Thursday, March 6, 2014

Touching lives

There is a woman in my life. 

I see her every morning. She comes home, neatly attired, smelling of the jasmine flowers that adorn her hair. When I open the door, she greets me with a warm, open smile. It is the kind of smile that you reserve for your near ones; the kind of smile that touches your heart and gladdens you.

We have known each other for close to two years now. The other day, as we both sat sipping our steaming cups of tea, she told me a story that I would never forget:

The house next to mine had a sad story. The couple there had a young daughter, all of 11 years old. The father was a violent man, given to physically abusing his wife and daughter, hitting them when the frenzy struck him. The mother, unable to bear the agony of daily abuse, took to drinking and became a raging alcoholic. The innocent child was left to fend for herself. Many days, she would be starving with no food to eat. The constant abuse and the drinking  reduced her to a shell of her original self. She was slowly withering away.

With tears in my eyes, I asked her what happened to the girl.

She looked me in the eye, emptied her tea cup, dabbed her mouth with the edge of her dupatta  and said, in a matter-of-fact voice, "I adopted her". Then, she stood up, picked up the broom from behind the kitchen door and proceeded to sweep the house.

Speechless, I sat there, staring at her as she went about tidying my house, mopping the floors and rinsing the dishes in the sink. Here was a woman who worked very hard for a living. She worked tirelessly from morning to evening, to provide for the family. Her life is not an easy one; but she smiles through it all.

She found a child in pain and didn't think twice before adding her to her own family. In her place, would I have done the same? Honestly, I don't know.

And, you want to know the best part? She has two sons of her own.

Inspiration can come from anyone. 

It can come from the kindness of a child when he tells you why we shouldn't kill a snake, since it is also one of God's creatures. 

It can come from your peers when they selflessly and lovingly take in stray animals

It can come from the virtual space when a wonderful friend coaxes you to make every second count, or another tells you not to sweat the small stuff and you just want to reach out and give them a big hug!

Be open to inspiration and it will find you and touch your life in more ways than you can imagine.





Yes, there is a woman in my life. 


Some day, I hope I can be half the woman that she is today.


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This is my entry for Day 5 of the week-long Festival of Words for Write Tribe


For 6th March this was our prompt:

 Share an inspiring story/ a personal experience that will inspire.


Click here to read more entries! 

I'm taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words -3



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73 comments:

  1. Amazing story Shailaja. And we always think we're the educated ones, the aware ones, the ones who do a lot for our daughters. But how many of us would have done something like this for someone elses daughter?? Your post made me think.

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    1. Yes, Tulika. We are more blessed, more fortunate. Yet, we would think before doing this. That's an indisputable fact. All I can do is salute this woman.

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  2. oh! How wonderful!! It brought tears to my eyes!!
    Such an inspiring lady.. we need more like her

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    1. Indeed we do, Pixie. Just imagine the world being a far better place with more souls like her.

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  3. Such an amazing story...thanks for sharing this with us Shailaja...it's so beautiful to read positive things about this world!

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    1. Glad to share this, PB. Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. Wow....I'm speechless. I would have thought abt it but to do what she did is beyond words.

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    1. Absolutely Kamini. I may have called Social services. But adopt? I am not sure that would have even crossed my mind!

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  5. The bottom line of this story is one need not be a great man with achievements to his credit or a rich man who has amassed his wealth or a man in power to inspire others.Ordinary people in small positions can inspire by their large heart, compassion or giving.The world abounds in such people if only we care to look around.Lucky you have a maid to inspire you.

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    1. I am very lucky, KP. And you are right. Ordinary people can do extraordinary things!

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  6. Wow she is one inspiring Lady... To feel the pain of a little girl and bringing her as own. Such compassion and empathy In people is hardly seen these days.

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    1. No it isn't, Rajlakshmi! What a woman!

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  7. What an inspiring start to my morning Shailaja! The so-called simple people always teach us the best lessons.
    Thanks for the mention.

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    1. You are more than welcome , Corinne. And thanks for being our daily dose of inspiration :)

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  8. Wow... this is seriously awe inspiring. How many people would have done that? It's people like this who restore your faith in humanity more than any of the feted superstars and politicians.

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    1. I agree, Roshan. With people like her, we can move mountains. Of how many politicians can you really say that?

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  9. Shailaja , we all have to ask ourselves a question , What would we have done in a similar situation? As you said I too cannot answer this question as my heart may not be as magnanimous as her. One does not have to be highly affluent or famous to help somebody. The girl is a lucky human being. And one fact is being overlooked in this whole story. The girl's mother though traumatized has not right to take up to drinking.

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    1. You're right, Kalpana. But we don't know the extent of the abuse that she must have faced, in order to turn to drinking in the first place.

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  10. What a truly beautiful story:-) That is a woman with a good soul you have in your life - truly inspiring:-) And so true: inspiration can come from anyone, and sometimes when you least expect it:-) Gread read:-)

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    1. Thank you Eli. She has a heart of gold, that one.

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  11. Shailaja, that gave me tears and goosebumps. Inspiration, humanity, love at it's peak. I am sharing this in my FB group, hope you don't mind :)

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    1. So sweet of you to say that! Do share it, by all means!

