When I say last saturday I mean 16th december.
Last saturday I was part of something special. Something that left a lasting smile on my face and hopefully on hundreds of others as well.
Sometime back we , at our company, heard about this group called Chrysallis. Chrysallis organises , as part of the Christmas season , a party for the disadvantaged and has Santa give away gifts to those lovely little people. We could contribute gifts .We could also volunteer to help organise this party. Due to some stupid reasons (read laziness and forgetfulness) we couldn't contribute gifts.
Late on friday eve we, four of us from my company, decided to do our bit despite the fact that we weren't able to attend the meeting where the volunteers were briefed. We were required to be at the venue Mount Carmel at 7 in the morn on saturday. I somehow got my lazy self to the venue at 7 but had no idea what to expect. No idea about what exactly was going to happen and who will be involved.
P and Di had already reached there and were asked to decorate the Chritmas tree and stuff. Di also did lots of face painting and had a rocking time while at it! Read more about it here. I registered myself as a voulnteer and was put unto the group responsible for food. N arrived last and he worked with the food dep (crap! being a techie had its downside, you start using words like departments even in a post like this one) at first and then went on to help the MC.
All four of us worked our asses off and it was only at around 12 that we realised tht we had had no breakfast! But we kept at our work, such was the spirit among the volunteers.
Lets move the spotlight from the volunteers to the crowd and the goings on.
We had around 3000 people (approx) at the event.
And every one of these was honoured with a crown and the choice of getting their face painted!
(a tip there: if you want to get pieces of cello tape over to somebody and you happen to be a guy your forearm isnt the best choice buddy! )
Now kids have their favourites when it comes to face painting. The boys of course wanted to be men and asked for big moustaches ala Veerappan and big sideburns! Another favourite was the name of thier fav wrestler (DX presumaly) and oh yeah, the initials of their loved one was a rage too ;-)(Did you say men will be men?). Among the girls , it was the heart tht won hearts I guess and ofcourse the flower and other girly things!!
And oh yeah did I mention the elderly crowd we had at the event?
The enthu they have for life could easily shame one of us youths!
One of the many tales we had, involved this gentleman who wanted his moustache (white with age and wisdom) painted black! :-)
Now we had to make the kids sit in an orderly manner so that space would be utilised in the best possible way! Easier said than done!!! There's a little vacant space where one or two kids can sit. But little Chintu wants to sit with Little Munna. Little Babli is throwing a tantrum and is adamant as well. Its only when a teacher tells Babli that she can get whatever she wants painted on her face does she agree to sit in the vacant place!! Sab khush!!:-)
I muttered a silent thanks to the millions of primary teachers all over the day who deal with such high drama situations.
And yeah!The patience that the teachers especially of the visually and mentally impaired children showed was amazing. They seemed to know exactly how to care for every kid. And to think of it, they do this day in day out!
And now that we everybody had settled down the show began!
The MC had the kids attention by teaching some new styles of claps. Sunshine clap involved raising one's hand and shaking your fingers, rocket clap invloved clapping and then moving your hand all over the place with sounds of whoosh etc. She used these at regular intervals, I guess to get the kids attention back.
We distributed the snack packs to everybody present and let the kids enjoy the show munching on a piece of yummy cake and stuff. We had a magic show, a mimic's act, a ventiloquist and oh yeah we had many santas too!
Now we had performances from the kids.
And every school gave a performance. It was really nice.
It was almost 2 by the time the last school had performed and now it was time for lunch!!
After every kid had been provided lunch and every school had been given gift packs, the stage (read dance floor) was thrown open to anyone and everyone and did we have some amazingly mad dancing on the stage?!!
We might or might not have made a big difference in their lives but if we had helped them have a nice time and forget their insecurities, I'll live with that!
And oh yeah, thanks to everybody there for making this thing so memorable!
Cheers to chrysallis and everybody invlolved!!
Merry christmas and a very happy new year to all of you out there!!
And believe me when I say this, a day like this can do a world of good to you! :)