Maa – The Epitome of Love
Shubham is 23. And mother-bound. And does not understand worldly affairs.
Krishi is 18. Also mother-bound. Also unable to understand worldly affairs.
They love Tiger Shroff and computer games. What’s so special? The mother of these two special-needs children is!
Born in a middle-class family, the two were, for a very long time, unaware of what their mother, Twinkle, had to face. Today, the two understand to an extent and do keep her happy and strong with their continuous smiles. Their smiles make her smile today!
Twinkle was just 18 when she was married to Kamal, who was young and loved his wife beyond bounds. Life was good. They were what symbolises a happy family. Soon, they were to be the happiest family as the couple was expecting a baby.
A baby boy smiled in their arms in 1996; they named him Shubham, meaning lucky in Hindi. But he was hit by asphyxia and jaundice soon after his birth, effects of which were realised later when the child could not sit, talk, express himself or comprehend. All he could do was cry, cry and cry! He was suffering from cerebral palsy. Not even in their wildest dreams had Kamal and Twinkle imagined they would have a specially abled baby. Depression engulfed them.
Kamal’s parents and their orthodox mentality added to their misery. Thinking of the future, the couple was terrified. They questioned themselves if they would be able to do justice to their parenthood. The answer, of course, was a difficult one, yet they accepted the fact that their Shubham was not special but very special.
As the child started crawling, Twinkle took hold of the situation: he was operated upon, started speech therapy, physiotherapy. She would stretch herself between her child’s requirements and household duties. By the time this couple came in terms with it, a new hope dawned on them. Shubham had started walking with a walker and Twinkle was expecting her second child. This time, the couple took far more precautions than the previous. Friends, relatives and especially Kamal’s parents started celebrating once again, forgetting the past. It was 2001 when the family welcomed Krishi.
And boom burst the balloon of hopes! Krish too was a special-needs child; “very special” thought Twinkle.
The new-born was hit by septicemia and pneumonia, resulting in cerebral palsy. He would, like his elder brother, never be able to do things by himself; for every minute thing from bathing to drinking to eating to bathing to drinking to eating to reading to speaking, he would be dependent on someone else – and even at age 20, his brain will be of a two-year-old kid. Twinkle was now broken beyond repair. Her in-laws vented all their frustration on her. She blamed for her children’s condition. None agreed to the fact that it was genetic. Kamal was the only one who stood firm by her, “Leave the ones who don’t understand you,” he told her, “and move on in life.”
When Shubham was five, his schooling started. The parents were teary-eyed watching their son enter the next phase of life. The principal was supportive of Twinkle and allowed her to assist her child during school hours; the teachers and school maids were very indifferent to most of the students. Never did the teachers pay any attention to them, for their patience was less than zero. Twinkle herself had to teach Shubham the games and other activities. Also, every time he went to the washroom, the poor mother accompanied him. When once Shubham wet his school uniform, the maid refused to help him change. Twinkle took no time to move him to Umang, an organisation trying its best in enhancing the quality of individuals with various disabilities.
Responsibilities for Twinkle had grown with Krishi but once Shubham joined Umang, she devoted all of her time to Krishi. One day, Kamal bought a Maruti 800 and – though she knew not how to drive – asked his lady to give their children and herself a ‘normal’ life. She gradually started going out with friends, taking her children everywhere. What the world would think, she bothered not.
When Krishi turned five, like his elder brother, he too started schooling in Umang. The last 10 years had changed the course of life, for every second she was surrounded by Shubham and Krishi. With both in school now, she’d often fear for them. Dr Sheila Nanavati, Shubham’s physiotherapist and her close friend now, advised her to give herself time. “You have been chosen because you are strong,” said the doctor. “Only the strong ones get chosen!”
Twinkle started gymming. In the first three months, she shed 15kg – and the burden and worries she had carried for a long time. She also started participating in various competitions and won in many. She found a new love – physical fitness – it made her not only physically stronger but mentally too. Soon she explored and loved dance, aerobics and arm wrestling.
Many people still sympathise with her. Twinkle smiles and proudly says she is a mother of two very special kids, who define her, who have helped her have a better perspective of life. For her, her children will be the same with purity always delving in their hearts.
Future is uncertain but the journey she and Kamal have travelled with Shubham and Krishi is especial. It is their will and undying attitude that Shubham has accomplished his academic schooling and now entered a vocational level. The two can walk, talk, express and are in love with computer games. He has already explored mobile phones and is developing an interest in cars. “Sundays are eat-outs for them, no home-cooked food do they accept,” smiles Twinkle, “otherwise they are on a food strike.” Shubham loves Bollywood actor Tiger Shroff and watches all his movies in theatres. The younger Krishi simply follows his elder brother.
Our imaginations are running: What if the two could meet Tiger Shroff? Share with us if you know of such brave mothers.