Sr No. 182
Diwali, X’mas, Eid, New Year, Pongal, etc, are not the only days for giving.
My friends Ankita & Himanshu every year on their son’s (Ayan & Ahan) birthdays in Dec, and on her own birthday in Nov, calls me up – “…. RakBak, let’s celebrate this coming birthday with ….” They are amongst those many people who reaffirmed my belief that religious festivals are not the only day many people ‘reach out’.
Moreover, when they donated a bicycle on their sons’ birthdays two years ago, they ensured Ahan & Ayan were present while the bicycle was handed over to the beneficiary, the Dhobi; so that they get sensitised towards the less fortunate from their formative years itself, and hopefully continue doing so when they leave the parent’s nest when adults.
In Dec 2016 when we visited Jerbai Wadia Hospital for children at Parel, on Ahan & Ayan’s birthday, they handed gifts to each child or parent in the wards. I think there were around 200 kids.
Btw, the gifts included something for taste, health and the mind; apple, chocolate and colouring book & crayons. Ankita and her maid a day before packed the gifts in pretty packs. It took them more than an hour to do that and when she mentioned that to me I reminded her that’s the amount of time we take to get ready for a wedding or other formal occasions when we want to come across as amazing looking peeps, so really no big deal ya. She agreed one hundred percent! 🙂
The fruit seller and stationery seller did their bit too, they offered her a good discount when she mentioned it’s for less privileged children admitted in a hospital. So they too are contributors to this occasion, just like her maid is who helped her pack the goodies the night before.
I posted these two pictures from the two wards (they have many wards and each ward is named after an animal) only to showcase that some hospitals for under privileged children can be a pretty place to visit. Many people avoid going to hospitals meant for the poor as they fear they will encounter things not so beautiful, including very ill children or adults.
Yes, naturally so, we are not trained to see pain and suffering. It was difficult for even Ankita and me to see the condition of some of the children, but, I think it’s a reality check for me once in a while to count my blessings and be grateful for what my parents, my body, the universe has gifted me.
The smiles on the face of some children and their parents made it worth the time we all contributors invested in our happiness that day. Happy birthday Ahan & Ayan. I did not ask Ahan and Ayan how they felt doing this, celebrating their birthday with these children because some things are best left unsaid and these experiences will settle in their subconscious and be available to them on demand someday in the distant future.
Beneficiaries of help: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.357090647765413&type=1