My favorite memory is how wide Rakesh’s smile would get ..

Somewhere amidst college frustrations and the enactment of taking major life decisions, I always had this urge to contribute to the world that we are a part of. Where we live day and night isn’t a very simple place, extreme conditions prevail where people of the same kind live in the most distinctive ways…

And hence to cater to the needs of who they call the underprivileged, I decided to connect myself to one NGO or the other, as they are so common now.

But Kitaab proves my words wrong somewhere, where NGOs might be common, something like KItaab is yet to be in the genre of typical things. An NGO that aims at reading habits, not of the academic texts that the education system of our country or the world perhaps, thinks brings a good future home, but of stories. Stories in the form of novels, short rhymed lines or just stories in the simplest of creativity. The heads of this organization just wanted the kids engaged with us to inculcate reading habits, for which self composed literature was also welcome with arms that made us creators proud of our own contributing creations.

My experience at the NGO cannot just be defined in some hundred words stating how well I understood the situation of the kids in our country and how good I feel by contributing towards it. My experience can possibly be well explained if I share how well my student Rakesh liked my self composed story and how interestingly he extracted a moral out of it. My favorite memory is how wide Rakesh’s smile would be when I would tease him for his Reading skills’ progress. Or maybe it could be found somewhere in the fun dance times with all the mates at the shelter home.

I think this is what we went there for, some understanding of lives. Where there was an exchange of experiences to create another marvelous experience. The superintendent of this Children’s Home was a man who truly cared and paid heed to what was happening by us. Appreciating his concern and keeping in mind things for future, I genuinely respect the work that he does. The children around us were eager to know and to learn. We would get tired and they would start pleading to play towards the end of the two hours that we spent there everyday, but their eagerness reflected even in the chess games, 2 lies and 1 truth etc . But we need more, more time with them to make them good enough, not that we are good enough but we most definitely know what it means to be so. And therefore we can reach great heights with kids like them. The teaching vibes were new to me and so were the feelings attached to it but the emotion of seeing your student grasp all that you aim for him to know, is something I knew already and yes you call it victory.

Thank you kitaab, for giving me wonderful friends or maybe staff members!

Maanya Kalra