Doctor was giving Meera a physical exam, stretching her arms and legs out to check the extent of damage, observing the rashes on the three year Old’s body. Her mother looked on intently, clenching her fists making a conch out of them, changing her attention from doctor to patient, as if giving herself an eye exercise. However, she was in no position to chuckle at the thought. Her anxiety overflowed consuming all other emotions as she asked, “Doctor, will my daughter be alright?”
“Yes of course.” Came his unemotional reply.
“Nothing to worry, she seems to be allergic to strong smells. Just keep her away from those. And I am prescribing anti-allergenic and she will be her cheerful self in no time,” He said, pulling on the little girls cheeks leaving her with red stamps of his love.
That was two years ago. Now the problem has gained a layer of complexity with her charging at everyone wearing flowers. She behaves like she detests the sight of them, not only the ones with smells but also the ones without while her mother is criticised for Meera’s behaviour for improper grooming of the child. Her mother attempted unsuccessfully to rectify the situation, from coercion to common sense with no effect on child’s behaviour.
One night Meera’s mother walked into her room and witnessed a strange sight. Meera was seated in the centre of the bed squatting, facing the headboard of the bed, her right hand under her chin, Barbie carefully tucked under her left arm, eyes twinkling and laughing heartily.
“Meera what are doing? Who are you talking to?”
“What? He died when you were little sweetie,” She said running her hand over her daughter’s head, trying to get her ready for bed.
“I know, but he and I talk every night. He tells me stories and reads to me when you are asleep.”
Her mother sank into the edge of the bed unable to comprehend any of what her daughter was saying. She held her tight worried-choking asked, “Meera, what’s going on? Not again, we were just done with your tooth fairy a couple of months ago and you start another new one now. Just stop it,” Came her stern warning behind her façade of bravery.
Ignoring her, Meera said, “I am Sameera the breeze not Meera, Krishna’s lover and devotee.”
“Who taught you all this?”
She dismissed her daughter’s talk as a figment of her imagination and to ease her own sense of unsettling discomfort said, “Say hi to grand pa if you happen to see him again and tell him we love him and miss him.”
“I will tell him you said so,” Came Meera’s prompt reply. Her mother tucked her into her bed, planted her love on the kid’s forehead and walked into her bedroom to discuss the matter with her husband.
“How is she doing? Did she go to bed?” He said.
“Yes she is asleep. She says, she is talking to Paapa and I am not sure how to react to the situation hun,” She said leaning on her husband’s shoulder looking pensive.
“I am sure it is just a phase and she will come out of it soon, like her tooth fairy going to school with her. Also, she is scheduled for a Doctor’s appointment and we can discuss this with her paediatrician.”
“That is my last hope. However, wish Paapa was here. He is so good with kids and can communicate at their level. I miss him very bad these days,” She replied.
“Meera can you hear me,” asked the doctor who had hypnotised the little girl to get to the crux of the problem revealing her subconscious.
“Tell me when you started talking to your Grand pa?”
“Since when I was in mommy’s tummy. Grand pa used to read to me and tell me a lot of stories.”
“Are you not scared of him,” enquired the doctor.
“No, he is my friend and helps me with my homework and we play every evening and at night he tells me stories. He is always there with me.”
“Your mother tells me you were watering the plants in your garden in spite of her insisting you staying away from flowers.”
“I am Sameera. I cannot stay away from flowers,” Came Meera’s retort.
“Who told you this?”
“How many times do you want me to say this? Grand Pa.”
“Okay, Okay. Sorry for not believing you. What else did he say?” He questioned giving up on attempting to know how.
“I am Sameera the breeze and that flowers and I are meant to be together. I have to love them, smell them, enjoy their colours but never pluck them. Because they are with their mother and their family for only a few days or weeks and it is inhuman on our part to chop their heads off with pluckers to decorate our living rooms or stick spears through them to make a gajra to express love for each other or choking them in a garland by ringing their necks with a string to decorate an occasion. He also said God knows we love him and that we don’t need to prove it by killing flowers.”
Doctor said, “Your Grand pa is right. We have to be loving and caring towards flowers by watering our plants in the garden every day,” As the session drew to a close.
“Can I go home now?” Asked Meera and the doctor nodded his head looking at her parents and said, “I see no trouble in connecting with the other world and children are capable of doing it more swiftly compared to adults as they do not have barriers in thought in the form of validity or plausibility of a situation. If Meera is not slipping back into her bouts of allergy, you can live with her connection to her grandfather I suppose,” Said the doctor with a philosophical note.
Dad picked Meera, thanked the doc and as they were about to leave, Meera Said, “See grand pa, I told you mamma and paapa would love you and listen to you even if they cannot see you.”
The three of them reached home when Meera was the only one who knew it was four people that reached home that day.