Final Destination

by Ravi on Jul 17, 2014

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Today I was detained in the hospital for half a day. The thermometer was indicating a very high fever. The doctor was surprised to see me walking, considering this condition. He wanted to be sure that my fever was not due to dengue fever or Japenese enceyphlyitis which are rampant in this region and are causing many deaths.  Physically for the past couple of days I was not at my best but at the same time the last two days were full of excitement and joy.  Despite a lot of physical activity and running around during the monsoon, I hardly slowed down. The blissful state assisted in overcoming all my illness and pain.  Dear friends, don’t be surprised – you would have been in the same state as me if an emotionally insecure ten year-old orphaned girl had grown up with you and was stepping into a new chapter of her life with a wonderful partner.  Yes beloved friends, my daughter Sheetal got married yesterday!  Two souls were ready to commit themselves and I had to set the stage for them.  It was such a wonderful feeling for all us who were there with her during her childhood upbringing and watching her grow into a young independent adult.

Let me take you back eleven year ago when I received a call in my village home from the local police station regarding an orphan girl begging at a temple near the railway station.  At that time there was no government home in the city so they approached me to help the child.  We welcomed her with open arms.  She came with her two year-old brother, Jeetu who was suffering from liver disorder.  She looked exhausted and uneasy, and I’m sure, very confused and worried.  Two days later when she felt the warmth and love at our home, she began to open up to us.  She told me that she had another five year-old brother, Chintu who ran away when the Police “caught” her begging.  She was worried as she was the only gaurdian for her two young brothers.  The next morning, I went with her to the city and after a herculian effort, we found him hiding in a dirty pig’s stye.  He was clearly traumatised by the police taking away his sister (his only own protector and guardian) and his other sibling, his two year-old brother.  The poor boy had been hiding there in this abhorrent place for two days.  After being reunited, all three were very happy, and they became part of our big GLOBAL FAMILY.

Sheetal’s father was a truck driver.  He died in a road accident when she was only seven.  Her mother had to take the responsibility of the family.  She worked very hard but the earnings were not enough to support the children.  She had no choice but to send Sheetal as a domestic worker at the age of eight.  She was cleaning dishes, sweeping floors and helping in the kitchen.  She was seperated from the family as the landlord was willing to employ her under the condition that she live on the property overnight.  She wanted to stay with her mother at least at night, but poverty does not come with choices.  Once a week her mother used to visit her.  After more than two week without her mother visiting, Sheetal became concerned and requested to visit her mother.  She was told that her mother was ill and that she would be fine by next week.  Another week passed by but there was no sign of her mother.  Sheetal’s requests were ignored and rejected.  Finally, one day, she was granted permission.  She was full of enthusiam to reach her home as soon as possible and meet her mother after more than a month.  When she arrived at the rented room, she was shattered to see the dead body of her mother.  Two neighbours were sitting beside the corpse.  Since then, the little girl lost faith in society and people.  She felt betrayed and helpless that her landlord didn’t give her the last opportunity to be with her mother when she needed her the most.  Rejected and abandoned by her relatives, she told me many times “Papa, the world is selfish.  If you have money, relatives and friends will see you.  No money, no friends!”.  I could feel the pain she was going through while narrating her story as a ten year-old child struggling on the streets for survival with her two brothers in the chilling winter.  She was one of the most challenging little children for us to raise because of her traumatised childhood.  Sheetal taught me a lot, for as we teach, we also learn.

With the help of healing tools, counsellors and strong bonds of support, we were able to help her to deal with her issues and to live again.  The news of the wedding brought an added joy as her brothers welcomed a new member to their family, a new brother-in-law!

Friends, thank you for all your support and well wishes.  I am fortunate to live my dreams, and it is at pivotal moments and milestones like this, I think “ all this is possible because of YOU”!!

With much gratitude always.

Ravi

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