Dombivali is a place which I visit frequently, not because I love travelling by local trains or enjoy wasting my precious time waiting in a long queue to get the ticket from Kanjurmarg railway station but because there is one place which I love to visit. It’s an orphanage (I wish to keep the name of the orphanage confidential) – home to about 40 children right from the age of 1 day to about 8 years, 5 caretakers and a woman in charge of the entire place.
The moment you enter the orphanage, you tend to feel both happy and sad at the same time when you see children playing, fighting with each other, crying, laughing, cribbing about certain things (like who’s better: guys or girls?), dancing, and so on.
These children are really talented; some of them good at singing and some good at dancing and some just have enough talent to wink at girls! Simply observing their talent makes you feel happy and you wish you could spend as much time with them as possible.
If there is one occasion that gives me a lot of happiness and which I look forward to most, it has to be this activity. I feel I am born to spend at least a quarter of my life with these children.
It is a well-known fact and was further reiterated in my management class that every person has a ‘naturalchild’ inside of him and in my case it’s so strong that if someone happens to extricate that natural child out of me, I would probably die.
When you give serious thought to this situation, some hard hitting questions arise. It’s synonymous to getting hit on the head by a hammer; the only difference is you bleedinternallyandnotexternally. There are questions like ‘What did these little angels do to deserve this?’, ‘What would happen when these children grow up and get ready to face the world which is outside this cocoon?’ ‘Would people like us treat these children in the same way they would treat any other child, irrespective of any religious/social divide?’ and themostimportantand unworldly question of all is ‘How can the Omni power be so unfair to these children? Aren’t these children like all other children?
I think if I ask these questions to myself, I may get the answers.
After visiting this place quite a few times, I realized that most of the children are left to fend for themselves either because the family did not have financial means to take care of them or they just abandoned them. In some cases, the parents just didn’t have the experience to raise a child and had to give them up for good.
It is unfortunate how these children are in a ripe age but have already lost a significant part of their childhood hey had no one to give them a name, no one to understand and care for them, no one to take them out, and no opportunity to go to school.
None of us liked it when our parents reprimanded us for not studying properly, when we made blunders, when we fought with our siblings or friends, when we didn’t listen to them but there was a concern behind every word that they said. Secretly, there were two drops of tears shed for every tear of oursand there was an unsaid, unwrittenpromise that they would take care of us at every juncture of our lives no matter what their condition. These children are lacking all those words of care, anger, love and all the feelings that parents express towards their children.
Visiting the orphanage is a life changing experience and you start appreciating the little things in life when you see people who don’t have them. Only at such times do you tide over the insignificant and immaterial things and appreciate the bigger picture.
I feel extremely fortunate that I HAVE MY PARENTS WITH ME, THESE LITTLE ANGELS DON’T.
Batch of 2011-13
Edited by Riddhima Sharma