Every morning my grandson Agastya comes with me to Project Why before setting off to his school. We land up at the gates of the Project roughly the same time as Radhey brings the special kids in his auto rickshaw. And almost every morning Radha is sitting in the rickshaw waiting for someone to pick her up and take her to class. Now Radha sits in the corner that is Agastya's spot and normally when anyone sits in that corner, Agastya has a tantrum. You see no is meant to take Agastya's spot be it in the rickshaw, the dining table or any space he has claimed. But strangely when he found Radha sitting in his spot, Agastya said nothing but simply went and sat beside her. He stared at her malformed legs for a long time, questions puzzling his tiny mind but said nothing. He simply gave her a huge smile. A teacher soon came and picked her up. She waved bye bye and Agatya waved back.
As we left the centre he asked me what had happened to her. Now what do you tell a 3 year old. How do you explain osteogenesis imperfecta to a toddler. How do you tell him that it is an incurable condition that will ultimately take the little girl away. So you do your best and simply say she is hurt, badly hurt. That is what I did. She was hurt and could not walk. He accepted my explanation but his face remained serious. I wonder what was going on in his head. After some time he simply said: but she will walk tomorrow.
Oh how I wish these innocent words coming from the mouth of a child could be true. What would we all not give up to see Radha walk. But the sad and bitter reality is that she will not, even the God of lesser beings cannot conjure this miracle.
Every morning as we set off for the centre my darling grandson asks me whether Radha will be there, in his spot. He looks forward to that brief encounter probably knowing without knowing that she special, truly special. And I take comfort in his words: but tomorrow she will walk knowing that that tomorrow will never come.