It was Ma's birthday yesterday. She would have been 61. When I try to imagine her but obviously I see a face that is etched in my mind from 9 years ago. Young, smiling and a happy face. Probably by now she would have had a few gray strands in her long hair. A few wrinkles here and there. And when I try to imagine her like this I smile. :)
So like every year, I went to the Blind school to celebrate Ma's birthday along with my Mama as Appa is not in town. Appa organizes lunch every year this day. Every time I go there I come back even more awed looking at these kids and adults. And every time I go there some incident happens that makes me smile and laugh.
As I stepped in the school courtyard I could hear some beautiful classical music being sung and some one playing tabla wonderfully. I looked around and saw the sign of music room on a door. I was so tempted to peep in but then I thought it won't be a good idea to disturb the class.
Yesterday, as we were waiting outside the dining hall waiting for the lunch bell to ring, one kid was approaching the eating area. Just then one of the kitchen staff rang the bell. And when this bell ringer turned around, this boy was just at the entrance. He giggled and said "Aapne bell bajayee aur main aa bhi gaya! Dekha mera jadoo!" and he walked inside to take his seat while still giggling. :)
Soon all the kids started streaming in and we kept telling each one to wash their hands before taking a seat. For the first time yesterday I saw 2-3 very little boys in the school. They would have been the same age as Anirudh. And I felt a lump in my throat seeing them. They were not even able to reach upto the wash basin. So I helped them wash their hands. I had tears welling up in my eyes when I was washing their soft baby hands thinking why? Why? Why? Here is a pic of one of them -
Then me and Mamaji laid down their plates and bowls. Then we served them matar paneer, kashifal subzi with pooris and rice kheer as dessert. Its amazing to see most of them eating with such deftness without making a mess. Some kids liked kashifal and some didn't. Some ate kheer and some didn't. But all of them relished the matar paneer.
Since the last time I saw major changes in the school. They had built a big dining area so that all the kids can eat in one go instead of two shifts that used to happen earlier. It was much more neater and cleaner and airy. The kitchen was also much bigger and had ample natural light streaming in.
So to summarise, we walked out happy and satisfied after the lunch was over.