Ours – by choice!

We are adoptive parents. We adopted a baby girl in 1993 from Vatsalya, an agency in Kanjur. My daughter Rashmi recently turned 25 years. She is a Textile Designer working in Raymonds.  And she is now poised to go to London College of Arts for further studies.

Recently as a part of my HR consultancy work I was approached to help set up comp structure, job grades, policy manuals, org chart etc. When I came to know the NGO who needs that support is Vatsalya, I told them I will be privileged to work for them and will do so au gratis: as Rashmi’s smiles for past 25 years have put me in a debt to Vatsalya which I can never repay.

Life has come a full circle: and I am back in Vatsalya after 25 years. That led to some long drives down memory lane, looking at old papers and photos. One of the things I came across was a letter we had written to a known couple who were prospective adoptive parents. Their questions were:

  • why did we adopt?
  • why a girl?

The old letter Rashmi…Ours – by choice! I had written still rings true. And I  reproduce it here as my next blog.

Be forewarned this is longer than my normal 1000 words limit. But I earnestly exhort you to read it fully.  This would give you some fresh insights into parenthood – be it natural, like yours or adoptive, like ours.

QUOTE

Our decision to adopt a child was necessitated by our need to become parents, to be called Baba & Aai, to be loved and depended upon. Having completed 12 years of marriage, we knew we would never become natural parents. Initial period of marriage began with a positive choice not to go in for parenthood very early. When we started feeling the need to call someone our very own, parenthood eluded us.  Normal round of doctors – allopathic, ayurvedic and homeopathic – did not help. Neither of us were interested in faith-cures and religious solutions. Some tension did mount.

Every new doctor, every new suggestion added to tension. Will this work? Somewhere down the road, we decided not to try any longer. There was the occasional snide remark, the purposeful probing question. But both of us had reconciled enough with our state to not care. Being self-content and not overtly social must have helped us. During this period the idea of adoption took seed.

Vinita had worked in an adoption center. So the concept was not alien. We began to discuss it with one another off & on. The driving force was a shared view – we want a baby. The main question was – were we prepared? were we willing to change our life-style? were we ready to abnegate our concerns and our personalities?  would be be able to adjust? could we take the responsibility? were we prepared?

This phase dragged on for quite a while. Both of us are strong willed, with firm views, not very compromising on personal matters. Hence these discussions were held again & again. At no stage did the question of societal acceptance bother us. Why should it? Why care for others? It was to be our own decision. We were to make it work. How much time do we spend with others? Are we truly ourselves in company? The inner self is bared to so very few that we both were sure that how “others will react” was not worth worrying about.We should do it if we want it. What others feel is not really relevant in such an important matter.

The only others we were both worried about were our parents. Their acceptance of the child was important. Social legitimacy would stop there. If they accepted the child as a part of the family – we would be very happy. For ourselves. But more for the child. We concluded that only the grandparents were important. Cousins, brothers, sisters, uncles, nephews, aunties, etc should also accept the child. But if they don’t we will love the child more and make up the loss/gap. How much time do all other relatives spend with us anyway? The apriori, predominant position was of grandparents.

r3

r4

So we decided that they would be the only people with whom we would discuss. Share. All others we would only inform.  Their opinion would not concern us overly. Our parents, individually, we did talk to. And we did not get any major objection. No: what are you doing? how can you think like this? Only there was : why don’t you wait some more? try some more? Politely we said no. And, with strength morally doubled, went on ahead.

During this period we had found out that 10% of couples are childless. We were far from alone. Now came the question – girl or boy? Unanimously the choice was a girl. What are girls made of? Sugar and spice and all that is nice. Boys? Nails and frogs! Both of us were convinced that girls are far more affectionate and giving of their own selves. Our view. Maybe right, maybe wrong. Why should we adopt a boy? To carry one’s name? What is that? carry it where? After one is no more, does it matter? And who guarantees how that name will be carried on? Polished or tarnished? Who can say? Did my parents conceive me with the express desire to carry on their name? I don’t think so. I happened. Whether I polish or tarnish their name is a matter of chance. Did they really plan it all? Do they have control?

