The French words 'Je Taime" which means, 'I love you' could never have been sweeter for an Indian-origin South African rescue team leader Ahmed Bham in Haiti and will linger in his memory for ever.
The only major difference is that they were not said by a young romantic, but by a grateful 69-year-old woman Ena ZInzi that Bham, the Indian-origin leader of the South African rescue team sent to Haiti pulled out of the ruins of a building on the earthquake-devastated island nation.
"We gave her water to drink. Her first words when she came out were Je Taime and she started singing what the other rescuers told us was a song in praise of the Lord," Bham said.
"I can't explain to you the feeling of hearing her voice after seven days of being stuck under all that rubble. I have never seen my group as motivated as they were to get to that person as soon as possible," Bham, from the Gift of the Givers Foundation said.
As we were going in deeper and deeper, the voice started getting louder and louder and the feeling of the team once we first saw the person as indescribable.
ZInzi had been buried in the rubble for a week when Bham's team, refusing to give up the struggle to find survivors as tens of thousands lay dead and dying around them, joined a Mexican rescue team in rescuing her.
"Haiti was already in a crisis when the earthquake happened. It was so over-populated; the structures were already collapsing. It took a lot of time to get help to all the people," Bham told PTI.