Hope each of you is having a wonderful day. Yes, I just heard that. Its 8 in the evening and I am in no mood start preparing dinner yet. I have been at home the whole day just sleeping, which, I am sure every working mother would like given a holiday. Thanks to the systems that did not work, else it would be another routine day. After taking an evening stroll, I stopped for a small chat with my owner who offered wonderful ginger tea in closed doors while a small storm swept pushing sand indoors leaving the roughness under feet. At home, I browsed through the regular stuff and few pictures that I wanted to share. That is when, I reminded myself about this post which I decided to write.
“Contentment today is the vanished word”. How many of us realize this?? Many of us who are from developed, rather I prefer to call the so called planned economies will appreciate and feel privileged for what we are, at the end of this write up.
As part of voluntary program organized by my company, I chose to visit with few others a school to organize sports day. Like most other corporate firms, we have tied up with couple of NGO’s who contribute in multiple ways by catering to varied needs depending on the function. “Reaching Hands” as it is called has adopted around 40 or more government schools covering a fixed area in Bangalore. On a Saturday, I reached this school which was at a close proximity from home. There was no clear sign board that read the school address, so I ended up making few calls before finally locating this government run school. It was a pale Yellow colored building with not more than 10-12 rooms in total. As usual, I was early and searched for a playground where the sports day was conducted. I parked my Activa and decided to have a chat while waiting for others. It was lunch time, quite evident with my very first step in the premises, where I could see the children sitting on the ground in their individual groups in circles having food. I had to rewind memories from school, sitting in a huge playground in similar circles, under big old trees that gave generous shade. My very first sight was not pleasing, as I saw water flowing from the wash room close by, that did not leave a nice smell. I really wished these little ones could have had better facilities. As I walked past these little groups in and out of the classroom, locating office where teachers were ready for lunch, my eyes could not miss out the attractive colorful walls filled with charts, most of it written in Kannada (local language in Karnataka). I knew how talented these little ones were and wished to know more of their work. Unfortunately, I could not speak to teachers who were busy sharing each other’s delicacies, a common practice.
In the mean time, one by one all the volunteers arrived. We were then informed, that the school did not have any playground and they use a vacant land, situated about 7 minute walk from the school as their play ground. How devastating? I was getting aggravated and fuming about the whole situation, yet had to contain it for at least; they do have a play area.
As I saw the children lined up, bare footed, yet, all excited to go the ground; I thanked God in my heart for all that he gave me. Just the way ants line up, the little ones started heading through the small lanes and prickly uneven roads scattered with stones, to a ground that did not delight me. It was a construction site. One end was construction progressing and the other uneven, more aptly only a pathway for trucks to pass by. This pathway was their playground. I felt sorry for the children, for my school had more than 1 playground. Yet, to me, most fascinating part was the percentage of these motivated young ones who turned out to participate. While all the volunteers had a 10 minute meeting to decide how the events were about progress and divide the responsibility, children were busy in their groups. Cricket, kabbadi, relay, running race and dodge ball were planned. I was responsible for conducting dodge ball along with another volunteer. I ought to say it was indeed a privilege to watch these young ones in happiness, regardless of shortcomings.
All the events went on for about 2 hours before everyone assembled for the prize distribution. Isn’t it the most exciting part of any event? We, I especially mean the children had to wait for their headmistress to do the honors, soaking unwillingly in the hot sun right in the mid day. The unwillingness that I experienced for them probably went waste, for; I did not see a single frown on either the students or the teachers face. I again thanked God for all that he gave me.
Alas, children’s wait ended with principal’s arrival and much awaited prize distribution kicked off. It was indeed the best moment for me see so many happy faces and may possibly relate why I was being happy though I am not winning any trophy or medal. Prizes distributed were needy and useful stuff for daily purposes; that included color pencils, story books, drawing book, trophy, sports items for school. Based on the event and number of participant, prizes were given away and I proudly assisted in assigning and distributing them. Thankfully we were not short of them. Instead, there were special prizes given away. That was indeed icing on the cake.
I feel fortunate, are you?