Children, beyond an age, will be independent. They will do as they damn well please. If you like it, good for you. If you don’t, well… How many “own” children have lived their life only for their parents? What lineage, what name do they care to carry forward? So why should we think that the adopted child will be any different? We can well imagine that that child too could turn out an iconoclast, a misanthrope, what-have-you. But is a natural child any guarantee against this? a big question mark, best left to unravel itself.

rash6

So the conclusion was boys are nothing special, but girls surely are. And what we were doing, let us not forget, was purely for our own selves. To fulfill our own need. Our desire. So why expect any return? Give the child the best possible for you. And that should include the freedom to think. The freedom to spurn you. The freedom to spite you- if she feels you have stolen her true heirloom. Whatever it might have been. Have we all not thought, as children, that actually these people – who claim to be my Pa & Ma – are not really my Mother & Father. My parents are really Kings and Queens who will come one day and rescue me from all the misery that these normal, average people hood) are putting me through. By adopting a child are you doing any favour? Are you going to deny the child the right to despise you? We both were clear, we are doing what we are doing, for ourselves. In no way can we abridge the rights of the child. And if the child grown up to hate us for what we did- we must accept it. Que Sera Sera.

So why adopt at all?  Because we have too much and we want to share. We have a need to hold a tiny being and call it our own. Because we feel we will get a lot of joy from that small bundle. Because social consciousness demands a return price for all all that we have, and asks for the right of all who do not have. Can we not begin with a small, infinitesimal impact?

Vinita and I were not born in one house. If we could decide to come together and share with each other, why not one more in the house with whom we can share? And so we went out and chose. Chose a sweet, innocent child. Rashmi. A ray. A ray of happiness. A ray of joy. A ray of light. A small bundle of love. The greatest gift we have given to each other. Ever. Forever.

r1

She will of course have to be told that she is adopted. All recent literature recommends that. Told at a time when she can take it. Very, very difficult to decide. But we will face it when it comes. But we will tell her. Tell her she was not born from Vinita’s womb, but she is our own.  Tell her we have tried to give her what we could. Tell her to forgive us for what we could not. Tell her she is free. Free to continue to stay with us if she wants. Or leave , if she feels that is her path of happiness. But above all, tell her we wanted her. Only her. So we chose her. Only her. Tell her that we love her very much. Tell her of our need for her. Tell he she is very special. Very dear. Very very close to her. Tell her we would like her to love us back. If she wants. And we pray she wants us. As much as we want her.

Society at large still may not understand. Either our need. Or our decision. Some people do come and ask questions. Questions like: what will happen to her in school? Will other children torture her? Our answer is : we hope not. But children may taunt. We hope our love for her will give Rashmi the confidence to say: I am possibly loved far more than any one of you are. Questions like what will happen at the time of her marriage? our answer: Have we jeopardized her fate? Have we reduced her chances? Have we created complications for her? We are sure we have not harmed her interests in any way.  And as a free independent being, she is sure to have a fate and a will of her own. Who are we to interfere with either her will or her fate? We are just beggars of her affection. Happy to receive, if she wills it. And adjust we must, if she wills it not. Life is larger than all 3 of us. But for us, she is all.

R&V

Legally we are her parents. But legality? what is it?  Emotions are far more important. And in emotions  we are trying our level best to give her everything. Everything we can. That may not be much. But it is all we have.

Somerset Maugham had said that life is such a curious game that if you demand too much from it, you normally get it. We hope we are able to give Rashmi that confidence to demand and get whatever she wants from life. We are only incidental in providing her with a base. But she is all. She is important. And she needs to understand that she needs to only demand, and life will run forward to give it to her.. That is our hope for her. And our only prayer. For her. Amen.

