The Hindu Sindhis celebrate Cheti Chand as their New year. Since the partition of India only a fraction of Sindhis remained in Sindh territory which came under Pakistan. Thousands of Sindhi families that were forced to abandon their abode during the partition of the country migrated to India and various other parts of the world. Since there is no state that belongs to this growing community, they are recognized as world citizens and have adapted themselves to respective cultures and continents. The uniting factor is their culture that marks Cheti Chand as their day of identity.
Cheti Chand is celebrated as the most important annual festival by the Hindu Sindhis all over the world. As per the Hindu Almanac it is celebrated on the second day of the Chaitra month Shukla Paksha coinciding with the Vikram Samvat New Year. Sindhi community commemorates the birth of their Saintly deity Jhulelal on this day marking it as their New Year.
Jhulelal was born in the 10th century in Sindh. Although his exact year of birth is debatable, some believe it to be 1007. The Sumras were ruling over Sindh those days and were very tolerant of all falths that were practiced. However one tyrant ruler Mirkhshah wasn’t very tolerant and threatened people from various religions to convert to Islam or face execution.
The Sindhis fasted for forty days and prayed to River God for protection. On the fortieth day they were promised the birth of their Savior child in Nasarpur by the River God. The child born on the day was accepted by Sindhis as their savior in the trust they had in Dariya Shah (River God). This child whose cradle would rock by itself was named Jhulelal and grew up sooner than his age and protected the Sindhis from conversion by overpowering the ruler’s tyranny.
Since then the birth Anniversary of Jhulelal is celebrated by Sindhis as their main festival. Since post partition of India the Hindu Sindhis landed up in various parts of the world as refugees and in the present times this festival has become to be known as their day of unity called the Sindhiyat Day. This day all around the world the Sindhi Diaspora prepare the Bahirano (a dome made from kneaded flour), sing the Panjras (hymns) of their deity and dance to Chhej traditional music in huge processions. The Bahirano Sahib is immersed in the rivers everywhere following the prayers as an offering to Dariya Shah (Varun Devta)
Jhulelal is also known as Uderolal, Lal Saeen, and Khizr Shah and is worshipped by Hindus and Muslims at his shrine in Sindh equally.
On Cheti Chand day faithful bathe and decorate the huge platters or Bahirano with a large mound of kneaded flour shaped like a dome. This mound is adorned with cardamoms, cloves, crystallized sugar cubes and alongside offerings of fruits, flowers, sweetened rice, coconut and a pot of water are placed. Having placed this affront the idol of the deity devotees partake blessings and in the late evening hours immerse this in the river.
Cheti Chand 2012 in NAIROBI
The Bahirano by Sindhis in Nairobi
—————————————————————————————————————————————–Published in the Coffee Table Book “DIWALI and Beyond” 2017 by The Asian Weekly:
Losing a parent is never an easy scenario. The very parent whom one takes for granted at most times leaves behind a gaping vacuum in one’s heart . Acceptance! yes of course! one does accept the death of a parent and moves on in life having no other option. Grief! yes that too. Grief plays up a big role in slowing down one’s progress in the material world but in a hidden manner it enhances one’s progress of the spiritualist manner.
Having lost my father in 1995 I have well lived a life till now. The initial sentiment of shock is still fresh in my mind to this date. Daddy was a very prominent person in my life. I couldn’t imagine a life without his physical presence. Not only was I under shock, saddened and worried about my elder brother and mother who lived with him I found myself staring into a stark reality.
Upon receiving the news of his death I first felt cheated. Cheated! yes I did feel so. I felt cheated by mummy, my brother and my uncle who had been assuring me of his recovery . They meant well of course as they did not want me to travel to see daddy in the hospital during my pregnancy. I felt cheated by the Mother Goddess whom I had worshipped ardently. Couldn’t she save him for me? I sat afront her idol to question and found an answer almost immediately. Before I could even cry in sorrow I heard an inner voice telling me, ” did you not learn that all earthly relations are temporary. The only permanent relationship you have is with God”.
