Childrens Day Outing

My faith in human beings as a responsible and sensible species is getting weaker by the day. Off late I am realizing that the value systems have undergone a sea change over time, and we no more believe in love, trust, relations, compassion and kindness. They have been replaced by selfishness, greed and utter irreverence towards life. Otherwise how the f**ck would you explain a mother leaving a new born baby in the drainage or on the street? How else you explain three babies, all less than 3 months old, ending up in an orphanage in a span of 6 months? As a species we have reached Mars and are right on top of the food chain. Big deal!

I was at Sisu Mandir last Saturday with Jayan, to take the kids on a day's outing on Children's day. Jisha and Shalini, the two social workers there, introduced me to 12 days old Vinod, 28 days old Angelina and 40 days old Ritu. All three were peacefully sleeping in their cribs, blissfully ignorant of the unfair deal handed over to them by fate. Angelina opened her eyes and looked at me when I approached the crib. She was one of the cutest kids I have seen in my life. I wanted to take her in my arms, but I was literally shivering. I couldn't digest the fact that someone can throw away such a beautiful bundle of joy so that they can have a hassle-free life. She started crying and I tried in vain to 'shush' her back to sleep. I tried rocking the crib, saying all the nice words I know in Hindi, English and Malayalam in the sweetest possible way. Probably annoyed by my voice, Angelina decided its better to get back to sleep. Jayan and family joined me in the room and I could see his wife and mom quietly drying the tears. No one with a heart can stand the sight of little babies abandoned like garbage.

Our plan was to take the kids out for a day of fun and there was no better day than Childrens Day. Leaving Vinod, Angelina, Ritu and 1 year old Bhavana at home, we took off with 22 other kids. Shalini and Norah also accompanied us. Norah is a volunteer from Germany, who was on her second visit to Sisu Mandir. The kids sang some beautiful songs like Jamaican Farewell, Country Road, Seasons in the Sun and few others, while we were on the way to Lalbag gardens. It was a jolly little group - Anusha, Navya, Kavitha, Sandhya, Ruth, Suman, Kavya, Naresh, Laxmi, Sukanya, Stella, Raayappa and others. Ooops.. how can I forget Vijay and Mickey, the dolls of Stella and Kavitha, which they carried in their little backpacks. We reached Lalbag by 10:30 and started our little picnic. We climbed uphill towards the small temple on the hill and decided to sit down there for a while, enjoying the breeze and blowing soap bubbles. The kids all sat together and sang 'Sweet Mother of mine' while we took out the balloons. Navya is very much scared of sound and we had to cut short the balloon fun as she started crying hearing them burst. I had to take her on a short walk to pluck some yellow wild lilies to calm her down.

As we climbed back to plain ground from the hillock we noticed a big gathering, and the kids got really excited when they saw 'Upendra', the Kannada film star on the stage. They ran into the crowd but were too far to get a good glimpse of the actor. So we thought of giving a small surprise to the kids. Just as the function was getting over, Jayan and myself approached the actor and requested him to come over and meet the kids. We knew its a long shot, but much to our surprise, he agreed instantly and started walking towards the kids. He said hello to all, shook hands with them and posed for a few pictures as well. The kids were super excited and started singing a song. The actor also joined them in the song for a few minutes before he finally said goodbye and walked away. Those were the best 10 minutes most of them had that day, I could hear the older ones talking about it all day! It was probably just another 10 minutes for the actor, but that short gesture of his, made the day for a bunch of kids, for whom miracles rarely happen in life.

As the elder ones were slowly recovering from the shock of talking to Upendra, the younger ones spotted the popcorn and candy vending machines. There was a childrens playing arena as well, with sliders and rock climbing. All of them had a good time for the next hour or so and finally settled down on the lawn under a tree, all exhausted and happy. It was almost noon and we had rice, pooris and rotis for lunch as Tom and Kapil also joined us. Though we had plans to go visit the planetarium in the afternoon, we decided to skip that and spend the rest of the day playing some games. Sandhya and the small kids started playing 'Home', preparing lunch with leaves, gooseberries and other berries they collected from the nearby bushes. Tom joined the kids for some volleyball and Kapil was busy taking them around and posing for Photographs. Soon some of us came together for a round of 'Dog and Bone', while Anusha and Kavitha were busy playing 'aunties', making saris out of some shawls and towels.

The games went on till evening when Norah reminded that we have to get back home in time for the evening bath and dinner. So we took a walk along the lake as Naresh wanted to catch some fish for dinner! Though we didn't see any fishes, there were enough monkeys to keep the kids amused, especially once the donuts were out of the bag. By five in the evening, we called it a day and boarded the bus back home. Kapil and me accompanied the kids and as we got back to Sisu Mandir, Angelina was all awake and smiling. She was just out of her bath and was happily enjoying all the attention. Bhavana was running around planting kisses on every available cheek. Bhavana is such a doll! Anusha and Sandhya took me to their room and gave me a demo on how to get on a double-decker bed. Naresh offered me a bed in the office room if I could stay back that night... he said his bed would be too small for me! I promised that I will meet him again and take them all to the planetarium. I know I will be going back to check on Angelina and the rest of the fairies pretty soon.

As Kapil and I were walking out of the compound, Sandhya accompanied us to the gate and wished us good day. I told her I already had a great day. But I was lying.. In fact, I had one of the 'BEST' days of my life!

Click here for more pictures..

4 comments:

Daria said...

I cannot comprehend how a woman could go through the life changing process of pregnancy only to dump their baby somewhere. People who are desperate will often do things that defy human decency.

Those little babies are so beautiful. In fact, all of those children are beautiful. How can a mother (or anyone for that matter) not overflow with love upon seeing such angels?

I am happy for you that this experience has touched you so. Thanks for sharing and for the wonderful pictures.

attiDuDe++ said...

This has a lot to do with personal value systems, I suppose. I also feel the society (including me) also plays a part by forcing them to do such things; at least at times.

I am trying to figure out what can 'I' do about this. Haven't got a clue yet though :)

Daria said...

I understand what you mean. I think it's important to evaluate a person by the results of their actions. If it's any consolation, your actions have encouraged me to become a better person. :)

Your singular efforts do count!

attiDuDe++ said...

Thank You :)

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