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I Cried!And That Too On Seeing A TV Show! Varalotti In The US 8

Discussion in 'Wednesdays with Varalotti' started by varalotti, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Yes, Ladies, it is true. It was Sunday night. <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 /><st1:City><st1:place>Seattle</st1:place></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 <st1:place><st1:City>Honolulu</st1:City>, <st1:State>Hawaii</st1:State></st1:place>. 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><st1:place>US</st1:place></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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2007
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  2. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    The show-anchor along with a group of people drove down to Momi’s old, dilapidated house. They called her from the microphone and told her that she had been selected.

    I did not understand till much later why the lady was sobbing so violently. After all it was a happy news, isn’t it?

    Then the show began. A group of house designers, contractors, builders, architects started talking to the family about their likings and preferences. Momi’s daughter said that she loved animals and was going to be a vet. The elder son said he was going to be a musician. And the little son said that he loved vulcanoes. Of course Momi wanted some good place to live with her large family and a good place to continue serving her people.

    Then the whole family was packed in a limousine (a stretch limousine, which was about as long as three cars standing one behind the other) and was sent to the airport. From there they flew to an exotic location for a week-long holiday. All expenses paid by the TV. Stay was at a Hilton Hotel. And every minute detail was taken care of.

    While the family were away some four hundred people started working on the house. And they called for volunteers. As Momi was very popular over there some 3000 men and women volunteered for building a house and a community center for Momi. Every thing was sponsored. The contractor worked for free. Sears supplied all the materials. And the volunteers worked day and night. They created a special room for the small child with everything stuffed in. They even fitted a camera in that room so that Momi can check the child staying in her room.

    I don’t want to spoil the suspense by telling anything more.

    Seven days later Momi and family returned. The whole town was waiting to receive them.
    Two large buses blocked the view of the newly built house and the Center. The family got down from the limo one by one. And then at the right moment the show-host shouted “Bus Driver, Move the bus.”

    Not only the bus moved. I too was. Moved to tears. For standing before that good family was an excellent house, so tastefully constructed with a beautiful elevation. Momi could not control her sobs. She was hugging her husband, her children and even the show-host. She could not speak at all.

    The house was fully furnished. They had even filled up the wardrobe for the entire family. Kitchen equipments, washing machines, ovens, microwaves – you name it, it was there.
    Momi had another pleasant shock seeing the newly built community center. It was now a fullfledged office equipped with computers and everything. She was on her knees sobbing and praying. A Hawaiian priest invoked the blessings of God on that family before it walked in, all in tears, to see how every inch of that building was built with passion, love and above all understanding.
    In the boys room was a vulcano look-a-like. The girl’s room had the animals theme. The boy’s room was filled up with musical instruments. Momi and Ben’s bedroom was big, roomy and elegant. And there was a wonderful balcony to the house.

    And the young lady whom Momi helped to rejoin with her child specially made out a huge card for Momi expressing her gratitude. The TV people framed it and kept it at a prominent place in the Center.

    I was trying hard to hide my tears from my host. When I saw him through the corner of his eyes, he too was crying.

    It was love at its best form.


    I am a poor accountant after all. Whatever math, whatever numbers I know, all are man-made. I don’t know anything about God’s math. But this I know for sure. An act like this, giving a gift like this to a person like Momi, will wipe off a million sins committed by a million people in their lives.

    My prayers were for the person who designed the TV show. Of course I prayed that Momi and her family should never see sorrow and suffering again in their lives.
     
  3. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Well, Ladies, I was carried away by my emotions and forgot to add what I learnt from this.

    Most of us carry a hidden wish that we are going to change the lives of millions. Most of us want to be great writers, actors, millionaires affecting the lives of millions of people.

    But I learnt that it is enough even if we make a difference in the life of one person.

    That one person can be your spouse, child, parent, student, colleague, friend whatever.

