GRATITUDE – Rebirth of My Princess
Author – Hiral Kaup
It was 6 pm on the 26th of July 2005. I was drowned in my laptop completely lost in preparing a presentation. I had to complete this presentation before I left for the day. We were all busy preparing for a meeting with some delegates who were to fly down to Mumbai tomorrow. I was completely oblivious to my surroundings as I had told all my team members that I do not want to be disturbed at all. Suddenly my mobile rang. I decided not to look at it as I did not want to take any call. A little voice inside me said “look” and I looked at the mobile. The display read “Home”. I suddenly realised that my daughter who usually is home from kindergarten by 4 pm and calls me up had not called. I was so busy in my work that I had not realised that she had not called. What a lousy irresponsible mother I was. But wait its 6 pm now. And the call is from home. I answered the call. It was my mother in law. Her “Hello” was shaky. My heart sank. Her next statement made me numb. My daughter had not reached home!!!!
My mother in law who is otherwise a strong woman capable of handling any crisis was visibly nervous as she narrated to me how it started raining heavily post noon and in less than three hours Mumbai was flooded. I had no clue it was so bad as we were all in a closed office with no view outside and heavy rains keep happening in Mumbai. But today she told me was different. My father in law who goes to the bus stop to pick up my daughter was waiting since 3.30 pm at the bus stop and there was no sign of the school bus. There was thunderstorm and lightening. Roads were flooded so vehicles could not move. The school phone was dead. The teacher’s mobile was not reachable. It was an era of no android phones, limited mobiles, no WhatsApp, only SMS and calls. I started visualising the entire scenario as she kept describing the sight outside and how it was impossible to reach my daughter’s school as the angry rains lashed Mumbai. Suburbs were already flooded and we sitting at Nariman Point were not aware of the gravity of the upcoming disaster.
My five-year-old daughter had reached kindergarten by 12 noon and would have ideally left by school bus at 3.15 pm. Where on earth was her school bus stuck. My poor baby would be scared. I had to reach her come what may. I could not think. My brains stopped functioning. I felt myself go numb.
I felt helpless and hopeless. I couldn’t imagine the trauma my little baby would be in. When in crisis the mind gets negative thoughts first. Surely the bus would not take four hours to travel a distance which it otherwise covers in 30 minutes. What if the bus has broken down? What if the driver decides to abandon the bus and look for his own safety? What if someone kidnaps the little children in the bus? What if the bus has……….no no what am I thinking. At that moment I just looked up into the sky and with folded hands I cried “Oh God just protect my little princess.”. The next moment there was a Beep in my Nokia mobile. The SMS from an unknown number read “All children are safe in school”. What a relief!!! I was sure God heard my prayers and sent the SMS. Next my mother in law called to say that another mother whose child had also not come home received an SMS saying all children are safe in school. I told her that even I just received the SMS. I checked the time it was 8.30 pm. In my entire life I had never felt as grateful to the universe to the Almighty for answering my prayers and protecting my baby. Yes, GRATITUDE it is!!!