Tag: #blind

Watch “SECRET GULLY | THE BOY WITH NO NAME (Pt .2) | Little Lights” on YouTube

Inspired by a real life 5 year old I met one monsoon at a school for slum kids,

you’d never forget ‘Raju’ the school called him. His folks called him ‘chokra’ for street boy. There was no hatred at his home, only the face of poverty, the numbing face of sleepless days and nights. His parents were construction workers.

When Raju first arrived in a pair of oversized torn shorts, shirtless and with eyes like tiny thunder, he wouldn’t speak. I was story telling art teacher; we did some fun things, enacting Jesu in the boat. Raju loved being the storm.

By the third day we knew he loved drawing – with one crayon, the black one. He drew thick circles in black, then some more. Pages of black circles.

I was recovering from 3 years of a fever no one could diagnose, it could’ve been anything, but I was there every morning as a part of my own ‘get well’ project;

It was, is an unforgettable thing – to experience that sinking feeling of instability, physical failing, & be in a ‘Gully’ that thick with hope.

Lil Raju and I became speechless friends as we learned the power of blue against black, or orange with grey, yellow with maroon. He called me “didi”, big sis.

Every morning he was there, waiting for Art class, and drama, in the street opposite the tea shop.

On the last day I ever saw him he clutched my hand and said, “Didi mujhe ghar leke jao” (didi, take me home)

I loved him with all my heart, and I couldn’t take him home with me. There were at least 50 others like him but ofcourse Raju was the one no one liked. He was full of lice, his fingers were quick, he knew how to steal, he understood the street, he was scary to most. To me he was that little baby boy I couldn’t take home. But forever and ever he lives in my heart.

The boy with no name” is a fantasy offering that has little pieces of my own life woven in its prayers for joy, for all our streets, infested with poverties of more horrific proportions than we could’ve guessed. Do watch if you have the moment: return to childhood, listen again to that Still Small Voice that ceaselessly whispers to the heart of a child within us, or around. If there’s a kid (or kiddy- like human:) in your home, or neighbourhood, do share. This is the second episode. (Part I, U tube, also below).

Wishing you ‘The Light of the World.’

Shine, k?

Episode 1.

Saturday’s child.

With blind school kids, and a musical I worked with them

His name was Dhru*; he loved the ‘roaring’ bit. Dhru must be at least ten years old today, when we did “Everybody is differently beautiful”, he must’ve been 7? To think he couldn’t see his costume, had no clue what a lion’s mane was like, or even heard it roar, what a sport Dhru was. All these unknown things and he had to act as well as mime singing! But they were all game, as game can get.

I learned how to appreciate life, how to dance even if we missed a step, how to laugh out loud against all odds- from these kids who were my son’s schoolmates. The School asked if I could help out with Spoken English: oh I hinted broadly at Drama and Poetry. They didn’t get the Poetry bit, but one little girl did. She loved every poem in her braille typed book, especially the one that went, “…and Saturday’s child has to work hard for her living…”

It still breaks my heart to recall how they were taught to cross the street by themselves. Some of the older ones were actually going on crowded buses and getting off alone, cheerfully unafraid.

They must learn….how else will they face life?” Their Daily Living Skills teacher asked me.

Sometimes I wish our own Joh weren’t as independent as he is. I wish he were less self reliant, I wish our kids didn’t need to grow up in a world that knows how to take advantage of the ‘disadvantaged’. I wish our roads were safer. But then am proud of every young /older challenged person or otherwise who can “work hard” at whatever Life gives them.

Thankyou young Dhru for reminding me today of people like you who still teach me to be brave and beautiful, no matter what.

..

*name changed