The Spirited Little Teacher in
wards are suffused with compassion flowing from the hard working
staff and sweet examples of how the needy patients are helped in
so many ways. Yet, often times, this flow reverses and the
givers find themselves receiving from these springs of
ever-streaming love. Here is one such tale about an innocent,
pure hearted 'embodiment of love' which a staff member at the
hospital has beautifully recorded in his diary.
Today I met a Teacher who taught me unquestioning faith in God.
This did not happen in a classroom, there was no bespectacled
professor, nor were there any clever arguments being exchanged.
I was taught Faith in the Hospital ward through the little index
finger of a 5-year old child.
went to the Cardiac post-operative ward this evening to look up
the 'little VIPs', recovering from surgery. There were children
of different natures. Here was one blissfully asleep, there was
one playfully snuggling in its mother's lap, and there one more
who was doling out toothless grins to whoever caught its eye.
And then there was my Teacher, who was very busy with a pen and
paper. I gently walked up to her bed and peered over to see what
she was doing. She was doodling away - coconut trees, birds,
cows, rivers and all other 'childish' stuff. But I might as well
admit now, rather than later, that Umul Bushra was no ordinary
child. She looked up, smiled and continued her drawing.
the time of her birth when she had been having spells of
unconsciousness till the time she came to Swami's Hospital, Umul
had been through a long period of pain and desperation. Her
father, Abdul Rehman, runs a public telephone booth in a remote
village in interior Karnataka.
A little prodding, and he and his mother,
whom Umul is very attached to, reel out the story of how Umul
was diagnosed as suffering from a heart disorder and how through
a devotee doctor they came to Swami's Hospital and how after a 4
year wait, Umul underwent a successful operation and is now
recovering in the ward.
"We used to treat Umul like a delicate
flower. Because of her heart condition we never used to let her
walk. We used to carry her to the school and let her stay there
only for two hours lest she strain herself or hurt herself in
were so concerned about her future and are now so grateful to
Swami's Hospital. Never have we seen or experienced anything
like this before," they said.
While we conversed, Umul continued her
doodling, stopping once in a while, only to look at her creation
from a distance.
One thing which I wanted to know was how
children, at such a tender age, undergo and handle the trauma of
a surgery. If she was feeling pain, Umul was successful in
hiding it. I was curious to know from little Umul how she
handled it all and so posed her a question in Hindi: "Tumhe
Operation ke waqt dar nahi laga?" (Were you not afraid
during the operation?)
She stopped doodling and lifted her hand
along with her IV line and pointed her index finger at something
on the wall. I must be one of those slow learners for I gazed in
that direction, but I did not register what she was pointing at.
My Teacher realized this. If a child could
give a compassionate look to a slow learner she gave me one such
look and uttered two syllables in her sweet voice, "BA BA".
They came straight from her heart
spontaneously, with no ambiguity, no second thoughts and no
hesitation. It was only then it dawned on me that she was
pointing to Swami's picture on the wall!
Neither Umul nor her parents have even seen Swami, but it was so
touching to see how effortlessly they have accepted Him in their
lives and live with such simple faith that He is there to take
I was so moved by the reply from my young
teacher. Feeling too shy to thank her, I smiled at her, said 'Sai
Ram' (which she reciprocated in her sweet voice) and took her
leave. And here I am, back home to tell you what I learnt in the
'school of our hospital ward' today?
- Heart2Heart Team
E-Magazine, April 2006