“This Diwali week was different! And different it is in the happiest way possible, for I had visitors coming in to spend time with me. I’m a part of a home that offers shelter to abandoned children and elderly from broken families. People here tell me I am a little over 90 years old, but all I remember is being outcast by my villagers around the age of fifty for converting into Christianity. It was the post-independence era and my husband and I were the first ones in our village who switched faiths.
Angered by the act, everyone in our area including my own family disowned us. I did initially try to patch up and ease out the differences in opinion, but it didn’t matter after a point. I was also hurt about my ideologies being disregarded and walked off from our community. But it wasn’t long enough before life threw another curveball, in the form of my husband’s demise. And having no children meant that I had to walk on thorns single-handedly, ever since.
However, life did have some happiness in store for me. This time, it was in the form of a young woman, who found me on the road and enrolled me into this shelter. This move was refreshing, especially as an abandoned elderly woman in her seventies, for I finally had a family. They say blood is thicker than water, but that’s not always the case. Many a time, one finds solace in strangers, over broken families and I definitely found mine here, with here with the various children and adults who’d come from similar realities.
Adding occasionally to the joy are the surprise visits from kind strangers, typically around the festive season. This Diwali week, I witnessed a bunch of chirpy young adults visiting our home, with a whole lot of celebratory supplies and essentials. We had dance performances and music orchestrations, but I was most thrilled in interacting with a few of them, who lent us an ear and promised to return again for Christmas. They give me a glimpse of how beautiful life can be despite tragedies. Afterall, what is it all worth without the hope of a better tomorrow?”
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