Diwali 2016 – Care India Medical Society

CIMS - Diwali 2016

CIMS – Diwali 2016

On 6th November, a unique event made me realise the importance of compassion and support.

While my brother celebrated his birthday, I went as a part of Caregivers Link, to’Diwali with a purpose’, a celebration hosted by Care India Medical Society (CIMS), for families affected by cancer. I witnessed extraordinary people celebrate life in a distinctly different fashion. These people were all united to fight one of the most perplexing diseases, cancer.


Before the programme for the day began, I decided to wander about the hall and take in the several happenings.


CIMS - Diwali 2016

CIMS – Diwali 2016


The atmosphere felt very welcoming for a person who is usually quite awkward when alone in an unknown crowd. As I stood there observing the guests coming in, meeting friends, laughing, hugging, a number of strangers passing by smiled at me, including me in their story. After eating the sumptuous breakfast organised by CIMS, everyone took their places and the programme began.

Cancer patients from these families started out with a song which had the words ‘Na muh chupake jio. Aur na sar jhukake jio’. The song ended with a rhythmic accompaniment of applause and it spoke volumes about the hope that is filled in the hearts and minds of those present there.



Many people spoke. Most importantly, we heard stories shared by cancer patients, along with the stories of family members and caregivers. We heard the perspective of a mother, a son, a daughter, a husband. Some spoke of the unbearably high cost of the treatment and how CIMS helped them with free-of-cost treatment. Others spoke of how accessible CIMS made the treatment for them with the very kind doctors who’d visit their homes regularly. There was a feeling of overwhelm and of grief in many of these narratives, but combined with unending hope and bravery. This experience, of listening, changes something in a person.


CIMS – Diwali 2016

After the all the stories were shared and the programme was over, I said my goodbyes and left to join my family in their celebration. Over lunch, I couldn’t help but think about my morning. Two completely different events in my day. Both events with families. Both celebrations.

Asterilla Monteiro.



  1. Janet says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience of a wonderful day spent with people who we most often think will be downcast and sad, but who tell us that there are many bright rays of hope and gratitude in the lives of those who receive support from people.

  2. Deep says:

    A new perspective!! Beautifully expressed!! :)

  3. sunita says:

    Thank you , its very very nice……

    1. admin says:

      Thank you Sunita. It was good to have been able to share this experience with you.

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