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A special day celebrated with special kids

19th Sep-2009 was Kishu’s 1st b’day without him; I don’t think I have words to express my feelings for this date. Though not a single day goes by without remembering him but then seeing 19th everyday on the calendar of this month has been nothing less than an awful reminder of his absence from our lives. With each day drawing closer to 19th, I was getting restless and I kept on wondering what to do so that we all esp. my mom can survive through this day. Somehow I always fail to find words which can console her, maybe that’s because somewhere within I’m aware that she can’t be consoled. The whole thought of his excitement for his own b’day and then his anticipation with which he would wait for my gift, brings smile as well as tears in my eyes. Really, life has its own cruel ways of dealing with us.

After thinking a lot, I decided to spend this day in an orphanage and celebrate Kishu’s bday along with kids there. Though there are lots of orphanages around but on speaking I found some of them to be too commercial. Thanks to our friends Manish & Vibha who helped us in reaching Mr. Krishna Reddy and his orphanage “Santosh Charitable Trust”. I’ve done charity events as well as donations many times earlier in my life but my experience with Santosh Trust was so different that it definitely deserves a post in my blog.

It’s a small orphanage on Sarjapur Road with 35 kids ranging in age group of 3-15 years; some kids have lost their parents whereas some of them have been abandoned by their parents either due to financial constraints or due to marital issues. The founder Mr. Isaac Raj along with four other trustees is running this place but what makes it different from all other places is the grooming and personalities of kids there. We (me, my husband and another very close couple friends who also showed interest in joining us) went to this place on a Saturday afternoon along with Mr. Reddy & Vibha. Since for all four of us this was the first visit to this place we were not sure what all to take for the kids, after discussing with Mr. Reddy I had taken some gifts, along with cake, sweets and had already spoken to the trust for hosting a special lunch from my side for the kids that day; the other couple friends who were also as enthusiastic as us had bought loads of fruits and biscuits for those kids. I don’t know what all four of us had it in our minds but the first introduction with those kids itself just left us amazed. I mean all of them were so well behaved and spoke with absolute confidence. They were talking in fluent English and had such a smart way of expressing their thoughts. After their introduction we cut the cake on behalf of Kishu and they all sang in unison a birthday song for Kishu. I was crying and at the same time I had this very different feeling in my heart. A small and the only girl in the group came up to me and asked – “didi aap ro kyun rahi hai, apne bhai ke liye? Aapka toh sirf bhai gaya hai, mummy aur itne saare dost toh hai na, humko dekho humara toh koi nahi hai”…Speechless I stared at her blank face and deep eyes, couldn’t say a word beyond stroking her cheeks. Really, life has its own unique ways of communicating with us.

Post having lunch with them, we spent some more time with those kids as well as the founders. They explained us how this charity was formed and how it is running currently, its current state of finances and nearby future needs. For the first time we had encountered some charitable organization who had such a transparent and systematic approach towards managing the whole thing. And the result was obvious in terms of the personality of those kids – REMARKABLE will be one adjective which I think can do some justice to the impact which these kids created on us. While bidding them good bye all of us had this urge on our own to come back here again and do something for those kids. I’m not sure if souls exist but if they do, I’m sure Kishu would have been happy to see his special day being celebrated with those special kids. Thanks to Mr. Reddy and Mr. Isaac for making this day memorable and special thanks to all three friends who joined us so enthusiastically on their own and made it even more special for us.

While going I had this heavy heart in remembrance of Kishu but while coming out I had this peaceful heart in remembrance of Kishu.

Note: Those who would like to know more about this charity can visit and in case you would like to contribute something there, you can either contact Mr. Isaac through the website or can drop me an email and I would put you to the concerned person over phone.

“The Complete Persopolis” & “Marrying Anita”

Thankfully in last few weeks I have actually managed to catch up on some of the long pending readings. Though read quite a few but I think mention-worthy ones are only two – “Persepolis” for I liked it & “Marrying Anita” for I didn’t like it! And considering the reviews and hype, both these books have been there on my reading list for long now.

The Complete Persepolis, Author – Marjane Satrapi:

I simply loved this book. I had watched the movie earlier so, was aware of the story but still went ahead reading it mainly because of my love for caricatures and illustrations. And the book lived totally up to my expectations. Persepolis is an autobiography of Marjane told in a very unique way. It is the story of Marjane’s unforgettable childhood and her constrained life during Islamic Revolution in Iran; of her teenage and high school years in Austria, her dejected life followed by a comeback to Iran; of the contradictions between private and public life of people in Iran due to political influences and societal pressure; of self acceptance and denial of her own life, love, marriage, divorce and finally her self-imposed exile from her own country which she once loved a lot. Before Persepolis, I had very little idea about political conditions of Iran and its repressive environment, this book has given me a different perspective altogether about Iran and its people. In fact lots of incidences esp. the treatment of Iranian women sometimes made me think of British Raj, India before independence and suppressed lives of Indian women for ages, you suddenly find so many things relatable there. What is more beautiful about this book is the way it has dealt with such a serious topic, can you imagine a comic book on as heavy theme as this? Trust me, it’s captivating from start to end and graphics make the reading more interesting so much so that a person like me returned to certain sections just to glance at the visuals again. Kudos to Ms. Satrapi for such a great work and undoubtedly she is a great storyteller! A must read for all and highly recommended book from my side.

Marrying Anita, Author – Anita Jain:

Marrying Anita is a memoir of Anita a 30+ single NRI woman settled in US who travels to India in search of a husband. It starts with Anita’s observations on American dating system vis-a-vis Indian one and her analysis somehow makes her conclude that it would be easier for her to find herself a groom in a more conservative environment like India as against US. Thus starts her year long expedition to Delhi with one focused agenda on plate – MARRIAGE. Well, what in start seems to be an interesting journey actually ends up looking like a desperate excursion. Yeah, desperation is the apt word to explain Anita’s state, now what will you call relationship of a single woman with approx 10 guys in 12 months in a city like Delhi? And at the end none of them were successful. Page after page I kept on waiting for something different to happen but actually it was nothing more than a diary with a monotonous tone and dragging content. Forget about US, somehow description of life in Delhi too never seemed to be relatable. The theme was interesting but then the presentation was too drab, beyond few pages you almost could sense the direction of each chapter. Overall an average read with nothing much to look forward to.

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