MAD Kids in Oliver Twist Play

My heart was gleaming with joy as 20 of our kids marched their way through the elite audience. V.P placements Sumesh was a relieved man waiting outside the hall, hoping that they will outshine all other kids.

Scene 1

[Beep Beep.Beep Beep]. Mad volunteers of Cochin wakes up to our V.P placement Sumesh’s ‘Gud mornin :-) :-) :-) hav a fabulous day, terrific day‘ SMS. One fine Sunday the message had an extension.

It was a cry to help out the kids from Sneha Bhavan (one of our centres) with transportation. The kids had to be present at various practice venues for the play “Oliver Twist Musical” by Magic Theatre, Chennai. Kids from all around Cochin were taking part and so the venues were changing every week.

The need for reliable transportation was a necessity. Transportation of 20 kids  was a grueling task. But Sumesh wouldn’t let this opportunity slip away from the kids, even if it demanded himself dropping the kids in his own car; which he did. Kudos to Sumesh.

Not to forget Archana Ma’am, whose timely intervention saw the kids overcoming obstacles as they sailed to various practice venues. Watching their more privileged peers practicing, sharing the stage with them, acting in a play directed by acclaimed director Michael Muttu, the kids were in a musical world of their own.

Scene2

[Trring Trring]

Me: Ya Sumesh tell me.

Sumesh: Hey Jude can you take care of the kids while they get ready for the play. I have arranged to drop them and pick them up. The play is going to be staged at the Fine Arts Hall. There are two shows at 10:30 AM and 6 PM. Be there by 8:15 AM and get them ready for their performance.

Me: Sumesh I’m not sure about the evening show,but morning, definitely I will be there.

Sumesh: No probs. Evening I will be there, will manage.

Enter Jude(me) and Binny(VP PR). A walk on the road along the backwaters took us to Fine Arts Hall.  Poornima, Ernest and Sneha were the other MAD volunteers present. Containing the excitement of 20 Pallu kids was no easy task. According to Binny’s modest estimate, the ideal count was one volunteer per kid(no kidding!)

The first show was staged for school kids. They started arriving by 10:00 AM. Our kids got even more excited when they saw a large audience. Archana Ma’am made an appearance to convey best wishes to the kids. Curtains on practice sessions; costumes worn, final touch up given, the kids were all set for their first performance.

LIGHTS… MUSIC… PLAY

Our kids sang and marched their way onto the centre stage. They were red carpet celebrities for 1000 odd school kids.

Then our kids were transported back to Snehabhavan and we departed with three of us confirming for the next appearance in the evening :-)

Scene 3

Enter Sumesh, Binny, Jude, Poornima and Loy.

It was time for the second stage performance of our kids. They seemed more calm and composed, busy playing amongst themselves. Father and Brother of Don Bosco had come to bless them for their efforts. Many more MAD volunteers turned up as well. The Ernakulam District collector Dr. Beena was the Guest of Honour.

My heart was gleaming with joy as 20 of our kids marched their way through the elite audience. Sumesh was a relieved man waiting outside the hall, hoping that they will outshine all other kids.

Two and a half months of hard work had finally paid off. After the kids part was over in the play they came to us in few of them asked in hope “Chetta(brother in Malayalam), can we see the whole play”. Well the ticket cost was around Rs.500, so entry for our 20 kids to see the play was was near impossible.

But God had different plans. The coordinator said we could see the play for free. So we sat for the play.

The kids turned out to be good critics. One commented that narrative breaks interrupted the smooth flow of the play :-). The kids were felicitated after the show with certificates and gifts which the collector herself distributed.

The kids thanked the coordinators Ms.Sushila and Ms.Gibu with their lively and chirpy(you should hear it) thank you song.

As we accompanied the kids outside, it started drizzling with light breeze. But nothing could hold the contagious joy of our kids…

If the day was good, the night was made perfect…

By Jithin Jude.

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