Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Our Sister Lakshmi

picture of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi
Today there were several articles about an little girl named Lakshmi Tatma who was born with four arms and four legs. As we speak, she is undergoing surgery in order to remove a "parasitic twin". Medically, she is considered a ischiopagus tetrapus--a term that describes the part of her body where conjoining took place and how many legs she was born with. However, this condition isn't all that makes her story so beautiful to me.

Amazingly, she was born on the holy day devoted to the celebration of Vishnu, a Hindu god who has four arms. Vishnu's consort is the goddess Lakshmi and she also has four arms. The little Lakshmi Tatma is considered a reincarnation of the goddess Lakshmi and the people in her home town have erected a temple for her.

I know some people may see the date of her birth as anything more than coincidence but I do not. Of all the places in the world that the Creator could have allowed a child like Lakshmi Tatma could have been born, she was brought forth in a place where she wouldn't be pitied or warehoused or "euthanized". Instead, she is being venerated.

Imagine what the world would be like if the birth of all people with non-conforming bodies were seen as auspicious and not shameful or disgusting!

Lakshmi Tatma with her father, mother, and brotherLakshmi Tatma lying on examination table chatting with a doctorLakshmi Tatma lying on examination table by herself


Anonymous said...

She is beautiful.

What will the surgery do to her? Why is it being done, exactly? Do they have her consent to do it?

bint alshamsa said...

The surgery will allow her to process food normally and it will remove the limbs that are preventing that from happening. I do not know if it is possible for her to give consent at this age but I don't think there are many other options because her health is starting to fail.

I do wish she could thrive just the way she is now. She is absolutely adorable, in my eyes.

Anonymous said...

That's amazing. It's sad she has to undergo surgery at such a young age. :(

Do you know about this boy? He was born with a tail, and a couple of other marks, and considered an incarnation of Hanuman.

The language in the article is awful, though - judgemental, and full of references to the "abnormal child."

bint alshamsa said...

The newspaper that wrote this about the boy seems to be a real piece of work. I looked at some of their other articles and they are just as bad, if not worse. The way they refer to people who are homeless or shack-dwellers is just awful!

Renegade Evolution said...

what an amazing smile on her,and yes, where she was born/ Perfect

Fire Fly said...

Yes, it's really fortunate that she was born in a place where she was given love for being herself. Although I can imagine that being treated as an exceptional being can be difficult too.

And yes, she's very cute!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I couldn't find another article, although I'm sure there were more when it happened.

Anonymous said...

Bint, thanks for the reply/info. Yeah, I wish she could have thrived without surgery!

And ... I heard a brief report on the radio after she got out of surgery. They said she was doing well. And there was this comment that the surgery cost something upwards of $600,000 -- but the doctors did it for free "because the family couldn't afford it."


bint alshamsa said...


Oh good! I hadn't heard anything about how the surgery went. The fact that the doctors did it for free just blows my mind. Maybe my faith in mankind shouldn't die out just yet.