mourning a friend

This morning Saheeda's classmates learnt about her death. It was not easy to make them understand what had happened but somehow they all knew it was something terrible. A stunned silence before the first wail: that of Rinky her best friend. Then as the news sunk in, sound of weeping could be heard across the room. My little special class was grieving.

Anjali could not stop sobbing as she asked God why did he take away good souls she loved, first her mommy and then her friend. Little Radha who had recently lost her father wondered why death was again knocking a her door. Champa who is unable to comprehend the simplest of things wept unabashedly knowing she had lost a dear one. Shalini, Geetu, Ruchi, Preeti cried their hearts out. And even Priti, the unloved one, stood silently tears streaming down her face.

The boys too were stunned. And even if they did not cry - boys don't - their faces were pictures of misery and sorrow. Umesh who never stands still, sat quietly in a corner. Ankur tried to reach out to his friends making incomprehensible sounds. And Anurag looked totally lost.

I watched them silently. These were all children no one wanted. Some could not speak or hear, some could not walk and others were locked in a world of their own that many of us could not comprehend and yet they together and in their own special way mourned the loss of a dear friend