Friday, May 4, 2018

Bismi-the angel

SreeNair | 1:37 AM | |


ith the smile that gloss and glazes like sunbeam-that shines with the aplomb welled up –Anugrah, frail and limp , climbs down the steps of the elementary school closely followed by Phathima Bismi ,his alter ego . Anugragh the boy , afflicted by cerebral palsy is in the lead and the little girl who had been his crutch to lean on from first standard onwards is close to his heels .They wistfully bid adieu to the school as they have to be moving to the higher secondary classes in another school.

On a rainy june day seven years back, Anugraph came to the school, his body hung on the mom’s shoulder, limbs emaciated and drooping who cannot articulate well. His mother must be near if he has to read, write, drink or to eat. He could not do anything on his own. Cerebral palsy is a loss or inability to control over the body movements; or motor problems in regulating the hand and arms during manual tasks. These losses or impairment of motor functions arise due to abnormal or incomplete brain development .

Bismi watched the mother and the teachers handle him and now she could tend him by herself. The boys mother, being pregnant for the second time stopped coming to school. When Manikandan ,his father comes to school with Anugrah on his bycycle ,Bismi will be ready to take charge of her friend . With books in one hand and the boy half her weight saddled on the left of the wasp waist, she would ramble round through the gardens, class rooms. The tender girl treated the boy as if her own little brother-assisted him in class portions, washed his hands, fed him -took him to the lavatrine, helped him hygienic-all by herself as a mature women above her age. She nestled him close till his third standard, thenceforth he learnt to walk himself.

Bismi has lifted the differently abled boy to the full of the joys of spring, who in most likelihood would have tethered to his own world. When he ran she also ran with him lest he should fall -a bonhomie as scarce as hen’s teeth beyond the cliché of cast, creed or colour. Now Anugrah can walk without fear of fall. He slowly regained the articulative skills. He studies, dances, write storeys and even take part in school dramas. The teaching faculty did all the care and help to the boy. The doctors attest that it was the self-confidence imparted by Bismi which alone took him through the ordeal while the presence of the caring teachers and parents created congenial atmosphere .The solace and succour that Bismi brought in was a matter of astonishment for her teachers ,students and the family .She has become a model .By the time the boy reached 7thbstandard in the Parambinkadavu Mommed Abdulrahman Memorial Upper Primary School ,the pupil were ready at any time to take care of the boy. The school provides all necessary background for the differently abled students to complete the primary classes.The children hogged the media lime light and the external world took note.

UNICEF recognised the report on them. When the news got viral, not to give a toss about, Bismi as usual was with his friend around the water-tapes and in the play-ground .He grew up and need not be lapped up or spoon fed now. But still she needs to be vigilant whether he would fall and get his limbs cracked. The parents of a differently abled boy have to go through a difficult patch. But thanks to Bismi, his mom had to come to school very sparingly.The mother said:”Let all god’s grace be showered on this little angel. She is such a child with all the love of God.”

They have now to move to Payimbra Govt High School to continue studies. The mother sighs; “My mind whispers to me -Bismi shall still be there with my child. I leave the hope in the hands of the girl. .”

In the night on the eve of the final exam ,the boy amidst his restlessness told the mother:”What a nice thing it could be if there is 8th standard in the school.” Prof: Muthukad the leading magician and inspiration speech maker ,also Unicef media adviser and the most revered Catholic Bava Basallius Marthoma Paulose came to visit the school.

Sri.Muthukad was all praise for Bismi and said that she is the embodiment of commiseration for human life. He reminisces the question asked by Almustaffa the main protagonist, in the prose poem ‘ Prophet’ from Kahlil Gibran ;” who is God?”

Muthukad has his answer: ” One who loves the other not for his benefit, the one that artlessly bears compassion in the eyes-I can see that empathy in her eyes.” The educational expenses will now be borne by the magician. He is also in the process of involving the social justice ministry to take up the education and medical expenses of Anugrah.

The catholic Bishop reached Kakkodi to grace Anugrah and Bismi and their family. The Bishop has inaugurated the road construction initiative of ‘The residence Association’ that runs in front of the house of Anugrah.The Gram Panchayath also sanctioned one and a half lakh rupees for the initiative.

“True empathy requires that you step outside your own emotions to view things entirely from the perspective of the other person.” Anonymous.

(The article is originally published in Mathrubhumi, a malayalam daily Weekend edition by Ms.KC Rahna-She is available at


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