creeper growing on her…

Was that what grandma meant…?

Would she be a good sister…?

Was she selfish…?

  –Priya Nayak Gole

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