I had promised myself that i will not write on the things i am experiencing @Khushi until i get out of the cynical phase i am currently in. However, what happened today is something i must articulate. So here it goes:
Today wasn’t a really hectic day at Khushi, compared to some totally chaotic days that i have seen today was very calm, Harsh sir paid Khushi a visit and the general atmosphere amongst the kids was slightly on the positive side, unlike the general aggressive behavior most of them have on. The senior kids of Grade 5th and 6th approached me to teach them for the upcoming tests by themselves, an indeed pleasant surprise for i had to drag the same kids to enter the class till yesterday. I happily readily agreed and taught my first ever proper class of Roman Numerals to Grade 5th and 6th. I actually taught for an one and a half hours without being disturbed, an achievement that only the people who have visited khushi will be able to appreciate. Coming back to the story, as soon as my class ended and i came out to leave for home, 2 small girls Tanjeela and Ujala approached me and hung from my two arms. I told them that i am very tired and i need to go but they asked me to bring my ear closer to their mouth level. I bent down to listen what they had to say, little knowing that the conversation i was going to have would have such an heavy impact on me.
Tanjeela whispered in my ear: “Bhaiyya, please chij le aao( Please get a thing for me) ”
Me: Nai beta, mujhe mana kiya hua hai staff ne( Sorry child but i have been told by the staff to not do that)
Tanjeela and Ujala together: Le aao na bhaiyya, bhuk lag rahi hai bahut( Please get it bhaiyya, we are both really hungry)
Me: Beta, aap guard uncle se mangva lo, mujhe mana kara hua hai( Child, ask the guard to get it, i have been given strict orders against it)
Tanjeela and Ujala: Nai late hai na bhaiyya vo, koi bhi nai lata(He doesn’t get it bhaiyya, in-fact none of them get it for us)
Then they both put on their puppy faces to try to get me to get them the thing. It kinda worked for i asked them what do you want?
Hearing this, Tanjeela put a one rupee coin in my hand and asked me to get a hajmola pouch from the grocery shop across the road. Seeing the 1 rupee coin, i just melted away. I just couldn’t anymore ignore the small request of these tiny tots(Ujala is 6 and Tanjeela 7 years old). I asked them that would your stomachs get filled up with this, they said yes bhaiyya, you please just get it for us.
I went out and bought them the pouch of Hajmola. As i entered and gave them the pouch, i thought they would run and hide somewhere to eat it, but no to my shock, i see them call up two other small girls. They each took out a hajmola piece from the pouch, put it in their mouths, then came and hugged me around my legs tightly and ran away. In a moment, the kids had taught me one of my life’s biggest lessons. They had defined happiness for me. Seeing this innocent act of true love,tears just started flowing out from my eyes and i turned and left( i didn’t want the kids to see my crying, i act all tough and strict in front of them). Throughout, my way back i kept crying. The kids had just shared and got happy at something as small as a 1rs hajmola pouch, while all around me i see adults with all the money in the world, still cribbing, yearning and fighting for more. Their small action had managed to break down the
All my life, 1 rupee was too trifle an amount for me to even care about, the kids today taught me the real value of it. Life is funny isn’t it: In my world, one rupee means nothing while for them it could purchase a moment of bliss which they further made perfect by sharing. Also, i had never to ask my parents twice for anything while these kids have to literally request a stranger to get them something that trivial that too from the little money they had.
There are some moments in your life which just shape you up into the person you are meant to be, this was surely one of them. I hope i can attain that state of mindfulness again, something that as a child each of us is bestowed with. The kids gave me today the little gleam of optimism i so badly needed to hold onto, to drive that cynicism away, far far away. I am going to hold onto it with all i have got. 🙂