This hit me hard. Yes, my grandmother (whom I called Amma) had emphasized on this statement in the hymn she often sang aloud ,” matlab ji atheyi dosti, matlab jo parivar. matlab ja sab maaet, matlab jo sansaar…..”. It meant that all relationships, friendships and society is there for a purpose only. Did that mean daddy was my father for a purpose? I wondered as I looked up at the idol of the goddess expecting some comfort from my newly discovered true relationship.
Grief was beginning to set up space in my heart when my son came up to me. In his little effort to divert my attention from the sad occurrence he pointed out towards the glowing moon in the sky which in his words was, ” a very big golden moon”. It was indeed Sharad Purnima the next day and since our childhood (my two brothers and I) mummy had laid utmost importance to the full moon of Sharad Purnima.
Along with the grief came in flashback of beautiful memories of the whole family on the terrace of our house in New Delhi. Mummy would make us all thread a needle in pure moonlight as she believed in it to enhance our eyesight. Why, I had even forgotten all about it till my attention was drawn towards the moon that night. This was an evening of revelations and realizations. I was now fatherless yet I found I had a greater Father who would never abandon me. I looked up towards the sky expecting some sort of a signal from daddy. Perhaps he could say a final bye, pass on a final kiss. All i saw was a plain moonlit sky. In my grief I don’t remember if I saw any stars.
We prepared for our travel to Dubai from Nairobi – Myself accompanied by my husband and our daughter and son. How I regretted not having travelled a few days earlier. It would have been better to go and meet him in person rather than meeting his lifeless body that ironically lay there at mercy of others for its disposal. In his life he was a moral and financial support for many that we knew and many that we never knew. Death can be such a robber, stealing away all of one’s attributes and possessions.
I looked in my elder brother’s face. He seemed to have matured within a couple of days. There were those visible stress lines emerged on his forehead from somewhere. I looked up at my mother. Though broken down by emotions she was the strongest person around. She kept guiding us all. When daddy’s body was being prepared for his last journey out of the house she dared the crowd that had gathered, went to give her last respects and love to daddy. Someone from among the gathered relatives tried to stop me from going near daddy in my pregnant state. It was a silly belief that a pregnant woman may not go near a dead person. I protested and mummy supported me at that time. She had dared the people once again and allowed me to touch my father one last time.
A chest full of questions were emerging in my mind. How will mummy live without daddy?How will my brothers manage such a big business spread in various countries? Who will look after them all? How will the properties be managed without him being around? Yet, in his death, he left behind his strength as a legacy. Within days the emotionally drained form of the entire family turned stronger as each one of us picked up our threads and took upon new responsibilities.
It was a silent power that had gradually lifted its head in each one. My uncle who until daddy’s death hadn’t taken any major decisions became the head of the family. He suddenly seemed to have gathered a new wisdom that helped him manage the business and family affairs with enhanced maturity. No longer was he concerned only about his wife and children. He took charge of his brother’s family too.
Mummy found it harsh living without her partener but in a couple of years she accepted her widowed status with utmost grace and smartness. Being prudent about her financial status and dominance in family matters she carved a significant place for herself as the maternal head of the entire extended family. She found solace in her spiritual findings without letting it overpower her lifestyle. Although she couldn’t be labelled a fashionista, she draped herself stylishly and poised in elegant grooming skills.
We siblings gradually found our own strengths taking birth out of our grief. Our spiritual connection gained intelligence sense and we all began mastering our skills in various fields. My brothers never mentioned about visits by daddy in spirit form but I was constantly guided by him. To me it seemed he became closer to me in death than in life. Death had cleared away the physical distances of the living world. He teased me frequently, played the naughty angel tricks, warned me of forthcoming happenings.
I felt privileged and very special by his visits of which some were not at all visual. At times he came as a voice in my head (not in my ears), at times he came as a thought and sometimes he came as a smell. I often felt him by his perfume that he used while alive, and that usually happened while I was praying. Then one fine day I decided I must not be selfish and revel in this pleasure. I told daddy in my mind that he was free to move on and I would be fine without him. Yes, I am fine indeed but I miss him dearly even after twenty two years.
