I was Skyping with my sister after a very long time. The delay had been caused because I was being extremely selfish, caught up in self-pity.
I apologised for being absent and asked about her life.
She signed back asking how my life was.
“I am better now”
“How is school?” I asked
You remember my friend Ariba?
Her mother passed away 3 months ago
“That is very sad”
Her father passed away last year and she is alone now. She has become so thin because she does not get food to eat. She does not have a phone and says that she just sits at home and does nothing. She does not have brothers or sisters. She will complete her class 10 and then leave school because she does not have money to pay for the transport. My friends and I help her with food. I give her my lunch and then I eat when I come back home.
She had no idea that things were changing inside of me as she was narrating her friend’s story. Unfortunately, I would never be able to explain to her how she had reached the very bottom of my soul and shaken it up with this talk.
“You are a very good person for helping your friend out”
“Can you ask her to come and live with you?”
She lives with her uncle who ignores her and is always very angry. He may not let her come and live with me. Can you ask Mama to talk to him?
“I will talk to Mama”, I promised.
I wanted to hug my sister for having such a big heart and I wanted to hug her friend and tell her that things would be okay and I felt my sister giving me a hug and saying that things would be ok for me too. And, I felt ashamed for the way I had sealed my heart to the outside world. I realised that to feel love and to be able to give love are integral parts of my being. I cannot separate it. I cannot shut myself to it.
One can rise above one’s own suffering by opening one’s heart to heal another’s.