Wednesday, 30 July 2008

A place in my heart

Living conditions in India are bad enough generally and there is no difference here, what I am seeing and feeling is the way these people live their everyday lives but this is their truth… their reality and what a reality it is! I’ve not been well past couple of days locked away in my room and it just feels as though I am unable to fight the bugs and weaknesses caused by the hot weather, I have never experienced such ill health as I have these past three weeks. I feel as though god tests are relentless and are forthcoming on a regular basis, its feels easier to say GOD I’ve had enough and your making it harder for me… so GOOD BYE!
Can I?
No… I cannot leave these children without enriching their lives in a little tiny way. But its so difficult and sometimes it does feel as though your not the right person for this especially when the mind kicks in.

That said remember the little girl I mentioned last week, Pooja… well I spoke with her on Monday about what she felt when her friend was being taking by her mother. Her response as felt that was:

“If I had a mummy and pappa they too would take me home and bring me back, but I don’t and I know this”

BANG… the following conversation took place:

Me “well I cannot be either your mummy or pappa, but at any time you feel as though you want a hug or kiss say Deedee (sister) and I will automatically know what you want”
Pooja “but there was another Deedee from abroad who loved me but left me”
Me “ well how about if we both have a place in each others heart, so no matter where we are no one can ever take that from us”
Pooja “are you sure, so are you in my heart?
Me “Yes”
Pooja “Am I in yours?”
Me “Yes”

The smile and the hug I received after that was amazing… her eyes… and the feeling yes I too am loved was truly touching!


They also has a olden folks day where all the ladies from surrounding villages came to show the children how they used to amuse themselves and the daily chores, it was fun trying to make some cotton, to see how fresh yoghurt was made and the dancing was a laugh…

My kids had so so much fun, dancing with everyone else and feeling part of something! I wouldn’t dance as I was taking photos but then could not refuse Shabi who looked at me as though it was the last request of his life… dancing in the heat what an experience not to be forgotten .

Students part of the audience

Students dancing on stage... many more dance scenes to come

I met with the director of academics at miri piri academy last week and its great they are enthusiastic to work with our kids later this year so that will be an exciting time for all. I have not been in school and hoping to go tomorrow and organise our next day out on friday, we will go to the supermarket and take 2 of the crowd gathering.

Til then … God bless us all…

Saturday, 26 July 2008

To take for granted...

Chilling out in the village (pind) I was reminiscing the events of the past week and it made me think about my recent trip New York where I brought back gifts without a moment of thought. How my nephews received, designer tops, timberland boots, puma and Nike trainers, basketball gear and so on... but do they know how fortunate they are? Do we realise how lucky we are? the answer: NO… NO WAY! We simply make money and can so casually purchase items of our choice

Another volunteer/friend from the UK kamal decided to buy the girls at the hostel new outfits…donors pour donations by the bucket full and receiving clothes and personal choice are two different things. How ungrateful we are to our parents who have sacrificed so much so we can have our pleasures? Have we ever thanked them for small mercies?

Speaking of parents I was watching a film today Bhagban and by GOD it makes you realise what our generation is about.

Our parents teach us how to walk, talk and play, they sacrificed their dreams to make ours come true they went to sleep hungry making sure our tummies were full! They fulfilled our every need and desire without a moments hesitation and felt more pain when they could not.


- Why is it a chore for us to provide for our parents when they are unable to do so?
- Why is when they need funds we look at our accounts and frown?
- Why cannot we give them light when they feel darkness of their old age?
- Why are we not their strength when they become weak and fragile?

Especially when we owe our whole lives to them…

At the end of the film the actor made such a valid point about the meaning of relationships developed in this day and age. No longer are they based upon loyalty, honesty and integrity. They are about selfish motives how one can use such relationship to better themselves. Parents are not ladders, the first rung and once used thrown away like old clothes and dirty pots and pans. In fact parents are roots of trees no matter how fruitful or big the tree grows it roots remain the foundation and without them the whole tree is lifeless and futile.

Wow… such a powerful message to us all about our parents! If there is one thing I will NEVER regret it is telling those close to me how much I love them and how much value they have in my life. No one knows our fate and Gods will, so why wait till tomorrow to express your feelings because trust me when I say you never know…

“You may not see that person ever again…”

Friday, 25 July 2008

Our first day out...

My eldest brother who is god sent and holds a very high position in my life, 2nd to my dad sent me some amazing reading. This has really helped in terms of trying to work out what Gods plan for everyone, it is so simple but so immensely difficult to achieve hence why Kabir Ji (a revolutionary saint-poet from Indian history) says only those blessed can really achieve it.

