He is Peter. And, she is Repeater.
“Sir, tomorrow will be our b’day,” the little lady, Vishaka, stretched before me the box of Éclairs.
“Wow! Come, come…” I pulled the beautiful Vishaka close to me. “Happy B’day beta in advance… May God bless you,” I placed my hand gently on the little lady’s head.
“Sir, bless me too,” Yomesh, Vishaka’s twin-brother – just older by a minute – bent down to touch my feet.
“Bless you beta,” I lifted little Yomesh up to my heart, “A very happy b’day to you, too, my darling.”
“So, where is the party?” I asked.
“Sir, you will come, no?” both cried together.
“Oh yes, darlings, I will… Pakka,” I promised.
Peter and Repeater, both, felt thrilled on my promise. “Thank you sir… See you tomorrow,” they said and moved with their chocolate boxes.
I kept looking out of my glass door… till the little stars completely disappeared from my sky.
Tomorrow, Yomesh and Vishaka will turn nine!
For the last three or four years, every Diwali and summer vacations, they come to attend our ‘Personality Development’ sessions! And, every time they come, they bring their dozens of friends! The little ones… five, six, seven and eight… year-olds.
Imagine, what I do to these still-in-cradle kids!
I laugh in my heart thinking about the whole idea!
Vivek and Meenu, the parents of Yomesh and Vishaka, are my dear friends. In fact, Vivek was my student about twenty-three years ago. Vivek has been one my ardent supporters ever since I started THE DAWN CLUB… and, he has always looked up to me. So, it is these parents’ sheer wish that I contribute something at least to their offspring.
I love these little children.
They are my great stress-busters.
They bring my roof down,
when they attend our sessions!
And, that’s perfectly fine with me.
For, they bring my pride too down!
I help them come on stage… and open their mouths! Sing; tell a story, a poem, a joke, a funny or scary incident… and dance, act…
And, when they do it, they do it with all their heart… and they enjoy it so fully!
“What are the three mantras, you have learnt today, Yommie?” I ask in between.
Twenty hands go up, even though I asked the question to my darling Yommie.
“Yes, Vishaka beta, you tell me,” I move to Yommie’s toothless-sister!
“You shall speak loudly… You shall speak clearly… and you shall speak from our heart.”
“Shah bash!!!” I yell out to the class, “Give my Vishaka a very big hand.”
And, the roof, once again, comes down!
“Big deal dude,” I laugh in my heart, all over again. “I am teaching these Taare-Zameen-Par kids some ‘Rocket Science’!”
In fact, I show them my favorite movies. I haven’t ceased to be a kid. I haven’t stopped playing and fighting… I haven’t stopped dreaming and crying… and, yes, I haven’t stopped feeling loved, lost and lonely. So, I show them ‘Taare Zameen Par’… I show them ‘3 Idiots’ … and, I show them that inspiring horse movie – ‘SPIRIT – the Stallion of Cameron’.
My God! Watching movies with these kids is an out-of-the world experience. When I show them ‘3 Idiots’, they know every dialogue before hand! When the songs come, some sing along… and some line up on the stage to dance. Every step perfect to the ‘t’!
These are kids… My great stress-busters. They keep alive my innocence and sense of wonder… They keep my heart eternally longing, my eyes perpetually sparkling with stars… and my life forever worth living.
“Happy b’day Yommie… Happy b’day Vishaka.” Please keep coming back in my life… so that I can keep laughing in my heart:
“Hey dude, living life is not a Rocket Science!”
*Pic.: VIVEK C'CUNHA