UNQOUTE

convo 2

As I read all that I had written 25 years ago: I feel good that we have done our part and Rashmi has truly flowered as an independent, confident woman of the world. Our decision to adopt 25 years ago felt right. And even now it feels right.  Rashmi has proven true to her name: a ray of sunshine, full of promise and potential.

Bon Voyage Rashmi: continue to learn & grown in the new environs of London : vikibaba

rash3

60 Replies to “Ours – by choice!”

  1. Simply speechless sir. Hat’s off to you and Rashmi mam.. Rashmi is blessed in all ways.. She is lucky to have parents like you.. True love and care and a very special bond between parents and daughter…

    Like

    1. Thanks Poonam
      When we adopted Rashmi many told us she is lucky
      in some ways yes
      I slept in an AC room first when I was 25; I flew first when I was 17/18; I went abroad first when I was in my 30s
      Rash has slept in ac rooms from her birth; she first flew when she was 2.5 years old and went to Singapore for a holiday when she was 10
      But still I feel Vinita and I are the truly lucky ones
      she has brought such joy in our lives that we are truly blessed
      I was fortunate to spend lots of time with her when she was small
      every evening I was in town 530 pm to 730 pm was time in the garden with R
      I still treasure those memories
      Life is Good
      we all 3 are blessed

      Like

  2. Boss
    Beautifully expressed your feelings.
    I read it several times, and each time I remembered my daughter, while reading it.
    Superb.
    You gave words to my feelings too, towards my daughter.
    Wassalam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Asim miya
      many many thanks for your comments
      Human condition is same and so in my story lurks your experience and vise versa
      when I wrote the piece I was trying to answer some one’s question about adoption
      but when I re-read the piece now I realise it is more about being a parent
      and letting your child grow independent and free
      and that desire is the same for all of us
      Mualaikumsalaam

      Like

  3. Vikas, this is outstanding, true story of love and care you and your wife wanted to give to Rashmi. It is difficult for you to adopt child as your own and for a child to accept you as parents when she is told. You have taken complete care in bringing Rashmi up in life and making her start new journey of life in London. We Wish Her All the Best! Kelkars

    Like

    1. Thanks Doc. In some ways adopting was like falling in love. Before doing it we were very apprehensive. Once we did it : it was most natural and fulfilling.
      Thanks for your good wishes to R

      Like

  4. Lovely…..brought tears to my eyes…..hope and pray that many more derive courage from this experience……I strongly believe that adoption is a win.win for both the parents and the kids. Stay blessed rashmi vikas and vinita. Also while you are on the subject you should also write another piece on.you telling her about her adoption and her lovely reaction to it

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    1. Thanks Preeti. While this is a personal journey yes we all learn from others and so I too hope we increase adoption in the country and that would happen by influencing opinions of our near and dear ones. Indeed it is a win win situation for the parents as well as the child and our personal experience taught us that the joys are limitless and keep flowing.
      Rashmi’s reaction to the news about her adoption was indeed inspirational and another great teaching moment. will certainly write about it sometime
      keep writing in and following my blogs: every writer loves a reader

      Like

  5. Thank you Vikas for forwarding the blog link.
    I have read it completely and understood you and Vahini, more that what I knew earlier. You two are simply great human beings. I am surely lucky to be your Friend – I take liberty to say this rater than merely saying colleagues.
    Nothing makes our day more than a word of positivity from some one real, known and a dear one; specially from a person whom you treat to matter the most. Thank you for taking out time to send blog link. This meant a lot to me and truly inspiring to go that extra mile in life.
    Your blog will surely go long way to motivate the couples in similar situation or even otherwise.
    I must admit, too often people only complain about situations or people they encounter. You are one of those few who believe in own rational thinking, positive outcome and act objectively. This needs good heart, open approach and positive attitude.
    I take liberty to forward this blog to few other people who I believe will love to read this.
    Thanks again; Hope to see you soon in person.