To realise that true happiness and peace is within us and not from an outward source. Many of us including myself search the outside to give us contentment of the mind, body and soul. It is when the materialistic things or family attachments are taken away we have no choice but to go within and realise a higher truth. That truth which so many are ignorant and choose not to believe, the question here is why?

Maybe is has something to do with fear or maybe even denial.

Speaking of ignorance my first day out with my kids with special needs was so cool, not literally! We went to the golden temple and grab a bite to eat…the kids loved it – to feel some value and respect seemed such an alienated concept, but the glint in their eyes well…. What can I say! I loved every second of it and the bearing with the hot weather made every moment worth it.

I think I am used to people glaring at me for whatever reason but today we had crowds of people stopping to look at me and the kids! Why????

All sorts of questions were firing in my mind…are these not children of God? Do they not have that spark of light from the divine flame? Are they not human beings like all of us and deserve respect and love?

I thought U.K was bad but this was beyond words, in fact I was shocked it felt as though people were asking: why are these people here? What is she doing with those children… oh my god what’s happening here!!!! I even saw fear in a womans eyes when she saw one of my kids with Downs Gurpal, she grabbed her daughter and let out a little scream! I was like he’s smiling he means no harm so why would you do that… did that phase Gurpal? Hell no he just giggled oblivious and folded his hands to everyone he walked passed. I was also surprised to how people received his gestures… with a smile and reciprocated his folded hands gesture so it wasn’t all bad I guess…

Some of the kids in the hostel are deaf and go back home every 4th weekend, this next incident pierced through my heart and I was in tears when I recollected to someone I met earlier… a number children were so happy to be going home they were talking about it for days and you knew exactly what their bright eyes and smiles were awaiting. A little girl ran into her mothers arms knowing she was going home, it was the girl behind her that grabbed my attention her eyes were screaming emotion – who was going to take me home? Where is my mummy? Oh man… this you could say was one of my most helpless moments… the image of her eyes will remain with me for the rest of my life…

I am finding as the days go by that there is more and more heartache and pain, centering myself has been my priority and I remember my dads words on a daily basis and now know exactly what he meant when he said:

“You cannot light another’s path if your own is not lit”

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

The journey truly begins...

Now that all the posts are updated…I can breathe…

Things happen for a reason we all know that… for example; My nephew Aaron wrote a heart warming email a day after I left but I could not access it until I had been through the mill, his words lifted me and reminded me why I was here. My brothers have also given me strength beyond words they are my rocks and a true blessing from God! Even my darling Bhuaa Ji called at a time where I was feeling depleted so I have to hang on to such heartwarming and comforting words from friends and family. I have noticed I have been approaching my experiences on an emotional which have caused both conflict, pain and frustration – my focus needs to be bring light and hope into peoples lives …

I got online yesterday yes the wireless connection in Amritsar... from the luxury of my room! What a mad few days … I have been biten by the dreaded Indian mosquito’s the one night I did not apply my boots 50% deet lotion.. TYPICAL! I’ve also had the flu over the weekend, yea like an mad woman was in 40 degrees hot weather and then stood right in front the air conditioning unit... also been having severe headaches again due to the weather...Saying that I have been blessed over the past week and half, my sanctuary of peace and stillness has been in the Golden Temple, where I try my utmost to visit everyday! This is truly a life saver where I feel that someone is walking with me and has his hand on my head. There is no doubt its extremely hard here, guess I didn’t think it would be! Away from my family is one thing but being surrounded by kids 24/7 in the heat…you surrounded by the body heat and humidity the mind gets agitated but its vital not to let me mind control things… but how hard is that?

The kids are truly brilliant and certainly remind me daily to why I am here… their smiles, the innocent love in their eyes and not to mention the vibration of their pure spirits.

Me and lovely Kirandeep... her smile would never convince you she is in a world of silence!

I have been working within special needs department where we identified what is going to be needed… Its going to be such a magical experience to see these kids grow and blossom, we are introducing a specialised language designed for children with special educational needs. We are doing a pilot study with 4 students and then god willing set precedence for the rest of the class.

Sabhi, Gurpal, Me, Pinky and Yashoda

We are going for a our 1st outing on Friday its going to be very interesting – We are also devising some training materials for the staff to give an insight to certain subjects within the complex - education for all on various levels alongside being part of the SMS project where deaf children can text and communicate via mobile phone…This is a real exciting time but that said I have yet to get my routine and structure in place which again is proving to be difficult but all in good time I guess.

