By Naman Shrivastava
*What is a dream?*
Is it the ability to think beyond the known?
An attempt to be in a crowd even when alone?
Or is it simply the power to imagine things that exist only in thoughts?
And live in a world full of aliens and bots.
Do dreams give you the power to be God?
Because dreams are impeccable, never flawed.
Or are they an escape into one’s utopian world,
Where happiness is constant and aspirations furled.
Every success story starts with a dream. So, before we begin, let me share a few things..
1.November 5, 2011 was the day , when 60 MAD people of Gwalior, with a belief and hope for a better tomorrow, embarked on a journey – to Make A Difference for REAL! It was the day we met the kids and kick-started the Gwalior chapter with our Ice-Breaker sessions!
2. As I entered the class for the first time (as a teacher), my ‘brain cells’ told me, “Dude! First conduct the introduction round. Follow it with the awesome games you’ve already thought of. You’ll be a HERO!” ‘Fortunately’, nothing happened the way my brain cells had planned; neither the games were conducted nor did I end up becoming the HERO. Still, that day probably tops my charts of ‘the-best-days-of-the-year’.
3. Sanjay is the protagonist of this story and, to be very honest, the ice-breakers were, in some way, conducted by him, not me! So, contrary to what my brain cells had planned, Sanjay was the HERO. He knew exactly what he wanted to do in life; just didn’t know what *it* was called!
So, till you and I figure it out, along with Sanjay, let’s call this story as the story of ‘what is it?’!
Now, let’s begin!
The kids that I was to teach, stayed at the Sharda Baal Gram, which, Google translates as ‘a village where children have a loving devotion to God’. But, it was ironical; the kids I met there disliked God for putting them up in a place like that.
Nevertheless, the location was heavenly – a sprawling lush green campus on the hills, at the outskirts of the city.
Let’s continue the story of ‘what is it?’ As I entered my class, slight nervousness took over me. I wanted to be someone who these little children would like; someone with whom they could share anything; someone who could be a ROLE MODEL for them (Whoa! A lot of responsibility for a 19 year old, right?) And so, I got on to the introductions. It soon turned into an ‘inspiration-session’ and from that, into a ‘DREAM-session’!
Rashid (one of my students) shared his dream; he wanted to leave the orphanage and earn A LOT of money! The others followed suit. But Sanjay had other plans! He wanted to ‘make a difference’!
Slightly confused and struggling through a mist of his sentiments, he finally figured out ‘what it is!’
Giving a voice to his thoughts, he said, “I want to start MY OWN orphanage!” That was it! That was the dream, the awesome dream!!
“But, how will you earn the money to start an orphanage and educate the children at your shelter home?” I asked. “Maybe, you could help us!”, came the reply!
That day, I went home with a much, much better understanding of my responsibility towards these children. I realized that I was in a position to influence their young minds. And, if it helps them walk through the ‘boulevard of their awesome dreams’ to reach their destinations, I’ll know I’ll have had made THAT difference.