WoW workshops are divided into two broad categories… the writing workshops and the self-discovery workshops! While the writing ones can help you to tweak your thinking, unlock your creativity, write and publish, the self-discovery workshops have the potential to introduce you to that one person who has been waiting since years to meet you… You!
Infertility Unhurt- By Gayathri Ramachandran, Principal, Chennai.
"Which is the way to Madam Prathiksha's office?" I asked the girl skipping in the playground. Immediately, with a grin she exclaimed "Oh! Ammaji! Follow me Sir, I would take you there!" She ran towards the gigantic building, which reflected the stature of Prathiksha. As she whizzed through the staircase at ease, I walked briskly to keep up with her speed.
She took me to a young lady clad in T-shirt and Jeans and murmured something to her. The young lady, with a broad smile came towards me and introduced herself as Sanya, working as a volunteer in "Gurukul". She led me to a small semi-furnished room and asked me to wait for the arrival of Prathiksha.
As I sat with eyes closed, resting my head on the chair, I walked down the memory lane. There she was eight years ago, Prathiksha, as a bride, looking so beautiful, adorned in gold and maroon embroidered madi saree. Her husband Venkat replicated (mirrored) her happiness. Everybody was captivated by their beauty, charm and the unbound love that they shared between them. They prayed and blessed them for everlasting love and happiness.
However, what started off on a happy note, started waning after a couple of years, when the obstetric reports grimed at them with negative results for fertility. Suddenly everybody on Earth presumed themselves as messiah, suggested all form of spiritual and medical advises so that a little one could grace this couple's life.
I had to leave for Boston to take over a project but I had to see my dear friend Prathiksha before I left. She was bubbling with enthusiasm when she saw me, but, the dark circles around her eyes and blemished skin, evidently proved that she was not completely herself. I felt outrageous with God for usurping the happiness of a wonderful couple, in the name of childlessness. Simultaneously, I admired her for facing this fate with her usual cheerful optimism.
After the usual exchange of greetings, "Prathiksha, I want to say something, yet I worry that my words may be unwelcome!" said I, nervously.
"Sriram! When did you learn to ask permission to talk to me?" she asked. She knew what I was getting to, as I could see tears pricking her eyes. But, the soft encouraging smile on her face, revealed how much she valued our friendship and my words.
"Prathiksha! Do you see what you are doing to yourself? Test after test hasn't done anything good for you and it has taken a toll on your health. Though you know the result, you want it to lie to you!" Softening my tone, I added, "Dear, these visits to doctors, astrologers, poojas and yagyas are not taking you anywhere. Don't you see that you are walking in circles expecting to reach somewhere?"
She whimpered softly because of her helplessness to answer me.
"I am bit angry with God because he is upsetting an angel like you! But, I re-iterate what you say always. "No Life Exists without any purpose, destined by God". Perhaps, you are destined for greater purpose and not for mundane things in life!" as I spoke, she suddenly interrupted me.
"I think I am getting what you say! You want me to adopt a child, right?" she asked amidst a sob.
"No. That is not what I exactly meant though it is a wonderful option available before you. When two strangers could adopt each other in the name of a beautiful institution called Marriage, then why not adopt one more to complete a family?" I paused and gave her the space to ponder upon our conversation. There was stillness in the room.
After a while, I broke the silence. "Please seek what gives you satisfaction and happiness. In the name of childlessness, don't orphan yourself!" I pleaded. Prathiksha, gazed at my face, in silence. After few minutes, she spoke, "Thanks, Sriram! I feel better. I will contemplate over everything you have said!" Then with that characteristic naughty smile of hers she asked, "So, when are you back from US! Don't be gone for too long okay?"
As I was smiling to myself about the last time we had met, I suddenly felt a presence in the room and was brought back to "Prathiksha's Gurukul." "Hey Sriram! My goodness! What a surprise!" the voice I knew so well said, happiness dripping from every word. I looked up to see the radiant, beautiful Prathiksha carrying an almost a year old child in one arm.
As she came to hug me, "Amma, Amma!" a scream pierced the air. A naughty looking boy with two front teeth missing burst into the room and said, "Ananth snatched my ball and refuses to share it with me. He pushed me and hit me and punched my face and the blood came out like fountain from my knee and elbow! It is so paining!" He rushed to hug her and show her all the places where he had been hurt.
Prathiksha said, "Shriram, Can you hold this angel for a second, I will be back very quickly", as she said, she left the girl with me and parted in a hurry, to settle the scores. After a while, she came back, both exhausted and exhilarated. The little girl, who was sitting on my lap sucking her thumb till then, at the sight of her mother, began to bob up and down to get Prathiksha's attention.
I opened my mouth to speak, but words seemed so frivolous. Prathiksha took the baby in her arms, gave me an amazed look and said, "I know Sriram, I know! You were my God-sent messenger. Your speech was an eye-opener. After you left for the US, I pondered upon our discussion and after deliberations with Venkat, I realized that I felt such bliss, such divinity in the presence of children that we decided to adopt not just one but as many kids as possible".
"You know what", she continued, "Prathiksha means "awaiting", like my name and I too was awaiting the arrival of a bundle of joy. But it took me a while to realize that "Prathiksha" also means "HOPE". Tears shone through her eyes. I didn't know what to say, so I just looked down and saw that the baby had nestled close to Prathiksha's heart and gone off to sleep with a content look on her face. The little one knew, she was with her mother and that's all that mattered to her.