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I know the clock is ticking and it will soon be time to lay planet why to rest. Yes we have just 2 months left. 31/12/2011 is D day. This was something decided upon some time back. I had written about this at the beginning of the year and left it in the hands of the God of lesser beings. And I know I must walk the talk.

For the past year we have put our best foot forward and tried to ‘sell’ planet why to the best of our ability. For me it has always been first and foremost a home for my special children. A haven where they can live and laugh their way through life. A place where their dignity remains intact no matter how disabled they may be. A place where they would be cared for till the very end. The remaining part of Planet why was always secondary: what was needed to make it all happen. I wonder if I too had forgotten my priorities while pitching for planet why. Two poignant occurrences brought me back on course.

The first was consequent to the demise of my cousin last week. His sudden and untimely death was most felt by his younger sibling who is mentally challenged. With her brother gone she has no one left in the world, no one to love her. True there are some who will take care of her because of duty or fear of social reprisal but not with their hearts. And who can blame them: the sister is middle aged, not pretty and can be extremely demanding. As long as her mother and brother were alive, she reigned supreme, today she is relegated to a corner as what was her home is now her sister in law’s and her kin’s. This is a situation I have often talked about whenever children with disabilities are the subject of conversation. Today the situation is at my doorstep. We have stepped in and the orphaned sister now comes to our special class every day. Needless to say the family was more than eager to send her. But it is not easy for someone who never stepped out of her home let alone meet people with disabilities to leave the only safe environment she knew and step into a world that has always been kept away. Poor soul she is trying her best to adjust. Maybe she knows deep in her heart that this is the only option she has. Planet Why was conceived for people like her.

The second occurrence was a message on FB urging me to read a note written by the mother of a special child. I have never been so moved as I was reading the poignant piece entitled: will you let him drink the wind. I urge you to read this brave and moving piece where a mother shares her angst at the plight of her child. It is an extremely raw, powerful and passionate picture of the reality of one who lives and loves a special child. It reflects the utter helplessness of a parent who cannot begin to imagine what would be the future of her child when she is gone. Something she cannot bear. So the ultimate cry, the ultimate entreaty to God: You take him, God, before us. Well before us. Before we lose the strength in our limbs to care for him properly. Before by his constant never-ending demands, he leaches away our love for him from our souls. You take him. I can only say Chapeau Bas!

Reading those words was by far the most heart wrenching experience. I sat stunned and silent for a long time. She had by her words brought to light all the issues that had been tormenting me since the day I decided to throw open the doors of project why to special children. What would their morrows hold and how did one safeguard them. Or could one really do so. That was the question thrown by this moving appeal. Had I been too naive or daring thinking I could. How small I feel and how humbled.

Maybe it is time I said : you take care of them God.

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To the manor born