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Updated: April 17, 2013 18:22 IST

A promise kept

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Keeping a proimise... Photo: Paul Noronha
The Hindu
Keeping a proimise... Photo: Paul Noronha

A sense of relief from having done something right…finally!

I always thought myself to be a man of my word. But I was proven otherwise when I recently went to a school for the visually challenged near my college as part of a charity programme. Nothing in the 18 years of my life could prepare me for what I saw there. It wasn’t a feeling of sorrow or pity but a feeling of awe and even inspiration laced with a hint of sadness. To them happiness was things that we often took for granted. It would be just talking to people, reading or playing cricket…

Everyone loved playing cricket. You can see the happiness in their faces when they play. But this school did not have enough bats and balls. So, it was with all virtue that we — my friends and I — decided to pool our money and buy it for them. A few conference calls and group messages later we decided to get them next week. But then the “next week” dragged on to another week and then next month and soon lay forgotten, buried under our infinite problems.

Two years later, when I was surfing the channels on a Saturday morning, half asleep, I heard the word “promise”. It took me a while to process the word, and when I did I suddenly felt guilty — that I had done nothing for those kids. I had prided myself for being a man of my word, but then I too had become a man of words alone. For weeks together the guilt disturbed me and finally I came up with a solution. I got in touch with two of my friends, Sai Sudhir and Mohammed Asik, owned a charity trust were looking for ideas for an event. After two weeks of frantic planning, fundraising and procurement we were able to pull it off!

There we were at the school for the visually challenged with bats, balls and loads of other educational resources. We organised a few singing and oratorical events for the children and gave those gifts away as prizes. When it was time to leave, a kid held my hand. He smiled and thanked me. It was a “thanks” which came from the heart; one which didn’t arise out of necessity but out of real gratitude.

It was then that I got a sense of relief not from a sense of personal victory or of getting rid of that prick in my heart. It was because I finally felt that I had done something right.


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