    Like

    1. Sudeep my friend
      many thanks for writing such lovely words. Even in Kalwa Works Siemens when we worked together I was always attracted to your positive outlook and your never say die persistence.I always considered you a friend whom I felt I should get to know better.
      Life has taught me to 1) accept reality and 2 ) to be solution oriented. I never believed in moping around and cursing fate. I believed that Fate and Destiny are made collectively by the tiny steps we take daily. The decision to adopt and all that followed in the last 25 years has been in this direction.
      Rashmi has been a great teacher for me and Vinita. Her constant challenge of “what is” theru a lens of “what can be” has guided us thru many twists and turns.
      I can only say we are doubly blessed because of our family and friends. Do stay in touch. And look FW to meeting you when you are next in India

      Like

  6. Vikas I have not had the privilege of meeting either Your wife or your daughter but I feel know them through this fabulously well done tale from the heart.my best wishes to Rashmi for a very successful career and to you both for being who you are and proud to be your friend

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    1. Marcel
      many thanks for your kind words my friend
      Yes this was indeed an outpouring from the heart
      and I am pleased that it has touched so many chords in so many hearts
      Human condition is similar
      Our problems and concerns are similar
      if only we learnt to leverage each other’s learnings: life would be more enjoyable
      that is where friends come in
      you can speak your mind
      and you know they will understand
      thanks for being in my life

      Like

  7. Dear Vikas, this is a flash down memory lane of our association which happened more by accident than design. This letter is written with a lot of love and though these are your words I feel it has also captured the emotions of Vinita. I know you’ll will miss her for the year she is away as she has brought so much love and action to your lives. God bless Rashmi and I am sure she will do well.

    Like

    1. Rupesh Uncle, Greek God Adonis, Extended family member Rupster
      How can I forget the memories which cloud so fast and easily
      I always resented the fact that Rashmi considered you closer to her than even me
      she was always sharing things with you which we as parents did not know
      and you have been a pillar of support and love
      not only for Rashmi Vinita and me
      but even my parents when they were around
      and my sisters and nieces even now
      You have been around in all our family events and all love you and your easy going ways
      “lagna tondwar ala ahe” and Zyntac have become iconic memories due to you being there

      Rashmi is fortunate to have people like Rupesh uncle
      thanks a ton for being our ONLY and TRUE FAMILY FRIEND
      (difficult to decide between Vinita Rash me who likes you more)

      Like

  8. First of all, the pics are all nice! Rashmi is beautiful, love the spark in her eyes! God bless her.

    Had tears in my own eyes though, you know why. Yes, parenthood is a lovely journey. But with adoption it is even more special. Even though there are no food cravings, morning sickness, labor pains, stretch marks, Caesarian scars, lactating issues – the pain, sweat and stress involved are no less. A child is a full time duty for 20+ years and continues even after that. Making that kind of commitment, consciously, without any guarantee of family/friend acceptance, requires the heart of a lion and humility of a saint. Hence I have immense respect for such parents.

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    1. Nilu
      well said
      It is a long and tumultuous journey and one which never ends
      even at 55 I was small child for my parents
      and the saga continues
      with R I sometimes think it is just beginning…!!!!????
      the challenges and roller coaster rides are for a life time

      The family/friend acceptance part gets rolled away in a second when the child smiles
      and comes running to hug you and
      then run away again

      Life is Good
      and am sure it will become better and better

      Like

  9. Vikas,
    A very straight from the heart message.
    This is one of the best pieces I have ever read on adoption and parenthood.
    Thanks, it expanded my horizons.
    All the best to Rashmi for her higher studies in London.
    Keep writing!

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    1. Vikas: Your write – up was extremely touching and clearly from the heart. Very often, we take what we are truly blessed with for granted. Your words reminded us all to be more grateful for what we have and that it is so precious!
      God Bless.