My passion for writing took birth after daddy’s death as I wrote his eulogies and poured out my grief as poetry. I never knew I had the talent. Gradually I started getting my write -ups published. My entry into the world of journalism had begun thanks to the inspiration that came as grief. Daddy made an exit but stays on with me through my thoughts, deeds and words.
A lot has been publicized about the excellence of healthcare in India over the years. The medical fraternity should feel proud and better themselves further after having created a name for themselves. Instead, they seem to be losing their ethics. A bitter experience has resulted in this report.
I am so full of disgust at the way the doctors primarily form a team to work at a patient and towards the end disintegrate the team to form a new one. In this particular case, not only were new doctors introduced to the team in the last three days of the patient’s life, but they weren’t even introduced to her family members. It is not amusing that someone who pays your bills, has no right to meet the doctors ( they cannot spare five minutes update the caregivers of the patient) , has no right to see the reports of the numerous tests ( who knows if all the tests actually occur), has no right to get the updates.
In the hospitals in India one who takes a family member there becomes a beggar asking for details ref his or her condition and diagnosis. Why is it that the results cannot be shared at ease? Why is it that the intensive care where the visitors are supposed to wear masks and gloves permit people to enter casually without precautions? Why is it that those with influence have no restrictions and have access to areas that are usually barred for others?
I happened to witness a case in a hospital where a patient in his blooming youth was brought in by his sibling as he complained of chest pain that left him very uncomfortable. Upon diagnosis it was announced as a heart attack and was advised a heart bypass surgery. The family referred to their family doctor the next day who suggested that the bypass surgery wasn’t required and implanting a Stent would be sufficient.
The doctors at The hospital refused to place the Stent but the family of the patient insisted on the same. Finally the procedure was performed for the Stent and the next day the family were informed of the failure of the procedure. This left them with no other choice but to give their consent for the bypass surgery.
Meanwhile the patient had already been in the Intensive care for almost a week resulting in huge amount of bills.
Below is a narrative of my mother who landed in India from her country of residence in a fairly good condition but once admitted in the hospital became worse by the day as each day resulted in a new complication eventually leading to multi organ failure and death within nineteen days. To add to abuse over injury the Doctor had the audacity to tell us (my brothers and myself) that she had lived a good 75 years and that we shouldn’t be very hopeful as she was old. Who decides on how long long a person should live ? The doctors? Such medics are the ones to malign the name of the noble profession where there are many others who try their best with diligence to save lives.
End Of The Road
Post administering a medication this is how he nurses throw the caps near the patients bed.
The drip got over so the bottle was removed and left on the very trolley table where the patient is served meals.
In God’s very own country we saw the end of the road
A stepping stone but we had guessed…..
That would lift you up to good health….
……..yet it didn’t happen that way….
The sky was bright in the morning light….
When from the flight you did step down….
…..the wheelchair awaited you as did the others few
…Cchandar, Mukesh and the Delhi family crew….
Wheeling you up to the ambulance, pre arranged…
…..in preparedness for wonder what?
The scare of the ambulance wasn’t enough though…
……you were taken straight into the ICU….
They pricked and pierced …… to take samples….
Of the rare commodity on your charts….
…… the blood squeezed out from your veins….
…and landed up in numerous vials and tubes.
An oxygen mask placed on you….. a first step…..
…..towards the realization that you needed help.
Help was required to make you breathe…. how….when ..
….. did it happen so?
Hadn’t you been breathing fine till you arrived at the hospital?
We failed to understand things when we were told…
…… we had limited access at being near you.
That sounded dramatic…yes, it did….
There seemed no danger as you alighted or disembarked..
……from the airplane , breathing pretty normal……
And then you were secluded as if you had the worst of ailments
……for you had landed in Apollo Hospital – one of the best they say.
In God’s own land, whence you land…. with you all problems land.
