Friday, February 17, 2012

CHIKNI CHAMELI...




If you have food in your fridge and clothes on your back,
A roof over your head and a place to sleep,
You are ‘richer’ than 75% of the entire world!


 If you have money in your wallet and a little change,
And can go anywhere you want,
You are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy!


If you woke up this morning, with more health than illness,
You are more blessed than a million people
Who won’t survive this week and die!


If you can actually read this message, and understand it,
You are more fortunate than the three-billion people in the world,
Who can not see, don’t know English, or suffer being mentally retarded!


LIFE is not about men/women who dumped you,
Or whatever else that doesn’t matter…
It is about a thousand other reasons to be Happy…


So, ‘CHEERS!!!’ to this Life…
Have a cheerful day!!! 














Almost a month has passed since I received this Good-Morning message from my younger brother, Viva. Even before I finished reading the first line, I had saved it. I knew, I would write on it, one day.


This is that day!


On Sunday, 12th Feb., at the Silver-wedding party of my wife’s cousin Sunita and her husband Benjamin, I had met Rebecca and her teenager-daughter, Aryil. Rebecca is Sunita’s sister-in-law, married to Anil, Sunita’ brother. Some years ago, at 41, Anil died all of a sudden leaving Rebecca and her two daughters heartbroken and shaken. It was tough time for Rebecca. She was not working at that time, and they had no house of their own… Anil had passed through a rough phase in business and now, all of a sudden, he had gone… leaving young Rebecca and her two daughters to fend for themselves. 


The life took a new turn… a nasty one!


Rebecca had to decide whether to buckle down or pick the gauntlet. She chose to face the challenge with grit and grace. Aleen, her elder daughter, was just in first year-engineering, and Aryil, the second one, was in ninth-standard. Both the girls were very fond of their father… particularly, Aryil. The loss was so painful… As they say, only the passage of Time could heal this loss. But then, that’s what ‘they’, always, say to make you feel good! 


Does Time really heal our wounds, loss, and our pain?


I really do not know! But, I do hope, it does!
 

Presently, Aryil is doing her first-year BMS from St. Andrew’s College, Bandra. I had this e-mail from her, this morning.



Hello uncle,


How are you? Sorry for the delay...

Uncle, I don’t expect my poems to be great… It’s just what I feel I write it down...

This was a poem I wrote soon after I was diagnosed of cancer... Hope, you like it...  I will send you more later.

I am having projects in college; so, I don’t get time…

Take care… See you some day..!!!

Keep smiling!!!

... ARYIL

  



THE ‘BIG PLAN’
in teenage


Life shows troubles to every person,

But, how will a trouble be for a young teenager?



Yes, this was the question I asked to myself,

When I was just fifteen.



It was a sudden shock!




How could God be so partial 

To make me suffer, so early?



But then, I closed my eyes 

And thought of millions of small infants

Who hardly come into this world 

And suffer this ‘big pain’.

I thought I should be strong 

Rather than crying aloud…

I thought I should think of living

Rather than being scared of facing death.

I felt that I had a chance

To start my life, all over again...



Yes, a dream came that night…

"I'm there with you my sweetheart, you'll fight it ! "

Soon, I woke up to see who that was… 

Who told it to me?

I felt him sitting right beside me…

And, that was my daddy!



That night, I realized 

That I wouldn’t care what came in life,

What pain I would bear…

Because, my daddy and God were there with me.




I'm, now, facing each day in pain,

But, I know God is always there...

My dad is always there…

Up there…

Right here!




So friends, never feel low if you face bad times…

Life is unpredictable…

Yes, it is true!

Never predict your future,

But, always predict 

How Life will look upon to you, anytime!




I'm still living life to the fullest,

As though nothing ever happened;

I believe that, one day, ill be fine…

Because, as I said before...

Life IS so unpredictable!




















When I met Rebecca and Aryil on that happy occasion, I felt happy for the mother and daughter, as both looked really happy and graceful!


Life is busy for all of us… We rarely ‘stand and stare’, as the famous lines tell. Another person’s misery is not mine. So, why add more misery to my life… ?  I already have enough, my own!

 
It sounds sensible… but, it could be the most insensitive thought… a cruel one, in deed!


