“Whats your name?” I asked one of the kid in the squad who came for food drive. “Akshay” with a bit hesitstion yet without losing cool he answered me. That was the time when I start to enjoy this process.
My phone notified me that, there is a new whatsapp message for me. Even though i was working my ass out, it excited me considering the possibilities of any weekend plans, like someone special asking for a day out or dinner, friends planned for a weekend party or trip. Keeping that excitement, I finish off my work and started to check the messages. It wasn’t a bad news, however, wasn’t I was expecting. That was a message from a NGO kind Facebook group where, I too associated with. Couldn’t say a big association. It was kind of, first excited then got into,”i done my stuff, there are many who will take care” mentality. Although, I wasn’t enjoying that laid back thinking, wasn’t ready to get out of my comfort zone. Yes, I am one of them who find excuses for not stepping up for a progressive move.
When I reached home, I didn’t had any plans in my hand. Neither someone special called me for a day out nor any friend planned something. So, I mentally prepared to helpout this fb group rather than wasting my sunday at home. I considered it as a backup plan rather than giving some importance to that cause.
Sunday was tough, sun was too heated up like he had a heated conversation with his wife and throwing all his anger on us. When I touched the road for this drive, Bengaluru traffic treated me like general compartment of Indian railway like ‘welcome to Bengaluru Traffic, there are plenty of room for you to rest and relax which are wasted by cars and BMTC buses. Reach their somehow and enjoy the turtle race’
Almost 45 minutes in which I crossed 3 KM, I drove into another line to move closer to my destination slum where food drive is happening. That was the worst road I ever drove my bike. Many a times I was going to fell and somehow I balanced it out to read the location.
By Thanking god, I park the bike and walked towards the food drive place. I Spotted few kids there and 2-3 volunteers, they informed rest are coming with more food from the donors. One think I liked about this group is, food are home made and made by housewife free for these kids with a lot of affection. No commercial food is distributed here. And all these coordination are done by professionals who are free on Weekends and no money involved in all these process. I kind of feel embarrassed on how many of others are working responsibly for it, however, was ready to shoot my ever ready excuses if someone ask me about my lack participation. Well there are many genuine cases of not being present because of their other responsibilities despite of their interest to help out. But, yeah, I felt like there would be many cases who would be just like me who prefer to be on bed rather than doing some activity.
I was standing there without any work, hence I decided to talk to the kids gathered there.
“Whats your name?” I asked one of the kid in the squad who came for food drive. “Akshay” with a bit hesitstion yet without losing cool he answered me.
I started to ask them about their hobbies, and daily routines. I was amaze to hear that they were more active than I expected. When I was in dialema that going to itself ia a big them for slum iids, they were learning English and singing, dancing,etc. Being good at nothing that finding root cause of software issues, i didnt even dare to compare my childhood with them. Akshay told that, he wanted to become a IAS officer because someone told that, IAS officer can help to make their life better. There were many ambitions those kidz share with me. To my surprise, no one said Engineering. I mean, are they ahead of us on current situation? Possibly. They know the harsh rules of this society than many other citizens.
Since there was time for food distribution, we ask them to play perform something they know. Afrer that what we saw is alot of bunch of kids with full energy and with fearless attitude, where singing and dancing like pros. We all got surprised that, how those talents can be hidden in a slum. They were so good at what they were doing, many pedestrians on road stopped at the spot and were watching the show.
Finally, all food arrived and we announced distribution. The time we announced it, we regret it. All kids and also a lot more kids gathered to get the food showing end of the day they are still starving for good food. However, after initial coordination, they started to listen to us and were following the queue. Their greediness was acceptable as their life is around that slum environment. However, the way they listen to us was more applaudable as, they didn’t had the ‘who are you to instruct’ attitude which most of us educated Indians have.
Our food drive finished successfully. Although, it wasn’t a cakewalk, it gave all of us a sigh of satisfaction, a self proud moments that we did give away our time for some good deed. It was evident from the smile of those kids that our handwork doesn’t went in vein. I remember those lines from Malayalam movie that “Food is something we can measure the right amount of happiness. If someone fed well, he will deny more food since its impossible to eat more”. With all these good memories, i figure out, i wouldn’t had such satisfaction, if I would have went for a dinner with special one. I wouldn’t have experienced such happiness from a trip. Here I met a lot of aspirant kids who looks into future with other perspective. Here I find another world within our city. Here I find a lot of young professionals who are passionate about helping someone out. Here I find a self satisfaction after along time back. Here I find another me when playing with those kids, like a time traveler to my childhood.
It wasn’t an event to sympathies on their life, it was something to bridge the gap between 2 side of city life. I felt like finding new aspects and new way to look at people around me. It is difficult to explain what is so good about it, however, i felt relaxed, felt more confident after that event. Contrary to my first reaction to the invitation for this event, felt to be part of more such events and help out as much as people i can.
Try out yourself, you will feel the difference.
Happy Children Day