It was my brother’s birthday on 4th. Like every year, we went to the blind school near our home for doing a small bit. We had organized the dinner for the day for the children staying there. We reached there around 7 PM, after which the school bell was rung. Within 5 minutes, the blind children formed a line outside their rooms and came down the stairs. I must have climbed down the stairs of my house million times but still do not know how many stairs there are. But these children! They knew exactly how many stairs to climb down, how many steps to take to reach the eating room.
There were children of all ages; girls and boys; Hindus and Muslims. Each was a friend to the other. Each a support to the other. They were walking holding each others hands, not questioning each other’s caste, religion, sex. A perfect world!
They came down, washed their plates and sat in such a disciplined manner that for a moment, I felt I had come to an army camp. The children had not an iota of pain in their eyes. They were at ease with their lives. My feelings of pity turned into those of pride. And happiness. I was glad to have come here, met these souls. I was grounded. How often did I complain of small little things?
When the food was served, the blind school people gave us the opportunity to serve the food, but instructing us to serve in limited quantities. I felt like revolting. Why should you limit what the children ate? The answer given was that they would otherwise have to go to the loo at night, which is difficult. I felt like asking them if they did the same to themselves. But kept quiet.
The children did not start till food was served to everyone. After which, every one prayed to God, thanked for the food, offered food to the almighty. I asked myself, shouldn’t I be doing the same? Perhaps, food was a granted thing for me. What was there to thank for…
The children ate joyfully, often talking to the person sitting next to them. I wondered how they managed to not touch each other’s glass of water, so well trained. Guess, life is the best teacher.
We gave them chocolates which they gracefully accepted. After having their dinner, each washed his/her dishes and went to their dormitories to keep their stuff. They came down for a walk. Some walked alone with a pair of beads in hand (suggesting they were offering prayers to God). Most walked in groups, each step in so much confidence and merry.
Me and my family chatted with them and they thanked us for the meal of the day. A guy told us how he believed it was his past Karma that he was blind and how in this birth, he wanted to do only good things. These children stayed there, studied there and even made candles and very nice stuff.
They were bundles of joy. Just that, God had not been fair to them. But their spirit conquered all !!
I am glad, I paid the visit to this mecca of humanity. Where these children were being trained for a worthwhile life.