Yesterday I had an extra dose of my never fail feelgood shot. You guessed right: a trip to meet Utpal and his pals at the boarding school. Sunday was the scheduled PTM day but a phone call on Friday informed us that the PTM had been postponed to the 24th. It would not have mattered but for the fact that we had one of the sponsors in town and she was leaving on the 23rd. So a special request was made and we were allowed a short visit.
We reached the school bright and early. Unlike the hustle and bustle of a normal PTM day, we were greeted by an empty ground and an almost eerie silence. Not wanting to disturb anyone we stood in silence in a corner whilst D went to inform of our arrival. We were informed that the children were in class and that admission tests were going on. We were asked to proceed to the boys' hostel and wait in the Bursar's room. We crossed the grounds almost on tip toes to reach the appointed place.
As usual we were greeted with warmth and offered a cup of tea. Someone was sent to get the children. A few moments later the smaller children arrived: Yash and Aditya and then the girls Manisha and Meher. They were all smiles and happy to see us. Then the bigger ones arrived: Utpal, Vicky, Nikhil and Babli. They were thrilled to see us and eager to share all that had happened since we last met. Vicky had fallen and hurt his head and got three stitches said one while the other informed us that they were all busy studying for their examinations, a little voice added that they had had Maggi for breakfat. We listened to all of them and then it was time for a few snapshots before the bigger ones were sent back to class. The smaller ones lingered on a little but soon it was time to go with promises to meet on the 24th, when the real PTM would take place.
We said our goodbyes and tiptoed out of the school.
As we were leaving I realised that my steps felt lighter. You see I had got my feelgood shot. Seeing these children always made me feel on top of the world and for a brief time all problems seemed to vanish. Somehow everything seemed right. A bunch of happy and content children running in the open, learning in the right conditions, eating to their heart's content, dancing and singing: what more did one want. These children had reclaimed their right to be children. I only wished that I could give the same chance to many more. Was the God of Lesser Beings listening? I truly hoped so.