One simple question :
What do Valsalyabhavan(V), YMCA Poor Boys Home(Y) and Balbhavan(B) have in common??
Besides the fact that they’re all really small centers that MAD works at, well, I’m pretty sure they are different.. Two of these accommodate boys, the other for girls, different managements, different backgrounds, different settings..
Small, they may be, but on the closing weekend of May, the world found out that, no matter how small, or how far away from each other, or how distant from the epicenter of anything you are: Together, you Make A Difference!
Behold, MAD’s first ever mixed camp : The VYB Camp!
I had started thinking of this camp sometime in February.. Yes, February.. Why dint it happen sometime then? Oh well, Sanju, Sumesh, Paul, Aparna, Saju, Jonva, Shahnaz, Varkey and Co (I’m really bad at names, sure I left out quite a few) were not running around then doing the necessary, while I sat around jobless, pretending to be Camp Coordinator while covertly outsourcing all my work! :D
First Day : Sometime after 7 am..
We’re running behind schedule a bit.. The camp was supposed to begin at 7, but the kids haven’t arrived yet.. I’m apprehensive.. Somewhere inside we all are.. We know that mixing boys and girls at a camp just might backfire.. They might not talk, they might not be themselves in front of each other, given the backgrounds they come from..
Then I see the bus coming, the kids get down, walk towards the venue.. There is an air of suppressed excitement… Behind my back, I cross my fingers, and put on a smile that comes only with a lot of effort.. It’s time to begin the camp..
They come in, they sit down.. Boys separately, girls separately, with an easy ten feet separating the two groups.. My worries multiply within.. Inside my head : “Keep smiling you idiot.. Don’t look like a chicken being taken to the grave..!”
Art of Living has started.. There is not that much noise.. They’re not even looking at each other.. Oh God! This will probably backfire.. Where can I hide where Niki won’t find me for screwing up her precious Placements Project??
Second Day : Sometime after 9 pm..
We’re all standing outside on the ground… The bus is going to be a bit late, so we sit here and there.. I look around, I see my boys; Aparna’s boys; the Valsalyabhavan girls.. And I see the camp has worked.. They are talking to each other, having fun, enjoying each other’s company.. Yeah, take that Niki.. !! :P
My boys ask me to sing a song, I attempt singing ‘Thank You For Loving Me’.. Invariably I screw it up, and end up with a rendering that’s somewhere between an old floorboard in a haunted house that creaks very loudly and the sound that my bike brakes make when it rains.. But, nobody seems to mind, nor do I! Everybody is in too good a mood…
Man, is this awesomeness or what?? THIS, that moment, IS the V.Y.B Camp… We did it!! Woooohhoooooo!!!