No, that is not the title to my upcoming book!!
Neither is it my new name!! :D
Read on to know more...
Last week i got the chance to visit the Adaikalam, run by BANYAN. [For those who are not aware of what or who BANYAN, you can click here as well...]
It is basically a shelter for destitute women... some of whom are brought in from the streets, while others are sent away from homes... The place today is home to nearly 220 such women, most of whom are above 50,60yrs of age!! As you walk in, the sight of these women walking about, some in a daze, others look at you and smile , some stand and stare.. it is quite disturbing, but i was happy to hear from Betty, Project coordinator that most of them are rehabilitated and sent home to their families. And if there are any who have completely lost their mind, have no clues who they are, where their families are, not possible to do any work, they are sent to Banyan Shelter in Kovalam village, Kancheepuram- BALM...
Most of the women here are given Vocational training - make bags, and other products, sell them at their mini store at the center or other Banyan offices.. These women are paid Salary for the work they do, this way they have a nest egg when they go back home and something to keep them going.. standing on their own feet... :)
ok... now for the Sylvia part of the story... Betty was showing me around the place, we went to the various floors, i was getting a quick tour of the place, how it worked and so on... As we stood at the landing in the top most floor, i felt a poke on my shoulder.. I turned to see an aged lady smiling and looking at me shy.. like she wanted to say something but was holding herself back.. Betty probed asking her to ask my name and here is what followed... :)
Sylvia - shall be ref to as S hereforth !!!
S: What is your name dear?
S: I am Sylvia...
You coming from nearby or far away??
Me: No, I dont live close by!
Sylvia: Are you coming here 1st time dear?
[few mins of Silence... while Betty and i were chatting up about the other isolation cell on the other side of the wall...Sylvia continued standing next to me... ]
Me: So, Sylvia, did you have breakfast?
S: No dear, i dont like Upma..
Me: Oh, wont you be hungry? what will you eat?
S: [big grin] I will go to Srinivas stores, buy bread butter and jam and eat..
Next time shall keep some for you...
Me: Aww, thank you!!
What does your Betty like?
S: Madam likes only Chicken 65 [ followed by a giggle] :)
S: Do you eat Non veg or veg dear?
Me: Am veg!
S: Aah, are you brahmin?
Me: yes!!! :)
S: My husband was a Brahmin.. he worked at St Martha's hospital....
You know what he did..... he brot home another woman and made her his wife... Threw me out of the house... .. [ she just drifted off, almost like she was talking to herself]..
I Felt so bad for her!!! am sure each of those ladies have a story behind them!!! Left there praying they all find some happiness for the remaining years and hopefully none of us end up like that!!
Everyday say a prayer or a word of Thanks to the Man up there for giving us what we have... We should all feel so blessed and Thankful!! Crib less .... :)