Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Funday Sunday

The volunteer group with the kids. 
I had recently gone for a volunteer event held by an organization in Abu dhabi. The event was specially held for the specially challenged children to just play and have fun. We, the volunteers were asked to help them out in times of difficulties. I had a lot of fun running around and playing soccer with those kids that were purely innocent. They were not afraid to speak their mind. And somehow, that made them superior to all the other "normal" people. They were truly special. 

One boy, I believe his name is "Gaiz", was the center of attention for quite some time. And her is why...

He was kicking a ball when suddenly, he placed his right palm on his chest and slowly sat down. For a fraction of a second, we all were silent. Ours eyes widened as we looked at each other. As soon as reality hit, all the volunteers ran towards him and crowded around him. We could see the pain in his face. His eyes were tightly shut and he was breathing heavily. two girls ran to get help. while the others remained to try and help him out.

Within a moment, a man who had come with the special needs children came forward due to the chaos that was around the boy. He asked us to move and then sat cross legged next to the boy. The boy still looked in pain but the caretaker didn't seem to mind. After a while which seemed to be so long due to our fear, the caretaker poked him slowly and asked "Over?"

The painful curve in the boy's face turned into a smile. He opened his eyes and started laughing. He was up within a moment and back to running with the ball.

The 12 volunteers stood there dumb-founded. A minute ago, there was a boy with a possible heart attack and now he was happily playing with the ball. The caretaker, who spoke very little English, comforted us. He said, "He was joking. Always joking."

The boy had fooled us.

Around half an hour later, he fell again, but this time, we all laughed nervously hoping that he was just joking.

Yes. He was still joking.

The boy lying down is the heart attack faker.
And that's me behind him. =)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

What's your story?

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms” ~ Muriel Rukeyser

Trains are my most cherished mode of transport. This is due to a variety of reasons including the freshness, companionship and speed of the mode. Last year, during my vacation in India, I happened to board a train to go to Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. It was a 6 hours journey and thus we had chosen the sleeping compartment. This is not the normal metro train you see in this modern age. I am talking about century old trains running on steam engines (like the Hogwarts express).

I occupied the top bunk which was reserved for me earlier. After all the lights went out, everything fell into silence and all I could hear were the rustling of the train engine and the white noise of the wheels turning on the rails. As I started twisting and turning to get some sleep, I noticed some light emission on the opposite bunk. Since I wasn't getting any sleep, I turned to gawk at the person. It was dark and staring in the dark is licit. The light suddenly went off and the person started talking.

Inside the train. 

"Urangiyo da?" (did you sleep, my dear?). By his sound, I assumed he was a man in around his 20s.

 "I'm sorry", he said again. I could hear notes of regret and sadness in his voice. This was followed with some murmurs and nods. 

I must have fallen asleep somewhere in between because the next time I looked, 4 hours had passed and the man was no longer in his bunk. He must have gotten off at some station. I cursed myself for falling asleep. I wanted to know what the man looked like. Did he have a beard? Was he tall? Did he have black eyes?

Unanswered questions kept popping in my mind. I felt uneasy and curious. I wondered who he was talking to. Maybe a lover? What is his story? Does he have a lot of friends?

For the next few days, these thoughts clouded my mind. Every person I looked at, I looked at differently. Every one has a story. Every one has their baggage. I don't know the story of the man that occupied the bunk next to mine. But I'm sure he has a novella of a story to say. 

Every train journey has a story to tell. For some time, we all are a part of the same journey to our final destination. Some may live while some may perish... and that's their story. 

Has there been an incident that has changed your perspective?

What's your story? Find it, tell it, share it and celebrate it.