Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Friday, January 19, 2007

safai fauj and kindness chain

it is my usual practice to pick up litter whenever i am in school. and usually there are zillions of bits and pieces. sometimes, some kids join me in the act.

some kids, in fact, protest saying that this is not my job (aap mat karo). i would usually remain silent, smile and just gesture them to pick up and hand over to me. which happens a lot.
some of them would take it up to join in the act.

sometimes lessons are taught in silence and sometimes without planning to at all.

yesterday was a 'different' experience'.

after the break, where the kids have a 15 minutes non-stop physical workout - skipping rope, playing catch, basketball. it is a release time which helps them to focus back when in class. very nice routine.

after this break, the open area has enough bits and pieces strewn around to fill up a small trash can.
i was about to embark on the pick up scheme, when 3 girls from the top floor school were playing ball with their bags. just simply chucking it around. i caught up with them and gently enough explained what the bags contained and to play ball with a real one. poornima, reshma and sonal were sheepishly grinning the entire time.
gently shaking my head, i started picking up the pieces of litter and all of sudden the 3 girl fauj took over. sudden burst of energy and enthu like i have hardly seen. it was like the amazing race . i would pick up and they would relay from my hand to the trash can. truly stunning to see them laughing and just having a blast.

i remember having said at some point about 'our school and our responsibility'. they made me realise my message more than i could ever have done on my own.

dug into my pocket and la voila, exactly 3 toffees (seriously not making it up). they quickly grabbed it and rushed out.
one way out, one of them picks up one stray piece and skips to the bin and tra la la...

and i keep hearing about how these kids are 'useless' and 'incapable' and 'dirty'. well the naysayers time will come!

later in the evening, was in a saloon (of the hair cutting variety). while waiting for my turn, i waited for one boy, who was done, but was taking an inordinate amount of time to pay up and get off.

dawned on me, that he was on crutches and was semi paralysed waist down.
while trying to get off, his right leg got stuck in the foot rest. the barber was helping him from the other side and could not see the problem.

quickly i got his leg out of the gap and he got out onto his crutches with the barber helping him. i resumed my seat just watching.

out of the blue, the other barber asks, "is he with you?". i nod "no" with a smile.

incredibly, the boy, who gave me a sweet smile on his way out, was helped by everyone in the saloon (except the guy whose face was lathered up) in the shop till he exited onto the pavement.

as i took my place on the hot seat, AIR FM started their 'old classics'. wah, wah...brilliant round off.


Preeti Aghalayam aka kbpm said...

good one! very inspiring!

Vanessa said...

I am certainly not worthy of commenting on this one ...:-( See
to know why...

btw, about the mails that you wrote to your teachers, did anyone of them reply?

csm said...

no reply from teacher yet. will send them a letter by post this week.