It’s OK my dear. It’s OK. Even those with perfect hands do not always make perfect chapatis..
“Aapi mujhe bohot bura lagta hai, meri roti bohot kharab banti hai”, she was telling me how bad she feels for not being able to make perfect ‘chapatis’ (round flatbread native to the Indian subcontinent).
She was crying.
“I just can not make the dough well even if I press hard…”
“Cannot even roll them well…”
I didn’t know how to convince Salma (name changed) that though the secret of perfect chapatis lies in hands, not everybody with good hands can make good chapatis.
“It’s OK Salma 🌹.”
“You are quite young. I still cringe at the thought of my chapatis when I was your age”, I told her.
I didn’t know what to make her believe that my chapatis were still not perfect.
“Aap mera dil rakhne k liye keh rahi hain”
She always thinks that I am saying just to humor her, just out of courtesy.
Salma is a differently abled person.
While everybody thinks that she is disabled, she is really differently abled (a story for some other day).
She doesn’t have one leg. The other leg is also not completely functional. Digits on her extremities are malformed. Her face is partially paralysed. Facial features are slightly compromised (but she looks pretty). Her speech is so much impaired that she hardly speaks (fearing that others won’t get her). With many nerves damaged she can neither chew her food properly nor has any sense of saliva oozing out. Moreover, her medications make her extremely fragile. She needs rest after every few hours.
Having said all that let me tell you that she does most of her chores by herself.
Yes. She cooks as well. Be it daal, sabzi, kofta, kebab, biryani or ‘chapati’ ❤️.
She is sad as she can’t make chapatis, round and soft, because of her disability. And, sharing her pain with me.
I do not know how to tell her how terrible I am feeling.
I am sad as I can not do so many things nicely in spite of having perfect limbs, sound nerves, healthy extremities and all faculties in good shape.
It’s not she who is disabled. It’s me. It’s us.
“It’s OK my dear”, I kept telling her. It’s OK.
In an Indian household, where marriage certificate is issued only after the girl has mastered the art of making round and soft chapatis, I was the lucky one who got married in the stage of making chapatis in a shape unknown to humankind. Though I improved with time, I must admit I really had to struggle a lot with my chapatis.
By Allaah, whenever Salma texted me to remind me for the tips to make her chapatis better, I felt so much pain inside.
It is not just about hands and the round chapati.
It is about us and the life we have taken for granted.
Good health is something for which we are accountable to God. It is the greatest blessing after faith. Allaah SWT has endowed us with the gifts of sight, hearing, the intellect, and the health. These all faculties have been given to us as a trust.
Do we ever ponder in what pursuit we are using these gifts 🤔?
Isn’t this fitness a means for enabling us to increase our performance of good deeds 🤔?
Doesn’t it mean ‘more opportunities to work’ 🤔?
Recently I was watching the interview of ‘Shykh Othman Taha’ famous calligrapher of Qur’an, renowned for hand-writing Mushaf al-Madinah. When he was asked about his wish from the people who benefit from his work. His answer impressed me so much…
He said, “Tell them to pray for me that Allaah SWT save my eyes and senses so that I can do more work.”
The Shykh was already 85 years in age at the time of recording. And, he had already done a lot in his life.
What about us?
Do we ever ponder over the Dua we make daily a minimum of 6 times in our Morning-Evening adhkar? Or, we just parrot them?
“O Allah! Make my body healthy, Make my hearing healthy, Make my eyesight healthy. There is no Deity but You”
We ask Allaah daily to preserve our faculties and to keep us healthy. But still…
“No. My Dear Salma. Trust me.”
“Not everybody with good hands can make good chapatis.”
(Still working on her chapatis…)
The Might of Pen 🌹