Finding Khushi

Finding Khushi - Sharad Lavchand Shah, Bangalore, (Bhuj)

It was month of March first week when I landed in Mumbai to volunteer my services in Free Plastic Surgery Camp. The weather as usual was sultry but it seemed better than other parts I travelled in the previous week. I had to anyway stay here for 2 weeks which was the duaration of the camp.

On Sunday,10th March 2019, it was the screening day of patients who appeared to avail the services provided by German Plastic Surgeons on donator basis during the camp. It was to some extent an emotional day seeing a few of them looking into the eyes of surgeons as their hope to better their functional issues in daily life.

During the camp, I recollect an incident an old contact of mine had mentioned to me years ago. He was financially in a very good situation and also had very importance in his social and friend circle. He said, he was one day driving his Porsche which faced a starter problem near one of the signal in south Mumbai. The started got hanged and he could not manage to start the car and move. He recollected to call his close friend and had the following conversations – First call, he got a reply that sorry brother, I am unable to reach your spot to help you out as I am stuck with my bank work. Second call, he got a response that sorry bhai, I have ekashna today and it would take atleast 2 hrs during the lunch time and unable to help. The third call got a feed back that sorry you know its share market time and I would not be able to miss until closure at 3.30 as otherwise I would end up with losses.

He got confused that he was guessing that atleast one of them would definitely help as they were considered his close contacts in social circle. At that time, a roadside begger asked him, anything wrong as I see sweat on your face and may I be of help. I said, my starter is stuck and I need someone to help to push my car to start and move away instead of obstructing everyone behind. He just smiled and pushed my car from behind for a small distance until the engine started as the started was released by the push. I stopped and gave him Rs.50. He said, I am happy that I had a chance to push a PORSCHE car worth what more than 2.0 Cr and thank you for giving me this opportunity. And he also said, never believe that your close contacts appreaciate you and would help when needed but they are your close until you have a Porsche running and not stuck This was something which my friend did give me a valuable view at busy rat race life. I recollect this because of an incident at Camp which was as valuable as this advise.

During the 3rd day of the camp (the duration was 12 days), a small girl child by name Khushi, 3 year old appeared with her Grandpa. She was basically from Rajasthan but settled in Surat, Gujarat. She had fallen onto a burner while her mother was cooking. She had suffered burns. Lost her left eye lid, multiple contractures in left arm and right arm, loss of partial hair. The German surgeons decided, this child definitely needed special care and treatment as she was still too young and a girl child. The Grandfather explained that a private hospital in Ahmedabad had given an estimate of Rs.10 lacs to get her operated for functional issues which they could not afford being from a low income group.

The German Surgeons, Dr.Cord and Dr.Benjamin and the team anaesthetist Dr.Max, Dr.Kathrine, Sister Ela all worked on the child. The Surgeons could articulately manage to reconstruct the eye lid, remove the multiple contractures on the left arm and did the skin graft. In the next 2 days, when we were on the rounds looking at operated cases, the chile KHUSHI was happily running around in the lobby, climbing a chair and taking a small jump and we were all shocked. She was able to open and close her eye lid which was reconstructed and could safeguard her eye vision and looked never in pain. She was in fact an inspiration to other patients who were operated.

These two incidents, tells me that how wrong me and my financially rich contact at Mumbai were. Khushi was right in front of us, playing around, looking in all good spirits and we were searching KHUSHI at the traffic signal.


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