Doctors say that the heart stops working due to many reasons – faulty heart valves, a lifestyle gone bad, heart defects etc. etc. That’s not true. Yesterday, a kid’s heart stopped working. It gave up and just stopped pumping blood. It wasn’t a flaw with the heart’s valves. It was a human flaw. When a two year old has three heart attacks, its not a medical failure. In the fight between innocence and unimaginable cruelty, innocence failed yesterday.

The heart is not a weak organ. It is probably the strongest of all the organs. When someone dear goes away from your life, you don’t get a headache. There’s an ache somewhere around your heart. It chokes you in a way that medical science can’t define. And this heart of yours learns to accept that ache and move on. Allows you to be happy again. The strength of your heart is defined only in the toughest circumstances. There is an assurance in the rhythmic heart beats; a stability when change pulls the rug from under your feet. So, I don’t think the heart gives up just like that. But yesterday, it did give up, for someone who wasn’t even given a chance to build a defense against all the odds stacked up against her.

Don’t know when the world became this unfair a place. What kind of people smash a child’s head and put her through such unspeakable horrors. Many women I know have faced some or the other form of abuse, be it in a bus or on the road or even at home. But, as we grew up, we learned to defend ourselves. We lost innocence as we learned lessons in life. We learned not to trust everyone. In that lack of trust, we found caution. We found the confidence to survive and fight back. But, she was a two year old. She had no defense. No family. Yesterday, innocence died a sad death and humanity failed on every count. That heart that stopped yesterday was probably the strongest that ever existed. It survived for 56 days. For 56 days, that heart held on to life tenaciously, in a body bruised beyond recognition.

That you are stuck in a job that is boring. That you don’t earn enough money. That your wife cheated on you. That inflation is on a rise and the railway budget should be rolled back. We just never learn to look beyond our life and its small problems. And then, on an odd Friday, you read an article and it jolts your conscience. She had no name till she was admitted to the hospital. They called her Falak which means ‘the sky’. If she had lived, she would have grown up to be that idol you look up to for courage, when your own fails. But she didn’t live. She gave up on a world where law doesn’t punish the wrong and innocence is sold for pocket change. Yesterday, Falak’s heart stopped and left in its wake, a lesson for all of us. The lesson was simple. To be human.

I hope there is a better world beyond this one full of avarice and cruelty. As Tagore aptly said, where the mind is without fear and the head is held high. I hope Falak’s soul finds that heaven of freedom.

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