It has been a year since I had my first visit to “Chaya Devi”, an NGO working for the public good that not only serves as an orphanage but also as an old age home.
Those were my training days in Infosys, Mysore when I had received my first salary in my first ever bank account. Yes, being a young, independent girl who had already consumed 4 years of her life in a hostel never did have a bank account. That was my first ICICI bank account which got credited on 30th September, a feeling of being grown up to have my own money with my own work. The money that I had in my account was special and that’s when I decided I need to utilize in my best possible way and I got to know about this place: Chaya Devi Anathashram. No, it wasn’t any kind of gratitude I wanted from them or any kind of social service that I would flaunt upon. But it was a feeling. I never thought my mere visit there would change my thoughts forever.
It was a Sunday morning when I had my white shirt on and a pair of blue jeans. I was excited because I didn’t want it to be a visit for donating money; in fact I had no such plans even. The day before I had already enquired about the number of children living there. Sunday morning after getting ready I went to a shop and bought an equal number of chocolates, notebooks, pencils, pens, color boxes, smiley balls and some gifts. I had to make it a memorable day for them. After getting everything I reached there, opened my shoes outside and met the man behind such a cause. I was overwhelmed seeing the cleanliness and discipline in which children used to live there. Initially, I was shy. I didn’t actually know how to communicate as children didn’t really understand Hindi (as I mentioned it was Mysore).
I went there and saw their rooms; the children were so excited to show me their rooms, their beds, some drawings they had made and what they studied. Yes, the man who was behind this had taken all the pain even to educate them. Some girls were just 4-5 years old and very so cute and equally happy to see someone who had brought chocolates for them. Then for lunch everyone sat in a disciplined manner, offered prayers and the food was served by us. We also had our lunch there. Then I went to see other rooms, those were the home for old aged people who were discarded by their family or who had lost everything. That one moment seeing parents, grandparents sitting there, some were knitting, some were having tea, and some had photographs lying next to them. Everyone had that expression of their own children seeing me. My hands were shivering and only a thought crippled, who really did empower us to take away everything from the people who gave us everything. I left the room without a word. I saw the children there who had no one as their family outside, but this is what their family was. I played games with them, gave them notebooks, watched a movie with them and I can say that one day of my first visit to any such place changed me entirely.
We cannot please everyone on this Earth, what we really can do is please ourselves for whatever we are living, for whom so ever we are living is right, is good and is meant to be.
This is me and few of the cute little story tellers, who were just not ready to let me go :D
The children were busy watching Kung Fu Panda!!