Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Celebrities for a moment
The irony of life is that when we really want to live, destiny plans something else for us. Each individual here is different - each one of us have a different definition of love, wealth, sex, happiness, perfection, success etc. What I mean is that these words are relative – but I believe that it eventually boils down to being content and at ease with oneself – in one word, I would call it being at peace.
Recently I had been to a Trust which works for street children welfare, its called the Salam Balak Trust, in Mumbai. We (a couple of friends from office) along with my little brother, Rishabh (he was luckily here to visit me – and I took him with me for I wanted him to develop compassion towards the less fortunate. – I know that these feelings are inborn, but many a times people realize this when a spark is lighted.), anyway, back to where I was, so, there were these few (8) of us, we packed up some snacks for the party, some gifts to give away and got into those typical Mumbai cabs and set off for that place at Sandars Road. It took us almost 2 hrs to reach – damn this Mumbai traffic, then we finally reached around 4pm to that place. We went into the hall where we saw the group of girls sitting on the floor with their teacher standing in front and teaching those lessons of good living. The moment we entered there was an air of unfamiliarity – I had never been to such a place before – never really lived how it felt to be there. With my own doubts, we found places on the floor mat to sit. Then we had a quick round of introduction, in the intro part we just called out our own names – that’s all. The first name – that was each one of ours introduction, everything else was immaterial – for we had gone there to share some good times and gather some special moments – and not to explore the background of the people we were meeting. There was one person, among my colleagues, who when got to know about this activity, inquisitively asked me of how those people feel, do they behave like normal children, what kind of expectations they have and blah blah.. I kind of did not like the questions; I tried explaining that we had gone to bring a change in the otherwise mundane lives of ours and theirs. And of course they were normal – I mean for heavens sake, they are like regular kids – being less fortunate doesn’t mean that the children have different desires, the difference may be in the level of their wishes, maybe a rich mans child would want to own expensive toys where as the less fortunate would perhaps desire of simple ones. The desires are same – it all boils down to love, care, importance and affection. That’s exactly what we went there to share. To cut the event explanation short, we indulged in playing games, danced with them sang with them, hugged them laughed with them, ate with them, cracked jokes, laughed at their jokes, encouraged them – did everything we would do at a regular get together. What was most heart warming was the readiness with which they allowed us into their space, their paradigm, it didn’t take us long to gel with them and be one amongst them – this openness is in fact is not a very common trait among the fortunate lot. The kids were as innocent as every other child – in one word, they were beautiful. I shall tell you of a cute thing, a young girl came to me, held me by my waist, raised her feet so that she could reach my ears, and slowly whispered, “Didi, pata hai aap Sania Mirza ki terha dekhti ho” .. I was all smiles :), not because she said i looked like Sania Mirza (because I personally have no fascination towards her – not that I don’t respect her ability) but because the way she said it was so damn sweet. I instinctively wanted to give her something – so I just dug my bag and offered her a chocolate and gave her a little peck on her cheek. Honestly, she blushed like a maiden in love :D. You know, at the end of the party when we were leaving, there were a couple of girls who ran to us with a notebook – just to take our autographs!! I mean, can you beat that!! They treated us like celebrities. I owe all my smiles of that day to those children. Shall cherish this day always. We are planning to go to an old age home on Monday, 1st Jan 2007, perhaps I would have more to share.