A day before I left for Kerala, I met Ettan (brother) and Ettathiyamma (sister-in-law) who lost their only daughter exactly 51 days ago. I was worried till I met them on 7th evening because I am extremely bad at expressing grief and consoling people. But when I met them I saw that they had accepted the truth and come to terms with the tragedy. May be it is because they saw her in terrible pain all these days and had wanted her to get rid of it. May be because they have been given enough strength by the Almighty to overcome this grief.
Keethu, my niece, was an extremely talented child and an all-rounder. A versatile dancer, an above average student who was good at theatre, arts and crafts and what not. Showcased at the end of this post are some of her works.
Ettathiyamma told us that all this horoscope thing is bullshit. She said, “My child’s horoscope was written till the age of 68 and we have lost her at 18.” Her sorrow was evident in her words though she managed to stop her tears.
Dad and Mom spoke with them at length. I took my own time to open up. They told us about their visit to Faith India, a special school for the mentally challenged run and managed by Dad’s cousin brothers. Ettathiyamma told us that her grief was nothing compared to the plight of the children at this school. They were all praises for the teachers, trainers and staff. I wanted to visit the school but couldn’t because of lack of time and some pre-booked engagements. But I’ll definitely be going there soon to spend some time with the gifted souls. I did what I love doing. Feeding them for a day. I paid the amount to Valliachan (Dad’s elder brother) who is a regular visitor. May no child and no family have to bear such a loss and may no children have to undergo such a condition. Our society needs to grow up a lot to understand that being mentally disabled is not an individual’s fault. It is a medical condition and only our empathy and a feeling of being loved and cared for can help them improve.
If you would like to donate in cash or kind to Faith India, here is the link : Faith India
Contributions can be made here: Faith India Contributions
I also met Keethu’s grandparents (my Dad’s elder sister and brother-in-law). Valliamma (paternal aunt) couldn’t stop her tears. She said no child should be so much gifted and talented. All they should have is a healthy and long life. Keethu was the youngest in her family. She was such performer that there is no one who doesn’t know her in this locality and there is no one who hasn’t prayed for her speedy recovery. But then she was truly God’s Own Child and that might be why He took her into His safe custody. When I console myself with such words, I also think that if He actually loved her so much He shouldn’t have given her so much pain. All said and done, she’ll remain in our hearts and her loss has impacted everyone who has met her.