December 02, 2013


When I received an email from Padma of Samiksha Foundation, I was happy that Ranganna was perceived to be a warm and happy tale to be gifted to young in-patients. That Tulika publishes it in multiple languages, also helps increase its appeal in a multi lingual environment like the Cancer  ward at The Kidwai Hospital.
In my experience, a story is enhanced when it is narrated in a lively manner. It also helps provoke the listener's  imagination.

A dear colleague in office is undergoing treatment for cancer and I am unable to reach out to her in any way as we live in two different cities. I thought this will give me a first hand chance to meet others like her.

For these reasons I offered to be there in person to do it.

I was a bit nervous a few days before the event since my sessions tend to be filled with interactive dancing, impromptu singing and noise too! The hesitation was misplaced.

The spirit of the young listeners, the spontaneity of the volunteers who helped me tide over my lack of Kannada skills, the mothers who first shyly and then enthusiastically joined in the fun....all made the experience heart-warming for me. 

We think bald heads may be a point of embarrassment but they wore it with such casualness.
They extended their tiny, just poked and marked hands for me to shake.
While I avoided candid shots, I had some kids who demanded that I click them.

There were two kids who had just returned from the daily treatment but made it a point to join in, for a few minutes at least, with their disarming smiles and drips next to them.

The zest to learn and participate is intact and I am sure a lot of these children will go back to the mainstream effortlessly. For those whose days are cut short mercilessly, these interactions can create diversions that are meaningful and offer some relief from the incessant pain.

One can be fatalistic and say ‘Oh! The dreaded C has hit me’. But these kids and their parents are wonderfully resilient. 

More than my cheering up others, I learnt lessons of courage and hope and positivity that day.  I will go back for more life lessons. 

This is not a one time transaction....

I urge you to be generous and share your time, books, board games or craft with these kids.


Swapna said...

Kudos to you Art!

Absolutely bang on - on learning the all important life lessons by just interacting with these children.

Your goodness is definitely influencing us, with just your beautiful words.
Thank you :-)

RGB said...

Great that you were able to use the opportunity to reach out to these kids and thanks for inspiring a hundred others through your post!