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      1. Dear Venky. Thanks for your kind words. Yes we often take what we have for granted. Life should be lived with a full sense of gratitude for what we have and what we receive daily. I keep remembering the friends and well wishers we have and that humbles me no end.
        Stay blessed. Pl do stay in touch

        Like

    2. Vish Zahe Naseeb Zahe Karam
      Thanks for your good wishes for Rashmi
      I got into blogging bery late
      But I do enjoy it a lot now
      Bless me so that I continue to tickle the brains and curiosity of my readers

      Like

  10. Dear Vikas,
    How time flies. It was as if the other day only when I had accompanied you two to the Old Custom House to put in my DHOBI mark ( a jargon from the Air Force) on some papers!! 25 years have gone and the fruit, those of love, nurturing and upbringing by Vinita and you have blossomed into today’s Rashmi. I remember Rashmi as a very intelligent child and her natural bent of mind as an artist. I am glad that she has chosen the vocation that she loves most. We were happy to know that she is going to pursue higher studies in her field of choice in London. Her success is Vinita’s and yours. What else is happiness? With best wishes to all of you.

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    1. Dear friend SD
      true that Rashmi’s success is our main source of joy now.
      Time has indeed flown
      But it feels good that solid good friends like you are still around to encourage and bless us
      Atul ws a fab place for the early growing up years of Rashmi
      and I ever remain grateful for the Lalbhais’ creation of a unique “green heaven on earth”

      When R was in 7 or 8th std she once told Vinita
      Dont ask me about my marks in school
      I will never fail
      but I will not slog and mug like other children
      I want to be an artist
      and all this history geography and science and maths will not help me
      so I dont care how I fare in school exams
      I want to be an artist

      This when she was still in early teens
      that girl had complete clarity of thought

      I am fortunate that we were able to cater to her dreams and desires

      she embarks on a big step now
      good wishes from people like you are very much required
      thanks for giving them so completely

      Like

  11. Dear Vikasdada,

    U write amazing, truly inspiring…
    Daughters are blessings. They bring so much happiness to your life and make you the happiest person than you have ever been..
    I can truly correlate your feelings fir daughters… for myra..

    Like

    1. Sonalini
      thanks for your words of encouragement
      Beauty of this piece is that I wrote it 25 years ago
      while preparing some papers for Rashmi’s visa I chanced on the old manuscript
      when I read it I realised it is current even now
      So I only typed it up
      But it is arguably one of my best pieces
      as it tells a story which is sanatan, times immemorial

      Daughters are indeed magic
      with love to Myru

      Like

  12. It is a heart touching narration of your journey towards fulfilment of a need which is so natural to all of us. But the way you have handled it 25 years ago is amazing. I always struggle to find answer to the basic question as to what is the deciding factor in life, destiny or free will. One answer comes from your writing that destiny is what you get from life and free will is how you deal with it. You did it with so much awareness and that is extraordinary in my thinking. I always knew that you are enlightened , this straight from the soul article confirms it. We all are mortal but our acts can become immortal and this is that. Regards H C Panjikar

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HCP
      thanks for your comments
      I really liked the way you have linked free will and destiny
      possibly intuitively, without conscious thought we did just that
      At that time one did not think very philosophically or rationally
      but the heart always knows the right way
      and Vinita and I were guided by our hearts
      and our emotions
      and you know we have always been very emotional beings

      Life take us up and down many roller coasters
      gives you varying experiences
      But if you keep your face to the Sun
      and use the compass of the heart
      you will always end up on the brighter side
      and best of all you would be accompanied by many fellow travellers who understand and support you
      I value that
      I truly value your friendship and support

      Like

  13. What a beautiful, emotional and poetic letter. You epitomize and live every spiritual aspiration that we as humans aspire to. So balanced, so virtuous, so free of all wants and demands. Truly selfless in what you are willing to let go and in a way selfish for the affection that you give. No fuss, all heart. Simple, straight and with feeling. Privileged to be your friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. VJ
      many many thanks for your lovely words
      Getting friends like you has been my main “earning” from life’s journey
      all of you have made the travel very smooth and enjoyable
      and a learning rich experience
      Thanks for being my friend

      Like

  14. Vikas Ji,

    Naman To You..

