One of my strongest learning in Khushi so far has been the value of keeping one’s word. I have learnt that a person’s reputation is built only and only by one’s ability to follow up one’s words with action. I had heard this truth before but as they say a truth isn’t a truth unless you experience it for yourself for only then would you truly understand it. When i had entered Khushi, i had noticed a lot of animosity from the kids side in trusting me esp. when they saw me approaching with love. I thought of it as being very rude on their part and felt that the kids were really spoilt. However, over months as i gained the depth in me to understand them better, i.e. to be able to see beyond what’s just visible and actually see where it’s coming from, i began to see from where this lack of trust towards new people emerged from.
These kids have mostly been picked up from the streets of Delhi and they harbor a deep yearning within for staying with their parents(not that they are staying against their wish, just that they would be more happier if they were with their parents). This is where it starts, they feel let down by their parents who are unable to take proper care of them. Then on top of that, every few days someone visits them at their home and out of sympathy offers to do things for them. These people mostly volunteers, who are all well-intentioned people, rarely realize how tough it is to follow out on the promises that they make so easily to the kids. Countless such promises have been broken for the kids and thus, arises the animosity for anyone they see making new promises.
I was however. able to gain their trust by really trying hard and passing through most of the tests they set out, trust me, they really push a person to his limits just to check to what extent would he/she go for them. I had made myself a solemn promise that i will never ever break the trust that they had so carefully placed on me, i didn’t want to give them another reason for being angry with the world.
I broke that promise yesterday(Saturday,09 March). The kids have their final exams in school on and they are totally reliant on me for helping them out with their preparation. Sabiya had her Science and Kajal had her Maths exam on the 11th. They had made it very clear to me that they wanted me to come on both Saturday and Sunday as they were really weak in these subjects. However, i let my own inconsistency come in the way of my promise, i have been occupied all week with the thoughts of my next step post the fellowship. I let my own selfishness, my thoughts and fear of the future come in the way of my duty towards them. I put myself first and broke the trust they had so carefully placed on me. When i went to the home today on Sunday, they just fought childishly with me and didn’t even utter a single word on how badly they had felt let down by my absence but i could see it clearly in their eyes. For the remaining duration of the day, i wasn’t able to look them in the eye.
I know 2 months from now i will look at this as an important learning but thinking about it now, i hate the fact that i let my inconsistency affect the people who had placed their utmost faith in me. This learning has come at such an high price, a price that my kids had to pay. I hate myself for this and i promise that i will set it right by working twice as hard for the time that i have left. I really hope i can redeem their trust and love again. This learning is like a tight slap across my face and has surely emphasized just how important it is to keep one’s word and also, how risky it is to flirt with hope, one can’t just go out and make people believe by showing them sparks of change and hope and not live upto it, this will only do more damage than good.
I am really sorry Kajal and Sabiya and I promise both of you that i will do whatever it takes to be able to look you into the eye again.