When An Angel Visited Us

Bold and Beautiful

When Gazal was born, all those who saw her commented on her beauty. With her finely chiseled features, almost blue eyes, rosy cheeks and lovely and long brown hair, she really appeared to be a little angel descended from heaven. As she grew up, her beauty matured and enhanced. But once she learnt to talk and react to people and the events happening around her, the more important facet of her beauty - her inner beauty - came to light.Gazal modeling for raincoats at Gorai beach in Mumbai

Gazal posing in front of some old caves at the modeling shoot at Gorai beachOne of the most important aspects of her inner beauty was her boldness. Probably the boldness arose from her simplicity and her lack of guile. Being pure at heart, and without any ill feeling towards anyone, she naturally assumed that she also had nothing to fear from anything or anyone. From the beginning of her life, she was deeply religious. It was a trait she inherited from my mother, since neither Madhu nor I believed in the rituals, which go with organized religion.

Gazal would invariably pray for a few minutes every day, after she had had her bath and before her breakfast. That was the time for her daily communion with her Maker. But it was only after some time that we realized the selfless nature of her entreaties. One day (it was after the second surgery) we heard her requesting God to keep her well from now on so that her parents do not suffer further. Her words brought tears to our eyes.Gazal at one of the functions in her school

Gazal dressed up as a doll for one of the functions at our apartment complex I do not know why, but a few months before she passed away, Gazal gave up her prayers. This was after she developed the fever. Either she had lost faith in the Almighty or she did not physically feel upto it. In fact, in those months, Madhu and I had turned to the rituals, partly in order to assuage our intense worries. But, though we requested her to, Gazal did not participate with us in the prayers.

With or without prayers, however, Gazal continued to be extremely bold. The most striking manifestation of her boldness became evident in her attitude to the brain surgeries she had to undergo repeatedly. Along with the surgery there was the concomitant need for the plethora of tests and investigations, injections and medicines. Gazal bore the pain of all the procedures stoically and heroically, with a smile on her face.

She used to be the first one to get ready on the day of admission to the hospital. On the day of the surgery, she used to be up early, requesting Madhu to give her a bath and get her ready for the surgery. She used to joke and laugh on her way to the Surgical Theatre, while she was being taken on the stretcher.Gazal and Sonal at a modeling shoot in Film City, Bombay, with the famous model Aarti Gupta

Gazal, dressed up as a Barbie doll, at a dance program in her school It was her boldness that also gave us the courage to brave the trauma of so many surgeries. After each surgery, she used to recover quickly. Doctors in the hospital called her an ideal patient and she soon became popular among all the nursing sisters and the other hospital staff. One of the doctors even suggested that we rename her as Gazal Bahadur (in Hindi 'Bahadur' means brave) instead of Gazal Bhatnagar.

On her last day in this world, when we were taking her to the hospital, we thought she was too drowsy to notice anything. However, she briefly opened her eyes and asked us as to where we were taking her. When we told her that we were taking her to the hospital for a check-up, she replied,"Oh! That's all right. Jaslok Hospital is my second home." True to her nature, Gazal remained bold and beautiful till her final moments on this planet.

Our Family   Her Early Years   Her Schooling Days
Bold & Beautiful   Caring & Compassionate
The Joys in her Life   Her Favourite Joke
Her Final Moments
Her Letter From Heaven
A Tribute From Classmates
Awards Received For This Site

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