! I am Me !
It was the middle of the 20th century when in a small room of a house in the area 'Bijli Ghar', a baby girl was born, as a chilly winter day dawned in Sialkot. (West) Pakistan. The very young mother, Hamida, Father, Younis and aunties - Hafeez, Khursheed, Rashida, Sakina all thought this was the most beautiful baby on earth. They admired her locks of curly golden hair, brown eyes and smooth, creamy complexion.
She was the second daughter born to the couple but nobody in that family was narrow minded to raise a brow at the birth of a girl child. They celebrated by distributing 'mithai' to all their friends who loved to carry, cuddle and take the cute baby around the neighbouhood.
The grand mother, Hussein Bibi felt her little Shama was being exposed to evil eyes. Aunt Khurshid, a most romantic and sensitive person had chosen that name which meant 'light'. Maybe they thought she would bring them good luck and dispell the darkness of their world that was full of poverty and misery.
All their hopes and dream were almost dashed soon as the epidemic of 'small pox' scourged the district and thousands of children fell prey to it. Little Shama , over powered by the bug, became like a burnt out candle. She went into a world of silence for almost a month burning with fever an covered with red swollen blisters all over the body. More than her, the mother suffered, keeping awake all night carrying her baby in her arms and trying to feed her milk with soaked cotton buds. She persevered, prayed and cried for the child who had not even opened her eyes for so long.
Little Shama turned out to be a survivor. With the loving care of her mother, grand mother and aunties, she finally opened her eyes. To their utmost joy she could see and as the scabs started falling off she started feeding and playing normally. She was one of the few who had miraculously recovered from the killer disease. Many people had left the area to escape the dreadful illness.
to be contd
copright Shama butt