She isn’t the most beautiful girl in the world...but her smile could enslave the cruelest soul.. Her dance movements are the silliest, but those were enough to better the best dancers. Her singing is never the best, but she would give Lata Mangeshkar a run for her money.
She is Janu, A sweet, cute, bubbly, angel on earth. I met her for the first time in RajniKanth Old age home.. I wondered at first what a girl of her age was doing in an ‘Old Age Home’.
I inquired a few inmates and came to know that her mom was abandoned by her husband and with no place to go, they took refuge in the home. However, there was never a tint of sadness in her eyes! She was happy and was making everyone around her join in the fun!!
When I saw her with so much of energy, running all around, I pulled her by my side and made her sit on my lap. She didn’t hesitate. I began to pose my usual questions.
“Whats your name darling ?”
“Chandini, but my friends call me Janu”
“Great, then I will also call you Janu.. shall we be friends ?”
“Hmmm..” She slightly nodded her head..
Janu was seven years old, wheatish, had a cropped hair and probably the best smile in the world.
“So Janu, whats the thing that you like the most ?”
“My mom !” came the instant reply
“Do you like me ?”
She didn’t reply for that question, but took my cap from me and put it on her head and asked me to take snaps of her !
I obliged and clicked the beauty in my mobile camera.
“Whats your name ?” She asked me.
“Dani ? Dani or Tonic ? I will call you Donic henceforth !”
“Whats that Donic ?”
“Don’t know.. but you are anymore donic anna.. donic anna !” saying she ran around me.. I gave a hearty laugh. There was a positive vibe around her. She filled the surrounding with her contagious energy. Everyone loved her.
She then went inside the home, when one of the Grandmas told me Janu’s entire story.
“Janu’s mom is pregnant now and was sent-away from her home by Janu’s dad..Janu is very shrewd and smart.. every day Janu used to tell her mom that she will study well , go to a good job and take care of her in the best possible way.. She says all this at this tender age of 7 !”
I was shocked and surprised at the same time on hearing that.
Janu became very close to me even at our first meeting. She didn’t allow anyone else to sit on my lap. It was exclusively reserved for her. She loved me, just as I loved her.
I visited the old age home on alternate weeks. Two weeks after my previous visit, I went there again. Janu was very excited to see me and came running towards me and hugged me. She was running berserk calling me, ‘Donic anna.. donic anna’ I began to play with her, took photos of her and she sat in her prestigious place on my lap.
She then danced for us all, sang and entertained the gathering. She was very cute in the red color tops she wore that day. She kissed me as I left for the day. I departed with no heart to leave. My thoughts were filed with her, her grit, her energy, her thoughts and her words to console her mom… She was different !!
Another Two Weeks Later :
I made the visit to the Old age home and was very excited to see Janu and hugged her. But she didn’t respond nor react on seeing me. I was taken aback. She didn’t talk to me neither did she sit in her pristine place. I was much worried. I called her again and made her sit on my lap and asked her,
“Won't you talk to me ?”
“Won't you sit on my lap ”
“If you don’t sit, I will not talk to you”
“OK” she said without any hesitation and left me. She went and sat near another volunteer.
I couldn’t fathom the happenings. I was quite upset and disturbed. I wondered how kids forget people and incidents so quick.
Some Twenty Minutes Later :
I met Janu’s mom and inquired about her well-being when she asked me that unexpected question.
“What did you do my kid ?”
“What ? Well.. nothing why ?” I was shocked.
“She was asking for you all the time last week! She was so upset that you didn’t turn up and she didn’t eat properly !”
“Really ? ” I felt a lump in my throat.
“Even this week she was waiting for you and asking me from morning whether you would come”
“But she never talked to me!” I told her mom, as my eyes were searching for her in the crowd.
“She is angry on you as you didn’t come last week.. I am wondering what you did to my girl !”
“Oh my god ! I did nothing to her” saying so I ran towards Janu, hugged her, lifted her in my arms and kissed her.
“Baby.. are you angry on me ? Did you miss me sweety ? I will come regularly anymore and meet you.. here take these sweets..”
She didn’t want the sweets, but my lap to sit on. She didn’t get down from my lap till I left and began to talk to me like the previous times and began to play with me. It was bliss, happiness beyond measure, its something I cannot express in words.. She took me to another world, the world of having a sister. It takes time and patience to understand kids. Its easy to conquer a world as against understanding a child’s heart, but one needs to have the heart of a child to win the world !
I kissed her and bade her good bye (She asked her mom’s permission and then kissed me :) )
Two Weeks Later :
With lot of expectations and a couple of toys and few chocolates I visited the Old age home. But to my disappointment, I was greeted with the news that Janu and her mom had left the home. Janu’s dad had come and took them back with him. I didn’t know how to react. I was happy for her. She would be with her dad and she would have a secure and a better future. I hoped so. I prayed for her well-being and for her dad to be with her always.
I am not sure whether I would ever meet her again.I am not sure whether she would remember me If we meet.I am not sure whether she would behave to me the same way even if she remembers me, but Janu will always remain close to my heart.
It is because of such unflinching love and never ending surprises that the world is still a beautiful place to live on !