A Little Touch of Compassion
A Little Touch of Compassion
It was like any other day. There was nothing much significant around me. Least, I did expect that in the coming hours, I would experience something unusual.
I was working on my computer, completely engrossed in closing my recent project. Suddenly, there was a loud knock at the door. Almost lost in my thoughts, I was loud for the person to allow him inside my room.
"The door is open; please walk in…"
I saw him opening the door and walked straight inside the room, holding a girl in his hand. I knew the man he was from the rescue team, but the girl was unfamiliar to me. I knew nothing about her whereabouts. She was weeping like a small kid of her age would do. I called her to sit on a chair right next to me.
I saw she was trying her best to lift herself to the chair's height. Seeing her effort, I smiled and took her on my lap to place her comfortably on the chair. She was perplexed and looked at me for quite some time. She was probably taking to be at ease with me. Moreover, I was not familiar with her and how a girl of 5 years would trust somebody whom she has never met in her life. I saw her scrutinizing each corner of the room as if she was searching for something that she could relate to. After looking around, her eyes then finally fell on my desk. There lay a teddy bear chain that was gifted to me by one of my friends. I saw her glance was fixed on it. I took it and gave it to her, sort of a bribe; otherwise, I knew she would never reveal what I was about to ask her.
Wicked me, isn't it?
But that exactly what a child psychologist must do. Get the child engaged in an activity and slowly squeeze out the fact.
I asked where she was coming from. Was she lost on her way home?
She informed me that she stays in a nearby slum area. In the morning, her mother was coming out for work. She was adamant about coming along with her. Upon asking what her mother does, she informed me that she is a sweeper on the street. I asked her if her father stays along with them. She replied that her father is a rickshaw puller in the city, who returns late in the home. I asked if she would be interested to go back to her house. She said she wants to meet her mother. I jotted down all her details and, along with my child rescue team and the child, went out in search of her home.
The challenge here was that the slum area that she talked about was spread in a huge area, and to find out her home would be confusing. When we were almost near her home, she saw a local kulfi shop and requested me to buy a kulfi for her. I smiled and gave her what she wanted. She was adorable to offer me a bite. I smiled at her sweet gesture and placed a kiss on her cheek.
In a few minutes, we were almost in the slum area, looking out for her home. A few of her friends recognized her and told her that her father was looking out for her. They directed us to her home. When we were almost near to her house, we saw a man came running towards us, looking all distressed and lost. She immediately hugged the little girl and took her in his lap. He requested us to visit their home. When we reached, he gave us water to drink. I was amazed to see that even if he belonged to the slum area, he requested the people to buy us distilled water.
I told him that his daughter had come out with her mother when she had gone out for work. Our rescue team found her in the middle of the road, crying and looking lost.
Her father looking shocked, informed me that her mother passed away a year back. She was barely four years old then. But she has been missing her since and ask her father about her. Her small daughter is desperate to meet her mother, but he is helpless. He also told me that people had asked him to marry again, but he is not interested since he does not know how her stepmother would behave with her.
The next I remember was my eyes were filled with tears. I controlled myself and ran out of the place, holding myself steady. I prayed to give strength to the man to take control of the situation and save her small daughter.
I remember this incident for two reasons, first, a man's helplessness and secondly a child's strong desire to meet her mother.
Six months later, I went to meet the girl. She recognized me the moment she saw me and took me to her home to introduce me to her mother. To my surprise, it was a different home slightly better than the previous one. Her mother was drying the cloth, and her father was cleaning the rickshaw. They invited me to come over to their home. Her father informed me that he married again as he found a gem of a person. They are happy now, all worries ended, and all their past now put to rest.