Help Me Dear Readers And Fellow Bloggers :)

This is regarding the earlier post I wrote about the Flower selling PaatiFor those who did not have time to read the entire post, here is the gist.

At Palarivattom, Cochin, I saw a paati selling flowers. She looked very old and tired. I bought some flowers from her and started a conversation. Over two visits, I got to know that both her sons passed away. Her husband was sick when I spoke to her the first time. However, in my next visit, she told me that he too had passed.

My Flower Seller Paati
My Flower Seller Paati

She has some debts that sum up to Rs. 10000 to be repaid. And hence, she traveled all the way from Coimbatore to Cochin on Sundays and Thursdays and sold flowers. At an age when she needs to be cared for, she was getting baked under the sun.

When I asked her contact details, she said she did not have a phone and asked me to lend her a old handset if I had any. I told her that I would inform her about the same. She also told me about how she got her eyes checked and didn’t have the money to buy spectacles.

To read the full story, click HERE.

My questions:

  1. I decided to get her a phone. But I was wondering about the SIM card. Since she is travelling a lot, there is a chance of her losing the SIM. If I am to get it in my name, I believe that would be a huge risk. Do I have any other alternative (In case she has no IDs)?
    For those concerned, I just want to help her out. She travels alone and apparently has no close relatives, I am worried. For those who think I’m crazy, you may ignore this post.
  2. I would like to collect some fund and help her repay her debt (At least a portion of it). Do you think it is possible through my blog?

For the skeptical ones:

When I was on the hunt for a good handset, a friend asked me,
“You just spoke to her once and believed whatever she said?”

I believe many of you might have that question too.

Firstly, I don’t believe that any mother would make up a story about her children’s death.

Secondly, she is a very old lady who is working hard. Assuming that she wasn’t truthful about any of the above, I don’t lose anything by giving her a phone. But on the other hand, if she was genuine, I would be helping her somehow. I am only helping someone trying to help herself.

Regarding the fund, again, let us assume she is making up a story. I buy stuff online frequently. Things that aren’t a necessity for me. For an old lady who works to make ends meet, I could sacrifice a top and lend her that money. That is not a great loss for me. But, it would be a great help for her. Whether her story is true or not, she needs the money more than me. If there are people who think like me, they may contribute. There would be no pressure. 🙂

A day for the old times’ sake

7.30 PM – Rain – A steaming cup of tea.
I’m very happy today after a really bad week. Or maybe it has been ages since I’ve felt so good, a warmth and calmness within myself. The credit goes to Vidya, Neetu and Anu 
My college friends. Speaking of college, it was the best 3 years of my life so far.

Today suddenly I decided to go meet them at their college hostel. And so I reached there by 10.30 am and from the cheery welcome then to my reluctant goodbye in the evening at around 6.00 pm, time just flew.

A few biscuits for my empty stomach and a cup of electric-cooker-made coffee reminded me of one thing. Of the ice creams I rarely had after college. Ice creams weren’t my priorities. But at college one ice cream shared by 4 -8 of us, was something I would never miss. Biscuits weren’t something I preferred. But in their company, it tasted yumm..

As usual when we got together I became myself again, that ‘Me’, only my college mates had the good fortune to see. A different person altogether. I was hyper-animated, imitated everyone I ever knew, talked about all the things I never spoke of for so long, definitely bored them a bit giving details of my difficult times at work- I know they’ll forgive me for that. They told me their stories at college, we discussed about everything we used to discuss when we were once together.

We confessed about the pranks we played, of the pranks we knew others had played, of the tough and lovely times, of the exams and holidays, of seniors and juniors, of our lord. The way we used to make plans at college that one day we would visit each others’ homes, similarly, we planned that one day we’ll visit our college.

I didn’t even realize it was lunch time. We all went out, had lunch and walked back to hostel. My plans were to leave after lunch. But the dark rooms and the gloomy atmosphere gave the old ‘hostel’ feeling and we became our old four atp selves again and talked and talked and talked. I was already getting warning messages from my sis at home and yet I hung on till evening. They got tea for me from the mess. Yet again reminded me of how we were not allowed to get anything out of the dining hall at college and how some of us used to sneak things out.

