Dear Ajbanu

Ajbanu, you are the one who changed everything. I met you what feels like a lifetime ago even though it was only 17 months back. There was something in your eyes that day, a passion burning. You were different from most of the other children I had met in the street up to the point. You were the literal answer to a prayer I had been meditating on for weeks. You were the push. Sometimes I feel like I don't know if I chose you or if you chose me or if something beyond our comprehension chose us. But we, we were meant to meet.

Ajbanu, you were the first child to offer up help. You sat down beside us one Sunday out of the blue and began to pass meals to your fellow children. You were our first hope which came true. I cried so many beautiful tears that night for you, for your heart.

Ajbanu, you were the first to give me a hug, to make us feel welcomed. That hug was overflowing with the purest form of love I have ever felt. I will never forget all of the senses I experienced that day and how many hours I spent on my knees that night, humbled by you.

Ajbanu, when you're gone, when I don't see you for weeks on end, I lose sleep like a mother longing to hear from her child. When we are reunited, when I see you walking down those railway tracks, that smile you give me melts me to a puddle and for a bit my worry is lessened.

Ajbanu, I want the world for you. I imagine that starting school would be hard after nine years of 'freedom' to do what you want in the day. The 'freedom' to work and earn money, to wander the markets, the 'freedom' of having no one guiding you in your daily path. But my sweet girl, I need you to know that is not freedom. It is an endless cycle, and you could so easily get lost in it. Oh sweet girl, I lose my breath, I often can't see through my tears when I think about how much there is out there for you because I know you can break through.

Ajbanu, it is not just me. I can see the world in your eyes; its possibilites truly burn deep in you. I know it's not just me, you want it too.