“Family is more than blood. Families are made of those who you welcome in, share ‘silent unspeakable memories’ with, express vulnerability to, climb the highs and lows of life with, and love with all your heart. And I found my family at the apartment that I work. I have been a garbage collector for several years now at an apartment in Kodambakkam. With so many families living inside one compound, it is difficult to remember who is who. In most cases, the residents don’t recognise you, with other cleaning and maintenance staff working there too.
That was the case with me as well. Those black bags of garbage and colorful wastebasket pop out of doors when I show up, and I am sure most residents don’t even know my name. But when I fell ill a couple of months ago and needed to undergo surgery, my wife approached the residents here. They volunteered to pay not just for the healthcare expenses but also gave me money to support my family. It’s moments like these, when the people who you least expect to even recognize you, make a touching gesture that your faith in humanity is restored. What they did was more than just giving money, their action was a restoration of hope and gave me a second chance to live!”
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