"My abbu is a philanthropist always ready to help the neglected and the most downtrodden of the society. But now who will help him, and us, when he is struggling with COVID himself?" demanded Ashraf, son of Amal, a 62-year-old man.
Amal wanted to distribute food and essentials in a daily wages worker slum. He had managed to become acquainted with an NGO that was looking out for donors for food and essentials for the stranded daily wage workers in the city.
It was during one of his visits to the slums that he came back with high fever and an aching throat. On further tests, the 62-year-old senior citizen tested positive for corona. Within a day or two, his wife also showed symptoms and tested positive.
But on the visit to the local hospital, they were turned back home since the hospital had run out of beds and could not take them in. On insistence, the staff justified its actions by saying that the symptoms are mild and can be treated at home.
But all this ambiguity has upset Ashraf and he doesn’t know what to do anymore or whom to ask for help.
“So now both my parents sick and no one is coming forward to help them.
Now, would the NGO people or the daily wagers come and help my father get better?" says Asraf.
"I don't know why I didn't stop my father. Somewhere I think I also believed in the goodness of charity but now I am just angry with myself and the world at large and most of all Abbu.
Why did he have to be charitable during the pandemic?
Why couldn’t he just donate money and let the NGO do its work?
Why did he have to be so large-hearted that he went out of his way to distribute clothes and food items personally?
I think Abbu is selfish...is his attempt to gather points for good deeds to be deserving of jannat, he pushed all of us into this blackhole of COVID.
But then it is not right of me to think of him this way--afterall he is a good man and deserves my care and respect, but how do I deal with the boiling anger in me.
I feel like I can explode anyday.
I feel so helpless right now.
I cannot live with this guilt and helplessness. I want to do something, I even feel like asking the NGO why they'd allowed a senior man to travel in these times, to spread a word of how they don't look after their senior contributors, but what good would that be? Would my abbu and ammi recover if I did that??"