Sunday, 22 March 2009

Holi - Festival of Colours

It was my first ever Holi, the festival of colour. I was under the impression that the kids played with lots of colour every year this however wasn’t the case! They were given some colour and played within their individual hostels! Well that was about to change, we ordered bags of colour, water pistols, water balloons and not to forget the big tubs! It was crazy and so fun to be part of!

The best of it was the kids expressions, smiles, laughter – Is was beautiful and to top it all off it was so heart warming t o see the special needs kids playing with everyone else, this again for the 1st time coming together without hesitation! It feels so good to be part of breaking the divide between the kids from the hostel and my special needs. Its not at all their fault but their environment and the staff that are employed from outside Pingalwara, they need to be de-sensitised to the fact that our children with special needs too do what all the other children do, from playing with colour, to dancing, from singing to playing games.

I remember the time when Gopi from the special needs school was going to give Gagan a hug, Gagan moved so fast and her face pale, when asked why she reacted in such a manner her response: “I was scared?”

But scared of what? This is what results are achieved when children are not exposed and educated.

My reply : She's smiling and so are there is NOTHING AT ALL to be afraid of!

Friday, 20 March 2009

1st time EVER!

Their first ever view of Darbar Sahib In six years Sona and Mona have not once been to Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) even when I was here for 6 months but to convince Biji but it was so difficult, she knows better than anyone about the crowds and their reactions. So after the 4th request I stopped asking, but in my hearts of hearts I wished I could take them. Then after more persistence I was allowed and my wish granted although they weren’t allowed Inside the main hall, that was good enough for me, at least they were able to come. They were so excited and spirits lifted they were on top of the world and it was my blessing to be part of…they actually said:

“Didi everyone has promised for years and years but you were the only one who took us”

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Back with the Kidz

What a feeling to be with the kids especially when they didn’t have a clue I was coming, it was so so touching. My cousins from Canada were down too and they were totally blown away by the kids reaction. I’m staying at the guesthouse this time it felt it was the right thing to do and the girls also have exams. Haven’t really spent much time with them most of my time has been spent with Sona, Mona and Chetan naturally as they too reside here in the guest house. The work has continued and the teachers are so great they are eager to help and develop these children which so vital. To have the right staff is absolutely imperative, so it was a true blessing to see the work being carried out. Biji even has them working extra hours in the sensory rooms for the little ones from the children ward, they love it in there. I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart my dear friend Sandeep and the Philadelphia Gurudwara who sent the tactile tub from the USA. It was so cool to see such toys and that will aide the kids senses too. Its amazing what a piece of foil can do – we’ve sown the seeds and time will tell how they will blossom…Cant wait!

Well my main reason for coming back was to make sure the kids knew I wasn’t another person who was NOT coming back, loving them for set amount of time and never returning back to see them. I know its cleche’ to say I told them ample times I am in their hearts forever but it’s the truth and they needed to know I would be back and I am.

If I’m honest I do feel disappointed that I wasn’t given the chance to go back for good but then God has a plan and its not always according to what we want and think we need. Guess God has a much greater advantage than us mere mortals who are just trying to makes ends meet.
I can only thank him from the depth of my soul for giving me this opportunity in the first place, for allowing me to experience unconditional love to its rawest form that I can cherish for the rest of my life.
Another huge life long lesson and been about (trying to) surrender to his WILL, at times this is very difficult and I’d be lying if I said it was mastered… far from it! The mind creeps in and becomes normal rather than spiritual and then questions everything about life and its direction.

I am trying to use this back home too but it’s a lot more difficult especially being in the environment I am and the people I am working with. The only way forward is I am doing HIS work and if he chooses to put obstacles in front then so be it. Its also made me think about my perspective about life, whilst here it was as though I’d accepted my life and not wish to settle into a married life and giving my whole life to the kids. Taking Chetan away for the few days the realization was I wanted the motherly feeling permanently not just a few months in the year but I still don’t know what the plan is.

That said I remember the kids running as fast as they could when they saw me again, had to tell them all to calm down make a queue and that hugs, kisses and love are never ending and enough to go round. Giving them hair clips gave them so much happiness it was crazy – what seems a little gesture to us means so much to them.
It was crazy Gagan is so obsessed by me, it so funny she has my photos plastered all over her walls in her room, she kept so many little things I gave her, empty chocolate boxes and boots witch hazel bottles, body and hair products MAD, but it means so much to her which maybe I will never be able to appreciate.