It is hard to watch the news stories coming from India this week; the pure terror and violence inflicted upon innocents. It is heartbreaking to think that they are real people with friends and families and lives. Today, the New York Times printed a great op-ed piece called What They Hate About Mumbai. You should go read the piece now.
A little Indian friend of mine, Shameer, was in Bombay just the day before the terror stopped. His mom had promised to bring him to the Taj for a cup of tea. They didn’t make it; perhaps now they will never want to.
After the election, my little friend and his family were electrified. His grandmother decided she wanted to email the president since she couldn’t vote for him. She was a persistent grandma and in the end got her way. She emailed. She is still waiting for a response.
Shameer, who is now in 4th grade, also emailed. This is what he had to say:
Hello Mr. Obama, you don’t know me but I know you! My granny is 78 years old and she was praying for your success everyday and my uncle watched you on CNN every night the whole night from when you started your campaign and my mom watched your speech ten times. She didn’t work for two days!
I was the monitor of the week for my class IV A this week and I had a tough time controlling the kids in my class because they started jumping and dancing in the classroom when we got the news that you won! I think all the teachers were watching your speech on television somewhere and one kid who went down to drink water came back to us with the good news 🙂 Congratulations, Mr. Obama. My mom says that I am a part of your history. I am ten years old now and when you complete your two terms as president I will be 18! I have attached a story I wrote last year for you. Please tell me if you like my story and please send me an email when you are free. I will wait. My granny sends her blessings to you and says you have to be a responsible president because so many people have prayed for you, not only in America but everywhere.
And this is the story that he sent which he had written:
BRANDON’S HOLIDAY TRIP
Brandon had never gone out of the country. He wanted to travel and see different parts of the world. He saw the tour manual. He thought Indonesia is quite beautiful. I would like to go there he asked his parents. They said ok. But they did not have the money. So Brandon had to go into someone’s suitcase when the suitcase was to get checked in the officer saw Brandon in the suitcase but he thought it was a toy cat. Brandon got scared of the xray machine as it made sounds he cried Help Help the officer then knew that it was a real cat not a toy cat. Then they had to check the suitcase. Brandon jumped out and ran. He then jumped into a food trolly that was going into the plane to Indonesia. No one noticed Brandon getting into the plane. Brandon was in the plane under a seat. When he landed in Indonesia he went out of the airport and was surprised. He saw a cat with a rabbit like tail. The cat was a friendly cat. His name was Yusuf. He came and said Hello but Brandon did not talk to him. Brandon made fun of Yusuf’s tail and went away. He went all around the city and saw all of the cats had the same tail. He realized that he was different from the other cats. He understood that like people from different countries look different cats from different countries can also look different. So he made friends with all of the cats. He had a lot of fun with his new friends seeing many places in Indonesia like Taman Safari, Dream World, and Sea World. He went for paragliding in Bali. Then it was time to go home. Brandon was hungry so his new friends treated him to a fresh lobsters party. Brandon flew back home to India.
Story by Shameer.
I hope that someone from the Obama transition team sends back a form letter thank you for the email. It would mean so much to this little one and his grandma who both need more then ever something to be hopeful for.