    What you did is truly inspiring..
    I am sure, post reading your article many will be inspired to take up adoption without hesitation.

    Salute To You for being completely honest in your thoughts while penning down this article..

    Rashmi, will be an ideal daughter for sure.. You have shared / showered natural love to her.

    God Bless Parents Like You And I sincerely hope more and more parents gets motivated by reading your post.

    Pronam To You and Bhabhi and Also To Both parents – Yours And Bhabhi’s.

    Love And Respect
    Abhijit Kumar Nag Choudhury

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Abhijit bhai
      you are more than kind

      Human life is full of contradictions and challenges
      and gives you an opportunity to test yourself against some strong currents
      what matters at the end is not whether you won or lost; but truly how you played the game
      and in this process you realise that the support of family and friends is critical for you to move forward
      Yes our parents were truly great ( I say were as I have lost both my parents and Vinita has lost her Father now; her mother is quite old now)
      We could not have moved ahead without their blessings and they were solidly behind us
      all my sisters and their family; Vinita’s brother and his wife
      Atul community where Rashmi spent first 6 years of her life
      Each and everyone solidly supported us
      and so the journey was very easy

      We were privileged to counsel many prospective adoptive parents in taking the decision to adopt
      as it is not a easy one
      and we have seen happiness and joy blossom in multiple homes

      So all in all today we feel like the proverbial beggar who asked for a piece of bread
      and the Kings and Queens all around like you
      fed him punch pakwan
      and made him trupt

      we are more than satisfied
      and hunger only for the love and affection of those around us

      So thanks Abhijit bhai for your blessings and love

      Like

  15. Its straight and pure from the heart without frills & arromated flavours on paper backs .
    A live reality so carefully planned and so meticulously thought out for lives in need of love that’s devoid of the bleakest desires of any , any form of materialistic gains .
    An ideal comprisòn of two unknown individual’s accommodating and adjusting thru marriage for life is quite thought provoking breaking some of the societal barriers on adoption and associated subconscious conflicts of its basic clarity thereby helping it reson to understand .
    A strong thought emerges as why not a world forum like Rotary International seriously drive a concept may be called” Love Sharing ” . If RI could drive out Polio from earth, why not give a Home to an innocent chlid in want.
    Give the child a life away from charity with sympathy .
    Super . Inspiring . A contribution towards “Making Homes”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ram
      you have taken the whole subject to an esoteric level
      But i love the idea of a Rotary of any other strong body driving the concept of Sharing Love and Making Homes Whole

      There are so many children who are being abandoned for no fault of theirs
      and have to face the struggle and ignominy of adoption
      If some agency can smoothen this process we will create much more happiness and joy in the world

      Thanks for seeding this thought
      let us see how we can fructify this

      Like

  16. Dear sir,
    I was privileged to spend initial few years with Rasmi and you both parents during her early childhood.the kind ogf live and affections wevshared was memorable .your parenting is amazing ..hats off to you sir..
    Baraiya .

    Like

    1. Yes those were fabulous days
      we were a large family
      and I can never forget when I asked Rashmi what will she do if suddenly we are not there
      equally with ease she replied I will go and stay and Baraiya uncle’s house
      the love you and Ilaben gave her has given her a piyar in Gujrat
      the brotherly love of Smit and Jay is unparalled
      and now that goes to the next Gen with Priyanka and Ira
      The largeness of heart was all around us
      and so we always felt Rashmi was not our child alone…. she endeared herself to all of Atul
      and Baraiya family still continues to dominate her heart and mind
      thanks for being in our lives

      Like

  17. When I was reading, I was able to feel each and every emotions you went through at that time. There was an exceptional clarity and I was totally engrossed.
    This will definitely help couples who are thinking about adoption.
    Very few people impact others and I am glad I know you. May God shower your family with happiness forever!

