disclaimer: they might sue me for plagiarism, for this. Just for your information, i am neck deep in debts for the next few years. And i don’t give a …if you don’t believe in bringing a difference with what you created!
I should thank my friend Vivek Jhorar for introducing me to the school at Mandi gaon (gaon means village). Run by Shibu & his wife this school is a family effort to bring some change to the lives of few under privileged kids of a slum.
the slum @ Mandi gaon (village)
Jhorar once asked me to help him bring some kids to the annual event of his dance school (Thump India). That is how i met Shibu & his students. Kids of various age with torn clothes waited for me there & here i was thinking that world is unfair with me!
The evening went well with the kids awed by the dance performance of Thump students. They couldn’t stop talking about it even after we reached gaon. For them, what they experienced was unique and different; which we might describe as ‘just another event’!
That night i wondered whether they would ever experience another such event. The answer was difficult to find from the probabilities my logic put forth.
Few weeks of hectic travel & work stopped my stream of thoughts into wandering towards Mandi. But on 10th of August, my brain put forth an interesting thought – why not inspire them with what they aspire. Thus on 11th August, i screened a movie for few kids at their ‘so called’ school in my tiny laptop screen.
what they call – the school! – became our luxurious theatre
My first choice was Lion King (one of my favourites). But then i realised it would be a bad choice for those barely literate little critics. My objective was simple, since i couldn’t help them with money, i rather add value in their tough life with some momentary luxury.
Shibu & his students @ our grand screening
With Shibu’s approval, i screened ‘I am Kalam’ for the kids on that beautiful afternoon. What was expected as a small crowd (of 10 odd kids) grew into a 20+ congregation of enthusiastic kids from different ethnicity. I felt claustrophobic in that small shack which served as their temple of knowledge. For them it was a movie hall of great comfort.
our little theatre
They shouted and cheered for the little Kalam. Though the movie was a bit slow for their taste, they did enjoy it. It was visible on their faces and i felt accomplished for once. One of them asked me, when i would screen the next movie. I didn’t have an answer!
I never thought i would write this but i want to share with those kids, some more joy. I want them to forget their hardships for few hours, make them feel wanted & important.
the little critics of Mandi gaon watching the movie
I need your help to take it further by sharing me some good (a bit more melodramatic :) ) inspirational Hindi movies. Suggest & share please, i promise you unconditional joy & prayers from those little ones, who are fighting for food when we fight for a lifestyle.
their smiles are precious!
PS: Shibu runs the school under a registered charitable trust but he lacks experience, ideas & funds to take it further. Don’t help him with money, that is secondary, but help him with ideas where he could encourage those kids to attend school regularly. That is his main challenge! Maybe some gifts like books or an old cloth of yours can make a difference – a random thought.