Like every girl who grows up listening to fairy tales, Sulagna also grew up listening to one every night. But fairy tales have their share of problems too and thirteen-year-old Sulagna’s life was no different. She was suffering from a life-threatening illness.
Sulagna was a happy little girl full of life and dreams. In spite of being severely ill, she was always smiling. She did not give up hope of a beautiful future and always dreamt of being a princess. She was interested in fashion and admired fashion designers. Her favourite fashion designer was Manish Malhotra, so she dreamt of growing up and wearing dresses designed by him.
When our volunteers, Sushma and Sunita met Sulagna at the hospital where she was receiving her treatment on 23rd October, 2012, and was preparing to undergo a long surgery procedure, she shared her dreams with them. They told her that her dream would soon be a reality.
Sulagna had a successful surgery and was very excited to hear that her dress is ready and couldn’t stop smiling. She eagerly waited for that special day when she would get her princess dress.
The massive preparations began about 15 days in advance to her wish fulfilment day. Her dress measurements were taken, accessories were bought that perfectly matched the outfit and the smallest of details were taken care of, right from her make-up to footwear that she would adorn on the day of her wish fulfilment.
On the eve of World Wish Day, 28th April 2013, Sulagna’s wish to have a princess dress designed by Manish Malhotra was ready to be fulfilled. The Make-A-Wish India team decided to make this a grand event for her—one that she would cherish for the rest of her life.
A princess has to look her best, so special arrangements were made to dress her up for the day. Sulagna was finally ready and turned to look at herself in the mirror. She couldn’t believe her eyes. “Is that really me?”, she said in awe of the pretty princess she saw in the mirror.
It was time to leave for the venue. The moment she stepped out of her house, there was a royal vintage car waiting to receive her. After all, princesses drive around in royal cars, don’t they?
Tata Theatre at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai was chosen as the venue for the event. To make it extra special, all people who were an important part of Sulagna’s life were called—her parents, grandmother, her treating doctor, her family, friends, other friends, the Make-A-Wish team from the International and India office, and other well-wishers.
The moment she reached the venue, she was welcomed with flower petals. As she got out of the car, a group of young girls took her photographs and autographs, thus giving Sulagna a feeling of being a celebrity. On that day, she was truly a celebrity.
She walked through the enormous stairway of the theatre lobby and this moment was no less than walking through a palace. A beautiful royal couch was arranged and readied for her, just the way a throne is readied for its queen. She sat on that couch feeling every bit like a princess.
Guests came and greeted her one by one. The beautiful décor and the ambiance resembled a royal courtroom where the courtiers met their princess.
Sulagna could hardly believe the events that were happening and she was extremely elated and excited. But this was not all. There was one more grand revelation in store for her—the arrival of her idol the one and only Magical Manish Malhotra! The moment he arrived at the venue, Sulagna jumped off the couch and almost ran to greet him. She could not believe her eyes. She presented him with a bouquet and a card that she had made for him.
A beautiful 3-tier cake was then brought in. It was a lovely pink coloured cake with a crown on it, and it was perfect for a princess! She joyfully cut it and shared it with everyone present there.
Sulagna was truly in very high spirits that day. It was her day. The day when her most cherished wish came true. She met her idol. She celebrated and had fun with family and friends. Her beautiful smile conveyed how ecstatic she was. Another feather in the cap for Make-A-Wish.