having a lot of time in hand, i and a friend decided to use it productively by doing something nice...something sweet for the underprivileged. after brainstorming for a long time,(her brains...with me just storming in and out of her house and nodding in approval!) we decided to take up some project at an orphanage... teach or help in any way possible. we simply wanted to spend a little time with the kids there and add a little color to their lives if we possibly could.
after frantically searching online for NGO'S where we could lend support or make a difference or simply bring a smile on the beautiful faces of the little angels there, we finalized on this NGO called "MA NIKETAN" somewhere near our place itself. all this after rejecting or being in double minds to visit a LARGE number of NGO'S ...simply because of the paradigm" oh its too far ya... who'l go so often??" or "its tooo farr.. not possible ya...lets search for something close by...pleaseeeeeee!!!"
after zeroing down on "our" NGO... we thought of visiting the place and trying to spend some time with the kids there.. thinking that we possibly couldn't go empty handed, we started pulling out old toys, clothes, books and everything else we could lay our hands so that we could go there citing some reason at least. we only made sure that everything was in real good condition.
after a lot of excitement we finally reached the ashram and as soon as we handed over the goods...we were politely thanked with a big smile. we kept thinking that maybe now they'l say..."okay so do you want anything? spend time? see the place? " something at least... but all we earned was a big THANK YOU.. decidedly in a fix, we thought of seeking the mother or the sister of the ashram who might help us. in spite of being a little intimidated by their sheer presence..we managed to croak out that we would like to contribute in some way.. they solemnly nodded in approval and asked if we could teach "english" to the marathi medium school children staying there. in all my excitement and enthusiasm, i readily agreed and was told to start the following week. with a bounce in my gait and with a singing heart...we duly returned back.
the following week, i reported to the ashram... my first official day at work... without knowing what to except. i was told to wait in the waiting area where i kept locking and unlocking my fingers... a sure shot sign of nervousness! the prim and proper sister came and asked me to take a class for the 9th grade and i gratefully agreed.
my class had a bunch of 15 of the most adorable, the most genuine, the most innocent and really bright kids i had ever come across. i definitely wanted to break the typical teacher-student stereotype and strike a bond with these wonderful angels. teaching them was absolute bliss, especially since they warmed up so easily and were quick to respond. they made every attempt possible to come close and win my heart. little did they know that i was in love with them the minute i saw each one of them and spoke to them! finding english a little difficult to converse in, they kept asking if they could possibly talk in hindi or marathi and i vehemently refused wanting them to learn better. they kept exchanging mischievous looks and giggling excitedly amongst themselves till i called them to order! keeping a firm hand and letting light humor fill the room was no mean feat but i know that this is what i would have wanted as a student and that is exactly what i wanted to give back to my angels.
towards the end of the class, they had warmed up considerably and wanted to know everything about me... my parents, my siblings, my likes, dislikes, if i watch tele-soaps... which one's did i prefer and all that... they kept turning my face here and there, simply so that i could look at each one of them... and every time they did this...i knew that i had created an ever lasting bond... i did strike the cord i wanted to... just before leaving, they gave me a little key chain...though i kept refusing...all they said was... think of us every time you look at it... i was deeply touched by this sweet gesture and realized how pure they were to give so willingly in spite of hardly having anything themselves. i was speechless and could only smile..being aware of my moist eyes.. they taught me what loving unconditionally was and i am proud to say that my first class had my students teaching me a hell lot of things!!
today, i can proudly say that i have 15 of the most beautiful angels to stand by my side who think of me as much as i do and remember me in all their prayers.(that was a little promise we made!)
as i write this..i can't help but smile and have a deep sense of gratitude for the woman who led me to these angels... thank youuuuu chinkuu!!! love you!! <3... without you...i would have have never bothered to take the initiative and gift a smile in spite of knowing that i wanted to!!
ps:this 1's exclusively for you...for opening the doors and letting me in!! love you lots....