Friday, March 21, 2008

Moments with Lovely Angels

“The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn't been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.”
--- Pablo Casals

He couldnt have put it better. Each child is special of its own. I had an opportunity to visit Shishu Mandir, an orphanage home for kids in Bangalore. There are 3 categories of kids:

1) Children till age group of 6.
2) Girls from 6-18 age group.
3) Boys from 6-18 group.

Few people visit the home every weekend and conduct classes for them and spend time with the children. Sometimes the children are taken for outdoor trips to LalBagh,Cubbon Park. It was through one of such persons, i got to know about Shishu Mandir.


On the week when we went, the elder children were having exams. So, we had all the time to spend with the little angels. When we entered the room, we had a cute, little kid beaming a smile at us. She was 3 years old, and she was learning walking so she was on a baby walker... She just flapped her hands happily and smiled more on seeing us. It is a sight to behold, a cute kid with a cute smile.,.

The other children were seated and they welcomed us with folded hands.As we had taken some eatables, it didnt take much time for us to mingle with the kids. ;) As we distributed the eatables , i was in for a sharp dose of reality. While distributing the eatables to the kids, one of the kid tugged at my shirt and said "Uncle, that boy hasn't got a biscuit yet" . I was like , What Uncle , Where,Who ??

(Obviously, i didnt say the words, but those were my mental mentations.) It was a dose of reality wherein one realises that we arent the young kids we used to be and that half the life has sped away..,.Anyhow,i realised that i have to be happy with the kids calling me Uncle and i have to familiarise myself with that. I also had my chance at taking a dig at my friend Gaurav, who had accompanied me. I would say to the children, " go to Gaurav uncle and ask him this, ask him that...) It was really funny (to see the amused look on his face, on being called Uncle :) )

We were joined by 2 other people,who also had brought some eatables. So there was another round of eatable distribution amidst chorus of Aunty, ......."chocolate to this boy, this girl". etc.,. The children have classes in the morning during weekdays. And during Saturday, they have painting & drawing classes in morning and games in the afternoon. .Since we had come , the teacher allowed the children to play with us.They had building blocks and other games. Initially we played the building blocks with few pieces, as each child had taken his equal share of block-pieces but as time went on, the kids began to switch games. It was amazing to see the children's creativeness. They would come up with different building designs. It was not only fun but also good learning experience for us also.

A small boy brought a "SPINNING TOP", a pambaram.[ A pambaram is a toy , conical in shape with its bottom end ending in a sharp pointed end. You have a rope and you circle the rope around the top and when you throw the top sideways, it keeps rotating.]. I had played with it during my younger days, but had almost forgot about it. So this kid brought a top and asked me to teach him to play it. Forget teaching him, i myself had forgotten how to play it. I tried a few times, winding the rope around the top, but each time, it kept coming off. Thankfully, i had a rescuer. One of the other kids,named Prabu came along and took the top and spun it effortlessly. I tried again a few times(when no child was looking, yet didnt succeed). Hence i reminded myself that i should learn spinning the top.(Yet to learn properly ;) )

Another thing was a thought in us that communication gap could be there, since Kannada is as alien to me as an alien to the humans :). But it was quite a wrong assumption. [albeit i was armed with one sentence---> "ninnu hesaru yennu" meaning What is your name ? . I used this to a major extent, firing this Question to any child who came across my path ;)

It was nice to see the kids coming to us and showing their creations and explaining the things , what it is and why it is. Though we didnt understand much what they said, other than saying Hmmmm, aama-aama((Yes-Yes) ,Good boy, Good girl. etc...Their earnest way of explaining things and the happiness they get when you acknowledge their work, filled us with bliss. It was a pleasure to see their creativeness unleased , thinking and doing things in a very unconventional way. It reminded us of the immense potential harboured in each individual waiting to spread its wondrous wings.

Finally it was time to bid adieu and the kids were busy,lost in perfecting their creations. It was a satisfying experience, where it was like re-living our younger days again.,.Overall, it was a fun filled yet a memorable experience.

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