It was very humbling experience I had today. As part of the orientation program, today we spent the whole day with an NGO which works with mentally challenged children in Bangalore. The world today is complex and each of us get so entangled and deep rooted in our own personal and professional aspirations that we fail to see that in our same world there exist people who are not as gifted as we are. Even things like logical reasoning, ability to do basic day to day activities and looking at world like we see can be a challenge to many. We tend to feel that our life is somehow insulated from theirs and we have nothing to do with them. Just because they are not our friends or families or acquaintances, we can easily distance ourselves. The same feeling that goes through us when a small child comes knocking on your car door at a traffic signal or when we see homeless people lying on the pavement.
After having spent more than 6 hours playing with these children and trying to understand them, I felt that how even small commitments from people in the society like us can go a long way in making their lives so much better. And believe me it is not the money donation. I think the most valuable gift that one can give is time. It is strange that when we left the place today, each of us realized that we could definitely engage in someway with organizations like these and try to do our bit for the society. However I am equally sure that these feelings would not translate to any action. Most of us would start to live our lives again and start running after material happiness, earning lots of money and being "successful". On our way back one of my colleagues said that he was not sure whether those kids in the school were mentally challenged or we who try to act indifferently are the actually challenged ones. I agree.
Over the course of the day I was overwhelmed to see the innocent joy in the kids and the instant bond they strike up with you. They learnt from us, played with us, and even performed choreographed dance. And to top everything they so easily trusted us. Strange is life....Here is someone who can trust you in an interaction of hours yet wen it comes to us we fail to trust people we have known for years. Anyways I don't know if these strong feelings of mine are going to get drowned in the din of competition, glitter of material gains and inferno of ambitions. Only time will tell.