Children of God

It was a home for schizophrenics. He stood in the women’s ward, being there apparently with the purpose of understanding how people who have stopped functioning in any socially approved way lived. About 15 women gathered in the common area, around a long table. The youngest of them was in her mid 20s, the oldest perhaps in her 70s. They belonged to different regions, cultures, traditions. Some rich, some not so. Many of them looked a bit unusual in their facial expressions. One was salivating. Another stood expression-less with a walking stick. Yet another looked around with wonder, like a child gazing at the stars. And one was woefully self-absorbed, her eyes always looking down at the floor. They had all just brushed, bathed, and dressed up for the day, some on their own, others being cajoled, pushed and helped into it.

They stood around the long table. They sang.

teri hai zameen, tera aasmaan
tu bada meherbaan
tu bakhshish kar
sabhi ka hai tu, sabhi tere
khuda mere tu bakhshish kar

teri marzi se ai maalik
hum is duniya mein aayein hain
teri rehmat se hum sab ne
ye jism aur jaan paaye hain
tu apni nazar hum par rakhna
kis haal mein hain ye khabar rakhna

tu chaahe to humein rakkhe
tu chaahe to humein maare
tere aage jhuka ke sar
khade hain aaj hum saare
o sabse badi taaqat waale
tu chaahe to har aafat taale

teri hai zameen, tera aasmaan
tu bada meherbaan
tu bakhshish kar
sabhi ka hai tu, sabhi tere 
khuda mere tu bakhshish kar

They were the refuse of society. Their families were unable to keep them anymore. Badly adjusted, badly behaved, lonely, heavily medicated. Yet, as they sang, they were children of God. Nothing could veil the fact that behind all the traumas, the aggressions, the toxic ways in which the establishment dealt with them, there was innocence and only innocence. No scars that life had dealt them with were opaque enough to hide it.

For once, that dark building, with little sunshine and an exit door that opened only for the so-called normal, lit up with the innate purity of every human being. Young or old, severely ill or functional, cantankerous or extremely friendly, all came together like siblings, children of one father and mother, and prayed for what was the first birthright of them and every human being inside and outside that building – happiness, joy, a relief from the sufferings of the world. And they had trust that it will come.

~ by tdcatss on January 5, 2016.

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