That night, I learnt that this little soul, Aryil, has been through a hell. Soon after this little one lost her darling dad, the pain had taken its toll. At 15, Aryil was diagnosed with cancer and the life of this family took another nasty – completely unpredictable – turn. “No, this was not expected, not at least, now…” This was what the outburst before God. “Why do You do it?”


For a while, I felt so guilty that I did not know about this girl’s suffering… and the multiple blows Destiny had delivered on Rebecca. So, when I sat next to them, I learnt the gravity of the situation… The dressing was on… the pain was on… The treatment was on… and, the Living too!


Rebecca told me about the initial shock and denial… and the process through which they bounced back… She described to me the way her teenager-daughter went about facing this challenge… the way she took this unpredictable 'gift of God' in her stride and learned to remain up-beat and grateful… Rebecca’s face lit-up with silent pride as she told me this. 


I had raised the toast for Sunita and Benjamin, that night.


 “I miss Anil, today,” Rebecca said, a lot overwhelmed.


“Yes, I saw that on your face when we all were dancing with the silver-couple to the first song.”


I had seen Rebecca alone in her seat… lost in her private world!


“Great lyrics, uncle,” Aryil had complimented me after I had presented Betty Midler’s song-lyrics – ‘The Rose’. 


After I had done with my toast, I had placed myself next to Aryil.



“This is for you, dear…” I pulled the lyrics-sheet from my blazer-pocket and gently tucked in this young beholder’s hands.



“Thank you so much, uncle,” Aryil was thrilled.

 
It was then, Rebecca told me that Aryil had started penning down her fragile feelings in her diary and she still continued to do. I was so impressed about it. I was reminding myself, “Hey, what a divine way of dealing with our sorrows, our dilemmas, our hopes and despairs… What a way of expressing our gratitude… What a way of celebrating Life!”


I immediately urged Aryil to send me some of her poems. I told them about my blog… and I would love to share some of her poems with my readers. And, yes, her inspiring saga, as well!






















The real music was now on, full blast!. Aryil was dancing her heart out. Rebecca was a little worried about the dressing of her teenager. “Her hand has terrible pain, I am bit anxious,” she told me. But then, she wanted her daughter to dance… like the rest… She wanted her to live life to the hilt… and, that’s what Aryil was doing that night. My eyes fell on this dancing beauty as the DJ set ablaze the floor with ‘Ckikni Chameli’. Wow! It was feast for my eyes!





Aai Chikni Chameli
Chup ke akeli
Pavuoa Chada ke Aai

Aai Chikni Chameli
Chup ke akelli
Pavuoa Chada ke Aai…


Gehre pani ki Machhli hoon raja
Ghat ghat dariya mein ghomi hoon mein

Teri Nazron ki Lehron se haar ke Aaj doobi hoon mein

Oye!



Hayee!!





As I am writing this piece, this song is being played on my PC. Yes, I had dragged my wife, some days back, to watch this new cock-tail of ‘Agneepat’. It was the late night show, and my wife was cursing me for my sin! Both of us couldn’t withstand such gory onslaught when we wanted to retire for the day. We were left depressed. But, then, when the Chikni Chameli – Katrina – exploded on the giant screen, our hearts did dance that night… our faces did light up!


Sorry buddy, you can not play a ‘Chikni Chameli’ and remain without dancing…


And, you can not remain depressed when you dance like a Chikni Chameli!


I bet. I bet.


“Thumbs up to you, Aryil… my little Chikni Chameli... Yes, Life is not only unpredictable... it is also so  beautiful! Thank you.”





GERALD D’CUNHA


Pics.: Vivek D’Cunha














37 comments:

Ravi Jain said...

Great sir... took my breath away!!

Truly inspiring... Hats off to Aryil.

= Ravi Jain

Anonymous said...

This article made me think hard on how I view at my life!

My best wishes to the young Aryil.

Thanks, Gerry.

-- Shaina

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Thank u Ravi... Glad u like thid post.

Do read regularly,

Love,

GERRY

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Thank u so much Shaina... Yes, it did that to me as well!

Love,

GERRY

JANET ROSE said...

