“We are passengers of the same boat, believers of the same dream, and followers of the same path and clouds of a single sky.
For we are slum kids; with pure hearts, true grins and clear souls.”
– Hira Nazir
It was yet again, another ordinary day. Cloudy weather, the rain, cozy bed, warm room, some awesome food to munch on, favorite Tv show and all the luxuries of life; how awesome and exalted feel it would give; while thinking about the kids of those well off families, I reckoned. But then, somewhere I was pricked with the thought of that poverty stricken family’s kids; where father is laying aimless, jobless and as a victim of drugs, mother is all weak and pale due to the malnutrition and having kids with no health care of her own self, where there is meal just one time a day and that too insufficient, where everything speaks of misery and discomfort, dearth and desolation and what not. Ahh, Sigh!!
A wave of thankfulness to the mighty Lord for all His blessings and a throb of compassion for all the deprived ones arose and traveled through my body, striking my conscience and heart.
For an instant, I thought about all those wretched, pure and innocent faces, living in the most revolting conditions of life in my village. Thankfully, the next moment was this delightful plan of arranging an event for them, where laughter could be sensed, smiles could be cherished and some hours could be spent in serenity.
So, with all the arrangements, I tracked my route towards my village. Did I tell you, arrangements? Oh yes, arrangements. Well, I took along all those colorful balloons, some gifts, sweets, chocolates, paints, colors, stuff for playing (though we didn’t play, as it was raining), and a lot more. After I reached my native house and stepped in; my sight was greeted by all those pale faces, epitome of poverty and underfeeding with eyes filled with desires and wishes but what I sensed behind the curtain was that peaceful, serene and actual happiness even while all in distress and it gave a warming feeling for sure.
All of them gathered at one spot, not knowing exactly what they’ll do, but after knowing about everything, it was pleasing to see their response and even more cheerful to have the heed and interest. We started by sharing their stories; everything about their families.
And it continued…
Amina, a girl about 7 or 8 years was the only one among the party of 6 kids who was going to school. No, Ishaq, a lively kid of around the same age also was among the list of school going ones but it was only Amina who in real sense was literate and could write. She told about her family, of 3 brothers and one little sister, a working dad and a housewife mother. I found her quite different from the rest, perhaps it was because of her comparatively better livelihood. She told about all the mischievous her little sister Arfa does (who also was a part of this event and was happy in my lap most of the time.) Amina was the only one who wrote her name, herself on the card made by her later.
While balloons were distributed among them, it seemed as if they’ve got world’s biggest joy to be cherished. They were blown by them and we played. Every kid selected colors of their choice. Then were distributed the sweets, chocolates, gifts and all the goodies among laughter, grins and priceless smiles.
It was afterwards the time to munch on food. And it was amazing to see, that even though belonging to some illiterate families of misery stricken livelihood, each one of them was more or less well aware of all the manners of eating and sitting. After wards we jumped into the art’s hour. Every one of them took out colors and all the art stuff out of their goody bags and started to draw. Yes, draw! Though they weren’t aware of drawing but they did draw some most beautiful creative pieces. Yes, most beautiful ‘cause they were created with those little hands of pure angles with all their hearts and interest.
Meanwhile, Arfa, the youngest of all was continuously playing in my lap with the toys I gave her and yes the chatter box duo, the two brothers Ishaq andYasin were narrating their stories. Living in a family of total 10 members with not quite good livelihood, Yasin said that he is still happy. Though he doesn’t go to school because Ishaq goes, and it isn’t possible for his ordinary earning dad to send both of them and afford the expenditures. But he does go to “Madrasa”(school) for “Quran ka Sabaq”(Quran’s Lesson).
“Baji, kabhi kabhi haalat bohot kharab hojatey hain, jab abba zyada ni kamatey tou phir hum khana bhi nahi khata.” (Sister, sometimes our conditions become real worse when our father is unable to earn much)
Yasin told me in Pushto, the story of one of his life’s days. He was one of the most lively and sensible kid for his age I’ve ever seen.
“Baji, mein hero wala eshtyle banata hun meri tasveer utaro.”
(Sister, I am making a pose like a hero, Take My picture)
“Baji, yun nahi utarta koi tasveer. Idher kharey hou sab. Iesh tarha ka eshtyle banao. Abb utaro tasveer.”
(Sister, nobody takes pictures like this! Everybody stand here, make this style. Now take the picture! )
“Baji, mein cartoon banata hun. Apko nahi aata mein sikhata hun.”
(Sister, I am sketching a cartoon. Don’t you know? Come , I will teach you)
These were some of the joyous hour’s conversations, in which this little kid kept on guiding me. Ishaq, his brother was a cheerful kid too. He actively guided all for “Ringa Ringa Roses”, “Hide and Seek” and “Chaam Chaam”. He also made one of the beautiful cards but asked me to write his name though being a school going on, he didn’t know anything.
Hasnain, an adorable, silent and much cute kid was also accompanying us. His innocent smile, deep eyes and pretty talks melted hearts. A quiet kid; who just remained happy to sitting beside me, and drawing and I couldn’t help hugging him again and again.
After the cards were made, they selected their favorite tag lines out of the queue I presented to be written on them.
Their were endless moments of joys, smiles, grins, eating, playing, photography, drawing, hugs, kisses, gossips, fights between the kids and then the settlements and a lot more.. The adorable smiles, the echoing lively giggles, the sweet innocent talks, their harmless desires and demands… Everything seemed to be so pure, so true and yet worthwhile…
They laughed, they smiled, they shared, the asked about many things, they learnt a lot… The learnt what love is, they learnt the value of their selves, their lives, their souls and above all their existence. Every kid learnt to respect, they learnt some little manners and points to apply in their lives, they learnt to love and be loved, to understand and value, they got the meaning of ethics, to be educated and what not.. In few hours they lived their lives to the fullest and yes their response showed it all..
It was indeed the most memorable day ever spent which would be written in pure and true words in everyone’s memoirs. Yes, they learnt, pronounced and understood one tag line the most;
At the end it was the time to leave. They were happy to say goodbye, for they understood with this farewell they’ve learnt much more to cherish than to be upset at. Hugging, wishing, greeting and making promises to meet again, we took a route to our ends, and they proceeded toward their homes with all the goodies and stuff.
While on the way back to home, a thought was stricken against the neural cells of my brain,
“How these true, pure and real grins can be saved in actual from the harsh gusts and the blows of misery?”
Indeed the answer lies in every single person’s responsibilities and shares to this cause.
Event organized in: Peshawar,Pakistan.
Date: 2nd February, 2013.
By: Hira Nazir
KIDS PLAYING 🙂
The Hero – YASEEN
THE CUTE – ISHAQ
THE BROTHERS – YASEEN AND ISHAQ
SHE WAS NOT LEAVING MY HAND! 🙂
WE LOVE STICKING OUT THE TONGUES!