1st January 2009; New Jersey, USA
He woke me up. It took me time to register his existence. I felt my stomach churn. My head was spinning; a big boulder seemed to be rolling in my skull. The little congruence capability made me realize that I was in a hospital.
“Haven’t I told you to take your medicines on time?” his eyes were glaring with anger. I felt meek and helpless, unable to utter a word. My tongue was cut, as it happens during Epilepsy convulsions. He turned back, and went away, probably to see the doctor. I tried to close my eyes. A fierce pain shot from my eye sockets. This time is was really bad, I thought.
I limped back home after a few hours. It must be a muscle pull due to the fall. Last what I could recall, I was practicing wall climbing in the adventure park, one step towards achieving my dream.
8thNovember 2013, Dalhouise, India
Leela pulled the blanket, and rubbed some mustard oil on my sole. I didn’t like it, but she insisted that helps regain the strength. Leela was a helper in my school (my dream was fulfilled), where I had been working with the Epileptic patients, mostly children, to regain their motor skills. Soft rock climbing was a part of it.
The boulder was rolling in my head, giving me the same helpless feeling I have been used to now. I think I drifted off to sleep, because I didn’t hear the door open. I felt a familiar, soft but strong touch on my forehead. The fragrance of my favorite Body Shop calming oil filled the room. I instantly recognized the musk.
“Don’t say anything, I have put some ointment on your tongue, it will get better soon”, he said pouring a glass of cold chocolate milk shake, one hand still in my tangled hair, massaging the oil. He remembers my favorite drink, I thought. Bereft of emotions, I closed my eyes, and drifted off again.
“Power, money, fame, name – nothing could make me forget that day. It was snowing, almost midnight. My body was full of blisters, probably some sort of allergic reaction. The pharmacies were all closed, except one. You wore the heavy black boots, pulled the thick Canada goose, and off you went to buy a soothing ointment for me. That instant of compassion.. I want you back in my life.”
His eyes were moist. Change was evident.
A few years back, when I was in high school, I went to visit Tamanna School (www.tamana.org). The visit was a part of the social initiatives in my school, where year 12 students visit old age homes, blind school, and schools for kids with special needs. I got the opportunity to spend time with children (ages 6 till 16).
Those two days are amongst the best days of my life. I got to witness humanity, truth, purity, love, compassion. There was no sign of pity or sorrow. Those moments were full of empathy for others, respect for each other, friendship and selfless love. They changed my life.
I was a buddy to a not-so-little boy, 12 year old Bijoy, an epilepsy patient. He loved sun. His favorite seat was next to the window, which opened into the lush garden. As he drew the painting, his hands not fully under his control, but his desire so strong, I could see the sun rays fall over his innocent yet intense face. When his elder brother, Mr. Roy, picked him up that afternoon, I could see the pride in his moist eyes looking at the drawing sheet with a yellow circle and some streaks of blue.
Epilepsy is a nervous disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed, causing seizures. Symptoms vary from person to person. There are several types of Epilepsy. The patient cannot drive or swim, it could be life threatening. 65 million people suffer from Epilepsy. Seizures can be controlled, but the disease has no cure. The seizure needs to action, no medicine, no injections. The most which we can offer to an Epilepsy patient is compassion, love and care.
Compassion spreads without any extra effort. A gesture of love stirs gratitude in us. It costs nothing.
February 20th, 2015 is United Nations World Day of Social Justice. More than a thousand bloggers, across the globe, post today to spread this message, in a hope to spread love. Read my post on “how it all started” here – 1000Speak
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