Yes, Ladies, it is true. It was Sunday night. <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 /><st1:City><st1lace>Seattle</st1lace></st1:City>’s rainy season had started. There was a constant drizzle and the weather was pleasantly cold. The time was seven in the evening. I had already heard about that Reality TV Show which is very popular in this area. The show is called Extreme Makeover – Home Edition. The storyteller in me will not let me narrate in the normal information inter-change style. Let’s switch to the story format. Momi! Yes that’s the name of my heroine. She lives in <st1lace><st1:City>Honolulu</st1:City>, <st1:State>Hawaii</st1:State></st1lace>. She got married pretty early in life and bore 3 children. Then she got divorced and got the custody of her children. She did not have enough income to support her family. She was on welfare. (In the <st1:country-region><st1lace>US</st1lace></st1:country-region> if you go to the Government declaring that you have nothing to eat you are put on welfare. You are issued food stamps which you can exchange at the specified grocery outlets for food). If a person is on welfare it means that she is pushed to the lowest ebb of poverty. She recounts that her parents and grand parents were not rich. But none of them were so poor as to live on alms. Welfare is almost like alms from the Government. It was at this time she did a marvellous thing. It is my cherished belief that helping others is not an act of charity. But an act of enlightened self interest. The scriptures of all the major religions proclaim in one voice: “What you do to others you actually do to yourself.” In spite of her poverty Momi had a loving family of three kids. And instead of looking above her for people who are happier, she looked down to see people who are not half as happy as she was. She found a lot of single mothers imprisoned for petty offences being separated from their children. These women, mostly victims of drug habits, do not have a job, and worse still, do not have the skills to get even a simple job. Momi started a community center in her own place. She started helping a lot of people. She was a regular in prisons, talking to women prisoners. She has helped thousands to train on some basic skills and get jobs. She was herself doing many odd jobs before the State Government recognised her Community Center and started giving grants. She expanded her activities. But her troubles did not end. Her own house, ancestral property, was in a dilapidated condition. It was by the side of a river and when there were floods the house was badly damaged. She was warned that her house would fall any day. Well the house was way too small for the family. And then she met a man. Her man. Ben Akana. Ben was ready to be a father of Momi’s three children. They married in 2005. In 2006 a child was born to them. It was a mixed blessing. The child was born with a Down Syndrome. Momi continued her work in helping others. Once a woman was in jail for a long term, she fought with the authorities, got the formalities completed and saw to that the womans three year old boy was with her. One fine morning Momi taped her own story and sent it to ABC TV, the hosts of the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition show. Momi’s was one of about 15000 applications received by the TV Company. They checked her credentials. The whole town was praising her services. To be able to give so much, when they themselves have so little, they said, is the rarest of rare qualities. And yes, Momi was selected for the show. And now what happened is magic. The magic of love. The magic of compassion.