14 April, 2011

Fly like paper, get high like planes.

Some days, you know, you are so happy that nothing can ruin it. And the best part about such days is that they are never planned.



One of them was yesterday.

As usual, I struggled to wake up and get out of the bed in the morning. I was super late, so skipped breakfast and ran to the station. And guess what, the trains were late too.
When I reached my destination eventually, it turned out someone already did my part of the work. Which is good but I went all the way there only to return immediately.

On my way home, in the train, my mom called and asked me if I wanted to come to her school. She is the head teacher at a Kannada school. So, I got off the train at the next station and took another one to get to her school.
It is situated in Dharavi. It is a government-aided school and most of the students are from the nearby slums.

I entered the office room and was greeted by three super cute kittens. Next thing I know, the students in the adjoining classroom start singing Vande Mataram, followed by other prayers. They even said the ‘India is my country’ pledge but in Kannada.
So I peeped inside the classrooms, there weren’t many students. Hardly nine or ten combining both first and second standard classes. These days, parents prefer sending their kids to English medium schools.

The classrooms were tiny with tiny benches and tinier desks. Charts were hanging in the walls. All in Kannada. Nothing made sense to me. I don’t understand Kannada. Even my parents sent me to an English medium school.

It was their second last day in school before summer vacations. Their exams were done, they had just come to school to, well, waste time.
My mom asked me to draw something on the board - nothing very difficult because the kids won’t be able to copy it. So I drew a car, a joker, an apple, a pineapple and grapes. Which turned out pretty decent. The kids drew them, coloured the pineapple blue, the apple green and the grapes yellow.

I don’t know why, but those kids found me very fascinating. They stared at me. Everywhere I went, their eyes followed me. And when I looked at them, they just gave me giant smiles.
Then, I borrowed a slate from a girl, and doodled something with chalk. The kids kept jumping around me to see what I was drawing.

In the second half of the day, the kids sang songs. Of course, I couldn’t understand because most of them were in Kannada. And they were all clapping, tapping, dancing while singing. They sang a few English songs too, something about potato wadas with many sound effects.
Then, one by one, each student went to the front of the class and sang songs. One girl sang and danced to the Madhuri Dixit song - channe ke khet mein. We all clapped and cheered.

I taught them to make a dog using marble paper. It was super easy and they got all excited. There were pink dongs, yellow dogs and even green and purple ones.
Then my mom – their teacher – left the room and we kids were all alone in the classroom. I taught them to make paper planes and we flew them around in the class. Red, yellow, green, pink, purple, orange air planes everywhere. It was the best part of the day. Racing planes. Trying to catch them. Some of them flew out of the window and into the neighbouring classrooms.

The bell rang and the school ended. The kids asked me to come again on the last day of school. Maybe we can fly some more paper planes.


Some days, you know, you are so happy.








98 comments:

  1. Loved from the bottom of my heart!
    The pictures, the innocent faces, the smiles :) What an amazing thing your mother has been doing! Cheers to that! And you take beautiful pictures!

    Guess what, I can totally relate because my mum too has a NGO where they've made schools for tribal kids. And I go visit the school at times and teaching the kids is amazing. And unlike you they speak Bengali, so communication isn't that hard but I'm sure just being with them is pure happiness right?!

    Thanks for brightening up my day, reading your posts are always a pleasure.

    SAM B

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  2. Oh and I've not made paper planes with them yet. I totally should :) Maybe they'll love it!!

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  3. I've experienced something similar when I was in Orrisa a few years ago and yes; it's an amazing feeling to be there with all of those kids.

    Even the simplest of things excited them and made them happy. I mean they were so full of life.

    People here should really learn a thing or two from them. I've seen assholes who literally have everything they could ask for and still complain and whine about how their lives suck. It's really sad.

    Oh and beautiful pictures =)

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  4. Loved your work!

    Yet again! :)

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  5. I so loved it !:) Awesome:)
    Take me take me take me the next time your going there..
    Even I want to fly paper planes and oh , how do you make a dog from marble paper ? Teach me that too:)
    I am a south indian and manage speaking kannada quite well, I could help you translate the songs the kids sing;) See, the benefits of taking me along ? So, am I in ?:P

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  6. That must have been a great experience with all those kids , they all look so happy n innocent.

