I for Identity

I

Wendy looked out of the window of the aircraft at the clouds coloured a vibrant orange by the setting sun. This shade of orange reminded her of saffron and India. The land which she had yearned to visit from the day she was informed that she was adopted. The day she had started calling her parents Tim and Delia instead of the loving mom and dad she had used till then. Her parents who had considered her the biggest blessing in their lives became her sworn enemies. Even though only thirteen at the time and the only connection she had to India was her physical appearance, she had decided that India was her home instead of the little village in England.

Mom and dad had weathered that particular storm with their characteristic equanimity. Even though Wendy had calmed down and carried on with her life, she never called them mom and dad again. Tim and Delia dealt with her problems and issues as they’d always done, with an abundance of love. They reprimanded her when she stepped too far over the line and although she fought like a wildcat with Delia over the most trivial issues, she was firmly yet gently shown her place as the child in the house and not an adult.

Years passed and Wendy clung on to her dreams of her land all through school and college. The day she turned eighteen, she decided to go to India in search of her roots. Tim and Delia shouldered most of the financial burden of her journey even though she protested vociferously. The final goodbye at the airport was an emotional one with the normally strong Delia breaking down. Wendy had dropped enough hints over the previous couple of months that she might stay on in India for an indefinite time. Tim held on to Wendy as if he could never let her go. Promising to call as soon as she landed and holding her own tears at bay, Wendy boarded the flight.

India had been an eye opener. It was a beautiful place with wonderful people but Wendy realised that she couldn’t identify with them. She didn’t feel at home. The land seemed alien and the people were strangers. Wendy had expected to feel an instant connect with the land of her dreams. But the only emotion she felt was intense homesickness. She missed her home, her parents and her friends. She was a tourist here and that’s all she could be. She could not drum up a scrap of longing for this country she had come to with such hopes. Two weeks seemed like a long time and she was overjoyed to board the plane for her return journey. She hadn’t informed her parents of her flight details. They weren’t even aware of her plans to come home so soon.

Tim and Delia were getting ready for church when they heard a car coming to a stop at their gate. Before Tim could utter a word, he heard a ear-splitting yell, ‘Mom ! Dad! I’m home !’  They rushed outside and were almost bowled over by Wendy in her eagerness to hug them. She just couldn’t stop crying with joy and relief that she had found her way home. Tim and Delia too had tears running down their cheeks. They were so happy that their love had brought their child back to them. Wendy sank into her parents’ embrace silently making a promise that she would never leave them again.

(This is part of the A to Z challenge, where the participants have to blog every day in April, excepting Sundays. The titles of the posts should start with different letters of the alphabet, starting with A on April 1st and moving on sequentially. The theme I’ve selected is Stories. Just hope I can keep up with the ‘march of the alphabets’)

 

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