They said your infection rate was very high……
……….and the blood count was getting low…..
…a low of platelets…low WBC…low Hemoglobin… a sign…..
…..that your functioning was getting to an all time low.
Probe after probe….several tests done… awaiting anxiously all results.
A bomb shell then did drop on us…. your marrow of the bone tumults…
….. they said not in those very words…. it had depressed ….
…..as later we learnt.
The septicemia had set in ….. in the body fluids it had spread in…..
Who was responsible for that nasty bacteria……
…… caught on in the ICU by the unhygienic ways and means.
They were meant to cure you …. but did they?
They messed it all up and you panted for each breathe.
The nursing staff was ruthless and uncouth in mannerisms.
The dietitians prescribed menus by the book…..
I would say they know not that to go by book makes them a crook.
Sentiments were lost… same boring meals repeated in and out….
That last glass of lassi much against my wish that you relished…
I wonder if that led to the unease and breathlessness
….perhaps you needed to cool ….those itchy insides…
…….from those nasty tubes and medicated pipes
It gave me pleasure to see you fuss over like usual
……your unhappiness at the television not working….
….we took it as a sign ….of your return to normalcy…
Alas! That was our fallacy….
The engineer came to get it work….. but…..you didn’t watch
For you lost interest….of your usually loved soaps…
The yellow in your eyes….suggested yet another diagnosis
Oh! Hadn’t you had enough of the tests in the process
In your ambition to get up and running…
You left dear mum no stone unturned….
In that feverish state you were hopeful as were we all…
…..your excitement at getting the much awaited parcel ….
….that came from home …. the pair of your glasses…
….now you could watch the videos and photos on our phones..
…and then what happened was surely a shock..
…. as of your condition now that I take stock…
When, why, how did you seem to lose focus.
I waited to hear you complain and fret over various things
……but the oxygen mask made you go silent….
You wanted to speak, you wanted to know why you were there
You questioned me … what the doctors wanted….
And they, the medics just sneered at your query….
I think it was then, that they decided….
They had to silence you in a cruel manner…
Inflicting pain and all that ugly torture…
…..your delicate self now gone so week, so very week..
….could resist no further, and you couldn’t speak….
……. unanswered went all questions that your mind did seek
Developments occurred of the unpleasant kind…
sugars went rising and pressure dripping down by bands..
Units after units of transfusions added, with unhygienic hands..
….and unsanitized, unsensitized habits of the nursing staff…
Uncouth appeared the ICU hall, with scores of hygiene flaws.
Apollo one of New Delhi’s biggest Hospital…. a name of shame…
….where the nurses, the doctors and accounts department
…..all merciless by money ridden mind have lost their hearts
They cared not enough for the well being charts….
……instead filled pockets by playing infectious tricky darts
They stepped on our tender nerves of saving our mother…
by introducing a new failure, a new diagnosis each day….
And helplessly we all saw you gradually fading away…..
…till you reached a saturation point and finally gave up the fight.
The fight to live, the fight of our brave warrior, our mother..
…..ended in God’s very own country….. your end of the road…
…..leaving us bereaved and grieved with a painful bitterness….
That spoke tales of their tight lipped betrayal of the oath …..
…..the oath they took….as they took their first steps ….
In the medical profession…..
……they are nothing but murderers living in respect….
……for their conscience and their pockets find no connect….
Bringing untimely, unethically many a living to dead ….
……the end of the road on the hospital bed!
This link below to yet another incident as well as messages received via social media:
Medical Kidnapping and Murder by Doctors of Fortis Bannerghatta Hospital #Justice4Maa Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Fortis Bangalore Republic Aaj Tak NDTV Zee News ABP News Headlines Today
Generally Kidnapping and murder is carried out by anti social elements/criminals of the society but there are people in this society who are not recognized as anti social element but they are not less than a kidnapper or a murderer.They are known as Corporate Doctors and their crime location is Hospital.Here,the ransom amount(Hospital Bill) is Rs 43 lakh and result :- Murder of my mother after keeping her in ICU for more than 50 days.This is reason why I compared Kidnapper with Doctor. Can you imagine the medicine cost they charged is nearly Rs 12 Lakh. With this amount I can even open a medical shop.