Until another few days…

My love

Friday, 18 July 2008

climate change... :-(

Not been a good few days I will be going back home to the family (village) I have had tummy problems and heatwave. This is crazy weather where people who live here cannot handle the heat so god knows how I am coping. Well I’m not… I have been on a rice and dhal diet which is nasty after eating it three times a day… URGH!! I so miss my Chinese and Italian food and it’s only been a week. Seems I have been here a lifetime… had to wash my own clothes too… ok I tried but the girls helped me…The washing machine is in the boys’ hostel so again Gods giving me another challenge to face. That said I met a lovely man RP uncle ji who works in the deaf school, it was so refreshing to speak to someone passionate about his work after being in the Punjab army for 32 years he now does sewa at the school.

I’d be lying if I said this is not tough but then I received a couple of messages to keep me going…again on the wall:


And I was lucky to get another:


Monday, 14 July 2008

My 1st day at School...

What was to be an enjoyable 1st day turned out to be a test beyond my comprehension. No matter how much you try and prepare nothing can I mean NOTHING could have prepared me for what I endured today. GOD was truly relentless in terms of showing me everything in one go, I’d like to think I am a strong person for what I have seen in life but with much effort I tried not to cry on three separate occasions. I was given a tour of the Women’s, Men’s and Children’s ward, even as I type this I am distressed remembering the images that will remain with me for a life time. Some were awaiting death, others oblivious to their surroundings and another given birth and has no recollection of her baby.

I repeated profusely like a mantra “I would not be here if GOD did not think I could handle this”.

This has lead to the questions of my ability: Am I really ready for this? Can I really handle this? Am I the right person? Time will tell.

On a lighter note I went to the Special Needs department there is so much work to be done, its going to be an amazing challenge and journey. I was speaking to a young lady who gave me a tour of the wards – she was born here within Pingalwara her mother was admitted whilst pregnant, she had been brought up like a daughter then Biji conducted her marriage and now she has a gorgeous little girl. She also works in the special needs department in the complex which was so heartwarming.

The children are amazing and there is so much unconditional love around but its about tuning in and channeling it appropriately.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

My KING size room...

After spending a few days with family I was ready to settle into what was to be my home for the 6 months. Long term stay has now been changed from staying in the guest house (short term use) to the girls accommodation. I was in a huge room, 4 times the size back home and there was definitely NO walking corridor through the room (for those who know exactly what I mean :-P). anyway I was welcomed with open arms by a few of the girls which was great I was too scared to sleep alone in a huge room not to mention Indian LIZARDS… I cannot stand them! I ended up staying with 2 girls, they were both abandoned - one at the tender age of 3 months at a train station and the other when she was 3 years old roaming the streets. Their smiles would light up any room and the love they crave is just something we all take for granted.

When asked what do you think would have happened to you if you were not here?

We would have been killed.

Now what do you say to that?

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Arrived on india soil

Arriving here in India you smell the air as soon as you get off plane. My meeting with the president Bibi Inderjit Kaur also known lovingly as Biji of Pingalwara was great, my role and Sewa (selfless service) was discussed in greater detail there is much being done and so much more to do. I was taken around the museum where I found that the first person with a disability was carried on the founders Bhagat Puran Singh Ji’s back all the way from Lahore to Amritsar. I don’t believe in coincidences and the mans name was PIARA SINGH my daddy ji’s name so I ultimately knew I was meant to be here.

From a young age my dad has always been my inspiration, he has taught me everything I know and not to mention his wisdom has been passed to all his children. Dad always taught us about being good human beings that is the 1st step of spirituality then religion can be embraced when one is ready.

Dad as most people know is my best friend, my father and my spiritual guide or Guru however you wish to term it, he fills our hearts with love and gives us faith to believe dreams and aspirations are possible. Where the sky is the limit and the only person holding you back is you… so with that said messages in whatever form have been part of my live since I can remember, messages come in all forms and from anywhere if your open to them. For example: when you have asked a question from your heart and you know it could make or break you – someone out of the blue gives you the answer, or you read a article in a newspaper and so on ...there it is God or a higher consciousness is communicating… be open and then you know where it came from…

There are many quotes and passages written on the walls and doors of pingalwara and my message from the man upstairs to welcome me here was:


I don’t know what awaits my fate here only God can show me the way!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Good byes!

I must say I am very blessed to have born in such a loving family and have beautiful friends. I had a number of good bye meals and outings with everyone which was so so cool…I received such heartfelt messages you can but only feel blessed. My good byes were sad and upsetting I knew I was loved but how much I guess I underestimated – being at the airport with my family touched my spirit to and confirmed that I have been dutiful in my roles as a daughter, sister and bhua ji (aunty). Words cannot even describe the feeling of pleasure and pride when your family bid farewell and the messages they send through their eyes.

I can only hope my journey to India will inspire other like minded people to follow their hearts and passion for what they believe. This trip will be about realisations of life and the beyond.

I will miss everyone dearly

Heartfelt Thanks to all in my life!