Family is a gift that we are often ungrateful about. They are the only ones who stand by us through thick and thin. During the hardships of life, most people leave us to deal with those problems alone. Even in those dark times of our lives, our families hold on to us and help us get through. Lucky are the people who have a family to go back to. Some don’t even have a living soul to call their own.

Kabir was an eighteen years old boy, with a lovely family and a naughty but huge heart. His brother, Arjun, was five years elder to him. They both loved each other like anything in the world. One would often save the other’s ass from getting kicked. Mostly Arjun saving Kabir in silly fights with other kids but Kabir too would charm his way in front of their parents and get Arjun out of any trouble he would get in.

Kabir had finished his school and had applied for colleges in the nearby town. Arjun was giving his college finals and was going to be back home in a few days. Kabir being alone and mostly bored with the extra free time on hand went into his dad’s study to look for something interesting to read. His father was a self-made man. He was an orphan by birth. Without any parents or family, he rose from that to be a man on his own. His father knew that the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful man was education. So he taught himself by reading any and every book that he could get his hands on and knowing the power of books, he had a study full of them. Kabir couldn’t find any book of his preference so he started looking at his dad’s files in the desk. While going through the files, Kabir came across a file that was buried deep in one of the drawers labeled “Adoption Papers”.

He opened the file thinking it was his dad’s file but it didn’t look that old. He could barely understand anything written in the legal documents until he saw his own name written somewhere on the files. He couldn’t process it. The files were dated around his birthday. He was shocked. He placed back all the files the way he had taken them out. He wasn’t sure of telling his parents that he knew now he was adopted. He was always told he was the second child of the family that he was born to them. Kabir was not sure of what to do with this information. He wanted to talk to Arjun about it but he thought that crashing down such big news on his elder brother during his finals wasn’t the best idea. Kabir though of bottling up this information with him until Arjun was back home.

Kabir was bad with secrets and a secret this big was killing him. He held it up for a few days but soon the secret started playing with his mind. He saw his parents and thoughts like “they’re not his real parents” kept troubling him. One night, while eating dinner, his father noticed Kabir unusually quiet and asked him what had happened. He didn’t reply at first but his mother asked again and he snapped back saying, “Why do you care? Not like you’re my real parents.” On hearing this, his parents held back with shock and asked his what he was talking about. He told them that he had found out about it and had seen the proof. He gets up and leaves the table. His mother holds his father’s hand and hugs him.

They walk into Kabir’s room with tears in their eyes. Kabir too was crying but he didn’t do anything. He shouts and asked them why they never told him? His father sits next to him and said that they didn’t want him to feel like he didn’t belong here. He being an orphan himself knew what he had gone through and he didn’t want the same for Kabir. However, Kabir couldn’t make any sense of it. He wanted to make sense of it but his mind wasn’t letting him. He asked his parents to leave him alone for a while. They left the room with tears in their eyes and Kabir dug his face in the pillow and cried his eyes out.

His father never forgot where he came from. When he had become independent, he would go back to orphanage and would help them in whatever possible way her could. He made sure that at the first Sunday of every month, he would go there and give some of his income to help the children. It was at one of the events organized by the orphanage where his parents met each other for the first time. They met more often at the orphanage and later got married. They both kept going to the orphanage every month even after Arjun was born. One month, when Arjun was five years old, the whole family went to the orphanage. At that time, the orphanage wasn’t funded well and Kabir’s parents weren’t that well off either that he could fund it. The head warden of the orphanage came up to them and told them that a newborn child had been left in front of the orphanage. The baby had fever so they tried to help but the fever wasn’t coming down. Kabir’s father saw the child and saw an image of himself as an orphan. He talked to the mother and asked the warden to take him to a hospital on his expenses. Arjun saw the child and asked his parents, “Can we take him home? He looks sick but I will take care of him.” Listening to their innocent kid’s heartwarming words, his parents agreed on adopting him and asked the warden to prepare the necessary documents. Kabir’s mother was her parent’s only child and his father was an orphan too so it was easy for them to keep this adoption a secret.

Three days after the dinner, Arjun came back home after finishing with his finals. Before anyone could tell Arjun about Kabir finding out his adoption, Kabir took Arjun to his room and told him the whole situation. Arjun didn’t react to him in a shocking way. Instead he calmly smiled and said, “ That’s you way to look at it but look at it from my eyes.” Arjun told him how he was adopted and that he always knew about it but a blood test wasn’t going to prove that they were not family. Arjun reminded Kabir whenever anything happened to Kabir; their parents always blamed Arjun for not taking care of Kabir. Kabir often joked about his parents loving him more than Arjun, just to tease him but in reality, it was true. Whatever Kabir was and whatever he had learnt was in the image of his father and mother who raised him to be this way.

Arjun takes Kabir outside the house so they could get ice cream and coolly think about it. Kabir and Arjun could never be angry at each other. They would tease and make fun of each other but they loved each other more. Arjun walks with Kabir and says, “Our parents loved you more, even though they knew you weren’t their blood. They kept the secret from you so that you don’t think that you don’t belong with us. You are a part of this family as equally as anyone else and if you think that you’re not, then we are not a family without you.” Kabir jumps and hugs Arjun saying, “We are a family and we always will remain to be a family, no matter what!”

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