Independence Day, for me, is a time to spend the occasion meaningfully. Like last year, on this Independence Day, I spent time with the kids at Cheshire Homes near my house.
Many of these kids are orphans or differently-abled ( I won’t call them handicapped, because they are not. Real handicap is that of the mind and spirit, and in that aspect, these kids are on par with anyone else). Cheshire Homes, of course, shelters inmates of all ages, differently-abled or otherwise.
Sangeeta, Manisha, Vicky,Sameera and the others.I have formed a close bond with these children, and they are always happy to see me.I enjoy being here- it gives me a sense of belonging. Not to add that Sister Cecilia, the in-charge of this place, has become a close confidante.
I enjoyed bringing sweets for the inmates, as I do usually. There was a bit of heartburn among Manisha and Vicky as to who would distribute the sweets (kids will be kids!) and I had to intervene.Manisha and Vicky had both tied Rakhis on my hand during Rakshabandhan, hence resolving the issue fairly was a bit tricky J
As always, there were other visitors/ volunteers at the place, and I enjoyed talking to them.It was touching to see the budding of romance between one of the inmates and a visitor (who later asked for my email ID, so I could mail him the pictures). I spotted the members of a ladies’ welfare organization distributing sweets and school stationary among the children. A lot of people think it worthwhile to spend time here doing some good.
As always, I had a fun time, with Sangeeta the baldy one (the cutest one among them) tweaking my ears playfully and Vicky constantly tugging me along.
In fact, a few of the photographs were taken by Vicky on my DSLR.He said he had learnt photography at home (in U.P., before he came to Cheshire Homes).True or false I do not know, but for his age , exposure and given that he has lost a hand,he did a wonderful job.
All in all, it was time well spent with the inmates of Cheshire Homes.