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A Safe Haven

Mekhi's Home Stories

I wouldn't call her pretty. She slouches back and sways her head to the purposeless swinging of her hands. I don't think she knows any lady like strides or poise which would mark beauty. Her hair stands in curls for most part, but often crumpled in erratic tangles with wisps of brownish hue to some malnourished darkness. Her clothes are just bundled up on her, which I presume, she feels at home within them, safely guarding her own world. Yet, she pulls up her slacks every now and then lifting her ankles to release the ends. It must be discomfiting to have a tent of clothes around her even in Summer.

This is Mahima.

But there's a playfulness around her. Her gaiety is paralleled only by my five year old daughter. Our dog, Spark knows that best! He runs to her to pull her dhupatta and persuades her to play with him. It's like a plea from another playmate, indicating a child like remorse in disregarding an often played game. Perhaps animals adore the magnificence of the soul than the haughty adornments of the body. Well, she's pretty: it's just that my eyes are so used to the glittery glamour of this nasty world.

Mahima is mentally challenged.

Her eyes aren't caught in some deep socket anymore. I have seen that change from the time she had come here. On the first day, she arrived, she came in like a prisoner to abused and a deathly life. I was standing outside working a little on the premises when she rushed out with a empty bottle. I stopped her and suggested she remain inside. She said she has to fill water in that bottle. I saw in that moment as if in a vision, the scarcity she would have faced in the streets, from where she was dragged. I gently told her that we will be providing water. She looked at me in a curious expectation and asked if I could give her food as well. She smiled as I assured her that her stomach will be filled very soon. She looked lean and I wondered whether she knew why she was here.

Mahima is pregnant.

She soothingly runs her bulging tummy. She tells she's sick. 'Didi', she complains, 'something's wrong with my stomach.' She has to be reminded that there is a beautiful baby growing in her. Her oval shaped face lights up with the sparkle of young child. Her grin extends from side to side. But then she breaks out in a vociferous laughter. She's shy and unknown to her shyness, her expressions have no boundaries. A common person might be taken back by her taunting smirks. But a sorrow runs amok through those moments. Those moments chokes us to a gripping awareness of reality.

Mahima is safe.

Her baby is safe. Mahima enjoys the care of those at Mekhi's Home. But that involves teaching her and looking after her all the day. If we had not seen the goodness of God, we would have had no heart to take care of her. She is one reason we are alive. Thank you for staying so full of life. Written by Nithin E. Sam


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