Saturday, March 20, 2010

The man with one arm

Spring has finally arrived. It has been warm and sunny. Blue skies. Gentle breeze. Yesterday was one such day. We got home from school, Chip played outside for a while and then we decided to go out for some pizza and a carousel ride at the mall. BigGeek had gone out for dinner, so it was just mother and son.

The mall where we live, has an indoor play area. Chip loves to play there and yesterday was no exception. While he played amongst other four and five year olds, I answered some long due emails and all my attempts to take my mind off work failed miserably. I sat down, head bent, shoulders hunched, peering at my phone, punching away on the tiny keys while all around me the mall was alive. Kids played, harried mothers relaxed with a latte and families milled in and out of stores – arms laden with shopping bags.

I didn’t know how long we were. I was engrossed in work, Chip in play. I looked up when I heard a wail. A small toddler had lost his balance and tripped while running on the balance beam. I smiled to myself as nostalgia flooded me. The boy’s mother walked over and laughed and helped the boy up. I noticed then they were Indian. The young mom was dressed simply. A polyester orange salwar suit on a tall lean frame, wisps defiantly escaping the braided hair. Thin black rimmed glassed slipping on the nose. She talked to the boy, but as two year olds are known to do, he sulked. Brows furrowed, he dug his heels till the mother led him away to where she was sitting with the boy’s father.

As she went and sat next to her husband and narrated the short incident, he smiled and laughed and patted the boy on his head. I could see the boy and his father, but could not hear them. The father seemed to be urging the boy to go and play. He patted his son’s head, then his shoulder. Then pulled the boy towards him and tickled him. The boy laughed. I looked at the ordinary scene, but something looked odd. I couldn’t put a finger on it. I turned to look down at my phone and then it suddenly struck me. I looked up again and there it was. The father had only one arm. Through the plaid half sleeved shirt, I could see the stub of what could have been his right arm clearly. His left hand tickled his son and until the boy laughed, his sorrow of a minute ago forgotten.

Thousand and one questions raged through my mind. What did the father do? How had he lost his arm? Was it before he was married or after? If it was before why did the child’s mother marry him? Was it pity, bravery or just love? If it was after, how did she cope with such a loss? How did he cope? His day to day activities? What did he do for a living? He looked like a professional. IT? How did he type on the keyboard with just one hand? How had they as a couple found acceptance? Found the strength? It was impossible to miss the quiet serenity on the young couple’s face.

I saw them as they looked indulgently at their son who had gone back to play on the balance beam. He spread out his arms and took one careful step and then another, and another. A minute later,the little boy reached the end of the beam and jumped down in triumph. The father looked on with pride and put his only arm on his wife’s shoulder and pulled her close, joy illuminating their eyes. Everything was right with the world.


Edited to add: Apologies for a huge gap between the posts. I changed jobs last month and it has been rather adventurous, to say the least!!

37 comments:

Munchkin said...

What an intriguing tale! Am glad summer is here too..its been such a long winter(of course I have no right to complain living as I am in the south :D )

And hey, congrats on the new job !

eve's lungs said...

How lovely Dottie . When you love each other it really doesn't matter , does it ?

Anonymous said...

why is your blog called ' The Karma Calling' ??

noon said...

Congratulations on the new job!!
Missed reading you! Hope you will write more often now.
I would have had the same kind of questions in my head. It is nice to know you too feel like asking all these questions...natural to wonder.
Could picture the pride and joy in the parents faces - just so sweet.

GettingThereNow said...

Came by to nudge you a little but I see that you have already posted. Well, consider yourself nudged fro the next post :)

Sands said...

seriously all thoughts that would come to my mind as well. And I'd probably even introduce myself ;) But in real life I have a few people who have the best life albeit some series handicap in one of the them. It is for sure heartwarming to see them :)

DotThoughts said...

Munchkin: Thanks!! And yes.. thank god for summer!

eve's lungs: I think so too :)

Anon: lol. I dunno... prolly because this is what i really want to do for aliving, but can't? ;-)

noon: Thanks noon!!

gtn: will consider myself nudged ;-)

sands: it's so inspring isn't it?

PG said...

Keep writing. I do read even if I don't always comment. Wish you all the best with your new job!

dipali said...

Such a lovely post! So good to have you back.
Yes,I wonder about that little family too, God bless them!

rrmom said...

Nice post. Missed your posts. Do write regularly.

Renu said...

lovely post...I have read about many couples who are happy despite physical handicaps..looks like happiness is in the mind.

Sanya said...

It's amazing what people with disabilities can overcome isn't it? I'm glad to hear a story like that - where they are happy together no matter what just the way they are. Thanks for sharing it.

Bab said...

Its a great story you posted here and well described. See its not necessary for love in husband and wife without any missing in body. it depends on their thoughts. Love and Happiness is not bound with the resources. I m also handicapped before marriage but my wife is ok and she happy with me.
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Brugge Restaurant said...

Wish you all the best with your new job! and I would have had the same kind of questions in my head. It is nice to know you too feel like asking all these questions...natural to wonder.
Could picture the pride and joy in the parents faces - just so sweet.

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Jill said...

I hope you are back to blogging, I love your way with words.

I stopped over and found your blog from here in Australia.
I recently travelled to India and am amazed by all things Indian!

We were at a local fruit market and our girls noticed a man with a prosthetic leg. They had a similar reaction. Equally when there is someone really fat, you can never tell what kids will say!

I am now following you, please feel free to drop over t oour kid friendly blog when you have a chance.

Do you have blog hops in India??

http://beourbest.blogspot.com/

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sindhu said...

hey, what a lucid writer u r.Love to read more as i can relate a lot....

do vist this mommy blogger..withsaltnpepper.blogspot...would love to know ur take as u seem to be an avid reader and ardent writer.

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eCBSE said...

Nice and emotional story. I think Man lost his arm after marriage and It was their love which made her cope with him. What says.:-)

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