I lost my mother who was fit and fine till 13th May 2017 before her admission in the hospital.Now,I am fighting for the justice.
On 13th May,we went to Fortis Hospital for a small 5mm Gallbalder Stone treatment which hardly takes 45min of surgery.She was fit and fine and was not having any pain till 13th May 2017.Each and every report/parameters tested by Fortis Banneghatta Hospital Bangalore such as WBC,RBC,Hemoglobin,Platelets,Bilirubin,Creatinine all were normal.Lungs,Heart,Kidney,Liver,Pancrease all the vital organs were working perfectly fine when she got admitted on 13th May 2017.
These big corporate hospitals have marketing team who will insist you to come and get the treatment done in their hospital and also they will ask you what kind of insurance you have so that they will complete their target.In my case Mr. Kanniraj keeps calling me even when he was on leave.They want to trap you because they know you love your dear ones and you will come for the treatment.
13th May 2017,Dr Shabber Ahmad,he was supposed to do the Stone Surgery,he asked us to go for ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography) because he was having 0.5% doubt that there is an symtom of Cancer.To rule out his doubt he asked us to undergo this Procedure and asked Dr,Pooranchandra KS to perform ERCP.The Biopsy report later confirmed that there was no symptoms of cancer.
Dr.Pooranchandra KS did the ERCP where Pancreatic,biliary Sphincterotomy was done and biopsy was taken.Post ERCP my mother was under servere pain because he touched the pancrease which resulted in Acute Severe Pancreatitis.She was continously saying she is having pain in stomach but since it was saturday he left hospital .Junior Doctors were just giving pain killer to her.We were continously crying that she is having pain but no one bothered.They kept her in the ward for 3 days before moving her to the ICU when her BP started falling down.
On 16th May,they finally moved her to ICU saying they wanted to monitor her for 24hrs because they dont have equipment in ward.We agreed.
Post ERCP all the vital oragan got affected.Starting with Kidney,lungs heart,liver etc.They asked us to put Pace Maker because after ERCP her heart rythm was not working properly.We agreed because we want her back.She never had heart problem before but in hospital she was on Pace Maker.
Worst part is that they dont know whom they are treating,in number of the reports they have mentioned Sex as Male,when we raised this point they said it is not affecting her treatment,it is only clerical mistake,you dont worry.One of the document I have where it is mentioned as Male and even signed by Senior Cardiology Doctor.They even stop tracheostomy(a type of surgery for oxygen supply) after taking the consent in middle because there was some outstanding amount pending.Once we paid the amount,than only they started the surgery next day.
She was continuously having pain in her stomach and her stomach size was high but ICU team didn’t bother to take any action.Internal bleeding started and they were not able to find out from where the bleeding happening.
Almost 40-45 units of Blood,Platelets,Plasma were transfused to her.Finally,because of long ventilator stay she got infected with number of bacteria and most deadly one was MDR(Multi Drug Resistant)Klebsiella in her blood.
She also went Pancreatic Necrois surgery to remove the dead pancrease and puse. The worst part is that they did all kind of surgery except that surgery for which she went to the hospital.In one of the report they said there is NO STONE IN THE GALLBLADDER.
Finally we lost the battle on 3rd July 2017.On her last day,her BP was continuously sinking and these doctors were saying we have done out best,we cant do anything more.Even on the last day they took consent to perform Dialysis to remove acid from the body.Slowly and slowlyThey know they cant do anything now and my mother is slowing dying so they called BOUNCERS in the ICU.I dont understand what is the need of bouncers in ICU.We lost her,she was in tremendous pain and we were praying that God Please take her with you.She is suffering.
We lost her and it was nothing less than a medical kidnapping and murder.These Doctors and Hospital are running for money,on 2nd July 2017,One patient died in ICU at around 10 PM and doctors and staff were laughing.CCTV footage can clearly show this.