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  7. I'm jealous! The experience must've been SO rewarding! :)

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  8. "A picture says a thousand words" :)

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  9. yes some days, you wish it would be so every day

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  10. Oh my God, this is brilliant. I've always, always wanted to do something like this. And click children.
    Please take me with you the next time?
    Pretty please?
    ^_^

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  11. Wow.... That was a terrific day you must have had... Loved the pics... Brilliant...

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  12. Tomorrow is the last day at my school and Im super excited about it. One of the teachers is leaving and we are going to paaarrrtttaaayyyy!!!!

    (I teach second grade as a volunteer with Teach For India. If you liked what you did at your moms school, you should totally try volunteering with TFI) :)

    Cheers,
    Annie.

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  13. Can I tell you I love you? :)

    Your mom teaches at a Kannada school. Assuming you're kannadiga too? :D

    Secondly, I'd love love love to be with these kids. Infact, looking forward to working with an NGO this summer. Join? :D

    Thirdly, Bombay DOES have other awesome people apart from me. :D

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  14. @ Sam B - Yus!YUS! Just being with them is pure happiness!! :)
    And air planes are fun! :) Do that next time! :P


    @ Sid - Oh,yeah. They are full of life! :)
    And those kind of ppl who have everything, well, they dont deserve any of it! >_<

    @ Sam - :)
    I glad you did.

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  15. @ Priyanka Kamath - Come, come COME!! Fun it will be. And you can teach them in kannada better! :)

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  16. @ sangeeta - Yes, it was a super awesome experience!! :)

    Thanks for dropping by!

    @ Sadhana - :D Yes!
    Awesome-ness undefined!

    @ ★Stolen Halo - :) Yeha. It does. :)

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  17. @ ♫ Melody ♫ - Or somedays, they should never end! :)
    Thanks for visiting!

    @ Isha - Yes! Please Comeeeeeeeeeeee! :) Fun che!!

    @ Lakshmi - Thankyou! :)

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  18. @ Ice maiden - Woohoo! Parttty! :)

    I soooo wanted to volunteer, but when I enquired about it, they said they prefer graduate students!! I am undergrad! :(
    Maybe you can help? :)

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  19. @ Shreya - :) :) :)

    I guess, I am Kannadiga but I dunno our language. My mother tongue is adulterated with Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit, French,etc. :|

    Oh yes!! I would LOVE to join!! Please tell me about ittttt!!

    Hehe. I am awesome! :D

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  20. That kitty, I can tell, is a happy kitty ... but, you surprised him in the middle of making a sneak attack!

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  21. @ Mick - Yes, it was super cute happy kitty! :)
    Thanks for visting!

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  22. trips..!!! awesome post..!!!
    the pictures are so beautiful..!
    excellent dude..:D

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  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  24. Cute post, im sure you enjoyed it a lot. :)))) Some days are indeed the happier days, enjoy em! :)

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  25. @ THOTSOZONE - :) Thanks. However, i missed your other 'dil se' comment! :(

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  26. @ PsycheBubbles - Yeha...! They are. :)

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  27. Anytime!!!! Though right now, school is out for Summer. Maybe you can volunteer starting June / July. Pass me your email id at icemaiden.87(at)gmail and I'll pass it right along. :) They really do some awesome stuff! :)

    And I LOVE that marine drive pic on your header, I took a similar one some time back from my cell cam, only difference we had stayed up the whole night at marine drive and watched the sun rise facing er... west :P :) awesomeness :)

    Cheers,
    Annie.

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  28. I know nothing about Kannada too. *hides face*

    Okay. I'm going to call them up and check and let you know. It's always fun if you have company for such thing. =)

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  29. @ Ice maiden - YAY!! Thanks! :) I will send you an email. :)
    Thank very much.

    We did stay there somewhat late, you know till the lights are on. And it looks beautiful. :)

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  30. @ Shreya - :D

    ^ you know Ice maiden (up there), I will take some help from her too. :)
    Will let you know.

