It was not a normal day in our lives. This journey was something different. The roads, the beach and traffic, everything seemed to be different. Waking up early was never our thing, but last night we couldn’t sleep a wink. This journey is very special. Because it is a journey into the lives of children, children who are alone, children who are deprived, children who are waiting for the ray of hope.
PAPA Home was such a hope for all those children, a ray of sunshine which brought light into their dark lives. We went around the home. It was not just a home, it was a home filled with happiness and a home for support. As we were walking around we saw the home director having an interactive session with the children to know their problems. The kids were very active and they were quite vocal about their problems.
“The thought of studying the life of these kids is a good initiative. When you are talking to them please do not make them feel they are alone or that they are lacking in any way. They need support but not sympathy. The wages we get for this service is in terms of the happiness and satisfaction of every child present here. Imagine the feeling when you were the reason for the smile on their face. That is enough for us. So I would not be happy to find out that something has caused the discomfort to these children.” President of PAPA home told us.After listening to his words we were lost in our thoughts and sat down in silence. Those words made us think and retrospect. Some voices broke into our thoughts and startled us. We looked at the door to see a lanky guy dressed in the standard dress code, knocking.
“May I come in madam?” he said, and it looked like it was not the first time he was saying those words either.
We asked him to come in. He folded his hands and stood in front of us with a smile. “Be the reason for a smile on their face “, those words echoed in our ears. We asked him to sit but he refused and said he was more comfortable standing. But we made him sit beside us. His name was “ Siva “, he was studying in 9th class in the nearby government school. His favourite subject was English. He asked us to ask the questions in English. He replied to them in English too. He wanted to become a Mechanical Engineer. We asked him what would he do if he becomes a Mechanical Engineer.
“I would make a car which runs automatically without the need for any human support. With just one instruction itself, it would take you to the destination“ he replied to us confidently.
“Who told you that a mechanical engineer will do these things? “
“When I am in 6th, a person came to visit us. We asked him what is he doing. Then he told us about the mechanical engineer. From then I was fascinated about that and decided it as my goal.” He replied.
“What is your utmost wish? “, we asked him out of utmost curiosity.
“ Living my life happily and making people around me happy, this is my only wish, “ he said.
This kid who was just 13 boggled our mind and impressed us with his answers. We also got to know how visitors like us could make an impact or inspire them. Siva was an example for that. He loves singing and dancing. He then introduced us to his friends Manoj, Kiran, Narasamma. Everyone there had a goal, one wanted to become a police whereas one wanted to become a doctor. They also showed the craft works they made. They shared their thoughts, ideas, dreams and even their nicknames. Time just flew as we sat there talking to them. And when leaving they called us and asked
“What do you people do?”
We looked at each other and explained them about our studies and waved a goodbye. While we were going back home we stopped at a traffic signal. There we saw an old man sitting in the hot sun. We went to him keeping our vehicle at some distance. We enquired why he was sitting in the hot sun. He couldn’t hear us. Using some signs we tried communicating with him. Then he told us that his name was Das. He was born and brought up on roads. This footpath was his home. Prasads in the temple was his daily diet. Tears started rolling down our eyes after listening to his story. How could a man spend his whole life without shelter? If Das has had guidance like how Siva did, he would have been in another position.
They are the lone rangers who always struggle to live their life. Happiness is what they strive for. For them, sympathy is not the weapon to win the war, its support which will keep them on winning side. They brought a remarkable change in our thoughts, in our ideas, in our visions.
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