December 11, 2009

The aftermath of the tale of a destitute

The disaster had claimed the lives of many in her village. She did not know what to do. Her life had been completely shattered and she had no one whom she could call her own. She was all alone in the whole world. That night she slept beside her mother’s lifeless body, feeling delirious due to cold and shock at the turn of the events of her life.

The following morning, some people from her village saw her in critical condition and shifted her to the nearby health centre. She was well taken care by the health workers but she did not show any sign of recovering. It was as if she had given up the hope and wished to join her mother and her two siblings who were fished out from the debris by the people on the day she was taken to the hospital.

The people from the government came to survey the damage caused by the natural disaster and they took care of all the funeral rites for which she was grateful. They felt sorry for her and the others who shared similar fate but how could they know about the void caused by the death of their near ones. The relief aid started pouring into the village and people started rebuilding their lives once again. Zangmo tried to do the same but her heart did not belong to the village anymore. She wanted to be away from that place, away from the haunting memories. She wanted to escape but she also knew that she had never ventured from her village.
One day she received a package from the village head which had been sent by some school children in the west. There was a message scribbled on the cover. She did not know how to read so she asked someone to read it for her. The message read “You are not alone in your hours of distress; we are all there for you.” The child had written his address and a phone number on the package. Zangmo felt an urge to contact the boy and got the help from some people and called this boy. She learned that the boy lived with her mother who worked in an organization. Talking to the boy brought back the memories of her brothers and filled her eyes with tears. She missed them very much. The boy said that he would get in contact with her soon. Days dragged by and she felt that her life was slipping. She lost the zest for life and she looked gaunt and pale every passing day. She never went out of her hut that the relief worker had built for her. She sat silently and prayed…

Then, she heard a knock; she thought she might be hallucinating because the people had learned to leave her alone. No one bothered her anymore. But the knock continued, she reluctantly went to the door and opened it. She saw a stranger outside her door. On closer look, she saw a small boy of about 10 years with the stranger. The boy extended his hand and said, “Hi, remember me?” Zangmo gave him a confusing look, when the boy burst into laughter and said, “I told you I would get in touch with you and I have come to get you out of here.” At once the memory of the phone call flooded her and she felt embarrassed to have forgotten the boy who had sent her that package. He pointed to the woman with him and said “Meet my mother. We have come here to take you home”…

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