    Like

    1. Anuradha
      thanks a ton
      since we have felt and gone through it all the same got repeated in my words
      hence the clarity
      what I feel great about is that what I wrote 25 years ago still rings abs true
      and I would not like to change a word about what I wrote
      Thanks for your kind words and your good wishes
      do stay in touch

      Like

  18. Shirodkar Sab,
    I really feel proud to have known to a person like you. Though child is a need of every married couple but you need to have a big a very large heart to adopt some one and to love. Its is very nice from both of you that Rashmi is brought up by you, being loved more than your own child. This is what Raja Janaka did it with Mata Sita. As you said you both husband and wife came from two different families. Rashmi is one more from third family. I am sure whole world can fit into your heart. You both are truely a perfect example for a say “Vasudaiva Kutumbakam”. Rashmi is as lucky as both of you. Wah what a great feeling. God bless all three of you.

    Like

    1. Vinod
      thanks a lot for your comments
      when you are doing something you do it without thinking of the implications and the future impact
      but later when all turns out well you realise that your heart/intuition/feelings drove you in the right direction
      our decision to adopt was one such point in our lives

      often I feel decisions are not good or bad
      it is how you manage the aftermath that make the decision right or wrong
      Rashmi has been a great person with maturity well beyond her years
      and I always have told my friends who called Rashmi lucky
      that truly it was we who lucked out

      Life has been good
      and with well wishers and friends like you
      we are sure it will continue to be good

      thanks for your good wishes

      Like

  19. I think this is truly inspirational. Your journey that began 25 years ago,with a bursting desire to hear Ma- Papa .This journey is taking new wings!flying off to a new horizon to be a fine example of what -one honest , love filled decision can result in.Wishing you Mrs. and Mr. Shirodhkar a lot of happiness, as you both watch your little Ray of Light (Rashmi) to become a Beacon of ‘love and hope ‘ wherever she’s planted. I pray she may stand tall as a Light house guiding each one and many !

    Like

    1. Sarah
      many thanks for your comment and kind words
      Very true that what began in a small way has reached amazing heights today
      Rashmi has turned into a very mature lady with clear thoughts
      I am sure she will stand tall and remember her social debt and inspire and lead others
      we ourselves feel proud that we have motivated at least 5 couples to overcome their fear and hesitation and go ahead and adopt children
      It is indeed a great feeling

      one unfulfilled dream for me personally: I always wanted a sister or brother for Rashmi
      but Vinita was not ready to make another major commitment- both emotional and physical .
      By the time R was 5/6 we both were already into mid 40s and were scared we would not be able to do justice to another child
      anyway, such is life
      that dream will go with me to my grave

      Like

  20. Thanks for sharing Sir. Quite insightful for all parents especially on the fact that what we do for our children are for our joy. Reciprocation from them is incidental and if we understand that in letter and spirit, life would be quite peaceful.

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    1. Amit
      very true indeed
      You reminded me of my favorite author John Fowles words
      If there was a God, his second act would be to disappear

      unfortunately we are so much smaller than God, but we want to continue to play God
      in our children’s lives; in our offices and with colleagues; with our subordinates; with our relatives
      if we learn to let go: life would indeed be diffrent

      Like

  21. Dear Vikas
    I have read your old and new letters as well your bon voyage message to Rashmi when she is going to London. You and Vintage are fortunate to have proper understanding and clarity of thought visa vis adoption which has given happiness which you deserve. All adoptive parents wish happiness however circumstances and understanding between time of adoption
    and another 20 to 25 years give varying satisfaction to adoptive parents and adopted child

    Like

    1. Kanubhai
      very correct
      the challenge always to keep growing; keep changing; keep current
      as soon as you get stuck on the journey: then a host of expectations and pains come in

      We have let Rashmi decide for herself
      and that has made a big diffrence

      and finally about happiness
      I believe the door to happiness is closed from inside
      only you can open it
      and let the joy flood in

      Like

  22. Bravo Vikas & Vinita we are very Proud of you.You are both very kind hearted & genuine people.
    I agree with you absolutely one should not bother about what people say.People are judgemental any way & will always pass remarks.
    As the famous saying goes,” You laugh & the World laughs with you.BUT when you cry, you cry alone”
    I know a lot of people in my family &friend circle who have done the same.In this materialistic World it is difficult to find such lovely people like you.Am proud to have a friend like you.May God bless Rashmi & may all her cherished desires be fulfilled.She is very lucky to have such fantastic,loving & affectionate parents.May this wonderful Shirodkar family be Blessed always.Ameen!

