Recently I worked with a cancer hospital, I was happy and enjoying my work. Not knowing the reality and brutality of the disease, neither the misery of the patients. One fine day, while roaming around in the hospital I entered an intensive care unit for the last stage patients. Like a stray dog wandering in the streets, I stepped in a room shared by two Angels. One was named Aleesha and the other was named Ali. I stopped and started looking at the beautiful and angelic face of a three year old baby girl suffering from this fatal disease. She had a perfect round face and awestruck features which made the beautiful combination of God’s creation. She had exuberant hazel Brown eyes which she occasionally rolled. She was shy when I was around, lying on her hospital patient bed, wearing her nice blue patient gown; that had cartoons on it. Maybe she wasn’t shy, rather was afraid. She might have mistaken me as one of the hospital staff there to take her blood sample. I tried my best to make her comfortable but couldn’t nail the goal. Thinking hard, I put the television on and tuned into a cartoon channel. I saw her from the corner of my eye, enjoying them. But she got bored pretty soon. I, then offered her some colors and a paper to draw on and color it. Initially she was reluctant, but then, she did as I said. I took her to a play room specially made for the child patients.
Soon I saw tiredness and pain on her face, which made me realise that she is a patient here, fighting against cancer. Exerting her more than she could bear, isn’t a great idea, so made her sleep. Before falling asleep, she had this one question on her mind that she kept asking her parents was: mama! Hum Ghar kab jaein gay? Her mother replied: kal, beta. She, in a disappointed tone, being dim and dizzy said: Aap roz hi yahi kehti hain.
This made me and her mother shred tears. I asked the young women, Alreesha’s mother, who would be hardly in her late twenties about Aleesha’s disease. I was saddened to know that she had it by birth. And she has been fighting against it since a year and six months, since the diagnosis. She doesn’t like the hospital and the environment and wants to go back home, but she can’t.
I sat beside her, glancing her innocent face. What was her fault? She can’t have chocolates like other children of her age can. She can’t play like the other kids. She can’t go to school just like others. She can not cherish her childhood.She couldn’t have long and thick hair on her head like the other girls would like to have. Her questions go unanswered. WHY? Her parents have to lie to her. They have to see her die, daily. Because she had cancer. I felt ashamed of my existence. I can’t help her. Infact none could. I want to cry and scream and tell her she was perfect. She was beautiful. The master piece of God’s creation even if she didn’t have hair on her head. Even when her scalp had scars. She was my angel. One thing she made me ponder was;When life gives you dirt, grow flowers. I wanted to hold her hands and say to her that she dont have to see the whole staircase, she just have to see and take the first step. I was so observant, that I did not see ANY sign of panic or worry on her face. She was happy and carefree as if she had no complains. She made me realise that everything has beauty and prove the pain that heart can heal the wounds. Her smile was breathtaking. Her laughter had so much meaning. ” one day without laughter is a day wasted.” She grinned and smirked while sleeping is If she would conquer the world. She has been waking up everyday and proving life wrong. She has taught me the lesson of faith that one has to get up one day and prepare to face the next day. Life is too short to worry and cramp yourselves out of anxiety caused by our hectic lifestyle. She didn’t loose hope every single time her mother told her that they’ll go home the next day. She dreamt even when she woke up.
That three year old taught me lessons of three decades of life. I bet, I wouldn’t have been able to realize and learn half of the things I learned that day, in all of my life. I am not even an inch brave as of her. I am not. That day, I grew. I really did. All this time when I was busy with Aleesha, I forgot about Ali. The boy, I checked upon when I stepped in the very place. The boy whose blood Sample was being taken at the time. He was weak and triumphed. He was a good looking boy with explicit features, lying in agony and dismay on his patient bed. I left him with a switched on television and got busy with Aleesha, who excitedly showed me her gown which she thought was torn off. Little did she know about hospital patients gowns, I must say. All that time Ali was fighting against the pain. He didn’t have any family member along him neither any visitor. He was all alone by himself. And there, I also left him. When I burst out of the train of thoughts while sitting next to Aleesha, I came to see Ali. And to my worst nightmares, I find him dead on his bed. Lying there without the soul in his body. I couldn’t interpret what I just saw. Panicking and calling the doctors all over the place. The Doctor gave me a disappointed look and I fell on the floor. Assuming and blaming myself for the incident, but who could deny that it was meant to be this way. Destiny it was. I was taken out of the intensive care unit sometime after he passed away and his Janazah was taken to Qabaristaan.
I couldn’t believe what has happened in the last few days. But one thing I know is Jo karta hai Allah karta hai, aur Allah behtar karta hai.