Being in second PU naturally means getting up early for tuitions. That is one of the most difficult times of the day, trying to open my droopy eyes, and controlling the urge to snuggle up in bed and going back to sleep. Just at that horrible moment of semi-wakefulness, a soothing balm calms my mind. It’s the prayers the orphaned children are reciting—they live two houses away from me, and they amaze me sometimes. They are always awake by five, no matter the weather, reciting their mantras, while the entire colony sleeps. Belaku Shishu Vihara, where these children live, is a lovely home for destitute and orphaned children. Sometimes, visiting this place can invoke strange and uncontrollable emotions in me. I am scared for them. How will they create their own futures? Who will give them all those life-lessons? But, strangely, they are confident, warm and friendly kids as kids could be, and not to mention highly disciplined. When I sit in the balcony to study, a kid stares at me through their balcony, and a heart-melting smile as soft as a cloud stretches across her face…I smile back, it is not a careless reciprocation of an innocent greeting. It is not a happy smile either. There will be a mixture of emotions playing on my face—sympathy, sadness, concern and yes, a silent ‘hello’ which this kid immediately understands.
While some people might say these children are really underprivileged, I think I can look into their hearts. They lead a unique life—something different from what all of us have lead, something which cannot be fully understood by people like us. For them, life means enjoying one day at a time, and facing everything together. Life is about learning the things that matter, about understanding life-skills because they will definitely need it. While going to bed does not mean a good night kiss from a mother, it might mean a comforting touch of a friend’s hand, and suppressed giggles throughout the night. While they might not enjoy pillow fights with brothers and sisters, they still practice for the annual Belaku function with full enthusiasm. They realize that they are dependent on others for food and shelter, but they also realize they need not crib about it, for it is nothing to be ashamed of. They also have understood that they are different—they know that the future can be difficult and times can be trying, but they have learnt not to be afraid. All these kids are truly special. If you are a resident of Bangalore, you can drop in sometime, donate food or cloths and help these children. You can make a difference! Come to Belaku, and share some smiles!
Contact Belaku Shishu Vihara
5th Cross, NR colony (near Acharya Patha Shala college of Commerce)