A family of two girls and three brothers along with their mother and father lived in a nice, neat, cozy and well-kept house. Life bestowed on them happiness & sorrow, successes & failures, triumphs & agonies.  The common factor amongst all the children of the family was that they were all high achievers. Their silent perseverance and discipline enabled them to ‘outperform’ their counterparts. The evening tea and dinner time would often be used to discuss and proudly celebrate their achievements but with great modesty.

The mother of the house was a hard-working lady, very meticulous as well as religious. She had an inept faith in Lord Krishna whom she also fondly referred to as Bansi wala. Her belief was that if anything goes wrong Bansi wala would set it right… Sab theek ho jayega (Lord Krishna is there so everything will be alright).

The sweetest person in the family was their younger daughter Kiran. A little chubby, free-spirited and chirpy girl. The binding factor of the family. She was extremely hard-working and got her PhD in Anthropology by working in the interiors of Bastar in MP, studying the region and sometimes interviewing the tribal all alone. She married a handsome man who had fallen in love with her in the very first meeting and wooed her till she agreed to marry him. God blessed the couple with a beautiful daughter and a wonderful son. Everything was perfect! Kiran was a smart and an outgoing person who would never hesitate to lend her shoulder to anyone in trouble and see to it that their problems are resolved to the best of her ability. She even believed in making her own rules. She learnt driving at a time when to see women in a driver’s seat of a car was a rare event!

I’m sure you like her by now and might relate to her. Fate, however had a different story planned. Sometimes even the people who deserve the best must face the hardest truths of life. One fine day, Kiran, when she was in her late thirties started getting spikes of pain in her neck as if someone was hitting her hard on the head. This was followed by dizziness and shaky legs. She was surrounded by a battery of doctors doing MRI, CT scan, etc.  Everyone was trying to identify what had happened to our angel?

Multiple sclerosis, an auto immune disease of the nervous system was her diagnosis. No one in the family had ever heard of anything like this before. No one knew what it was.

She eventually lost control of her lower part of the body. She wanted to get up but could not, wanted to walk to the door when the doorbell rang but could not, tried hard to stand in the kitchen to cook for her babies but could not. Driving became a distant dream!

The family was Awestruck. Aisa bhi hota hai kya (Is this even possible)? An independent young lady turned into a bundle to be lifted from the bed to the wheel chair and back to the bed. Her mother would put on a bold face and prayed to the Bansi wala to help her child but Bansi wala seemed aloof and elusive this time. Don’t know why? While the family was trying to cope with the surprise of the diagnosis, the disease monstrously progressed leaving her completely bed ridden.

Thus, began the challenge for her and her family. With a twelve-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son how was she to manage it all? But…. she knew time and tide would wait for none. She could not lie in the bed and just let her family on the mercy of ….. No, no, no she would not!  She had to come out of her weakness and deal with it. Even though she was physically weak, she had not lost her mental will. She forced herself not to become a psychological wreck but a rock solid and practical person. She consoled her family members and started planning her new way of life with her husband.

She requested was for a help from morning till evening. A young attendant to take instructions from her for the kitchen, to wash and arrange dried linen, to clean and tidy the house, to decorate flowers in the vases etc. She taught them to cook according to the taste of the family. She taught them to attend to the door bells and welcome guests. She would make her children sit with her after school and get the homework done. She made a list of phone numbers of all the people who would be needed in the house from time to time like plumber, electrician, repair man, etc. and requested them to attend to her when called.

Kiran is blessed with a big family from her husband’s side who constantly support her, sympathize with her and applaud her for every small triumph. Kiran also ensures that she continues her duty of being a good daughter in law by remembering all the birthdays, marriage anniversaries, exam result days, and ensures that no one feels left out. She manages everything! Events at her house are spectacular and she is the perfect host. She even pretends to enjoy eating all the delicacies despite of having a gluten allergy and not allowed to have any spicy food.

She is always upbeat and has a tremendously positive outlook on life. She jokes with her doctors about her heavy weight despite of taking vey less food. She is a super woman who and gets everything done even from the confines of her bed. She never has and probably never will call it quits!  She is taking care of her family this way for the past sixteen years! Her twelve-year-old daughter now runs her own French institute and her seven-year-old son is an engineer. It is incredible! Her courage and God’s {Bansi wala’s) blessings helped her to survive and be a WINNER.

Looking at her I feel to not just live the life that is in store for us but love the life bestowed on us.  We need not get scared or disheartened but make it as wholesome as possible by keeping our hopes close and sadness at bay.

It reminds of some beautiful lines from a prayer in the film Ankush

“Itni Shakti hame dena data man ka vshwas kamzor ho na”.

Our weakness, strengths and happiness, all lie within. We just need to recognize them and be at peace with ourselves.

This girl Kiran is my little sister. I love her and have learnt so much from her. I always pray to God for her long life. After all, mummy ka “Bansi wala hai na, sab theek ho jaega” (Lord Krishna is there so everything will be alright).