Readers’ Voices – 1

Lockdown Voices has touched many – both readers and contributors. On completing twenty five days, we are sharing some of the spontaneous and empathetic responses we received in our journey so far.

In response to our story “Forever yours…“, 9 years old Shree Shaw from West Bengal emailed us her thoughts, along with butterfly photos her neighbourhood Aunty had helped click. Shree gets her Aunty to read her out our stories every day. Many thanks to Shree and her neighbourhood Aunty.

Colourful Butterflies

“Butterflies are colourful and elegant. They love flowers and all plants. They fly with their wings in a flurry of colours. They drink honey from plants and eat organic material. They fly around in the garden in the sun. I find them very beautiful, don’t you?

Due to the lockdown I have a lot of time to watch butterflies flying. When I go to see the butterflies, I see a lot of birds also. I love Plain Tiger, Grey Pansy and Bluebottle butterflies. I saw these butterflies in my neighbouring aunt’s garden. Here are some photos of butterflies I love. Which ones do you like?

I will miss them when lockdown finishes and I have to go to school.”

Two of our readers, shared their personal experiences after reading Dr. Shanti Auluck’s post “A teacher of life“. Thank you Capt Gautam and Mr. Dewan.

Capt V N Gautam wrote:
“Nimmi’s has been an occasionally frustrating but most inspiring story. Due to my service conditions and many transfers, Nimmi was subjected to different languages, even different guardians and schools. However, her true calling was Muskaan, where Nimmi has imbibed the patience, love and devotion displayed by everyone – from Dr Shanti Auluck, Ms Neera Chawla, right up to Ms Pooja Bhati. She has gradually become a fairly confident being, of course constant reinforcement is required.

I have personally become a much better human being, mothering Nimmi, due to gradual downturn of my wife’s health. I was always proud of Nimmi’s achievements and progress. Nimmi was explained the ways to deal with different situations in life. Last decade has made her more confident, when I started taking Nimmi out on travel, by road, by train and air ( she loves to have coffee, on the plane). She happily carries her rucksack and keeps pace with me or other helpers. I mostly stay in Army units where she feels like a VIP as officers salute her. I actually feel satisfied when Nimmi says “Mujhe bahut mazha aa raha hai” [“I am feeling great”]. There are a number of success stories where she has dealt with various situations that had cropped up suddenly.

Since I respect her, my hosts respect her. And she comes up with unusual one liners. We celebrated 2020 Republic Day in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, invited by Hon. Governor and his wife who are from my battalion. She was an absolute VIP there. During lunch, Brig (Dr) Misra coughed a little. Nimmi promptly said, “Jaldi kya hai, dheere dheere khayo, khansi ho jayegi” [“Why hurry, eat slowly, else you will cough”]. For a couple of seconds there was pin drop silence. And then the Governor laughed uproariously and said, “Beta tu hi mera khayal rakhti hai, baaki sab nikamme”, [“Child ! Only you take care of me, the rest are good for nothing”]. Neelam ji, the Governor’s wife was particularly happy. They again hosted a farewell dinner, a cake was cut, and Nimmi was showered with many gifts and lots of hugs. Neelam ji said that Raj Bhavan is lucky to have someone like Nimmi.

There have been many more “wow” moments because I take her to new destinations at least twice a year. Nimmi is not bothered about lockdown and with me she walks, does strengthening exercises, draws/colours, cleans for hours, finding joy in everything, like a “monk”. I call her my SIM (Spirituality In Motion). In conclusion, I feel that our extended family must have done something worthwhile that such a pure soul is amongst us. With Nimmi I feel that “Zayada hai thode ki zaroorat hai”, “[We have bountiful, but need handful”].

– Capt V N Gautam”

Mr. Rakesh Dewan wrote:
“I have a son with Down Syndrome. He is 50.

We have taught him to take things as they come. Sickness or lockdown , he treats them with no different reaction.

Have treated him as a normal child from the beginning. He is assigned household duties like watering the plants, filling up Aqua Guard water, dusting , handling money etc.

We take him everywhere to parties, get togethers and functions. He is encouraged to take decisions.

He regularly walks and exercises. No special concessions.

– Rakesh Dewan”

Please keep sending in your comments. This encourages the contributors and keeps us going.

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