About a decade stand between these two pictures. What is intact is the smile. Popples must have been 2 when we shot the first picture and I a half centurion. Popples has grown and I have a lot more white hair and my ugly mole! This was circa 2003. I wish this blog was a celebration of a miracle that came into my life one fine morning and stayed on. True we had many bumps and hiccups along the way, some ugly,some terrifying, some heart breaking but in hindsight these pale in front of the most beautiful relationship,a relationship that one cannot constrain in words as it needs to grow free. Today as my grandson puts it ' we are family!' That goes for Utpal and Agastya but the bonds that link Maam'ji to Popples defy every definition apart from love!
I would have liked this blog to be a gentle stroll down memory lane, a stroll that would have brought tender memories and moist eyes. But that is not to be as Popples life journey has encountered yet another hurdle. I sometimes wonder how many more this child will have to go through. The last one was the vanishing act of his mother who just went off one day leaving a bewildered nine year old completely lost. His coping strategy was anger, aggression and hurt. We had to intervene and he was medicated (still is) and undergoes regular therapy session every fortnight. Slowly and gently we crafted a family for him and he too allowed us into his world. We were elated but also apprehensive as we did not want our house of cards to crumble before we could lay proper foundations. All was going well till last week when his therapist shared her concern about his being marginalised in school where he seemed to be bullied because of his scars. This had been going on for some time but his wonderful counsellor had tried to give him coping strategies but Utpal being a very fragile child was unable to handle the bullies. Being called a burnt KFC chicken to a burnt banana peel was too much for him to take. He went back to the only strategy he once knew, the one he had seen in his early childhood spent with 2 alcoholic parents and the violence it entailed. He hit back and of course was chided for his behaviour.
What seems to be the issue is that no one understands that burn scars are a handicap in every which way possible. They make you different hence marginalised and the butt of hurtful words. More so, even the school authorities do not fully comprehend the magnitude of the problem. I guess it will be the same in any school as inclusive education is still not understood by the teaching community. At best it is brushed away. But often it is the victim who is made the culprit.
I am at a loss. Scarred children have very low self esteem and thus need mentors and friends to boost their self image. Therapy can and will help but it will take time. maybe we should look at more sessions. Changing schools becomes a case of the devil you know and it is almost certain that he will have a tough time finding his place in a new environment. It may just work the other way.
I have scheduled for the therapist to go to the school and talk with all concerned to find a way that will solve issues for this child who has suffered more than enough in his short life.
If you have any ideas or options please post a comment. As you know I am going through a hard time with my husband's health issues and cannot think straight.
I hope the God that brought this Angel into my life will guide me. Amen!