True... I can feel in my heart what a terrific gift Life is!

Really inspiring story!

Thanks a ton, Gerry.

... Janet

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Oh yes Janet, Life is such a terrific gift!

Thanks,

Do keep reading...

Love,

GERRY

Shirley said...

Its amazing how strong and brave Aryil is at such a young age..Today i have learnt so much in life from this young soul named Aryil..
thanx sir for being d medium.God surely has to heal this lovely girl.

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Thanks Sherley... the young Aryl is really brave! Gritty. Inspiring!

Love,

GERRY

AMRIT said...

A great article sir... My prayers r with the young fighter...The higher power will help her sail thru this.

Regards,

== Amrit

Aryil Dsouza said...

Thankyou sooo much uncle...
im living my life to set an example for the young generation as well as to be a strength for my family...
im very grateful to you.. that you shared my thoughts on your blog.
will surely surely send you more poems :) :)
& to all the others.. thankyou 4 ur prayers and blessings..

Ashish Srivastava said...

Gerry..
O Gerry.....

I truly admire you the way you put things in a perspective.
This was a cocktail of inspiration struggle, confidence, grit, positivity...and the Darwins theory of Survival of the fittest!
I can also add that there are so many greats around us which we fail to admire..
or we need a Gerry to show us!
The one that suffers knows best. The one that endures senses the most.
And the one that fronts promise dishonestly shall forever live in internal misery.
When we share, do we really believe that we have shared. Or do we just perform the act of it because it is meant to thin down the pain in some instances and incite joyful happiness in another. Does the other ever be in position to intensely understand the grief in one and the joy in the other. When we share our pain with the other do they not sympathise as friend on our condition, or do they sympathise because they are freed from similar. When we share our joy do they embrace our happiness with the same earnestness as us or do they do so with a tinge of envy, in not possessing what we accomplished. Harsh thoughts yes … but worth a thought !!

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Hey Aryil... thank u for the comment.

I am glad u, sis and mom all lked the post.

Yes, u have inspired many... and they all r sending ther prayers to u...

KEEP SMILNG DEAR AS U TOLD ME... and keep writing, keep inspiring.

Again,wshing u well and keeping u in my prayers, always,

Love,

Uncle Gerry

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Ashish, thanks for ur though-provoking comment.

Yes, t made me sit up and think...

another person's sorrow s always another person's. But, that may be the reason why I feel so more sad!

Love,

GERRY

maanvi said...

truly inspiring and motivating.life is lke londons weather...very unpredictable!! v all shud live it wid a positive attitude and believe that everything happpens for our own good!! aryil hats off to u!d very thought of placing myslf in ur situation gave me goose bumbs.my eyes were wet by the end of the poem.my best wishes to you.. cheers!

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Hi Maanvi, thank u.

Wow! Life and our old London weather... what a comparison! I loved it.

And, I loved the way you conveyed ur feelings for young Aryil...

Love,

SIR

PRIYANKA DE said...

Sir, the Post is lovely... True to ur words, I do feel way, way better...Amazing writing... Am speechless!

My best wishes to Aryil... I will keep her my prayers!!!

--- Priyanka De

Bhushan Thakkar said...

Thought comes to my mind as I read through the Post: "HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?"

.. Bhushan Thakkar

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Thank u Priyanka... Glad u felt good after reading the post...

Yes, I am even more glad when u said that u wd keep Aryil in ur prayers.

Keep reading and helping,

Love,

Sir

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Thank u Bhushan...

and, yes, even I do not know...!

Perhaps, this very mystery keeps Life worth living!

Love,

GEERRY

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Thanks Amrit for the encouraging words for Aryil...

My good wishes to you, as always!

Love,

GERRY

viva said...

God bless you dear Aryil...thanx for giving us the great courage to accept the reality and to move on with what God has planned for us. My prayers are always with you.Dattu, I also thank for your wonderful writing...my eyes were filled with tears while reading the article.what a flow of writing..It was like watching a great movie.I have not met or seen Aryil...but through your remarkable writing I could visualise her..her passion for life.We need someone to motivate ourself in life...this time specially it's Aryil and offcourse my Gerry sir.Thank you very much.. you wonderful souls..you have touched millions hearts.Have a gud day.

