Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Happy Birthday Dear Daughter


Just a few days ago I was holding a little baby in my hands… so calm and peaceful she lay asleep that I could not believe it was my own baby. OH NO!!! it was not a few days ago. It has been freaking 28 years now. What year is it? 2023???? Ok! I was holding her in 1995.. Wow! 

It seems just like a few days ago. I can still feel her warmth, smell the baby's smell, and hear her baby snore. So my baby is turning into a fine young princess or precisely a Queen. 
When doctors told me she was a special girl, I did not have any trouble believing them. She was special and I could see that in a different way than what they meant. As days changed into months and months into years, she proved to be special in every way. I have seen her bring out the best in people. Even the not-so-good ones. She has a smile and love for everyone in the world. She doesn’t know the barriers of countries, caste, creed, color, money, status, age, etc. Not even the importance of the human race LOL. For her all creations of God are equal. For her everyone with a ‘HI’ is a friend. Anyone with anger, scowl or growl is ‘Me happy no’. So simple is life in her terms just like her language. To be happy, sad, and angry just happens naturally. No drama. Nope. I remember her saying bye to the ceiling fan before shutting it off. Saying sorry to a pencil for dropping it down.

I love the way Farheena greets the day with her unique sentence, "Tomorrow has happened!" There are many things that only Farheena can say or do, especially the unconditional and limitless love she shares with people around her. 
With her medals and certificate
Though life began with loads of challenges for Farheena, nothing can stop her from being happy. Today, Farheena does not talk fluently, but she does communicate in her own way and style. She can see clearly. She walks with little help. Farheena manages her own life and keeps in touch with friends of her choice through the Internet. Facebook and recently WhatsApp are her favorites. 

When Rayyan got married last November, she couldn't be part of all the fun due to the mobility challenge but once home, she organized games for Madiha and all of us and enjoyed to the fullest. She also got pictures of Madiha in different poses on the flower-decorated bed. 
She embraced her sister-in-law with all love and Madiha did the same. I love the picture of them below. Madiha and Farheena have a special bond unlike any I have seen.

With little words she can pronounce or spell, she uses her creativity to convey messages to us. Her lack of complete vocabulary has not stopped her from communicating with people. She keeps trying until she is understood.  

Sharing her friend's secret with her baby doll Annie

2015 marked a new Era of my life because this was the year when Farheena walked in with the first Salary she received for making paper bags in YST which is now Fame Swalambhana. She is involved in lot more activities now.

That was the biggest goal of my life achieved. People who do not understand the whole concept often ask me, “How much does she earn?” That is not important. What makes it important for me as a mother is to know that she is now capable of being engaged in fruitful and purposeful work throughout the day. Apart from her job at Fame Swalambhana , With lockdown shutting of her vocational center, she started her online shopping for friends, helping them find what they need and selling few products. She loves earning in her own simple way. She doesn't surrender to being completely dependent. 

My inspiration in 2023 or any year is my special daughter Farheena who has not allowed anyone to take her for granted. She knows how to protect herself and when to ask for help if someone is bothering her. She carries herself with the dignity of a queen and is proud of her achievements. She can make people feel like somebody special. Moreover, unlike many people I know, she loves and respects herself.
She showed society's effect on special people, inspiring me to start an inclusive preschool - My Giggle Garden. She has ignited a passion in me to make our society more inclusive for special people like her. 
20 years ago, I consulted a lawyer regarding my legal rights. During the course of the discussion, I mentioned that I am proud of my daughter. The lawyer then retorted saying, “Stop lying to yourself Farida. Come out of the delusion you are living in. No one can be proud of a special needs child. You can accept and love her but cannot be proud of her”. I was confused back then and walked away without answering her. I knew I felt pride in my heart when I thought of my daughter, but I was not sure. 
Today, I can very confidently say that I am very proud of my daughter. She has taught me a vital lesson in my life – it is not what you get in your life that matters, but what you do with what you have which makes the difference. I know she will also continue to inspire me in the coming years.
People who do not see what she sees make all those unnecessary exclamations that have sadly changed her. But inside she is still the same baby with a fiery temper that lasts for a few minutes. It has always been easy to make her happy and smile so is it easy to make her sad and cry. I hope that everybody connected to her will understand her innocence and make her always smile without hurting her … even when I am not around. I send a silent prayer to God to take of our (she just partially belongs to me) little angel always………..
There is a story I would like to share with you, which has always helped me deal with my daughter for all these years. Helped me to restrain myself from making changes to her. Not wanting to progress in a hurry. Deep in my heart, I know there is reason for everything happening around us.
A man strolling through his garden found a cocoon of a butterfly. He would watch it every day. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and could go no farther.
Then the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. Something was strange. The butterfly had a swollen body and shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and deformed wings. It was never able to fly.
What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the small opening of the cocoon are God's (Read "Nature's" if that comforts you) way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. Sometimes, Struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God ("Nature", for those who don’t believe in supreme power) allowed us to go through all our life without any obstacles, that would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been. Not only that, we could never fly.
(Source of story: Unknown)
Have a happy flight Farheena… you have squeezed enough power in your wings now. Wishing my dear girl a pleased 14th Birthday.
I am thrilled to share the story of my hope and happiness with people who may feel overwhelmed by the challenges in their lives. Hang on and fight with all your might! You will succeed.

The pretty Baby

Loves to dress up

Determined to get on her feet after triple
fusion surgery on ankles

Making her style statement

One of those rare days when she cleans
our home


  1. Happy Birthday, Farheena! Hope you enjoyed a wonderful day of celebration. How exciting it must have been to receive your first salary pay. Hopefully, life will get back to normal and people can return to their jobs soon.
    The story about that lawyer's comments is sad to hear.
    On the other hand, I've always loved the butterfly story; so true that we need the obstacles to make us stronger.

  2. Nice article..
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