When it comes to birthdays, there are many ways to celebrate and while getting gifts may be the norm, some mark the special day by brightening up the days of others. Something similar happened when a student decided to celebrate his birthday with a stranger– a differently abled man he often meets on his way to college. A video of their heartwarming interaction has left everyone elated online.
As Vihayas, from Kannur in Kerala, turned 20 earlier this week, his friends had several plans for him. But perhaps the most special one was planned by his best friend, Midhula Madhu, who took him to meet Pavan (Chintu), who stands on his balcony looking at people in the street. “His face lights up whenever we wave to him. Usually, seeing him is the highlight of our day,” the young man wrote.
Armed with just a small cake in hand, even though the two students were not sure which apartment the 22-year-old lived in, the duo tried to knock on a few doors before meeting him. They were unsure if Pavan would recognise them. But when they finally arrived at his doorstep, he was overjoyed. A video shared by Vihayas on Instagram shows Pavan and his mother being elated by the sweet gesture.
“He was so happy to see us. He couldn’t speak but that didn’t stop us from bonding with him,” read the post accompanying the Reel video. Pavan is seen wishing Vihayas a happy birthday in his own way and also feeding him the cake with the help of his mother. The trio also clicked photos to mark their new friendship. “Our hearts melted when his mom told us that he always gestures the words ‘Anna’ (brother) and ‘akka’ (sister) whenever he sees us.”
Talking to indianexpress.com, Vihayas, a psychology student at Yenepoya University in Mangaluru, Karnataka, explained that it had become a sweet ritual to wave at Pavan on their way to college everyday. “It hasn’t been a ritual for a very long time… but it was something that always brought a lot of joy to both Mridula and me,” he said over the telephone. “On my birthday while we were returning from college, she suddenly said that it was her plan to celebrate my birthday with him but we did not even know his name then,” he chuckled.
It was a challenge to find the right flat and kind of embarrassing to knock on strangers’ doors, Vihayas said, adding that seeing their “balcony friend” was worth it, though. “I can’t express in words how moved we were to hear that he refers to us as his brother and sister whenever he spots us, knowing that made it so worth it,” he said.
Asked if they plan to visit him again, Vihayas said they definitely wanted to interact more with Pavan in the future. While they did not expect the video to draw so much attention, he said the interaction was “too sweet not to share”.
The poignant video left many emotional.