Touching lives

Touching lives

There is a woman in my life. 

I see her every morning. She comes home, neatly attired, smelling of the jasmine flowers that adorn her hair. When I open the door, she greets me with a warm, open smile. It is the kind of smile that you reserve for your near ones; the kind of smile that touches your heart and gladdens you.

We have known each other for close to two years now. The other day, as we both sat sipping our steaming cups of tea, she told me a story that I would never forget:

The house next to mine had a sad story. The couple there had a young daughter, all of 11 years old. The father was a violent man, given to physically abusing his wife and daughter, hitting them when the frenzy struck him. The mother, unable to bear the agony of daily abuse, took to drinking and became a raging alcoholic. The innocent child was left to fend for herself. Many days, she would be starving with no food to eat. The constant abuse and the drinking  reduced her to a shell of her original self. She was slowly withering away.

With tears in my eyes, I asked her what happened to the girl.

She looked me in the eye, emptied her tea cup, dabbed her mouth with the edge of her dupatta  and said, in a matter-of-fact voice, “I adopted her”. Then, she stood up, picked up the broom from behind the kitchen door and proceeded to sweep the house.

Speechless, I sat there, staring at her as she went about tidying my house, mopping the floors and rinsing the dishes in the sink. Here was a woman who worked very hard for a living. She worked tirelessly from morning to evening, to provide for the family. Her life is not an easy one; but she smiles through it all.

She found a child in pain and didn’t think twice before adding her to her own family. In her place, would I have done the same? Honestly, I don’t know.

And, you want to know the best part? She has two sons of her own.

Inspiration can come from anyone. 

It can come from the kindness of a child when he tells you why we shouldn’t kill a snake, since it is also one of God’s creatures. 

It can come from your peers when they selflessly and lovingly take in stray animals

It can come from the virtual space when a wonderful friend coaxes you to make every second count and you just want to reach out and give her a big hug!

Be open to inspiration and it will find you and touch your life in more ways than you can imagine.

Yes, there is a woman in my life. 

Some day, I hope I can be half the woman that she is today.


This is my entry for Day 5 of the week-long Festival of Words for Write Tribe

For 6th March this was our prompt:

 Share an inspiring story/ a personal experience that will inspire.

Click here to read more entries! 
I'm taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words -3
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75 thoughts on “Touching lives

  1. Amazing story Shailaja. And we always think we're the educated ones, the aware ones, the ones who do a lot for our daughters. But how many of us would have done something like this for someone elses daughter?? Your post made me think.

  2. The bottom line of this story is one need not be a great man with achievements to his credit or a rich man who has amassed his wealth or a man in power to inspire others.Ordinary people in small positions can inspire by their large heart, compassion or giving.The world abounds in such people if only we care to look around.Lucky you have a maid to inspire you.

  3. Wow she is one inspiring Lady… To feel the pain of a little girl and bringing her as own. Such compassion and empathy In people is hardly seen these days.

  4. Shailaja , we all have to ask ourselves a question , What would we have done in a similar situation? As you said I too cannot answer this question as my heart may not be as magnanimous as her. One does not have to be highly affluent or famous to help somebody. The girl is a lucky human being. And one fact is being overlooked in this whole story. The girl's mother though traumatized has not right to take up to drinking.

  5. What a truly beautiful story:-) That is a woman with a good soul you have in your life – truly inspiring:-) And so true: inspiration can come from anyone, and sometimes when you least expect it:-) Gread read:-)

  6. Shailaja, that gave me tears and goosebumps. Inspiration, humanity, love at it's peak. I am sharing this in my FB group, hope you don't mind 🙂

  7. Respect for women like this! I am not sure if I would have the same thing either. It takes a lot of courage to become someone's saviour. I guess God's angels are walking around everywhere. We just never notice them much. Loved reading this Shailaja. She is truly an inspiration. <3

  8. She said it so nonchalantly. For most of us it would be a tough decision. The way she said of the other woman was also so normal, no blame game or fault finding. And then she wasn't trying to trumpet about her 'good deed'. Hats off to her

  9. Definitely ISPIRING. I loved your post and the story touched my heart. When you said you wish you could become half the woman she was — I believe you already are!

  10. I agree with what Kalpana Solsi says : The girl's mother though traumatized has not right to take up to drinking. Anyway the world does not work the right way, very often.
    As far as the story is concerned, i would've the heart and the mind do what ur maid has done, but would have terribly failed to convince my fail to follow suit.

  11. Wow, what a wonderful human being. You are absolutely right. Inspiration need not come only from those making it to the newspaper headlines. Its all around us.

  12. I am sitting here feeling numb. the sheer impact of it was a lot. And that woman of course did a wonderful deed you perhaps did one too today by sharing her story with us, thank you so much 🙂


  13. I salute that brave and generous woman and thank you for sharing her inspiring story with us. I don't know what I would have done in her place, she is amazing.

  14. That's a superb smile in that post, Shailaja 🙂
    I loved it when you said ” Be open to inspiration and it will find you and touch your life in more ways than you can imagine” I think that's so true. Keep an open heart, that's all 🙂

    Lovely post!

  15. Tears in my eyes as I read this Shailaja.. truly inspiring indeed. Oddly enough, this was a thought that struck me a few weeks ago when reading about some child in need – if I would have the guts to do something like this if I felt strongly enough about it. I think we have lost the pure empathy that leads to such an action, as we try to plan and ask too many questions about it along the way :(.

  16. That's a beautiful story. I appreciate your reminder to be open to inspiration too. I think that it's too easy to become cynical and closed and view things in a negative light.

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