Mahatma Gandhi once said: “In the midst of untruth,
Truth persists and in the midst of darkness, Light persists.”
We wish to describe two recent events that illustrate the
above point. Interestingly, both events relate to the Middle
East, currently the scene of great violence.
Our first story deals with a small boy in Iraq. A few months
ago, this boy found himself in a spot where there was bomb
blast. Luckily the boy did not die but his eyes were injured
due to the flying glass pieces and he lost his sight. Doctors
in the local hospital said that the boy had, thanks to Swami’s
Grace, not become permanently blind. Surgery could restore
his eyesight but unfortunately such surgery was not possible
in Iraq at the moment.
parents were naturally very worried. No doubt they were grateful
to God Almighty for sparing the life of their son, but what
about his blindness? And God in His mercy sent an angle in
the form of a Japanese journalist. This journalist who was
in Iraq to do news stories for his paper in Japan heard about
this boy and decided to help. He talked to the parents and
told them that he would arrange for the boy to travel to Japan
and have eye surgery there.
Everything was arranged and one day the journalist
went with three of his friends to the house of this boy. His
idea was to take the boy with him and see him off to Japan.
But alas, that was not to be. On the way to the boy’s
house, the journalist was himself killed in a bomb blast.
The story does not end here. The wife of the journalist heard
about all this, and she decided that she would complete what
her late husband had set out do but could not achieve. And
so with support from her, the Iraqi boy was taken to Japan.
There he underwent eye surgery, and by Swami’s Grace
his eyesight was restored. Everyone was happy and thankful
to God. The boy was then taken for a ride in the famous bullet
train and given an opportunity to see the famous Mount Fuji.
He was also taken to a school where all the children sang
songs congratulating him. Finally came the day when he had
to leave for Iraq. When asked if he had any parting message,
he replied with one word: SALAM, which means PEACE.
From Iraq we move west to Israel and Palestine, the scene
of our second story. It starts with a young man named Yonnie
[we heard this on the radio and we hope we have got the spelling
correct!], a medical student from Scotland. Yonnie belonged
to the Jewish faith and eager to know something about orthodox
Jewish practices, he travelled to Israel. There one day, he
was most unfortunately killed during a suicide bomb attack.
This in fact is where the story really begins.
Yonnie’s shocked parents rushed to
Israel, but what could they do? It was all over; except for
one thing. Since Yonnie was a medical student, they agreed
to the request of the doctors there that his organs be donated.
The parents readily gave their consent, as they felt that
was what Yonnie would have wanted.
Thus it was that many of the organs were taken out and transplanted,
like liver, pancreas and so on. Now as we all know, one of
the organs much in demand is the kidney. No wonder the kidney
too was transplanted. Naturally, this great gesture made newspaper
stories, and newsmen being what they are, tracked the receivers
of the donated organs so as to spice up their stories. In
the process, one reporter discovered that the kidney was implanted
in a nine year old Muslim girl named Yasmin from Palestine.
This was really a scoop and so it was that this reporter went
to the hotel where the parents of Yonnie were staying. Cornering
the bereaved mother, he asked, “Do you know that your
son’s kidney is now in a Palestinian girl? What do you
think about it?” The mother was taken aback by this
news, naturally, given the long standing hostility between
Israel and Palestine. However, she composed herself and said
that she was happy that her son had given life to someone
condemned to death. Other details did not matter. The reporter
did not give up. His next question: “Would you be visiting
the family of the girl who had benefited?” Yonnie’s
mother was least prepared for this question also. She said,
“I don’t even know who exactly received the kidney.”
The reporter’s question put a thought in the mind of
Yonnie’s mother and she decided that she would after
all go and visit the Palestinian family. Not easy, given the
constant tension between the two nations; but she was firm
in her decision. Unmindful of all the security hazards involved,
she crossed the border and entered Palestine. Yasmin’s
family were caught by surprise and did not know how to react.
Anyway, Yonnie’s mother found herself in Yasmin’s
house, and the two mothers faced each other. It was tense
moment. Then, suddenly both rushed towards each other and
simply embraced. In that moment, everything was forgotten
– the Arab-Jewish hostility, the differences in religion,
and the differences in language.
Yonnie’s mother simply said, “In my grief, there
is some happiness.” And Yasmin’s mother responded,
“In my joy, there is some sorrow.” Isn’t
that what the LANGUAGE OF THE HEART is all about?
Yes, in the midst of darkness, light persists, and in the
midst of hatred, Love persists.