Proposed by Rashmi Kakrania Vaid
I grew up in a city called Agra in a privileged household & now settled in Delhi. The most important lesson of life that I learnt was to understand the difference between sympathy and empathy. It stayed with me forever.
My mornings in the balcony make me see a lot of familiar faces every day.
One such face is of a caregiver Nikita, who works in the neighbourhood and is taking care of a young cancer patient – leaving her family and young children at home.
She only gets to see them once a week. I often see her in and out of the house, sometimes doing the other odd jobs too, but most importantly always cheerful & smiling.
Her undying spirit and dedication towards her work in these difficult times amazes me.
This morning was different. The smile on her face seemed to be missing.
Her “Hello didi” did not have the same vibe like every day.
I asked her if there was something that was bothering her and If I could help her with anything: ration, school fees for her children, some medical assistance or maybe just anything.
After a brief silence & teary eye, she replied that she didn’t need anything as her husband & she earn well enough to take care of all the materialistic requirements of their house and family.
What actually bothered and upset her was the fact that it was her daughter’s birthday the next day. And there was no way in which she could make her happy in this difficult lockdown stage.
All it mattered to her was her children and their happiness.
I really don’t know this might seem too petty, but I decided to bake a nice chocolate cake for her daughter’s birthday. (Editor’s comment. It’s not petty at all. We think it’s absolutely adorable.)
I also managed to arrange a new dress for her so that she could make her daughter feel special on her special day.
When kids are young, I feel birthdays are the most important day for them in the entire year.
Only if I could put it in words what it meant to her. When I handed over the cake & dress to her while she was leaving for her home, The joy, happiness, tears, smile & the overwhelmed expression on her face was priceless and it will be embedded in my heart forever.
My motto in life: We can’t make everyone happy but everyone can make someone happy.