Feb 22, 2024
Feb 22, 2024
The computer screen in front of me flashed a new email message - it was from a longtime friend. This friend had forwarded a short story. It read…
Can I see my baby?" the happy new mother asked.
When the bundle was nestled in her arms and she moved the fold of cloth to look upon his tiny face, she gasped.
The doctor turned quickly and looked out the tall hospital window.
The baby had been born without ears. Time proved that the baby's hearing was perfect. It was only his appearance that was marred.
When he rushed home from school one day and flung himself into his mother's arms, she sighed, knowing that his life was to be a succession of heartbreaks.
He blurted out the tragedy. "A boy, a big boy... called me a freak."
He grew up, handsome for his misfortune. A favorite with his fellow students, he might have been class president, but for that. He developed a gift, a talent for literature and music.
"But, you might mingle with other young people," his mother reproved him, but felt a kindness in her heart.
The boy's father had a session with the family physician. Could nothing be done?
"I believe I could graft on a pair of outer ears, if they could be procured," the doctor decided.
Whereupon, the search began for a person who would make such a sacrifice for a young man.
Two years went by.
Then, "You are going to the hospital, son. Mother and I have someone who will donate the ears you need. But, it's a secret who it is," said the father.
The operation was a brilliant success, and a new person emerged. His talents blossomed into genius, and school and college became a series of triumphs. Later, he married and entered the diplomatic service.
"But, I must know!" He urged his father, "Who gave so much for me? I could never do enough for him."
"I do not believe you could," said the father, "but, the agreement was that you are not to know... not yet."
The years kept their profound secret, but the day did come... one of the darkest days that ever pass through a son. He stood with his father over his mother's casket. Slowly, tenderly, the father stretched forth a hand and raised the thick, reddish-brown hair to reveal... that the mother had no outer ears.
"Mother said she was glad she never let her hair be cut," he whispered gently, "and nobody ever thought mother less beautiful, did they?"
The story shook me out of my stupor-like existence. For me to live and experience life the way I do, I had forgotten how much of sacrifice was being made by everybody and everything around me. The plants, animals, photons, earth, water, fire, air, sky, time itself - all are giving me the life-giving forces - and not because they want to pronounce themselves as the givers but because it is their very nature to give. And when I am ready to give up myself (or at least a part of me) they accept me back without questions or suggestions. Proclaimed "giving" and conditional "acceptance" seems so unnatural if I really see things as they truly are.
Utter and complete oneness is perhaps the only explanation. How can it be otherwise?
More by : Maalok