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How Brave Would You Be?

August 24, 2012



It was 2008 when I first saw him...

As I work in hospital, I see a variety of people. I used to wonder what it feels like to have some infirmity and walk around. Another part of me says, don't we all have some kind of thing that keeps us pressed down?

His name was unlike what I have heard before - Jinesh Paul. Surprisingly one of the meanings of his first name is 'Enlightened Master'. Now after these many years I am wondering how true his name was of him.

Jinesh was around 7 or 8 years old when I first met him. He was a cute and soft spoken boy from Munnar, a southern place in India. He had something special that drew me to have a closer acquaintance with him. He wore that simple smile; a smile that tried to hide some pain.

Everyone carries some load; Jinesh too had one. Camouflaged in his smile was something I don't know what it means to carry. But there he was going around with courage and poise I have seen only in a few. He wore a mask, required of people who undergo chemotherapy, for he was battling leukemia (a type of blood cancer). His father was with him all along.

First time I smiled and said a "Hi" and Jinesh gently responded back. He was so innocent. He had just taken a course of chemotherapy and was preparing to leave for his home town. His father, a genial man, was kind enough to share his son's diagnosis and therapy. I could do nothing to offer solace, just a smile and a couple of words. They were off. I never thought our relationship would grow in the next few years.

A few months later they were again in the hospital for a follow up and their regular consultation. I bumped in to them at the restaurant attached to the hospital and I recognized that cute little face, now without the mask, having a cap covering the shaven head. He was having breakfast with his father.

I said a "Hello" and asked the 'little man' (he was truly a man) whether he recognized me. It was an honour that he remembered me... Our journey grew further. I spent many minutes with him and we exchanged phone numbers. I promised I would visit him later and carried on. He was staying in the annex to our hospital.

What could I gift a boy like Jinesh? I decided on a pack of colours. What could I expect in the room of a small boy undergoing chemotherapy? I went to his room that evening. There he was sitting on his bed. He was glad to see me. I was blessed to be with him. But as I entered he was beaming with a smile and I felt small before his ability to take life as it comes. I re-learnt that the most important things in life are not things.

He started showing me the drawings and crafts he had done, for he done quite a bit of them and decorated his room. How many times do I fail to decorate my life? I learnt a lesson.

Jinesh and I had our share of thoughts. I presented my gift; he was so happy. I took a couple of pictures and waved bye. From then on every time he came to the hospital for his check up we would meet. We also spoke over the phone while he was away in his home town. This went on for the past years.

Jinesh came to the hospital again this year for his check up and his blood counts were lower. On July 7, 2012 Jinesh breathed last after his battle.

I still find it hard to think that it all happened. He was composed enough to say 'Goodbyes' to people he knew during his last days. Unfortunately I could not see him the last time he came to the hospital. But Jinesh has become an integral part of my life.

What should I think - that his battle was over at last? Was life unfair to him? Didn't he deserve to see and enjoy the things that many of us take for granted? I don't know!

But one thing I know for sure. Jinesh is one of the real-life Heroes. I will miss you Jinesh. I Love you. YOU ARE A HERO!

Jinesh was fighting leukemia with corage and a smile when he drew these.

This is the handwork of Jinesh; I got to see his talent as I went to visit him in his room. He has done lots of paper work, drawings, paintings and cuttings. He showcased them one by one. Rounds of chemotherapy had made him weak physically, but one can still notice the innocence and fortitude in him.

How can we not appreciate the mind that took on life with such courage? He was such a wonderful and sweet soul. Anyone who had seen him would have been reminded that there is always lot more to life. People like Jinesh epitomize true bravery.

--- Copyright © 2012 Sam Vijay Kumar

About the Author: I am a biotechnologist from India, working in the field of bio-medical research, with interest in theology, positive thinking, philosophy, creative writing and in living a purposeful life, thereby contributing to fellow humans. My personal desire and struggle is to be keen to (and) learn anything that will uplift human life and place us in a better position at handling the challenges that life throws at us. To discuss and write about issues of life, thoughts and mind are some of my passions.

I have received a lot from this world through many thinkers and their writings. and hence I want to contribute something to this world by presenting my thoughts to the world as well in these areas. 'Positive people' are the ones that I am most comfortable interacting with. I am sure you who are reading this are a positive person and am glad to have connected with you.

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Read additional offerings from Sam:

Do You Value Your Time?

Courage - Are You Game Enough?

Decision Making

New Lesson For The New Year

The Power Of Intense Belief

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