Friday, June 16, 2006

postcard from j: small wonder!

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I watched her as she squeezed herself between two strangers, one being me. We were sitting on the 3-seater of the bus' top deck. My tired eyes barely noticed her face when suddenly, I realized the burkha-clad woman had a child in her arms. He was tiny, frail and very very fragile.

I love children. Love to hold them, to play with them, to entertain them and be entertained myself... But this child somehow held my attention in a different sort of way. I was almost afraid to even touch his chin. A conversation with the mother followed. I asked her how old he was and she held up her hand and indicated 5 months old "lekin bahut bimaar rahta hai". That got me curious, so I probed a bit. They live in Govandi, a suburb in central Mumbai, close to Chembur. It turned out that the little fellow was physically weak since birth. "Woh tho royaa bhi nahin...", she said with a sad face. The children’s hospital was unable to make him well and many people had asked her husband and her to visit some baba who would definitely solve their problems. So they were actually returning from one such visit to a faith healer. I told her to hope for the best, that the Almighty has a plan for everyone, and not to lose faith.

Her husband was standing, waiting for a vacant seat. She seemed quite worried and understandably so. I suddenly remembered about my family’s recent visit to the Shrine of Don Bosco’s Madonna in Matunga and how I had a few blessed medals from there. So I searched my bag and happily found a golden medal of Infant Jesus. Giving the medal to her, I mumbled something about Infant Jesus taking care of her child. Her eyes lit up, she tugged at her husband’s sleeve and thanked me. Embarrassed by her thank-you, I told her to thank only God as only He has the power to make the impossible possible.

When I finally got up to alight at my destination, little Mohammed Anees was sound asleep, thanks to the pacifier (which the mother thought was a bad habit to catch). And Naseem Bano (yes, that’s her name) had a few less creases on her forehead. I felt a strange sense of serenity within me as I jumped off the bus and made my way through the chaotic neighbourhood.

Say a prayer for Baby Anees, will you?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

postcard from j: 06/06/06

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Its the day of the devil. Or so they say...

For me, its the day that two people exchanged vows and decided to walk through life as a married couple. Two people who have left an indelible mark on my life. Two people who promised to be there for each other through good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, till death do them part...

Two people who are the reason for my existence and the reason why I'm grateful to be alive.

Mom and Dad - Happy Wedding Anniversary! Its been 30 years since you said your "I Dos", but your love is youthful as ever.

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