    Thanks!! :)

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  31. Drop an email at tieyourshoelace@gmail.com. Let us figure something out. That's my id, by the way. =P

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  32. wish everyday is so fulfilling... such calm comes over u at the end of the day..... sigh!!

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  33. It was pure joy to read your post! May your life be sprinkled with many more happy days!

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  34. It was pure joy to read your post! May your life be sprinkled with many more happy days!

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  35. It was pure joy to read your post! May your life be sprinkled with many more happy days!

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  36. @ Shreya - Sure.Sure. I will. As soon I come to know about anything.

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  37. @ Rashmi Nair - Yus yus! Such a calm.
    :)

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  38. @ Balachandran V - Thank you very very very much! :)

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  39. this is soooooooo cute!!!!! love the story!! love it...and the images make them even more relevant..i volunteer with an org called asha for education in nyc and we hope to help education of under privileged children in india. but since we r here in USA and the kids r in india is kinda hard to do more than just fund raise for them here... but we here stories with pictures from other volunteers on their trip to india and when they go visit the projects we r funding and its great..similar stories... it really is fun and pure joy to be around children

    http://donotshoeme.blogspot.com/

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  40. No, no, no! I have an NGO in mind. Email me so I can tell you about it. ASAP. :)

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  41. This reminded me of going to my granny's school. She was an principal in a school in a village. So I went to one of the class and children of my age (at that time I was around 12-14) were sitting there with their slates. I asked them about the alphabets. But they didn't know it. So I wrote the alphabets on board and made them learn that.

    I even rang the bell that day when the school got over. It was fun.

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  42. @ Prutha - Oh yes, it is pure joy to be around. :)

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  43. @ Varun - You got to ring the bell? :O Awesome.

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  44. Nice post :) reminds me the time when I was being freelance teacher long time ago, I spent 7 years teaching since I was in high school, it was fun especially with kids. I missed my students.

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  45. I can teach you kannada! :P Seriously, its d best thing in d world when kids look at you n smile! :) n always days unplanned turn out to be d best!

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  46. hi!adorable kids!just passing by :)

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  47. Awweh :D
    I teach mute and deaf kids.
    and omgg they're so cute.
    Great work!
    Visit them more often! :D

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  48. This is the most touching thing I've come across in a while. It made me smile.
    Sometimes, it's important to smile and bring a smile on people's faces, because that's what keeps them going. Really.
    And no one does that job better than a bunch of kids.
    And the best part?
    Whenever you look back at that time, you WILL smile.

    This is why it is important to make memories put of every little thing in life and if possible, preserve them.

    You make me happy, Periwinkle!
    Just like your happy little name.
    All things Bloo, Green and Elephants are very very happy. :)

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  49. Wow...
    Just... wow.

    It shows that the simplest things in life give us utmost pleasure. Seeing a smile on tese kids' faces must really mean a lot, especially when you're the cause.
    :)


    <3

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  50. Yes, Mrs Muffin. That is one awesome task. :)

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  51. @ Colours - Teach me! Teach me! I am struggling with it! :D

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  52. @ Jo - Thanks for visiting! :) Welcome to me space.

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  53. @ Peachyyy - Great work!! :)

    I will definitely visit them more often!

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  54. @ RAdhika Saxena - Yus yus! These memories will always make me smile. :)


    How I wish Elephants were green and bloo! :D

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  55. @ Meghana Kuppa - :) yeah.
    'Simplest things in life give us utmost pleasure.'
    :)

    @ Ketaki - Kitten = Super cute-ness!

    <3

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  56. Ah! The kids sound super cute :D And the kittens are cuter! :D Nice photos Man! :D

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  57. dude that was me...accidentally sister's account :-\

    anyway awesome header..my favorite place :)

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  58. hey loved the pictures.Did you click em? :)

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  59. @ Mugdha - Mine too! :D


    @ Psy-Lee - Yus, yus! Almost all the pics on this blog, except the comics. :D

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  60. I went with my khala who is an education inspector something to a school in a village. Everything you wrote is what I experienced there. They think you are a god or something. Drinking in every word you say, eye-ing you up and down, fascinated by everything you do.