Please help me out by sharing this post so that I will get strength to fight.If you need any more info,please feel free to reach me out.
This message is received from Mr. Parmanand Khianey of Spain
I am narrating the real incident of cheating and misguidance by the top and famous hospital at Mumbai. This happened to my elder brother at Fortis Hospital at Vashi Mumbai. Iniitially we took him to a nearby small hospital for checkup where we were advised to shift him to a nearby Fortis Hospital where all facilities of MRI and other tests are available and accordingly we shifted him to Fortis Vashi Mumbai in an unconscious stage.
Initially they asked us to deposit a sum of rupees 100000 as advanced and immediately he was shifted to Intensive Care Unit for detailed examination of his unconsciousness. To our surprise none of the doctors were able to diagnose the cause of problem and for 8 days he was kept in Intensive Care Unit advising us that his condition is still not out of danger. All his tests including the bone marrow test were done at heavy price and a windpipe was inserted through his throat up to the lungs so the patient was made incapable of speaking and was totally dependent at the mercy of attending doctors. we were allowed to see the patient only once in 24 hours and he was found unconscious all the time.
After 8 days of treatment with no result we got suspicious and consulted one of our family neurologist and on his advice we arranged for visit of senior Neurologist from Lilavati Hospital to examine the patient.
On the 9th day when I informed Fortis Hospital doctors that I have arranged for for a visit of a senior Neurologist from Lilavati Hospital to examine the patient they got disturbed and to our surprise by the afternoon his wind pipe was removed and the patient was allowed to gain consciousness. He was shifted to a private ward on the same day and a physiotherapist was called to start minor exercises. Ultimately he was discharged in another 2 days and we were told that his ammonia levels were high so he lost consciousness and instead of treating ammonia they kept him unconscious by administering a dose of tranquilizers in ICU for 8 days. This is the way these big hospitals treat the patient with the intentions of earning huge amount of money. ultimately we end up paying around 500000 rupees towards the cost of 8 days of ICU charges and other unwanted tests which were done by the Hospital in the name of diagnosing the disease.
I am sharing my experience with all of you with this clear intentions that please do not fall prey in the hands of these big hospitals as they have clear intentions of looting and cheating the patients. I have got all documentary evidences and proofs in my records which clearly shows the carelessness and the greedy attitude of the Hospital.
Request all to share this msg in all your groups so that these big hospitals are exposed and they stop cheating us.
Your gaiety walk and proud chest
Your fair means and ways are the best
A young child and youngest brother once
You have emerged as a family elder
A lineage of culture and tradition
You proudly continued with a rich hue
Never forgetting those dim candle lit days
Of scarcity in privileges and endless days
You stood tall and mighty in your right
In what once appeared to be far fetched
In those long nights of plight
That you made your stint into journalism
From far away land your articles came
And Sakkerben reveled in the happiness game
A pride of prides Nanalal you became
A respected lawyer among many others
Uplifting the downtrodden on the path
Rising and shining on the law forte
Bringing justice to many on their porch
Never blinking an eye when it came to giving aid
Your selfless nature gave you name
Put to use in your welfare game
Through countless hours of lawyering
You found a passion of a greater giving
Realizing the true nature of humanity
For you attained a doctorate in that philosophy
Compassion that flows through you deep and wide
Even the Nile looks at you in awe
The feats you have achieved through these years
Will be remembered for eons to come
Yet humble you remain
As you strive to achieve your A-game.
Known fondly as Kaka to young and old
At a ripe 90 you stand mighty bold
We wish you good health, happiness and laughter
To celebrate yet another wonderful chapter
I am sorry mum for your suffering!
I am sorry for your pain bearing!
Having lost you to illness left me hurt….
But having lost you to wounds has injured me.
A brave warrior you fought till the end…
….Although the suffering saw no end.
The pricks and piercing here and there…
……And ugly jabs almost everywhere …..
…The uncouth handling of your care….
