Mr. Gupta, along with his father, was busy gathering all the information about the global pandemic that created havoc across continents. They were glued to the TV to understand the governments’ directives about the lockdown and preventive measures. With two elderly septuagenarians (senior Mr. and Mrs. Gupta) and a special child at home, they needed to take all the precautions. Mrs. Gupta wanted to keep herself away from all the frightful information and just know ‘the need of the hour’ and do the needful. So, she went straight to check on their little one, as she did not want to get too affected by all the gory details.
Thus the Gupta home wound down another long, busy, tiring but satisfying, and beautiful day. Despite the fear and fright of the pandemic, it was a productive and beautiful day because they could do most of the little champs’ exercises. He not only cooperated but also enjoyed it. A bit tired, he slept a wee bit early.
Not to lose the golden opportunity of some free time (which is a rarity), Mrs. Gupta switched off the light and picked her phone to see what the world was up to. For her daily dose of the so-called virtual happiness and enlightenment(haha), she went straight to the strongly self-loving creative heaven… Yup, you guessed it …our Instagram. Her next stop was the familiar playground of likes and comments. She liked, commented on the posts which were visible on the feed.
Unlike her other special needs family friends, Mrs. Gupta mostly enjoyed social media and quite liked it for obvious reasons. But sometimes, it also tired her, and she took small sabbaticals to retain her sanity. Whatever… She exited the ‘Facebook world’ for the day.
As she was about to switch off the phone, not to disturb the little sleeping champ any further, a WhatsApp pop-up tempted her….at least to have a look at it…. Giving in to the temptation, she opened a group chats to see this message…
An excellent write-up from an Unknown author. Do read…
Be Thankful Be Patient
A movie theatre announced that an 8-minute movie won the title of Best Short Film in the World…
So, it was decided to display this movie in the cinema for free, so that the largest crowd could gather to watch it…
The movie began with a snapshot of a room ceiling that is devoid of any decoration and of any details; Just a white ceiling…
3 minutes passed without the camera moving, and it did not move to any other scene, or any other part of the ceiling in the same room …
Another 3 minutes passed without the camera moving and without changing the scene ..
After 6 boring minutes, the viewers started grumbling;
Some of them were about to leave the theatre hall, and some of them objected to the officials of the house because they wasted their time watching a ceiling ..
Suddenly, before the majority became concerned and starting to leave, the camera lens slowly moved on a wall without any details as well until it reached down towards the floor, there a child appeared on a bed, who seems to be totally handicapped due to the spinal cord tear in his little body ..
The camera slowly moved to the side of the handicap bed, showing a wheelchair without a back ..
The camera moved to the boredom location of the ceiling again;
To show a sentence: “We showed you only 8 minutes of this child’s daily activity, only 8 minutes from the scene that this handicapped child watches at all hours of his life, and you complained and weren’t patient for only six minutes, you couldn’t bear to watch it ..! ..
So know the value of every second of your life that you spend in wellness and Thank God for every blessing bestowed, for you will not feel its existence unless you lose it ..
We complain about quarantine and the curfew, which is, God willing, for a limited time, and we do not know that there are millions who lived their entire lives in quarantine ..
The pandemic has forced us to have the time to think about the many privileges we have, and Thank God for the blessing of the freedom of movement in and out of the house to see life, breathe the air, and do various activities…
Mrs. Gupta opened other group chats, and this message was shared in at least 6 of her chat groups… This message had gone viral that day on WhatsApp University.
She reread the message. Not because she could not understand the message. She understands what it wants to say and feels it, as she has a son who has a restricted life. Thankfully he is semi-mobile and tries to communicate in whatever little way. She even thought that the note beautifully drives home an important message.
But, somewhere, it made her a little unhappy, a little nervous. What surprised her was that it was shared on personal group chats of WhatsApp, where you know the members very well… like the family circle, your friends from school and college, and your friends from society you live in and your neighbourhood friends…and so on. Obviously, you would be in a WhatsApp group only when you know someone.
What surprised her, even more was the reaction of other fellow group members …Like 🙏🙏🙏, 👏 Yes👍, 👊🏻 🙌🏻….And a few like: What a blessed life I have! Such a positive post during times of the pandemic! Thank God for my little angel…
Hmmmm !! Hey Ram!! That was Mrs. Gupta’s first reaction…In fact, she was a little hurt to read this post and the comments. Because the post showed her the reality of their life in a more pronounced manner. It was a direct comparison between her life and other group members’ life. It hit her again of all the restrictions they have had as a family. It reminded her of all that they missed doing and are still missing most of the things. Suddenly, she became aware that they have been in semi-quarantine for so many years.
However, she tries to be brave, positive it becomes a bit difficult when such incidents happen. And she was totally aware that it was not done deliberately to show her the place, so to say…It just made her think if people really care or give a thought before sharing anything on social media. Are these forwards and shares merely a showoff of their goodness, their sensitivity, their sympathetic nature? Her thoughts were racing in all unwanted directions…
“Seeking positives in any situation is a great thing. But to feel positive, optimistic one need not compare. That too, with a helpless child. Perhaps, this is the new definition of positivity….Positivity without sensitivity. What joy could anyone derive from this, this joy that springs from another’s deprivation? And whatever happened to the good old thought…” Comparison is a sin.” Inclusion का तो दूर दूर तक नमोनिशाना नहीं, बड़े आएं comparison में conquest ढूंढ़कर जश्न मनाने…
You see, in this case, the white ceiling and the ceiling fan are what the child thinks life is all about. He does not know anything beyond it. He is not bored; he is not happy or sad. Sometimes he is not even aware that he is suffering. The family members, especially the child’s parents, feel, worry, and face the day-to-day grind. And courageously plan for their child’s betterment in whatever way. As if all the struggles were not enough. Add to all that strain this reminder. Hmmmm…perhaps this is the reason so many special needs parents avoid social media altogether.”
Mrs. Gupta felt a faint wave of pain around her temples as she waded through the thunderstorms of her thoughts in the silent darkness of the room. And the glaring blue light of the mobile hitting her face was not doing any good to her eyes. She looked away just to give rest to her eyes and also to her throbbing mind to see her baby sleeping with a cute, calm smile. In that blue light, his face looked as normal as she could ever imagine. Little champ\’s serene, smiling face seems to give her some kind of assurance- Assurance of his well-being and happiness, Assurance of her being a good parent, at least for that day or for that moment. Nothing seems to matter.
She would not ruin her satisfaction of a beautiful and fruitful day by thinking about these Whatsapp messages and comments. And more importantly, spoil tomorrow’s therapy schedules. As the therapy center was closed due to lockdown, she will have to do the entire therapy herself. She swiftly decimated the negative thoughts and also silenced the phone for the day.
And then, quickly said her good night prayers and told herself….
Let it go, Babes!
Let it go,
Let the air absorb it.
Let the fire burn it.
Let the water carry it.
Let the earth hold it.
Let the sky take it.
Because you do not have to have it.
Let it return to its origin: The Panchtatvas.
The Panchtatvas have the power to dissolve it.
Kalyani Sreedhar Kakade
Text Copyright: This अद्भुत life!