    I don't know why but this sentence made me feel a bit weird;

    'The kids drew them, coloured the pineapple blue, the apple green and the grapes yellow.'

    Maybe it's just me. But kids growing up in non-slum schools won't colour a pineapple blue. Maybe they never got close to seeing a Pineapple. Or I don't know.

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  61. blame those kids. a little while with them. a few moments shared. enough to make anyones day. pity is no one realizes. :)

    howdy mate?

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  62. btw, chicken frankie and teenage wasteland? lol.

    is there a story behind it or was it just a plain randomness drive? i aint patronizing. just curious. in the good way :)

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  63. I bestow you with this blog award cos I think ur blog is awesome. U totally deserve this :) http://samrandomrants.blogspot.com/2011/05/first-blog-award.html

    And dude when are you going to post?

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  64. @ AcetylCholine - That sentence. I thought, it was innocent of them, to colour it that way.
    :)

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  65. @ Raj - Indeed. Pity no one realises. :(

    That, chicken frankie and teenage wasteland is pure randomness.

    Teenage wasteland is the song, Baba O'Riley by The Who.
    And chicken frankie I love. :D

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  66. @ Sam B - THANKYOU!!! :) :) :)

    You don't know how happy I am. :)

    And I will update soon. :P

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  67. Your header owns.So does this post. :D

    Isn't there something about tiny kids' eager eyes ever-ready to watch,observe and learn?

    You click lovely pictures. :)

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  68. I loved it. Right from the way you wrote and those pictures.
    Reading it really made me smile.

    Please write more, would love to read!

    xo

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  69. T B P,

    Keep it up. If you can spare little time from your busy schedule to bring happiness to someone, specially those from underprivileged class, just do it. You made me feel so proud of you and your mother also who is moulding them.

    Take care

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  70. That was beautiful. And heartwarming. Best thing that's happened to me all day. And the pictures were lovely too. :-)

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  71. @ BzapBunny - Yus, those kids are awesome! :)

    Thanks!

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  72. @ Being Sinful - Thank you! :)

    I will try and blog more. :)

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  73. @ Jack - Thank you so very much. :)


    @ reetam - Thank you! :)

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  74. first time at ur blog... :D

    came blog hopping after long time and some post i heard just makes ur day...and this was the one dat did for me...i have a stupid smile on my face now for no exact reasonss

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  75. I think kids have magical powers to cheer you up with a smile and a giggle even when you're on the verge of angry tears. I think it's so awesome you taught them to make paper planes :) I can just imagine how excited and smiley they must have been. This has made me even more excited to apply for Teach India =D

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  76. @ buckingfastard - Haha. I like your name. :D

    :)
    I am glad you liked it.
    Mission accomplished! :D

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  77. @ Parinita - Yus yus!! Apply for it.
    It would be awesome fun. :)

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  78. I work at an NGO too.
    Those kids are such beauty :)

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  79. Yus yus!! I dont work at any NGO though.. however, I am planning to! :)

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  80. Why not writing?? :O

    Scribblers Inc.

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  81. dooos.
    i liked the image your post painted in my mind.

    and nice to hear about the kannada school. i mean, once you get thee hang of it and start calling everyone akka and anna, its pretty cool.

    i say, heritage +1, potato vada +20

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  82. I loved this post <3 so sweet...and ur so creative :O i can't draw or make anything for nuts.. even my paper planes were horrible :P

    ur mom rocks.. haven't heard of a teacher in a municipality school for ages :D salute her from my side pls :D

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  83. @ Deluded - Haha! :P
    Toh-tal-lee. :D

    @ Mads - Sure I will.
    I dunno abt how well you draw, but you are an awesome blogger!

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  84. I like the fact that parents prefer sending their kids to English medium schools :)

    Nice pictures, =)

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  85. Enjoyed reading this post :) You have an awesome blog. :D
    Tay
    x

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  86. your blog is amazing! great work!!

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  87. @ My Never Ending Thoughts - THankyou!! :)

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