By the staff of Apollo’s nursing care.
The Intensive care forced upon you,
By the doctors of Apollo whilst their pockets
……..were fed by you.
The painful expression coming from your eyes,
Questioning me everyday,” why O! why?”
Docs pushing you away from the comfort of home,
To leave you alone at a time whilst sickness had grown….
The loss of the vital body fluid….
that should have run smooth and rapid.
Leaving you feeblest like never had….
Causing fevers and tremors of shivering ….
All so firmly accepted and borne by you.
The unethical morals rule medical fraternity ……..
The dirty tricks layered by ego between medics…
Cost me dearly a life that was precious and pure.
I am sorry mum for your suffering!
I am sorry for your pain bearing!
Having lost you to negligence by specialists….
Who forgot to check on you but checked pockets.
To them of interest were the results on charts,
They noticed not the inflicted painful darts.
Causing infection and then finding the cause,
Causing blood loss after blood loss to fulfill the loss….
By hundreds of syringes that extracted your blood……
…..To them it was a mere routine job.
Did they notice ever those shabby helper boys….
Contaminating the samples on the way to pathology lab ?
Holding trays full of samples, with samosaed oily hands,
Stopping on the way satiating their gossipy glands.
I am sorry mum for your suffering!
I am sorry for your pain bearing!
The legs captivated by that DVT pump….
Made you feel imprisoned on the hospital bed.
I should have understood your agony oh mum,
Please do forgive me for the ignorance mum.
The mouth went dry and you felt to cry…..
…..Neither a sip of water nor tears to cry.
I was shocked by that condition and wanted to pry…
Your hands too were bandaged under a pretext oh my!
Your own beautiful, glowing body ……
Turned to emerge a burden or a sort of cage….
Was it your illness or the hospital that laid the trap?
To squeeze out the life force out of you….
……Giving it wings of air to fly far away.
I am sorry mum for your suffering!
I am sorry for the pain bearing!
No apology ever came from them……
They found excuses to give you the run.
Their options all were fatalistic eventually,
They love the game called Life that ends in Death.
The Apollo Hospital at New Delhi,
To me appeared to be a death sanctuary.
I am bitter, yes very bitter at the way things worked,
I lost you at a place where lives are meant to get cured.
You said not a single formal goodbye
You spoke not a word in days lying masked.
You neither hugged nor were allowed to be hugged….
…….In life at hospital or even in death.
I miss by big motherly hug dear mum,
I miss you each day my dear mum.
Now memories alone shall hang on
Of the immediate past and years of past
Like a jigsaw puzzle unfolding on mind screen,
I wish I could get you back my own royal queen.
The tale of The Elephant and the Ant might not be the most popular one but it sure came to my mind during the flight from Dubai to Hongkong. A small little creature of God became mighty enough to force all passengers on the flight to disembark from the flight that they boarded within few tens of minutes. Here’s how the story goes.
I was waiting at the Business Class Lounge at the airport along with my family. The announcement came in a bit early, at 9.15 am as a final call for the passengers bound for EK 380 to proceed towards the boarding gate. We were lounging peacefully expecting to proceed towards the boarding gate at 9.30am thus the announcement startled us. However, the haste went to a waste as our boarding gate was unmanned at the time. In a while, as the staff emerged, they weren’t really looking forward to boarding the passengers. Upon questioning they politely told us to wait for about 10 minutes.
Needless to add that given the comfort of the lounge, everyone retired back to the couches closer to the gate. Little did we all know that the promised 10 minutes would extend to 70 minutes. Phew! Finally we commenced boarding from 10.30 onwards. Excitement followed by delay was soon overcome by further delay as after having settled down and having sipped on the welcome drink in the business class we spotted a bird flying from nowhere. No sooner had that happened one could see the crew members, the service staff running towards the front cabin on the upper deck.
