“Maya took her last breath the moment her baby was born. But who are you?…why do you want to know about her?” The nurse asked me.
“…because I’m Maya.”
It took me 20 long years to remember everything that had happened in my previous life. Yes, I am the re-incarnation of Maya. My name in this life, is Sneha. My parents say I was only 5 years old when for the first time I uttered this name. I made a sketch of her and took it to my Mom saying it was me. She laughed it off, but that couldn’t stop me; I would write my name as Maya in primary school and at times I even spoke in heavy Marwari accent. All this got my parents worried; they took me to many psychiatrists, but none could help.
I remembered my house in Mayapur village, Rajasthan, when I was 15 years old. I was named after that village. We were very poor; I never went to school. I remembered Maasa( my Mother) and my three sisters; I was the eldest of them all. That life was nothing unusual, yet I strongly felt that I needed to know something; there has to be a reason why I can’t leave that life behind. I wanted to visit my village to find that out, but my parents refused to take me there; rather they told me to forget about it, which was out of my hands.
I had got married at the age of 17 in my previous life. We were leading a happy and peaceful life until my husband died a year after our marriage. I was pregnant with our child then. It was then when I met this nurse and she got me a job at the hospital where she was working. I worked here as a housekeeping staff. The last thing I remembered about my previous life was this hospital. I remembered all this on my 18th Birthday.
What an eventful year it was! A month later, my parents told me that I was adopted. I thought I would be able to accept it with time, but in reality I couldn’t; I was tired of all the nasty games life had been playing with me. I came to Delhi for further studies…
“Whatever you told me about Maya and her life is true, no doubt about it. I knew her very well as she used to stay in my house after her husband passed away. I was even present during her delivery. I saw her die giving birth to her child.” The nurse said, cutting me off while I was narrating my story to her.
“I went to my village, Mayapur, but I couldn’t find Maasa and my sisters…even the house is not there. I don’t really know why I came here chasing my past, but I feel like I still don’t know something…” I paused and hesitated a bit before asking,” Do you know where my child is? How old is he…or she?”
She smiled and said,” It’s she…Maya gave birth to a girl, but I don’t know where she is. The last thing I knew was that the baby was handed over to an orphanage in Chandigarh.”
“Chandigarh! that’s my city!” I exclaimed.
“Oh! is it? you know…I even called up that orphanage to check if the baby was okay. They said it was against their policy to give out any information about kids, but at my request they confirmed that she was adopted by a family. I was relieved. I never tried to know about her again.”
“When was she born?” I asked her.
“19th May, 1997…It was past midnight as far as I can remember.”
It’s my birthday; I was born at 12:40 A.M, and at the same time Maya died giving birth to her child. I swallowed hard. I was adopted from an orphanage in Chandigarh. Was all this just coincidence?
Who am I? Maya?…her child?…or both?
– Chirasree, a dreamer