Amidst all the negativity in the world going on now, I would like to share a small positive story of compassion and kindness with you all. Although it took place a long time back but a story like this gives us hope in humanity. Hope you all love to read it too. It is not a love story but a story about love for another human life..
This was about 30 years ago. We were then residing in Delhi. I was too young to have any memories of the incident but my father narrates it to me as if it had happened just yesterday. We had a small flat in a place called Khirki Malviya Nagar and my mum with her usual friendliness had befriended everyone in the colony. Growing up I always found it amusing that mum was the go to medicine lady for our entire neighbourhood. She always knew the first aid to many cuts and bruises and my friends were always running to her instead of their homes after every fall. Even the nurse lady who lived in a flat opposite to ours came to mum when her kids were hurt.
Therefore it was no surprise to her when one day a neighbour came running that her months old baby was unwell. He was having acute diarrhea and was running a high fever. He was constantly crying and none of her home made remedies seemed to be working any more. The lady was in tears and begged my mum for help as she did not know what more to do. The child had been in that state since the night before but they had not taken him to a doctor because they had not thought it serious initially. In fact the father had already left for his daily rounds in his taxi.
My mum rushed down with the lady and one look at the baby told her that the child must be completely dehydrated if he had been passing stools for so long. ORS is the first medicine that doctors give to babies in such a situation and so she quickly went back home, brought down some ORS packets and started administering the child the solution. To abate the fever, she also started putting wet cloth on his forehead.
My dad was in office and I was in school. Those were not days of mobile phones or quick internet services. Not a single house in the whole colony even had a landline phone. So the ladies had nothing else to do but wait. They could not call a doctor, any helpline, nor my father and her husband was of course completely untraceable. He could be anywhere in Delhi. And they could not take the child to a doctor. Mum was expecting me home any minute from school. The lady had an elder daughter at home. They could not leave the homes unattended too. However, my mum’s efforts were bearing some fruits. The fever although not totally gone was fluctuating and the baby was sleeping more. But still a doctor’s expert advice would be absolutely necessary.
You may ask why no one else in the colony did not come to help. Well the bigger reason was that they did not want to take the responsibility of a sick child on their head. One or two had even suggested to mum that let the parents do whatever they can for their child, why did she even bother. If the child dies, they will blame her that she must have administered the wrong medicine so the child lost his life. But my mum was determined. Her reply was, “I want to stay true to my God that I did the best to save a child. How will I get up everyday and look in the mirror knowing that I could have saved the child but I didn’t?” This was what my dad thought too when finally in the evening he returned and mum ran to him to please take this child to a doctor. My dad did not even go up to our house. He gave his bag to my mum, hailed a taxi, took another gentleman from our colony and rushed to the child specialist, whose patient I was, with the lady and her child.
Diagnosis showed what my mum had thought. The child had suffered extreme dehydration which had led to the diarrhea and the timely dosage of ORS by my mum had saved his life from going into danger. I do not know the further details and my dad could also not remember it completely, but this is true that the doctor could not stress enough to the child’s parents about what my mum had done. According to my father, the doctor had later on even mentioned to the child’s father that since my dad had gone with them, they had admitted such a severe case or else they would have directed them to a bigger govt. hospital. The baby stayed in the nursing home for 2-3 days. The parents were thereafter very grateful to my parents and had even tried returning back some money that my dad had spent in all the hospital procedures. My dad of course had none of it, so the baby’s father did the only one thing he could- he always gave free taxi rides to our family whenever we needed one.
My mum and dad did what they did out of love for another human life. They did not think about the consequences or the society. They did what was to the best of their ability and knowledge the proper thing to do for keeping the child alive. They did not do it to gain fame or likes or followers. They just did what their soul and heart asked them to do.
After my mum passed away, complete strangers had come over to our home to show solidarity with us, people whom we had never seen told us what a kind soul she was and they felt so happy to have known her. Those words simultaneously used to break my heart and also fill it with pride over the fact that her life had touched so many others. In a world riddled with selfishness and materialism, this small act of kindness that my parents did for some family makes me very proud. I hope to take inspiration from this and if ever I can touch any soul with even a little bit of kindness, I would be happy that I took their benevolence forward.