Hilarious as it sounds, were the passengers at witnessing these grown ups holding their weapons of assault ( funnily enough those were mere blankets and fabrics) attempting to chase or trap a cheeky little bird. It had to be arrested. It had boarded the flight illegally! It was without a so called legal document of the world of humans called a passport. It hadn’t obtained a visa permit to visit Hongkong! It hadn’t even cleared through a physical security check. What an audacious behavior it displayed.
This little and often ignored creature had for once decided to make headline news and gain significance. And that it managed pretty well as the efforts of the staff at apprehending this illegal passenger on board failed. She hid! ( by now I had developed enough bond with her to not address her as it).Coming from nowhere, going to a nowhere this chirpy terrorist bird found a hideous pleasure giving them all a run. Well, I guess they assumed it had escaped them and made her way out in the fresh air rather than choosing to breathe the air exhaled by us.
By now, a half of an hour had passed since everyone had made themselves comfortable when to their utter surprise the bird was sighted flying backwards in full speed. Her flight within the cabin was amusing us so much that for a few moments we all forgot our ICE entertainment and gained interest in something which was a common scene when not inside an airplane. The chase had begun once again and the frantic run that we witnessed was quite a scene as the crew members quickly barred off the Business and First Class area by drawing in the curtains and plugging them securely at both the right and left ends .
This tiny winged entertainer in all its might had terrorized the Emirates staff. “Oh! What a winged pleasure it must have gained”, thought I. But the very next minute I started sympathizing with her for she had unknowingly, in her simple innocence entered a forbidden enemy territory. The humans who rarely appeared friendly to her kind and creed were usually very big enemies. Ahem! Some of them have a pretense of being kind and caring , they trap them and keep them as ‘pets’ too. Some of them being part of bigger organizations claim to protect, conserve and upkeep their kind and creed in sanctuaries and parks after being the cause of bringing them steps closer to a downfall in their numbers. And now! Now here they were, trying to give a chase to one of them who couldn’t be accommodated among the large numbers who wanted to travel to Hongkong.
Yeah! Yeah! We claim security measures. We claim hygiene. We claim comfort. We can go on and on about our claims but the fact remains we couldn’t have this unwelcome guest on board. We joked about her not having a passport. We joked about it not taking the effort to fly herself till Hongkong thus choosing to board the Emirates plane. We laughed at the whole scenario and disembarked the plane thus boarding another one totaling up the delay to nearly six hours and several failed attempts at catching hold of the little visitor.
We were exhausted and wanted to shut off our eyes the minute we had re boarded our airplane . I wondered how terrified and tired the bird would have been. Perching on trees being its nature, how harsh would it have been on her to be escaping into the tiny dockets of space it would have discovered under the seats or maybe inside the folds and curves in unimaginable places. Did she get injured? Did it find food in the pantry? Were her wings intact?There was an influx of many such questions running through like a film in the camera of my mind. I was attempting to visualize the various scenarios resulting from the traumatic hide and seek game that was played around this dainty being whom I had started sympathizing with.
Unbeknownst to this invader, she had now found a place of love within a somewhat curled up, rolled up piece of feeling that lay in my heart. Yes, the heart: an abode of unconditional love. But what did I do to express my love. I harshly walked away and out like any other passenger but I prayed for her. I prayed for her escape. I prayed for her safety. I prayed for her to meet her fellows out there : maybe her mate or her siblings or her children. I enquired the air hostesses about the bird if she survived, if she was caught and released. The response that left me stunned was , “I don’t know ma’am but you don’t worry, this is not the same plane”. I silently forgave her as she was simply performing her duty to her best. The professional attitude of Emirates is par excellence and it left no doubt at that even once.
It was all about us humans, has been the case always since we humans became insensitive in our run for professionalism. The fault lay not in the airport nor in the airplane. The fault lay not with the staff and attendants nor with the crew on board. The fault, my dear readers is in our attitudes of the modern day world. We deem ourselves most significant as compared to other creatures who often pay a heavy price for our modernized, educated behavior.
Disclaimer: the views expressed above are in no way meant to harm any individuals or airliners but to bring awareness of the lack of a simplistic holistic human trait in today’s world.