As I jogged
home on an early Saturday morning, I paused to rest on a boulder
just a stone away from the lonely, meandering boulevard. The
air was fresh and clean, and the borders of the road were
lined with uneven heights of flowers and trees. The sight
was beautiful. I began to wonder how my house would look with
ikebana of such flowers. Then, as my memory would hold, the
ethereal Gladiolus in front of me reminded me of that little
8-year-old Tanisha who taught me the powerful profundity of
sign language as a way of expressing your emotions when words
I met her on my first
charity round. It was an orphanage where insensitive parents or
reluctant mothers left their little treasures for others to preserve.
Tanisha was one of them. While most children ran about frisky, Tanisha
caught my attention. Quiet as the still of the night, she sat on
the crumpled bed sheet gazing at each one in the room. I asked her
her name, but she simply smiled. A warden informed me that she is
deaf and dumb and her feet are crippled. I saw that heart-tugging
innocent child and found myself asking randomly, "how on earth
could a child be made to suffer such a devious consequence?"
I stretched my arms towards her and willingly, she let me embrace
her. There were plenty of other kids yearning attention, many were
found playing with other fellow volunteers, but for Tanisha, there
was none. I was also told that many have tried to be with her but
not for long because, you ! see, she was incapable of communicating
I wheeled her out. We took seat at the West Gate. We watched the
boisterous scenario and cheered our own selected players. The in-house
dog wriggled up to her and kissed her feet. She giggled and strutted,
and both of us fell. We laughed. The dog continued to be mischievous.
Then, I lifted the dog and she gently patted him on the head.
was like a whiff of breeze, silent and quick. I observed,
half she ate and the other half she shared it with the dog.
I plucked morsels and gave it to her. She refused and asked
me to finish it.
During our interaction, I learnt she had a penchant for drawing
and aspired to be an illustrious artist someday. I watched
her maneuver her pencil artistically till she was complacent
with the sketch of her favourite flower - Gladiolus. It was
an impeccable replica. Using signs, I imparted that Gladiolus
signified character of strength and like this flower, she
should nurture the inner strength to achieve. She told me
she liked the flower.
I told her to keep
it instead of giving it to me, but she pushed it back at me. Extemporizely,
she pointed a finger at her, crossed her arms to her chest, and
pointed back at me. Steadily, I fathomed she used her ability to
her best and out of love, she gave it to me.
Anyway, she began
to feel uncomfy in the wheelchair. I motioned if she wanted to sit
by my side. She nodded; however, as I reached out to lift her up,
she stopped me. She struggled out of the chair by herself, crawled
up, and sat on my lap. Then, I began a session of rhymes and stories.
I hummed all the nursery rhymes I could recall and narrated stories
like dumb charades. She mimicked and bubbled with laughter. I do
not know how much we comprehended each other, but we had a good
time together. The incandescent sun began to fade in the faraway
horizon. She became serious. I was perplexed. People were preparing
to return home. She probably saw this too often and understood it
was my time to depart too. She looked at me, smiled, and moved back
to her chair. Unctioned by the gesture, using sign language to the
best of my ability, I told her that I was in no hurry to bid her
adieu. The quizzical look on her face subsided when I explained
it with my fingers pointing at me, crossing both my arms to the
chest, and pointing it back at her. A smiled gleamed from the corner
of her mouth. I held her close and began to stroll beneath the early
moon above us.
- Hi. I'm working in the healthcare sector in quality assurance.
I'm in Bangalore. I have keen interest in reading, writing, photography,
trekking, and music. I believe that all of us have talent, which,
when used, can make a difference in the world, or at least, in someone's
life. The choice is ours. My writings are usually from personal