Utpal won two medals in a skating event held by a local skating club. It was a national (!) event as there were participants from other states. Utpal life on skates is a long saga. In the summer of 2011, when he was very disturbed and almost unmanageable, Radhey his all time pal and my auto rickshaw driver suggested he take skating lessons that were held every evening at a nearby park. After much cajoling and coaxing he agreed. The rest is history. he took to skates like a fish to water and graduated to professional skates in no time. Somehow he felt empowered while skating. At that time his school had skating as an extra curricular activity and Utpal spent all the time he could on his skates. Sadly, for reasons I am unaware of, skating stopped in his school. It was heartbreaking when he brought his precious skates back on a short break. I then decided to make sure he continues skating when home on long breaks.
This summer, it was his pal Radhey who discovered a skating club in the area and Utpal joined it and began skating again. He was soon into figure skating and complex manoeuvres and one fine morning I was told about the competition and the need for dishing out 200 rs to register. I did. A few days before the event, Utpal got the jitters and started making excuses for not wanting to participate. He did not want not to win! It was time to talk about winning and losing and the importance of participating regardless. It worked and Utpal participated in the event and won two medals. We were all thrilled and so was he as he proudly strutted around the house showing his medals to every one!
It has been a difficult year for me on the home front and moments of joy have been far and few. The two medals were much needed balm to a hurting soul. But more than that, they were the gentle reminders I needed to find the strength and the courage to carry on as I must admit there have been times during the last 12 months when I have been on the brink of looking at winding up pwhy, as I have been unable to give it the time it deserves. My team has been ace and has kept the project alive and kicking but the Damocles sword of funds still hangs and the sustainability plan is still just that a plan!
Sometimes one wonders how things should end. (apologies but thoughts of the Dark Angel have been up most on my mind). Life is replete with endings and new beginnings. The wise know that. Many early civilisations and even our own gave the choice of deciding when to proceed to the forests or the mountains. I have always wished for an exit with dignity for those I love. I realise that I want the same for project why. But the two little medals were a gentle reminder that there was still more to be done before the last hurrah
We have come a long way Popples and I. When I first saw him, I could have never imagines that the little bonny chap being bathed every morning in front of what used to be my office would one day become an integral part of my life. He had to suffer excruciating physical pain and tormenting mental hurt before he did become part of us but the way is still long and before my last hurrah, his life has to be secured. If I am to be worthy of being Maam'ji, then there is a long way to go. But what is important is to start planning for all eventualities now. Yes I am a proud Maam'ji with all it entails.