Love and positive attitude have no barriers, no hurdles. This instance has brought another inspirational story of kindness to my notice and for everyone, who is aware of this inspirational story and a bridge too near is witnessed again!
A bridge doesn’t always need a physical structure to cross over a river or difficult terrain, to save time or to ensure continuity. It is also in an abstract form to generate faith in humanity and ‘being human’, irrespective of color, race, region, religion, caste, sex or status. The need is only to extend a helping hand and a sense of bonding.
Fortune favors the brave
A lesson I learned from a chance bonding of Anjana and Joyce. Anjana is in India and Joyce is from the United States of America. Let us explore how some unique bridges can be formed without expending a penny.
Joyce, as we will call her in our story line, was on a tourist visa to India from the United States. She preferred to visit the banks of Ganga in Rishikesh and chanced upon to notice a weary woman writing ‘Rama Rama..’ ( A Hindu Deity) using her foot thumb and fingers. This woman by name was known as Anjana Malik. She was born without hands and was making a livelihood of her and her family by the alms that passersby used to throw on seeing her dexterity in writing, using her toes. Her roadside setting adjacent to a hermitage (ashram) in Rishikesh, was taken as an alms seeker.
“We rise by lifting others” – Robert Ingersoll
But what Joyce noticed no other passersby could so many years. As she bent down to see her art closely, she found an untapped mine of treasure in her work, ready to take wings. She could see a raw diamond to be polished. There was a spark in the eyes of Anjana.
Anjana got international fame
Not familiar with each other’s language and level of understanding, both could correlate to each other. Soon Anjana’s dream started taking flight. Joyce encouraged her to draw something extra. A year went by and today Anjana is an international celebrity. Her sketches are on demand ranging from Rs 2500 to Rs. 25000 apiece. By her indomitable will power, Anjana has come out from a beggars’ status to international arena.
Joyce and Anjana creates an invisible bridge of hope and aspirations, of positivity and will power, of belief and visualizing purpose of life. These two women stand tall apart to form a bridge for humanity.
Says Stephanie Joyce of the United States. – ” Through Anjana’s radiant smile and pure spirit, I have felt the true essence of India. I only sparked something that was already in her waiting to be expressed in her art. In fact, I felt she is my teacher. She taught me about acceptance, perseverance, and faith. “
Says Anjana – ” I love what I do now. It gives me a sense of purpose. It takes me anything from a week to ten days to create a painting. I take frequent breaks as it is difficult to use my toes for long stretches. I get tired, but I don’t mind.”
Anjana today has no regrets being differently abled. She is a drop out from class 5th due to the shortage of money, she never wants to be a burden to her family. Adding woes to a mountain of sorrow, say she – My elder brother killed himself and our family is plunged into further distress.” To keep my mind off the loss of my brother, I started to hold a pen in my toes and write. ” It is difficult but I never give up. After trying for days, I finally succeed in writing the word ‘Ram’. Writing the Lord’s name not only makes me feel better but people are also more generous.”
Don’t take yourself for granted. The human beings are the best species of the Creator. Be kind to yourself and to all, you come across. Who knows he may pass through the passage again.
photo credit: rogiro <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/43132185@N00/167095727">Trust</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">(license)</a>