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ALPANA GHOSH

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 3/10/2015 |



KIRAN, THE LIGHT
Inspirational words of Swami Vivekananda inspirited many young minds to come over their trauma. Now I have a stunning story how Swamiji’s few words changed the spirit of life of a young girl. It was March 2006 ,I went to a reputed bank in Kolkata to open my account. I was new to the city .It was as usual busy day for bank, I was waiting for my turn to come.  Someone called me from behind hello ma'm, hello aunty. I was surprised who may call me aunty in this city. I looked back saw a beautiful lady draped in sari; with bank Identity card hanging from her neck. I looked at her smiling face and sparkling eyes it reminded me of Kiran, my neighborhood girl.’ Oh my God! You are here’ I said.  She came to me and hugged me, instantly my eyes glanced at her legs, she was walking gracefully. She asked about my family, I also enquired about her parents. She said "come to my room we will talk" She elegantly took me to upstairs in specious room and asked me as why I am in the bank. I told her about opening my new account. She called a peon and asked him to bring the required forms and then we started talking about Ranchi. I was still living in Ranchi; she had nostalgia about her childhood place. We were neighbors in an engineering factory colony. She asked about every one of our neighbors. I was happy to tell her that almost all of her friends have settled well. We talked for a long time in between my formalities for opening account was done. She rang her father and told him about my visit. Her father Mr. Sinha was very glad to know about me and he requested me to visit them with my husband in the evening. I promised him and left for my apartment.

While returning, flashback memory of Kiran filled my mind. I saw her as a kid. Staying in the next block with her family. Her beauty, her smile, her sparkling eyes and above all her behavior enchanted us all. She was a girl whom everyone loved. Slowly she grew up with other children of the colony. She acquired a name ‘talking parrot’ due to her nonstop talking habit. She passed school board with record marks and decided to study medicine, so she opted biology in high school. She was very studious and intelligent but she did not like my subject chemistry. She used to come to me for help and by helping her in studies I was promoted to Ma’m from aunty. She always complained “how boring is your subject how you could manage such a boring subject"? I used to smile and solved her problems and gave her certain hints how to manage boring inorganic and organic chemistry.

Days passed by she , with other children of the colony were preparing for their competitive examinations. It was summer time I was taking out  my car from the garage for my morning  classes. Kiran came running to me and  asked me " Aunty can you drop me to the station? Her father also came and said that Kiran is appearing in AFMC (Armed Force Medical College) examination which was scheduled to start at 9 O'clock. The centre for the examination was at Namkom, an army cantonment which is about 20Km from Ranchi town and they are not getting any auto rickshaw for Namkom so they have decided to go by train. Kiran’s father Mr.Sinha   enquired if I can drop them to Ranchi station so that they can avail a train to get down at next stop Namkom. My husband came; he happily agreed to   drop them at station and me to college. On the way Kiran talked about her preparation and studies. We dropped them at Ranchi station and wished her the best of luck for examination then went for our destinations.

It was about 2 O’ clock in the afternoon I was back from the college; I did not know what news was waiting for me. What i learnt from my neighbour  was so shocking that I could not believe my ears. Kiran and her father took the first train available at Ranchi station towards Namkom. They  did not notice that it was an express train which had no stoppage at the small station like  Namkom cantonment. When the train did not stop at the station the train was running slow. Her father jumped out and called her to jump out. When Kiran jumped out ;but  by the time train  already had crossed platform so she fell on the track and one of her  legs was under the carriage, left leg  was totally  smashed she cried at the top of her voice “Papa take me out, else my whole body will be under the carriage.” Stunned father leaped at her and took her out from the track. She was in the pool of blood and her left leg was totally smashed below knee. People came and helped them to reach army hospital, treatment was going on but still she was unconscious. I could not believe that the cheerful girl I saw in the morning had met such an unbelievable accident. My husband came from his duty he was also stunned to know about her. Whole colony was shocked. We went to Kiran’s quarter but no one was there. We did not have courage to go to hospital to see her.

Days passed by whole colony were in grief as everyone loved her so much. After fifteen days or so she was brought to our factory hospital for further treatment. After few days we went to see her in the hospital. When we reached near the cabin we could here loud cry  ”Pl. leave me alone I can’t, no I can’t” anther voice came “You have to, I will not listen to you, you have to”. We reached the cabin to see what was going on, only to see that doctor and nurses brought crutches and asking her to stand with the help of those crutches. We went near her bed, her face little brightened but immediately she covered her face with blanket and started weeping. I sat near her bed and hold her tightly; tears rolled down my eyes too, could not utter a word. Doctor called me outside the cabin and asked me to request her to start her new way of her living with the crutches. Her parents could not motivate her to use those crutches if I could help him. I was not in favor of pressing her to come to terms of the tragedy. I said” Give her some time let her mind calm down I can’t press her for walking with those crutches.” I went to her and sat beside her and simply hold her hand without uttering a single word. Her father and my husband talked about the progress of her treatment. After that day we went several times to the hospital to see her, sometime she talked sometimes she kept mum.

After about a month she came home with crutches.  I usually visit her afternoon time, after coming back from college. I used to see her always in a depressed mood. She talked very little. I felt very bad for her as she was such jovial girl full of life. One day I took some small booklets of Swami Vivekananda sayings and kept them on her side table. I did not tell her anything about the books.

After few days I went to see her again. I saw her sleeping. I sat beside her for a while and when I was coming out of the room, suddenly her she extended her hand and caught hold of my wrist, I looked at her and said ‘Oh you are not sleeping I thought you are resting. Surprisingly she asked me “What are my strength ma’m? I am only a crippled girl I am useless in this world is not it”? At   first   I was very much surprised, instantly I could realize that she had read one of the booklets of Swamiji which were lying on her bedside table. I replied by Swamiji’s words only ‘You have great strength. You have your intellect which is not snatched away from you; secret. Don’t brood on your weak legs. You have to show the world that you are the bravest girl among us. She looked at me with eyes filled with tears. I took her syllabus books from her study table and kept them on the bedside table I smiled to her and said “Start from the most boring subject, the mystery of Chemistry. Can I help you?” She did not utter a single word; I sat beside her for awhile then went to see her mother in kitchen.

Days passed by she was recovering, although slowly, from the shock. I used to visit her very often and tried to cheer her with humorous stories. Her father decided to take her to some hospital where artificial limbs are available. Family then shifted to Poona for her treatment. That time cell phone was not common so we could talk over STD calls once or twice in a month. In one such conversation she quoted me Swamiji’s words “Purity, patience, and perseverance are the three essentials to success and, above all, love”. I have learned this, so I am not afraid of my disability. I have to have only patience and perseverance.  I have new legs now. May it be artificial but I can go round the world with this. I can do anything I like. I have started my life again. Thank you aunty, for helping me to come over the trauma I was facing. Booklets of Swami Vivekananda quotes you gave, are my companion now. I am recovering not only physically but mentally too. Listing to her my  heart skipped a bit and  delighted as I  had some guilt feeling because it was I who   had dropped her to the station.

After this conversation slowly the link faded with time and I had no idea of where she was and what she was doing. After so many years again the little talking parrot was in front of me: composed, elegant and beautiful.

In the evening when we met at their house she told me the story of her struggle with her trauma which was not so easy to overcome. While her treatment was going on she started again with her studies. This time she opted for commerce graduation course. Although it was totally new subject for her yet she adjusted with it. She learned walking again but it was without the help of others. This gave her much strength. She realized that strength is life, weakness is death. So she started her fearless journey towards life. 

[ALPANA GHOSH]


      

    
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