    Like

    1. Ameen dear friend
      subah subah rula diya tumne
      we were lucky to have great family and friends’ support to guide and help us through our journey
      and these friends and family still stand so strongly with us that it has never felt difficult to walk the path
      be with us always
      thanks for your love

      Like

  23. This piece has moved something inside me …can not explain here …will attempt when we meet.
    The letter was a flash-forward and the 25 years gone by are a flashback. The two have matched perfectly !! This is indeed a miracle !!!

    My love for the Shirodkars keeps getting stronger with every connect …and now this masterpiece brings back the respect and admiration many times over!

    Wishing Rashmi the very best in her life ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amol
      what can I say?
      pl read my reply to Yasmin: she and her family knows us and our family since I was in 1st std!!!
      Also see the Einstein quote I have mentioned in my reply to Sharmaji
      I have nothing more to say
      i am convinced someone up there likes us a lot that he has placed such beautiful people like Yasmeen and you and Sharmaji and so many others in our lives
      29th was my Father’s birth anniversary
      were he alive he would have been 90 years
      while it was an imp day for the family: imagine our joy when Vijay Wilankar sends his good wishes for Baba’s birthday….and that too 20 years after I left J&J…Allah miyan ka lakh lakh sukrgujar hun ki aise log hame mile
      stay in touch and continue to bless us with your presence

      Like

  24. It is so touching, it left me speechless. It touched the heart, mind, everything possible which exist. It is great responsibility to bring up a kid with zero expectation.

    Kudos to parents!! Best wishes for Rashmi

    Like

    1. Thanks Puja
      It is difficult but not impossible
      and then whatever you get in rturn is manna from heaven and leaves you fully in gratitude
      I am blessed to have family and friends who have enabled me to walk this path

      Like

  25. This insight changed the approach towards the LIFE for me. Blessed to know the one more quality of PARENTS.
    And came to learned one more live book.The name of the book is VIKASSHIRODKAR .

    Like

    1. Dost
      aaj mai bhi jo kuch ban paaya hun
      it is because of help and support from so many thousands of other people
      who guided me from time to time
      I take great inspiration from Einstein who had said…”A hundred times a day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the measure as I have received and am still receiving.”
      -If this is what Albert Einstein felt…hum log kis zhad ki patti hai…..

      Like

    1. Vivek
      I have always worn my heart on my sleeve
      and I have found life much easier to live that way

      Life has been good my friend in creating a very conducive and congenial environment of great friends like you who have encouraged me to stay on the path

      Denarya che haat hazaron
      Dubali mazi zholi

      Like

  26. मातृपितृकृताभ्यासो गुणितामेति बालकः । न गर्भच्युतिमात्रेण पुत्रो भवति पण्डितः ।।

    As the Sanskrit Shloka says, The child doesn’t become learned just by being born. Child becomes qualified when parents pass on life lessons to her.
    Being an open and affectionate parents you have made Rashmi a very learned student of a discipline called LIFE. You have made her bold and ready to handle life as it comes.

    Kudos to the parents of RASHMI!

    Like

    1. Amit
      thanks for your encouraging words
      with Rashmi we have always been in a mutual learning relationships
      what she has given and taught us in 25 years cannot be underplayed
      and of course we have become so much richer in the process
      we are privileged to have a network of friends and well wishers like you and Vivek which keeps us going
      Continue to bless us

      Like

      1. So thoughtful and touching feelings to parents like us. Our very best wishes to Rashmi for further studies !

        Like

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