After a while, I said, I have to leave. They would never know what I felt then. I said that and I sat there again for an hour or so, and I knew that if allowed, I’d sit there for ages together. A sudden decision and I startled them by jumping out of the bed, put on my slippers and said a hurried bye. They walked me to where my activa was. Anu knows about the high standard brake that it has. It’s designed to stop approximately one km after the brakes are used ;). And so she asked me to show how the brake functions. I was supposed to put the brakes when I reached a certain tree. ‘Silly’ I thought. ‘As if I would do that’. That was just a part of the silly talks and suggestions we used to have.

I started it and took off. As I reached the tree, my hands on their own held the brakes and as usual, the activa stopped after 2 mtrs or so. I turned back, looked at them and I smiled while they gave me the go signal. I smiled at myself and at them. However silly their wishes were I’d always do anything for them. That’s how it always has been and will be.

I’m back at home now and I miss them. My throat has gone sore. As I sit alone now, I realize it was a day, a company that I badly needed.

Smile – The joy of Christmas

By chance, I was just outdoors when our apartment’s ‘president’ was walking down with a huge star in hand and few deco-things. As I followed her, I saw the tiny Christmas tree placed on the sunshade in par with the first floor. It was Christmas again!

This was my favorite festival, for the city turns happy by the end of November.  The crowded streets, the Christmas shopping, the santa claus and stars in front of every shop, the celebration, the joy, and something more! I can’t describe the feeling I get as November wanes to December. It’s simply The joy of Christmas.

A couple of years back, December was tiresome since it used to be our Sports meet season at college. The major and hectic practices used to go on then. Yet, we managed to find time to keep up with the Chris-mom Chris-child game every year if not with our studies ;). The little pranks that were in store for the month brought with them the joy of the season.

A few more years back in school, Christmas was the day for wearing ‘colour dresses’, taking snaps, playing Christmas-friend in groups, giving and getting lots of gifts which also showed how many friends you had and your popularity. Most importantly, it was the time for holidays.

Teenage had made life a bit sophisticated, egoistic, self-conscious, trend-conscious and many more adjectives could be added. Too many for that matter. What I cherish the most was the Christmas years before that. Maybe when I was in my Kindergarten.

Mom and Dad used to buy me a pretty frock. I wasn’t conscious at all then about anything in life- Dress was the last thing that bothered me. Ofcourse! The thought of wearing a color dress to school was exciting. The night before celebrations, I’d spread the frock over the bed neatly, keep all the accessories ready and would hardly get any sleep thinking about the next day. I used to take occasional peeks endearing looks at my frock! 😉

At school, teachers would appreciate our dresses, we would play games- Biting the bun, Catch the tail were a few from the many. We would decorate the classroom, the Christmas tree and then there would be a class photo with the teacher in the center while all of us would be struggling to be the ones near her 🙂 Santa Claus would come and the noisy class would all of a sudden become silent which would end in a new wave of laughter, noise, happiness and ofcourse jingle bells! Sure enough, as the Santa leaves the class, every tiny hand will be holding a gift and few toffees. This made our Christmas Merry!

Two days ago, as I climbed up the sunshade and began decorating the tree, I found that little child in me enjoying the feel of every shiny ball she hung on the tree, the look of every little stars and the illuminations around the tree. My little four-year-old neighbor was watching me from the ground floor. I could see the smile in his face and the child in me experienced the joy he experienced.

If we had asked him why he was smiling, he would simply say that the decorations, the shiny balls and the beautiful stars made him smile. But no one can ever put into words the reason for that smile. It’s the joy of christmas!

At night I showed mom the christmas tree and said for an nth time, “Mom! That is the Christmas tree I decorated today. How is it?” And my mom answered for an nth time, “It’s beautiful!” And, lo and behold!  The joy of Christmas! I smiled 🙂

Feel it! Smile when you see the stars in front of every home.  Smile looking at the Christmas trees. And smile at the Santa Claus and experience the joy of Christmas.