Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Hey gagan here again....This is not about rain or remotely close but something i hope everybody reads.

I dont think I am very successful in putting everything into words but i sincerely wish it touches your heart like it did to mine.

Every one of us has some kind of inhibitions. Those small absurd things that make you or me a unique identity. I am going to share one of those today. Something I managed to shed over the weekend. The special people. People who are not blessed with things we so carelessly take for granted. Who has the time to ponder over such trivial issues anyway? When we were adolescents, it was about getting maximum stars from the teacher. By high school it was about winning competitions and being the head boy. With entrance exams, it was getting to the topmost rung of the ladder even before the struggle would make an inception.

I searched for the meaning of life. The Holy Google showed me this:

the experience of being alive; the course of human events and activities; "he could no longer cope with the complexities of life"

Hmm, well isn’t that a bit ironical. I’ll tell you how. The only statement that could have been used as an assertion to existence of life actually talks about ending it.

Yes! That’s what life is. An endless endeavor.

Here we are drowned in the seas of emotions. Getting a job or an Ivy League college or whether we make the “CAT” meow.

That’s what clouds our minds. Well my clouds poured their heart out when I went to Samarth the other day. It’s a residential care centre for mentally challenged. Let’s go back to my inhibition. It was how I didn’t want to hurt these kids with my actions and come out as cold and rude because I have so much respect for them. I want to help them but I thought I’d cringe at seeing them. So there I went in, just like a gladiator who enters the coliseum, and stands there waiting with utmost patience thinking he might get devoured any moment soon. Only difference is I did not have a sword or wore heavy armor but was armed with coca cola bottles, pastries, drawing colors to have the best Independence Day celebrations of my life.

As we entered, we hid the stuff in the cupboard and then started drawing with them. I shirked at first, but I had to be strong. There was somebody crying, it seemed like he wanted to cry for some reason or the other. He was like I m crying for the people in Ahmadabad and I was a bit taken aback.Anyway, we went back out. I was told to sit with Seema to help her draw. She would color a bit and then hold it up to show me if she was doing well. I would nod and grin like a wondrous fool. She saw people’s arm getting painted and suddenly drawing was not sport enough. She perched forward and through the sheet away and made a run for the painting area. By then somebody had broken a crayon and another one was laughing hysterically and showing off the tri-color that had embellished her arm. That smile on their faces. Priceless.

Colors and music. Languages of the world. What a wonderful infusion that knows no bounds and needs no comprehension.

As you can guess, we played the music for them. The hyperactive Seema was at it again. She was like I m a “ ganda bacha”. Everybody else was her brother and she would drag them, sometimes with abnormal amount of force, to a dance. Soon people were joining in. Somebody would flail their arms. There was this small girl. All she wanted to do was jump up as high as she could. So I’d hold her arms and up she went. She was quite young too. The reminiscent of my childhood seem to float back. Counting all the stars I had got………….Soon we poured in the colas and served out the pastries.

Everyone ate their share. No stealing, No throwing around, No messing around. They didn’t know the usual etiquettes which we are inborn with but they didn’t do any of that. I was baffled. They’d just come inside the room and if you’d ask them if they want a cola they would take it and go back. Not that we had caught them playing and running away with the bottles in the first place but it was just “shock and awe”. Here were people who were free to play any amount of tricks on us but there were no tantrums to be seen, no traces of disrespect .All they gave was a smile. An honest delicate smile that genuinely felt like a thank you. Out of Samarth there is a selfish cruel world. A devil’s den. A coliseum. Where any moment can be your last.

My inhibition was crumbling. I danced with Seema and was soon pushing people onto the dance floor. The local favorites took turns to play on the stereo. Music filling up the small enclosure. As it spread, it caught hold of them, tight in its clutches, and made them jive. There was a new entrant to Samarth who was not bedazzled by the music’s mystique. She would cry out in a burst at any random instant. While I was lost in my thoughts, this guy tucked on my shirt and said “phell”. I couldn’t understand and my friend was quick to aid me, “He wants your phone.” The guy soon had the phone close to his ears listening to “hum hain is pal yahan” and gave out a beaming smile back at me.By now, I was seema’s brother too and she was giving all of us tight hugs.

Soon people gathered around this guy who didn’t participate in anything .Everybody was coaxing him to sing a song. Every song came to a sudden end. Every shout was shushed. After a long time, he finally broke into some famous actor quotes. Claps ensued. Even the new entrant laughed in her own way and everybody looked in astonishment at her. I was sitting at some distance on a chair looking at him. My bulb glowed. This was his JEE exam. This was his CAT. My eyes gave way to a tear. Inhibition came to a clattering end. There were no jobs for the taking, No salaries to be earned, No professors to please. Just a simple sentence that made him a star.

As soon as that happened, rain began to pelt down. I was still in my own maze. People who care for them. Life’s a bitch.

Soon we packed up our stuff and made a run out for our vehicles. Everybody waved bye. Everyone.

My heart was filled with happiness. The joy of making them smile for few hours is going to be etched in my heart for a long time.