The Pallu Big Boys ice-breaker happened last Sunday. I had only heard about the big boys at Pallu. And not everything that I had heard was very flattering. So, it was with a certain amount of trepidation and a considerable amount of anxiety that I walked into Pallu with the other volunteers (Jithin Sr, Xavier, Jonva and Rajesh). I needn’t have worried. The icebreaker was wonderful, the kids were great!
After Jithin Sr finished with one of his customary speeches, there was a placement presentation to let the kids know of the opportunities available to them after they finish their 10th. I was actually quite surprised by the level of interest that they displayed. Their interests and career ambitions ranged from joining the police to engineering to merchant navy to hotel management.
Got to meet the kids individually and spend some time with them afterwards. Most of them actually had questions for me regarding their options after 10th. I also found out that some of them are boxing and judo national champions! If I ever have class control issues at Pallu, at least now I know which kids NOT to get entangled with. :P There was more lighthearted enlightenment as well (like Jithin Sr’s cool nickname).
What followed was a game of volleyball. The strategists that we (the volunteers) are, careful planning was made to ensure that we were not embarrassed. We picked a game which the kids were not experts in, and mixed ourselves up with the kids into two teams. Whichever team won, at least some of the volunteers would win along with it. ;)
It was also then that I realized how it feels to be a ‘spectator-player’. I was on court and technically a player, but all I did was watch the ball travel from one side of the court to the other. We went through three sets with only my eyes receiving any sort of a workout. :)
The kids loved it, so did we all. Waiting for the classes to begin!
Amazing fact for the day: Jithin Sr actually managed to squeeze his six-foot-whatever frame into the cramped confines of a Maruti 800! (He had some difficulty getting out, though.)