She sat next to me for the Christmas party, a bubbly cheerful girl… MJ introduced us and asked us to perform a particular chore and we did. And we got chatty. I found a very happy sort of kid, studious.. who is rearing to pursue her higher studies in her field. We made a great team that evening. With some people the working relationship just clicks like that in a moment’s notice.
We sat at the table at the entrance making note of people who had come. There were balloons to be blown, I took out a few from the packet and asked her if she wanted to help. She politely declined saying she had no lung power. A group of women and kids walked in and we decided to test their lung power, now that we had arrived at a term for the power of blowing out the balloons… we waited and watched, some blew, some blew and the balloons burst in their faces.. some of them tied them together, a few others strung up the balloons and tied them to the pillars and walls… all in all it was a cooperating set of folks.
We got talking, she and I, she was impressed I was pursuing a PhD. It is rare to see such enthusiasm because many are ignorant about this degree, some don’t appreciate the hard work, and others just act arrogant. I was happy for a change and in turn asked her what she was up to. She said she wanted to purse a PhD in her field at California. A happy-go-lucky girl who spotted a brilliant smile.
After the guests had left when MJ and I sat discussing the evening, she said the girl who helped me today had blood cancer. At that moment, somehow a lot of things she had said during the evening fell into place, that she was allergic to the smoke of the mosquito, that she had less lung power, that the walls and paint of the adjacent apartment had a hospital feel… I could be just over interpreting, she would not have meant it that way at all..
but in hindsight, I appreciate that she can just be happy even through her pains. One look at her and we know that she is not faking it, she is genuinely happy, neither does she want any sympathy nor does she want to be empathized with. She just wants to make the most of her life.. ditto with her parents! I love such people and their spirit who can just let things be and get on with their lives, and not just mourn and sit in a corner brooding over less happier times!
It is difficult to come out of such information. She who was with me for about 4-5 hours and working along, smiling away had just been discharged a day or two ago from the hospital after a major treatment!! And there she was with us the next day to celebrate. She would have had to rest for a day or two for spending so much time that evening!
One more person added to my list of those whom I admire… I also admire the people around me who came for the party… except me, all of them knew about her. However, there were no sympathetic looks, or talk.. most of them who interacted with her were just happy to see her active and agile… otherwise, I would have caught a hit from their conversation.
On the occasion of this new year, I hope and pray that she is well and is able to fulfill all her dreams and that this bit is just a patch and always remains in the past never to resurface to torment her and her family again.