    Let our leaders break their heads about bringing huge reforms causing happiness to milllions. For us, let us have the desire of bringing happiness to a single man or woman and do it by a kind word, a timely help or even just a friendly nod, when it is most needed.

    Love,
     
  4. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar,

    Wonderful program is n't it? Some of the programs here are so very good. And having been here for so long, I am not amazed at the sea of humanity who came to help the lady. I feel that every American has that tendency to come to the rescue when so called for.
    Even for 9/11, the minute after the ghastly happenings, even before the rescue operations were underway, people started thronging hospitals to donate blood . The value for life and people is so much here.
    I saw the program , but reading your version here is giving a whole new meaning to it.

    I am glad that you enjoyed the show Sridhar.

    Vandhana
     
  5. Tulasi

    Tulasi Silver IL'ite

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    Varalotti Sir,
    It's very touching and I felt very emotional while reading. I have seen from my own parents people who help others with out any expectations will get much more from some other source they could be unknown people...I agree with you a kind word also goes long way when the people are need..
    Btw Varalotti Sir, this is my first interaction with you. It was an excellent write up
    Thank you for Sharing with us.
    Tulasi
     
  6. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sridhar,

    I have lived way too long in these countries and watched many a TV show...fun, soap, music and reality. Reality is relatively recent addition to the TV shows. I too have seen this extreme make-over shows and each time, they choose a deserving family and cause and gift them this pleasure.
    But.....No time was I so absorbed in enjoying it like today ! You sure have a way of describing emotions ! It was a sheer pleasure to enjoy this reality show as described in your words !
    The lesson it teaches is manifold. The most important being to love thy fellow being. We humans need this lesson every day...perhaps twice a day ?:)

    L, Kamla
     
  7. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    dear sridhar,
    the extension of a helping hand is starting from the land itself, yes every mother land should extend this kind of help to the poor who are living in that land, i am unable to stop but compare our leaders who want to pocket a lot of money rather than giving to the poor, yes! it has been a wonderful description of the show and the extension of love by many, i also believe in this and have done small little things in my own way, thanku for reminding about this attitude in human all over again...regards sunkan
     
  8. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    Sridhar sir,

    It is very moving one. some of these shows really do that to you. hit to the emotional part of us telling us that we are still humans who can relate to emotions, kindness, love???

    I believe, that instead of thinking i will help when i make my millions, just share a 1 rupee when you have 10rupees, that is what matters. It is not the amount, but the thinking and deed that counts.

    [SIZE=-1]I have learned through experience that its not that difficult to help others. It only takes a few momemts and a few rupees/few words/few smiles to gain the happiness of other and make you happy inturn.

    hoping to continue in the same way......[/SIZE][SIZE=-1]


    [/SIZE]
     
  9. Shobanag

    Shobanag Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi Sridhar - like some of the others in this thread, I too have been a fan of this show for a long time now - although I have not seen some of the more recent ones. The families they choose are so deserving! It is amazing how the entire community comes together to pitch in and help out. We had two families in the Kansas City, MO area that were beneficiaries of this show. I am amazed at the children's reaction to their new home - their expression says it all!

    As usual, your write up was wonderful!!
     
  10. vinoran

    vinoran Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Sir,
    (Your thought)
    "But I learnt that it is enough even if we make a difference in the life of one person.

    That one person can be your spouse, child, parent, student, colleague, friend whatever.

    Let our leaders break their heads about bringing huge reforms causing happiness to milllions. For us, let us have the desire of bringing happiness to a single man or woman and do it by a kind word, a timely help or even just a friendly nod, when it is most needed."

    I really appreciate your indepth handling of situations. Like you, while reading, tears rolled over. The above lines you carved is really very meaningful and let us all follow.

    In fact there are Angels around us. The main thing is, they are not recognized well, specially in our country. Hope atleast we make efforts to bring them to the "Lime light".

    Thanks once again Sir
    Your Fan
    Vinoran
     

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