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  12. Respect for women like this! I am not sure if I would have the same thing either. It takes a lot of courage to become someone's saviour. I guess God's angels are walking around everywhere. We just never notice them much. Loved reading this Shailaja. She is truly an inspiration. <3

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    1. Right under our noses, Jyothi. I swear I started looking at her with a new-found respect ever since this incident. This changes you.

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  13. What a touching story! I don't know either what I would do if I would have been in her place. Sharing it on my facebook page...

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  14. She said it so nonchalantly. For most of us it would be a tough decision. The way she said of the other woman was also so normal, no blame game or fault finding. And then she wasn't trying to trumpet about her 'good deed'. Hats off to her

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    1. That was what I appreciated: the 'no blame, no fault finding'. What an evolved soul you must be to be in that position.

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  15. I love that woman.
    I love you.
    Thank you for connecting with me!

    Hugs!

    Vidya

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    1. You know I love you, Vidya :) So glad we found each other.

      Hugs all the way back!

      Shailaja

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  16. Definitely ISPIRING. I loved your post and the story touched my heart. When you said you wish you could become half the woman she was -- I believe you already are!

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  17. I agree with what Kalpana Solsi says : The girl's mother though traumatized has not right to take up to drinking. Anyway the world does not work the right way, very often.
    As far as the story is concerned, i would've the heart and the mind do what ur maid has done, but would have terribly failed to convince my fail to follow suit.

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    1. That's an honest response, Jini. Taking that call to adopt another is not easy.

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  18. Truly inspirational. Thanks for writing about this wonderful woman.

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    1. You're welcome, Beloo. I was glad to share her story.

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  19. its a real story?? kudos to your maid!!!

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  20. Wow, what a wonderful human being. You are absolutely right. Inspiration need not come only from those making it to the newspaper headlines. Its all around us.

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    1. True, Jaish. Inspiration exists everywhere. We just need to look for it :)

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  21. Shailaja I'm speechless. True you can find inspiration anywhere. I want to hug her and you! Such a lovely post :)

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    1. I love hugs! Let's have a hug-fest :)

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  22. What a woman! It takes sheer greatness to do such a big thing when she herself is working hard to keep life going.

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    1. I say the same thing to myself every single day. When I see her smiling and going about her work.

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  23. Wow!! This is so admirable!! Thanks for sharing such an inspiring story, Shailaja :)

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  24. Goosebumps all the way ! What an inspiring story this is, Shailaja :) Love that woman ! Convey our wishes to her, pls !! God bless !

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  25. woow... now thst impressive or wat! Imagine feeding an extra mouth when hse must be already struggling to make ends meet!

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  26. I am sitting here feeling numb. the sheer impact of it was a lot. And that woman of course did a wonderful deed you perhaps did one too today by sharing her story with us, thank you so much :-)


    Richa

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    1. Thanks for that, Richa. Every time I see her, my heart feels better. So good to know there are people like her in this world.

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  27. Wow!! I know this story is gonna stay with me forever!! There is so much to learn from anyone to everyone! Wonderful story!

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  28. To be compassionate we really don't need a college degree, but a heart. Exceptional read. :)

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  29. I salute that brave and generous woman and thank you for sharing her inspiring story with us. I don't know what I would have done in her place, she is amazing.

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  30. That's a superb smile in that post, Shailaja :)
    I loved it when you said " Be open to inspiration and it will find you and touch your life in more ways than you can imagine" I think that's so true. Keep an open heart, that's all :)

    Lovely post!

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  31. Very touching story. Truly inspiring.... The world needs more such kind souls...

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  32. Salute to this woman Shailaja! May God bless her with abundance! And thank you for telling her story :-)

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  33. Why one would dream of heaven when angels tread here in the form of humans....She raised herself high by showing such example....a true inspiration

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  34. For me, this is inspiration. A woman who brave the storms and yet didn't flinch in adopting a child. This is the power of kindness:)

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  35. Tears in my eyes as I read this Shailaja.. truly inspiring indeed. Oddly enough, this was a thought that struck me a few weeks ago when reading about some child in need - if I would have the guts to do something like this if I felt strongly enough about it. I think we have lost the pure empathy that leads to such an action, as we try to plan and ask too many questions about it along the way :(.

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  36. Beautiful, Shailaja. Reading this was a lovely way to end my day. Karen

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  37. Awesome. This is really inspiring. We can only wish for more people to be like her, including ourselves.

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  38. That's a beautiful story. I appreciate your reminder to be open to inspiration too. I think that it's too easy to become cynical and closed and view things in a negative light.

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  39. You are lucky to have a friend like that. Very inspiring indeed!

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  40. Shailaja, we all aspire to be like her. Very touching story.

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  41. That child is so fortunate to have been rescued by your dear friend. Very inspirational. Selfless love is the best love of all.

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  42. What an amazing story. It's taught me to look a little harder for inspiration in my own life.

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  43. Loved the story.. makes me think what would I do??

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  44. This post has been selected for the Spicy Saturday Picks this week. Thank You for an amazing post! Cheers! Keep Blogging :)

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