"Since the day of my birth, my death began its walk.
It is walking toward me, without hurrying."
Nanhe lies on a hospital bed, his body wasted, his smile lost forever, his searing pain now borne with a silence more deafening than any cry. The men in white have given up, even his mom's once indomitable will is now faltering.
There is no talk of elusive kidneys made in america. Even silent petitions to the gods have lost their fervour. And never have Cocteau's words been so apropos!
But is it not blasphemous to wish that death hastens its pace, particularly when the life at stake is that of a child? Nevertheless I do not feel any sacrilege as I sit hoping that the healing kiss of death brushes Nanhe's brow and free his exhausted spirit.
Nanhe is what we call a special child. In the game of survival, he was dealt a losing hand. He never learnt to speak, or walk; he never mastered the art of fighting for his rights and hurting others. He just accepted what he was given and rewarded you with his incredible smile. We slowly got addicted to that smile. In it we saw a reflection of everything we seek but never find, and above all the much needed hope to carry on when all seemed to tell us to stop.
Many years back, a friend had told me that special children were god's special angels sent to earth to help us redeem ourselves. Today I wonder where our redemption lies.
The hospital just gave up and sent him home with a string of empty words: Let him go home, feed him, care for him... and many unsaid ones. So his mom gathered the broken swollen incontinent body in her arms and took him home.
Nanhe's home is a a tiny airless room where a bed hogs all the place and yet it is where he has lived all his life. It is the place where he has shared with his family and felt safe in. Maybe today it will bring him some peace.