How heterogeneous can be god’s creation?
One almighty for all but obliged for their limitations.
Yes, people, you just read it right. Limitations. This is what they are confined to, not because of their choices but because of life itself. You must be in a confused state as to who I am referring to here. I am referring to all those innocent souls who society mocks, feels pity for and doesn’t give enough opportunities.
When I look back on the past few months of my life, I realise that I have learned a lot. Learnt what real brotherhood is, learnt what sharing is, what affection truly feels like, and many greater human values. But know what? This awakening did not come from motivational speakers or any inspiring movie or the so-called educational or self-help books we are assigned to. This has come from “Flame of Hope”– a place that is enough to rekindle one’s soul with optimism and the feeling of belonging in everyone.
My friend and I had something in common. It was not regarding any of our hobbies or favouritism, but we both shared empathy for these less fortunate children. The first visit to this place called Flame of Hope, an orphanage for these differently-abled children, gave us goosebumps when we saw these children.
Moments of silence prevailed between my friend and me when we looked at those kids and then quietly looked at each other with teary eyes, not uttering a word but the same question pondered in our minds: how could a parent deprive their “expected world” from “their world”. The first short visit was painful for us.
We talked to the staff members there and came to know that none of them knew their birthdays. Their birthdays were celebrated keeping in mind the month they were brought in but what shook our minds and heart in our second visit was the unimaginable optimism for the life they were all filled with. Even now, I can’t recall the name of one pessimist I came across.
All of them warmly welcomed us on our second visit. One of them was Zane, a visually impaired kid, yet he sang for us ardently. The melody of his voice still revolves in the back of my mind. Then they held our hands and asked us if we could make them play something. They injected their enthusiasm in us with their innocent smiles, and together we played various games with our best efforts. One girl named Donna would repeatedly ask for another chance in the game so lovingly that her cuteness would make us fall for her. On our next visit, we got football and cricket equipments. I can’t describe how inspiring the cricket match was when I saw this boy who was one-handed by birth and played cricket with so much zeal.
This young teen would sit by the side of two visually impaired ones and would describe them the whole scenario. Few of them would come to us and whisper in our ears, “Thank you, didi and bhaiya, you make us feel loved.” Their one sentence would mean the world to us. Departing from the place happened to be the toughest thing for us.
Then, we looked forward to giving them something or sharing moments of love with them on our every other visit. But it was always vice-versa. We were the ones who received love, and we learnt many lessons from them. The affectionate support which each one of them had for each other was remarkable and heart touching at the same time.
If one of them fell, every child would come to lend a helping hand, even those with callipers. I don’t think we as a society are so unreluctant to help each other this way. Few of them would sing beautifully, and few would dance gracefully. They didn’t mind failing a hundred times or falling a thousand; they loved being themselves and embraced their very own uniqueness.
No fabrications of any sort. When we departed, those kids would come to hug us tightly and asked us to come back really soon. All their smiling faces will never fade for my friend and me, and I wish that we could stay there forever.
The motive of sharing this experience was to portray a picture to the readers that these people are certainly not “physically disabled”. It is you, me and the society which is mentally disabled. They are again “disabled” not by choice but because of life itself. Don’t even dare to think that all they need is sympathy or you telling them how disheartened you feel for their plight.
These gestures will corrode their willpower to dust and do them good in no way. Please do not leave them. Believe me, all they need is a few moments of laughter. Such children need true affection from us. Let this be the reason for sheer happiness for them.
“Flame of Hope” never halts to give my friend and I hope for everything we will do in life. It inspires us to become better human being. If there is one thing that we all can do to make these children feel that they are not alone or differently-abled, then it is to shower upon them all the love and care we have. Instead of being sympathetic, you can be empathetic. Believe me, the love inside your heart will be yelling at you to say:
“Please take me to that right place.”
My friend asked me, “where do you want my birthday party?” I replied, “Let’s celebrate it with the “Flame Of Hope”, and since then, that place is a family to both of us!