Bi and Sita shared a wonderful bond. Mom and child, soul mates, call it anything; their connection was special. Only Sita happens to be a pet goat. They were beautiful together, happy and inseparable. And then tragedy struck. Bi was diagnosed with breast cancer, the last stage.
“We are on our way to Karunashraya. We are bringing Sita with us on a two-wheeler” were the words hospice staff in Bengaluru were waiting to hear. Bi was spending her final days at Karunashraya, a posh charity hospice in Bangalore. Finally, Sita was on her way to meet Bi, her beloved mama, and fulfil her dying wish.
Her parents raised Bi like a princess, while her siblings adored her. Sadly, things were not happy after marriage. She was devastated to learn she would never be a mother.
But fate had a way of comforting her. When Bi’s siblings were facing financial difficulties, they put their children in their sister’s charge. Bi was overwhelmed. Despite objections from her community, she raised the children like her own. Over time, the children got married and Bi’s husband passed on. She became lonely.
Bi decided to follow her mother’s footsteps; she would raise goats and keep herself profitably engaged. This is how Sita entered her life.
Bi and Sita connected instantly, and bonded wonderfully. Bi trained the goat into a well-behaved young lady. Bi said Sita was more human than most humans emotionally. Soon, they grew very fond of each other like none other.
Then, one day, like in every such story, tragedy struck. Bi noticed a lump on her breast. And again, like in most such stories, she ignored it until she was unable to bear the pain. Then she shared her distress with her relatives, and they took her to a doctor.
Bi was in the advanced stage of breast cancer. She was admitted in a well-known cancer hospital for treatment. The hospital set-up disturbed Bi. Watching patients die made her uneasy. She lost faith in the doctors, medicines and the possibility of cure.
Bi, being strong as she was, refused further treatment and left the hospital. Someone in her family heard about Karunashraya and suggested they give it a try.
Bi reached Karunashraya with her family. She was skeptical, but soon was happy with the atmosphere, staff and care given, which gave her a great deal of comfort.
Within no time, Bi was comfortable, happy with everyone around and even turned out to be one of the favourites of the doctors, counselors and nursing staff. She watched her favourite MGR movies, TV shows and music, and forgot loneliness, or so they thought.
A month later, Bi’s counselor found her lost in thought. When asked, she said she was worried about Sita. It was the first time she shared her anxiety. Clearly, she was desperate to see her dear goat. Bi was almost convinced that Sita would not be allowed in the hospice premises and, hence with much pain was hiding her only wish of meeting her.
A few days later, Bi’s niece told her on phone that Sita wasn’t keeping well. Bi was in agony. She insisted on going home to Sita.
By then, her health had deteriorated and she couldn’t be sent home. That’s when the hospice staff decided to bring Sita to Karunashraya to fulfill Bi’s one little wish, her last wish.
There was however a hitch. Sita was scared of vehicles and jumped out the auto rickshaw. Her relatives tried to bring her in a car from Bannerghatta, from their native village two-hour drive away. This too didn’t work. This went on for three days.
On the fourth day, the family was called and told that Bi was becoming weaker. A happy voice from the other end had good news.
“Madam! We are on our way to Karunashraya. We are bringing Sita with us on a two-wheeler!”
Those were the words the Karunashraya staff members were waiting to hear. The news that Sita was on her way to meet her beloved Bi brought cheer to Karunashraya inmates and staff. An emotional Bi was overjoyed beyond words.
Karunashraya had witnessed many reunions over time. The hospice had made many a last wish come true, and many little wishes realize. But this one was special.
And when Sita arrived, the excitement was boundless, and happiness contagious. Staff members followed Sita to Bi’s ward. The whole place was lit with smiles and tears of joy.
A well-mannered and graceful Sita walked calmly along one side of the corridor. When she reached her mom’s bedside, Sita was skeptical at first, a little unsure, a lot nervous and visibly upset with Bi. On meeting Bi, she turned her face away as if complaining and refused to look up. She was clearly annoyed with Bi for staying away from her for seven long months.
Bi was overwhelmed, and tears of joy and sadness made a united show. Sita was as emotional, probably more, for she had no idea what was going on or why. She could not understand Bi’s distress, or her predicament.
Bi had no way of explaining to her beloved Sita that she was helpless, that she was undergoing treatment in various hospitals for so long, but missed her so much all the while. The tension evaporated when an overwhelmed Bi picked up Sita and placed her on her lap. All the welled-up love for her darling goat poured out and the reunion left no eye dry.
A while later, Sita dozed off on her Bi’s lap, without a care in the world. She slept peacefully as if she had finally reached home after a long journey. Bi spent the whole day with her family and Sita and looked happy and content.
A few days later, Bi died, surrounded by her near and dear ones. She looked at peace knowing her dear goat would be loved and looked after even after she had left for another world.
For more details on Karunashraya visit https://www.karunashraya.org/