Before I begin, I’m sorry that I was gone for so long – I just didn’t have anything that was worth posting here. I wanted it to be good. I don’t know if this post is anywhere close to being good, but this is something I want to speak and discuss about, because it’s horrible, and we need to change.
Today, I received an email from Ketto.org, an Indian website that helps to fund-raise for various causes as well as creative projects, asking me to help Khadija Khatoon. I immediately went ahead to contribute, but unfortunately couldn’t since our account had zero balance, and the contact information was not updated. My mother said we would have to create a new account here (we moved to New Delhi in July).
So, instead, I went to Facebook and tagged as many friends I could so that more people would reach out to help Khadija. That was the least I could do.
But within minutes, I received a message from my former classmate, telling me not to tag him in such posts. He had a problem with Khadija’s picture, which is disturbing, and for some people, disgusting, too.I immediately removed his tag from the post, but I was really very sad at this reaction, and a rather horrible realization dawned on me.
Despite the post reaching thousands of people, there are huge chances that it will mostly go ignored – people would immediately scroll down after looking at the picture, not even caring to read about Khadija’s problem. I don’t know about the rest of the world out there, but this surely will happen in India.
I have no intentions of shaming my country, because not everyone is the same. People have donated as much as they can to many causes – cancer, lung transplant and the likes, but I fear many will not pay attention to this post. They do not wish to look at the sad and the bad.
They take things for granted. If they didn’t, they’d be thankful that their bodies are perfectly normal, they do not suffer from any disability or disease. And they would bother to take a moment to see what’s troubling others and help them in any way possible.
But, Facebook’s for socializing and posting selfies and group chats. Why bother yourself and spare a few bucks to help a poor girl from Kolkata to have a life?
I would like to take a moment to tell you why. You were lucky, you were born in a family that was not poor, if not rich. You were lucky to have a perfectly functioning body. You’re lucky that you are able to see, hear, taste, smell and feel. You’re lucky that you’re healthy enough in mind and body to help yourself.
This is worth celebrating, and your weight and relationship problems are nothing in comparison to Khadija’s, who has spent 21 years of her life living without what she deserves, like everyone of us. To see the blue sky, to smell roses, to feel the warm sunshine, to hear her own laughter. She deserves, like the rest of us, to be a normal person.
And what is inspiring is that while many people who pass by on the road where Khaliza begs (I do not wish to use that word) might be thinking her pathetic or cursing her that she probably would have done something wrong in her past life to deserve this condition of hers, she remains brave. As the article says “she’s not coping but living with it.”
This courage of self-appreciation is what makes her more beautiful than any of us. We frown over a pimple or dark spots, and here is Khadija, living her life when she does even not have a proper face to live with. Yet, she moves on.
I hope we can all learn something from Khadija. Not just to appreciate life, but have an understanding of what beauty actually means. Like I said in a previous post, beauty is as temporary as this moment. It will be gone before you know it, and you will be left wondering where it disappeared.
We from our opinions about everyone – be it a stranger or a celebrity on their appearance. Later we realize the beautiful woman you saw on the Metro is a drug addict and that the ordinary looking actor helps everyone he can.
A beautiful face cannot hide an ugly heart for long. Who you are on the inside will eventually show up on the outside.
I found this quote on Pinterest, and I think it sums up all I’ve wanted to say. And, as I finish writing this, I hope someone with a real heart has spotted the post and made a contribution, even if it is a 100 rupees ( US $1.51). It’s not much for us, but it is of infinite value for Khadija.
To help Khaliza, click here.
Update: Dr. M Khadar from Mangalore has very generously offered to operate on Khadija for free. The Soul Angels group, who had started the campaign (which surpassed its goal) will use the money for a healthy and better future for Khadija and her family.