Originally written by Trupti Abhyankar
What happens when you let someone into your life and let them occupy the tiniest place in there? You get a world of happiness and before you know, you start thinking about them more often than you do about your pocket money. What you took up as an act of social responsibility becomes something you can’t imagine your life without.
This, my friends, is exactly what I’m going through. My kids at A.D Bawla centre have been busy with exams and vacations and I’ve been missing them terribly. I joined M.A.D as a volunteer sometime in August. My initial apprehension to teaching (I lack the most important quality of a teacher – PATIENCE) wore off in my very first class.
The Kids were superb. Now, I’m not saying they were perfectly quiet, waiting with their books open, no…but they wanted to learn, from us. Their excitement at seeing their new ‘didi’ was visible right from the moment we entered. A class of 38 girls, some quiet, some natural pranksters, some sensitive. The most endearing quality about these kids is the way they make you feel loved.
In my very first class, all of them wanted me to share their breakfast cupcakes with them; if it rained and I didn’t have an umbrella, these kids would be concerned as to how I would go back home. It struck me that most of us, who’ve been fortunate enough to have been brought up in full, whole families, with parents and siblings probably need to take a lesson or two from these kids. I mean, how many of us fuss over meals, clothes and things, how many of us continuously fight, bicker and argue with people around us? But we hardly ever take any opportunity to tell people that we love them.
These kids are wonderful little things who’ve taught me to think more about others than myself, they’ve taught me to care, love and most importantly, they’ve made me feel special , more special than any guy who probably tried to woo me with a truck-full of flowers and a candle-light dinner.
It is these kids who make me wake up, sharp at 8.30 on most Sunday mornings, to leave for a two-hour class. It is the thought of these bachha log that brings a smile on my face when I remember their dialogues – ‘’Didi, aap theek se ghar jaana..’’ , when I remember the first time one of them wrote about me as a teacher in their class.
They have made me proud, at times angry, happy and sad. It is impossible to forget the joy on their faces when they see a ‘very good’ in their books, or the frustration at not getting something right. It’s wonderful to see the way they care for their fellow students and manage to retrieve happiness and contentment, in the smallest of doses from everyday things.
My last class with them was almost a month ago, and we dedicated it to stories. Being Ramzan, the girls requested we sing a ‘naad’ or a hymn together. As we sat down solemnly, the child began singing about a mother…to hear a child at an orphanage sing about a mother is heart wrenching. As their tiny hands dried my tears, they made me promise I would be back after the break. And here I am, waiting for classes to begin again, for the excitement of learning, playing to start again. All my kids, I miss u’ll a lot! Thanks M.A.D, for making a difference to my life as well.