An experience with ANGELS

Everyone talks of Angels. Angel of Love, Angel of death, Angel of life. There's supposedly an angel for everyone. I finally saw the angels. The Angels of HAPPYNESS.

It was an impulse visit to an orphanage. Well, you cant really call it that. Lets say it was a home for children of convicts, run by a local nun, voluntarily. In all, I met 26 little girls of all ages and the moment I stepped inside the home, I knew I was going to witness something special.

It started out as a dull day. A Sunday, which is when I like to laze around for most part of the day, watching movies, reading books and doing something that is totally going to waste my time. Ma suddenly laid this news on me that we have to visit her best-friend and colleague for lunch today. Instantly I became irritated and said I didn't want to go. She kept asking me why and I continued to hide the real reason from her. Eventually, I let the tear-gates open. The real reason I didn't want to go was coz I was afraid of facing the humiliating feeling of people commenting on my face, which had begun to be laden with acne again after some really stressful days. I had been getting the usual oh-what-happened-to-you and do-something-or-no-one-will-want-to-marry-you comments. I normally resort to saying that I would rather marry someone who likes me for my mind rather than one who puts me up on for face value. That is in fact the truth, but still, when the barrage of comments don't stop, you feel a little low.

Ma gave in and said I needn't come if I didn't want to. Then something inside me told me, "Why are you giving up? Why are you being such a coward? What happened to you? Why can't you face the people like before?". I replied to this inner voice saying, "What if I broke in front of others? What will the others think of me?"...Slap came the reply I always knew, but something that needed to be re-inforced back to me. It said, "Since when have you started caring for what others say? This problem will not go away in a day. If you are going to cry, it is alright. Crying is never a sign of being weak. It takes courage to cry in front of people you hardly know too. Just go out there and take every minute as it comes. Just be yourself". I knew I had to follow the voice. I had been taken under the spell of the real me.

And so I went. The day was better than I expected. I got no such comments I expected to hear. We did a lot of meaningful talk before we decided to go visit this place. My sister had been saving money to donate on her birthday. We enquired if they would take the money. Instead, we were asked to bring something that the kids wanted. A small portable music system. Me and Ma got a good music system and a few cassettes for them to play in it. And off we went to the home where angels live.

The moment I got down the car, I must admit I WAS a bit nervous. Never having interacted with kids who have no parents, or parents who are convicts, I didn't know what to say. Soon I realised, I was worrying about something immaterial. Soon I was no longer talking inside my head as it was to be filled with the sounds of divine angels.

Every little girl wanted to shake my hand. Every little girl ran up to me and told me, "Good Morning, Akka(Big sister)". I could hear most girls speaking in telugu, and I am no good at speaking it. I wondered how am I going to converse with them, when suddenly one girl came up to me and said, "My name is Jyoti. There are three-three Jyotis here. What is your name Akka?" Almost every one of those 26 girls spoke fluent english.

As we sat in there, I sat on one of the chairs there with my parents and the nun, the kids put mats on the ground and took their places. I discovered that Jyoti had come to sit right near my feet. And she didn't lift her gaze from me for most of the time. I felt like a celebrity, I must admit, but yet very humbled. Jyoti got up and brought the youngest girl of the home to me. Jyoti is herself around 7 yrs of age and this little girl must have been around 3. She came and sat in my lap and Jyoti at me feet, playing with the little girl's hands.

The girls greeted us by singing songs, all in tune and beautifully sung. Followed it up with two dances and then a song again. I tell you, I really wanted to dance with them. I was having the best experience of my life. I spoke to them about which schools they went to, which class they studied in and their favourite songs and movies. As the girls did their little presentations, we were getting to know more about how things go on at the place. The girls had sponsors and were being sent to good schools around the city. More help was found to be wanting. And No. They were'nt being converted. The Sister said the most beautiful thing I have heard recently, "I let them follow any religion they want. I only want them to be responsible members of the society". And I know they will.

As I left from there, I saw how happy the girls were. They had little material comforts, but they had each other. I could see that the bonding among them was fabulous and endearing. Every girl was super confident and I am sure some day, they will do really well. My spirits were lifted at once after this visit, as Jyoti came up to me and gave me a little peck on my cheek and asked me when I will be visiting them again. I want to do more and spend more time with these angels. My association with them will continue for a long while I know, as everyone needs their angels. I need mine too.

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