We reached at 10 and waited outside, sitting on the cool floor shaded from the sun as we saw a bus arrive. I noticed these happy, absolutely glowing children run out of the bus, all smiles.
They weren’t misbehaving, they were even standing in a straight line without being told to but you could see they were waiting to go wild.
As they walked inside and sat in a circle while everyone was greeted and a couple of songs were sung, just to break the ice, they introduced themselves one by one, shy and apprehensive at first but the effects of the wonderful people at Manav Sadhna was starting to grow on these kids.
Later, they played a couple of indoor games and then went outside to play some ball. Obviously, the kids were very fascinated by the camera and ran up to us and waited patiently for someone to take their photo. They ran around, including us in their games, having none of the inhibitions an adult would have. They were just so full of love.
Back inside they took part in some arts and crafts, they made origami frogs that actually jumped, and when I tried my hand at making the frogs jumped and didn’t succeed, they laughed at me just like they have known me for years.
Though I didn’t go back later at night, I know they watched a movie and I can only imagine the wonderful expressions on their faces, sitting in fascination as they watched some funny film, laughing like children, children who are absolutely fine and lead a normal life, contrary to what someone who doesn’t know them would think.
Its wonderful how these kids don’t even know they have AIDS and that no counselling is given to them till the age of 12.These kids just know something is wrong, they don’t know what. And it was great to see them so carefree.
Yesterday taught me a lesson too. It taught me to love kids no matter what they’re going through and put them before their situation, to not determine them from their experiences because they still have so many wonderful experiences still to come and spread happiness in their lives.
Contributed by: Megha Bhaduri
Megha is currently volunteering with MAM Movies for the Summer. She is a second year design student , specializing in Digital Video Production at Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore. She enjoys creating videos, exploring google maps, reading on history, geography and diaspora issues. Her interest is in understanding how something is done and her work centers around random themes about which she feels strongly.