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It is the Darkest Before the Dawn

A guest post from our friend Tina Mahesh in Mumbai on the hope to be found as the pandemic sweeps across India

When 85-year-old Narayan Dabhadkar from Nagpur Maharashtra caught Covid, his family struggled for days to find a bed for him in various hospitals. By the time they did, the disease was already taking a toll on him and his oxygen levels had dropped.

He was transported to the hospital in an ambulance and was waiting for the admission formalities to be completed, when he saw a women pleading and crying for a bed for her husband who was in his 40s.

Narayanji immediately turned to the medical team attending him and said:

‘I am 85 now. I have lived many years in my life. You should offer the bed to this man instead. His children need him’.

He called his daughter and his grandson-in-law and informed them of his decision and, after much hesitation, they signed the consent form to say he was forfeiting his bed for a young man and would return home.

He passed away three days later.

As India faces yet another challenge in the form of this pandemic, many stories of such unparalleled compassion tend to go unnoticed by wide angle lens of the national and international media.

It took almost a year for us to hit this second wave and, when it came, it came in full rage. Yes, there are people dying. Yes, there is mess as to who to blame. Yes, there is a battle of narratives in the international media. But we, the simple people of India, with our values engrained in our DNA, will always come together to face such situations.

Whether it is providing oxygen or plasma or food, we leave no stone unturned when it comes to helping each other in times of crisis. All across the continent, there are so many heroes who don’t wear capes and whose acts of selfless service are huge.

Yes, times are tough. We are in the eye of a storm. We took pride as a nation when we saw our vaccines being shipped to all corners of the world and now we feel immense relief knowing our brothers and sisters from various nations are coming to our aid in our time of despair.

And there is always hope. It is the darkest before the dawn and there is renewed belief in our fellow man now. We had strayed for a bit, but the pandemic has once again invoked and stoked the flames of compassion, mutual effort and humanity in all of us.

We are going back to our true nature. We are returning to love.

Let this message from someone who is caught in this storm give you hope that not all storms come to destroy you, some come to clear your path. As long as we humans are human, nothing can destroy us or the compassion in us.

Let the future know how we faced this pandemic, how we kept our differences aside, how we fought side by side and how we helped each other up.

Let there be hope, compassion, power and love.

@TinaMahesh1, Mumbai, 27/4/2021

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