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Yes Viva... inspiration is always like that... when we are touched, we are touched!

It is always the ordinary... just the ordinary things, that touch us, inspire us...

Now u know why those things that u capture on your camera fascinate u!

It is ur private world! Cherish it...

Thanks for your prayers for Aryil.

Love,

Dattu

Gerald D'Cunha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NIVEDITA said...

Sir, this article is just beautiful... It blew me away!!!

Thank you!

I wish you would have read it out to me, sir!

Have a great day.

Love,

... Nivedita

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Thanks Nivedita for your sweet words. Glad, u liked the post.

Oh yes, I would love to read out my post to you!

Keep reading and helping,

Love,

Sir

Anonymous said...

God Bless Aryil...
U r very bold & courageous.

No words in this world...
will reduce ur pain

BUT

ur words will give strength to others
to fight back.

Aryil u r truly a fighter.

Thanks to u
Thanks to sir

Regards Soniya.

Savita said...

Sir read the post, very touching. Recently I made a friend on face book. After reading your post , His story came to my mind. http://www.tavleenfoundation.com/index.php/tavleens-story/

God Bless Aryil.

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Thanks Soniya for ur touching comment.Aryil will surely find strength from ur words...

Love,

GERRY

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Hi Savita, thank u. Glad u liked the post.

I wd love to visit the link u have given...

Love,

GERRY

Gerald D'Cunha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
S V A said...

What a lovely poem by Aryil and what an inspiring attitude to Life! Rebecca & Aryl, U rock! I am sure many, many youngsters and not so youngsters will understand the most important asset that we humans have within us and that is ATTITUDE from this beautiful incident shared by Gerry Sir! Thanks

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Thank u so much Anand... Ur words will mean a lot to our Aryil.

Yes, ATTITUDE is everything...

Love,,

GERRY

Dr.Deepak said...

Truly Touching....Aryil the real Hero..... Fragile yet Strong.

Some give up and Die. A few fight back and Live, and a very few can Dance every precious minute of their Life on Earth. For me they are "Fully Alive".

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Thank u Deepak... feels good when I hear it from u.

Ayril wd find solace in ur words.

Love,

GERRY

Kumar said...

Dear Gerry,
Your post reminded me of an old song " Duniyaa mein kithna Gham hai, Mera Gham kithna kam hai". Our prayers are with Aryil.

Kumar

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Oh yes, Kumar... I fully endorse those lines!

In fact, that very thought is enough for us to be happy in life!

Love,

GERRY

Sweet Potatoes said...

Thank you all...for all your good words,wishes and prayers for my dear Aryil. I had read this blog long back, and came across it again today. Tears flowed down as I read this again,and almost made me feel like she is back here, but what we feel and what we think are always different when compared to reality.
Aryil left this world long back..2.5 years now, but her presence is still afresh..As I write this, I can see her right here...next to me, and now she is happy! Why wouldn't she be, after all, she is with daddy and also, mummy!

I often looked at her, questioned her, "From where do you gather so much courage?" And she used to smile and reply, "Aleen, You can never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice." And today, I realize and understand what she meant.

She was A FEARLESS LIFE. She suffered with this chronic disease CANCER for 5 long years, in that tender age of 15-20, when we get out of our comfort zones, go to college, make friends, pursue our interests,yes, we start living our lives! She suffered during that time, but, till her last breath, she didn't give up. It was in her eyes, she wanted to live. But God's plans are all different. A year after she left, mummy gave up too, she could not bear her loss. She passed away with a massive cardiac arrest within seconds. It's the loss of another brave heart, which left me in shock, dismay and emptiness.

I miss them all, every day of my life, and I will continue to, till my last breadth. What I have lost, I cannot replace, but I can and am trying to live with the fond memories we all have had as a family. About me, I am none other than that elder daughter of Rebecca, and sister of little Aryil, who was 18 then, when we lost daddy. It's 9 years since, life has taught a lot, and God has helped to endure.

Gerry uncle, I cannot thank you enough for this wonderful blog you have written, describing Aryil and her life. I always wanted the world to know about her, and you have helped that happen. Thanks a ton and God bless you always.