There are no orders this year said a crestfallen Shamika after once again checking her email. She was referring to the hand painted diyas (lamps) her special kids make each year for Diwali. Her dejected look was too much to take, I am a Mom after all. I had to do something as I too felt downcast.
The diyas she was talking about were not just simple earthern lamps. They were true labour of a very special kind of love, the kind you are lucky to receive. My eyes fell on the little red lamp with yellow dots that sits on my desk for the past two years. This lamp was painted by Manu the Diwali before he left us. It is the only gift I have from him and thus inestimable. When I look at it I feel incredibly worthy and loved and am reminded of all the wonderful moments Manu gave me. Manu is no more, but there are children like him who each year paint diyas in the hope that someone will buy them and make them feel cared for.
They wait every morning with expectant faces for Shamika to come and tell them that she has secured new orders. Imagine what they feel when the answer is a barely murmured no. The diyas are painted by children few believe in, as we tend to think of special kids as useless. But they are not! They too have dreams they want to pursue and feelings that get hurt even if they do not express them in like we do. The diyas in the picture have been painted by children who cannot speak, walk, hear, comprehend or use their hands the way we do. Yet every one participates in the task. Some simply paint the base whilst others decorate them. Even the tiny ones do their bit. But no matter what, each one puts their heart into it. With the money they earn they have a big party filed with fun and laughter and the feeling of having achieved something.
To you and me it is just a few rupees but for them it is their dignity and self-esteem. I cannot understand why there are no orders this year. Is it just that we have forgotten how to look with our hearts. Please make these wonderful children's Diwali a happy one!
For orders call Shamika at 9811424877. God bless you all and a happy Diwali to you!