A WONDER BOY
Three men made my life wonderful.....My father, my exceptionally loving, caring and witty husband PIYUSH & A WONDER BOY....
I am happy the way my daughter Palak could stand tall on her own. I am getting lots of praise & appreciation for being a mother of this wonder girl named Palak...but Palak is a wonder girl because of a WONDER BOY....my son PURVAJ.
This fact is the other side of the coin which I am disclosing now. I want to share the relationship of my two children. Purvaj was born in July 1990 & Palak in July 1992. We are based at Navsari. It being a very small town, my father took Palak, only 8 months old then, to Ahmedabad for physiotherapy & early intervention programme. At that time, Purvaj asked me the reason for shifting of Palak. I explained him about the necessity of special therapies as Palak was slow learner & as those facilities were not available in Navsari. Palak was staying with us for 3-4 months in a year till she turned 5 & thereafter we took admission for her in a regular school at Navsari. I was unaware & I still don't know how Purvaj made her do everything what he did since he was just 4 years of age & Palak just 2!
Purvaj had his friends in a building opposite to ours & he used to go there every day to play. Once Palak got shifted to Navsari permanently, I observed Purvaj playing with Palak only & not with his friends. I never wanted Purvaj to miss or sacrifice anything because of Palak. Once I asked him the reason of not going to play. His answer....!!! I never expected this from a boy of 7. He replied, "If they are my true friends, they will come to our place to play. If they do so & consider Palak as their friend then I will restart playing with them along with Palak otherwise I am happy here." I could not utter a single word; I had tears in my eyes.
Palak needed to go for craft & clay classes as it was beneficial for her hand muscles. Purvaj was good at many other things but he preferred to go for craft & clay classes. He accompanied Palak for almost a year. Once he was sure that Palak was truly accepted by all in the class, he stopped accompanying her...he was just 9...!!!!
Since his childhood Purvaj is fond of music & he has an inborn talent for the same. He can make tunes instantly. He taught Palak to sing. He used to sit with Palak for hours together & made her sing Bollywood songs. Within one year Palak became so proficient in Bollywood songs to that extent that she would sing 8-10 songs starting from any given letter instantly. Initially we were not able to judge the reason behind it but later on we could relate it. Playing 'Antakshari (A game of sequential songs)' was a routine for all of us. Purvaj cultivated Palak so well that teams used to fight for the inclusion of Palak in their team. That was Purvaj's way of INCLUSION...!!!!
The moment Palak was born & we came to know that she is having DS, first thing both of us decided was to keep Purvaj totally out of the responsibilities.... pain.... duties... everything. Look at this wonder boy...!!!
Purvaj was doing Karate training since he was 5. When Palak's muscle strength was good enough, Purvaj insisted his instructor to include Palak in his classes for junior students. Purvaj was just 10 then.
Purvaj taught her music, drawing, various board games, swimming, jumping....everything. We never needed to convince Palak before introducing something new when Purvaj was around & he was always there!!!
Purvaj used to visit my in-law's place during weekends. After Palak shifted to Navsari he went there only once. He never told us the reason. His respect towards his grandparents remained intact. His thinking was just unbelievable & that I came to know after many years from my receptionist. We did not have intercoms in those days but we had two phone sets on one line. My receptionist could hear the conversation of Purvaj with his grandmother as she was on another phone set. Purvaj was talking to his grandma that both of them (himself & Palak) would visit them on Sunday. His grandma told him to come alone. She also added that as Palak would not be comfortable, Purvaj should better leave her with mom. That boy of 8....didn't utter a single word then. After half & hour, he called his grandmother once again to say about their visit on some other Sunday ....That Sunday never came....!!! He loves his grandma like anything. Still today also he'll invariably call her and talk to her from Germany...!! But," where Palak is not acceptable...I don't need to visit those places....!!!" This was his method of fighting for his sister's rights naturally.
Purvaj, a strong headed guy, set his schedule according to Palak's schedule. The acceptance that Palak got from her peers was solely due to Purvaj. Purvaj & Palak had their own world....their secrets....their talks...& what not..!!!
Purvaj was & is fond of trekking. He took Palak with him everywhere e.g. summer camps, picnic, friend's party. He did all that so ably, differently & with strong conviction that his friends even could not think him without Palak.
During our vacations in India & abroad, Purvaj kept on explaining Palak about the place, the language, the people etc. He taught her to read instructions carefully when we used to go out of our house. He taught her to know the DOS & DONTS when we went abroad. He taught her how to check-in/check-out, place an order/ call a house keeping staff/ when to call at reception/to read about chargeable things put in the hotel room etc...That was his way of making his sister self dependent & confident.
We are parents...we wanted Purvaj to think about himself without Palak...We had to take very crucial & most difficult decision of our life to send Purvaj to the Residential school. I always have my opinion against sending children to hostel. He was in CBSE board & we didn't have CBSE School for 11th & 12th in Navsari. Putting this reason in front of him, we convinced him to opt for residential school. It was extremely painful for us but it was mandatory. We felt that extreme involvement of Purvaj for Palak might prove harmful later on.
He stood first in his school in Std 12th. He got admission in the branch of his choice in college at Surat. Again his approach for Palak was as intense as it was at the age of 7. I sat with him & tried to explain him about the college life & college friends. I insisted that why anyone should be bothered about his sister? How can he expect a group of boys & girls to include his sister in their group???? I even told him to enjoy life with friends but his answer was, " There is nothing that I should & Palak should not, there is nothing I need to hide from Palak".
That was Purvaj...very strong..very cool..very witty....& above all very loving brother....!!! Again for the INCLUSION of Palak with his friends!
By the end of first year of Purvaj's college, Palak was one of the group members.....Purvaj's friends became crazy about Palak. Every single time they wanted Palak to be with them. Once they had party at Surat after their college, so it was not possible for Purvaj to take Palak with him. He went alone and to our surprise his friends called us demanding for Palak. We had to drive to Surat & drop Palak there. That was Purvaj's way of INCLUSION.
In 5th semester, he started developing special feelings for a girl but he resisted & hide for one year thinking about Palak's reaction & feelings!!! Ultimately Purvaj informed Palak about his affair with Chandni. Purvaj's pure love & affection for Palak got transferred naturally to Chandni. Chandni, the beautiful girl with a pure and loving heart is now with us to love Palak in abundance....!!!!
Both of them are doing their Masters in Germany. We could not send Palak to college in spite of her abilities to study further. Purvaj & Chandni want Palak to study further so they are planning to take Palak with them once they are settled. Destiny will decide the rest! I feel myself the luckiest mother to have three pure souls as my children...!!!!
We had a session on siblings of children with DS at WDSD 2015, Chennai. It was beautiful & touchy. The research said almost all the siblings of children with DS are very happy the way their brother/sister is. They love them the most....!!!!
CUDOS TO ALL SIBLINGS OF CHILDREN WITH DS