Note from a MaxStation

Mar 28 2006

{mosimage} One of the greatest challenges for The Friends of Max in Bombay is to find time and a place to get together – Bombay is a city where both these resources are scarce , available at a great premium given the busy schedule of the lives the Bombayite leads , given the long working hours , the harsh working conditions and the distance he has to commute from home to work.

This ray of sunshine walked into office half an hour ago. Shivam. Studies in 6th grade and would love to play cricket the whole day – “par Naani ji nahi maanti” (but my grandmother will not allow that)

Diagnosed in January this year – lost his Mom and Dad to Tuberculosis five years ago and lives with Naani ji, Mom’s Mom – who has two teenaged sons herself "Han, kabhi kabhi jhagda karte hain lekin hum log Masti bhi bahut karte hain!!!" (Yeah, we fight but we also have great fun together!!!)

Naani ji works as domestic help in a couple of houses and they live in Pune. They will return today to Pune as there is nowhere they can stay here in Bombay and tomorrow after Naani ji will finish her work in the two houses they will come to Bombay to collect the supply – by then the formalities will be done and Novartis will sign the release letters.

Guys, this picture doesn't say enough, doesn't say anything at all about how bright and beautiful this boy is. My heart, as I write to you all is bursting with love for him and I mean EVERY word of this last sentence. All the while he was here that crinkly smile never left his face and now I cannot wipe the smile off my face. Is it possible for one person to make another so happy? I feel like I have seen and understood the meaning of this whole world in the unquestioning acceptance I have seen in Shivam – of everything that has happened to him in his 13 years. He simply radiates joy and love – sweet, shy and soft Shivam.

I cannot wait to see him again.

Viji Venkatesh