Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I wish I could frame that moment....

"Dada, ball wapas do na"- The impish looking kid pleaded from the other side of the boundary wall. He knew that he had little hope with this one though. 
This has been the story of our summer so far...so much of clamor, so much of distraction to add to our perennial woes. With the Panchayat elections coming up in the next week, we have had enough with the pre-election commitments; those cacophonous, discordant enunciations on the loudspeaker had literally asphyxiated us by then. The increasing humidity coupled with the exponentially rising rate of power-cuts did enough to blow off the fuse called "resilience". The irregular water-supply and the constantly fluctuating flow-pressure had complicated our woes to a "harrowing level". And when I come back the context, I guess the phrase "Bad timing" would fit into the groove perfectly.
My word, these otherwise innocent kids could have chosen some other occasion to rage their comical debacle. Not that this was the first time, but the setting was absolutely not right. We have been seeing different groups of teenagers flocking around from the neighbourhood slums, indulging in their perennial fun and frolic at the adjacent thin strip of land connecting our two blocks. Yes, the mere sighter of these virtuous souls splashing effervescent happiness through the regular soccer-centric-chores during the rainy season, was indeed uplifting. I'm not even exaggerating a bit....their sense of euphoria had a reciprocative effect on an otherwise dizzy-corporate soul, the essence of freedom depicted through their moves had a stimulating effect for sure. In short, it does present the idea of a well-framed, well timed, well constructed...and of course perfectly photogenic picture.
But...But...But...Are we missing on something vitally important? Was it that smooth a proceeding as it looks like? No my friend...every picture-perfect scenario has a hidden layer of unforeseen glitch that does present a different picture altogether...!!

This (impish) little kid had nothing to do with the "common" gambol...the delirious beguilement...he used to sit at one corner of ground and watch his friends'-spunky-on-field-show with hours of undaunted raptness. Oh wait...did I just use the word "friend", ummm let me think twice because I have never seen anybody talking to him until and unless they needed his favor of rushing to a nearby stationary store to buy a new ping-pong ball or the "very familiar" ping-your-rowdy-neighbor-for-the-ball scenario. I seriously have no idea why he used to comply to those irrational commands every-time, perhaps the mere idea of getting chance to cling on to the 'precious sphere of hope' at least for a while, used to allure him to the core. The reason why I say this- I have observed him replicating the bowling actions of various international pace bowlers at times, when nobody's watching...i.e. when he feels that nobody's watching. He was a mysterious character for sure; I did try to talk to him a couple of times on my way to office...he never complied and ran away. It was as if the entire world was conspiring against him; life can be cruel at times. We keep complaining about our recurrent quandary, our botherations but if we look at the world beyond our limited purview, the scenario is a lot of worse. This little kid had nobody to back his case, nobody to stand by his side and fight against those ruthless creatures who never even offered him the position in the field, the ones who made fun of him when he naively chanted "Mai bhi Sachin Tendulkar banunga" while standing behind the wicket-keeper during a friendly gully-cricket match. That was the first time when I heard him speak...such a sweet, euphonious voice that was. I had to, had to do something for this little chap who dared to aspire "big"...it was as if like a self-cinched mission of bridging the gap between God and his devotee. The essence of 'kinship' surfaced.

Oh, and did I forget to join the dots? Yes, that's how it all started. I misbehaved with this innocent chap when his friends shoved to do the dirty job of collecting those "mishits" from the grumpy neighbor...Sigh, I was no exception. I thought about it all day, his disconcerned reaction was literally killing me from inside. He never turned back with a dirty look neither did he run away in defeat...he stood there, right in-front of my staircase for good 5 seconds as if in shock and walked away eventually. Why did he not revolt? Why didn't he point towards those bunch of miscreants and shrugged off his responsibility? Why didn't he cry even? - The questions kept lingering in my mind...something had to be done, and done real soon. The sense of remorse was nibbling into me.

The "Mauka Mauka" moment had to come, and it came real soon. I knew that the surprise I had planned for this little slum kid might appear to be rather impertinent; all I can say is...it turned out to be just about PERFECT. I had been tracking his moves for sometime back then and it didn't take me too long to discover where he lives. However, it did take some effort (and approximately 4-5 visits to his hut) to convince his parents with respect to this "dhamakedar" plan...but I eventually succeeded. I was eagerly waiting for the day to arrive...
"Ladies and gentlemen...put your hands together for the one and only Sachiinnn Tendulkar....his 199th test at your own Eden Gardens..."- Ravi Shastri's animated voice reverberated across the entire jam-packed stadium. Little Dip (I got to know his name on the way to Eden gardens on that very particular match day), sitting right beside me, had a big smile on his face...for the first time ever. And when Sachin came out to bat, I saw a raring glow in his eyes, the sight that I can never ever forget. The entire Eden Gardens stood up to acknowledge the Little Master....I, on the other hand, acknowledged his vivacious passion for the game. That's what exactly I mean by "like-minded people"- there was an inner connection for sure, glad that I realized it at the right moment.

Let me be very honest with you, I had received plenty of stinkers from my family and friends after this game because of the fact that I chose to take another stranger alongside when the demand for match tickets were soaring high; I don't know why I did it....I don't even want to think over it as well. I followed my gut-feeling...I followed my inner-call and that's what matters in the end. I have often debated about "charity" (if you would like to use the term though I don't approve of it), in itself is a selfish deed because the donor draws happiness through the reciprocal effect. I don't mind if you call me "selfish" considering the fact that I had misbehaved with this unblemished chap and had to make up for it. In the end, 'he' was delighted and that's what matters. That smile, to me, was more precious than anything else. I wish I could frame that moment and put it up right beside the picture of Kapil Dev and this team's resurgent 1983 triumph. The two stories are similar in many aspects, my friend. Think about it. Amen :)
N.B. - Furthermore, I have also been an active part of a number of CSR activities for my organization. Here's a specimen.

*I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdeal activity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal. The images used in this blog-post have been self-shot and are indicative in nature. They shouldn't be copied without my permission.

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