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A Unique Christmas Party

December 23, 2006

It was a Christmas Party with a difference. There were neither flamboyant dresses nor big Christmas cakes. Yet it turned out to be one of the best Christmas parties i have ever attended. It happened last Saturday. About 3000 children and senior citizens celebrated their Christmas in Mount Carmel College. What made this party so special was the fact that all these children were students of 40 different special schools(schools specialized in teaching deaf, dumb, blind or mentally challenged children) located in and out of Bangalore. The senior citizens were residents of Old Age Homes located at different parts of the Bangalore. And I got an opportunity to volunteer for the event.

All of this was made possible by Chrysallis. Chrysallis – a theatre of performing arts for the specially challenged forms a group of like-minded people who want to bring a difference to the life of a specially challenged child. It conducts a number of events throughout the year, the biggest one being their Christmas Party.

My day as a volunteer started at 5 A.M. The fact that I got up that early to be a part of the event was in itself an achievement for me(considering the weird hours i got to sleep and eventually get up these days). I reached Mount Carmel College at 7 o’clock in the morning. The tasks assigned to our group were decorating the venue and face painting. We started off with hanging crepe papers, cut in different sizes and shapes and blowing balloons. It was nice to be with a whole lot of energetic people running around getting things done. Everybody was busy putting together the snacks packets, making sure that the water bottles are in place, arranging chairs and carpets and taking care of every small thing so that children will be at ease.

The volunteers included students, researchers, software professionals, teachers, housewives and self-employed people. There were children who came with their parents and wanted to volunteer for the event. And there were people as old as 50 years. We were from different states and spoke different languages. Yet the combined goal of making that day a special one for thousands of children brought us together. It was a wonderful to see how a common goal can bring a wide variety of people from different layers of social strata to work together.

The stage was all set for children by 9 o’clock. They started coming to the venue in buses and vans. We were ready with our paints and brushes. Face painting was a unique way to bond with the children. We asked them whether they want us to paint them on their face or hand. Though a few of the children were reluctant at first, when they saw us painting their friends’ face and hands, they were ready to try it out. While girls wanted a smiley or a Christmas tree or a flower on their face, a moustache or French beard were popular among the boys. More than getting their faces or hands painted, the feeling that someone is ready to hold my hand, touch my face, talk to me, smile at me and ask me what do i want, was making them happy. They smiled at me and called me ‘akka’ or ‘aunty’. They insisted that i paint their both hands and faces, though due to time constraints we decided earlier that we will paint either one hand or one face. Most of the times, i succumbed to their demands and did whatever they insisted. After all, it was meant to be their day.

I could see the children enjoying the party to its maximum. They sang, danced, clapped, that too in a number of ways. One was sunflower clap, another one a rocket clap and so on. The event included a magic show by a renowned magician and ventriloquist. I was awed by seeing the performances made by the children. There was a bunch of deaf and dumb girls dancing to a pep Kannada number. I saw blind children singing melodiously and mentally retarded children performing a drama with a well written script. It made me wonder whether me as a ‘so called normal human being’ is utilizing my talents to a good extend or not. At times, these children can teach u a lesson or two. They taught me how to communicate even if u don’t know the language of each other. They taught me how to be compassionate to others. They taught me how to live the life to its fullest with whatever u are blessed with.

It was indeed a day of learnings. That day i found a whole new world, entirely different from mine. A world without deadlines and cut throat competition. A world where living life to its fullest with whatever little u have, is the mantra. In fact, it was a day i lived to its fullest.

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From → children, experience

4 Comments
  1. very meaningful post. in this world of rat race we often forget that these small moments can bring more happiness than we think they can!!

  2. @ankurgTrue. I hope to have more such meaningful moments in my life.

  3. hiit is months gone by…and your post just brought back those wonderful memories…it is a blessing to have volunteers like you who are wid chrysallis for the right reasons n have their heart at the right place:)Not sure who u are…so not sure if u have come to any of our other events!and yeah, the Christmas party is one of our big endeavours but we have also done a lot the last year…made inclusive education our motto. do read http://www.chrysallispowerofone.blogspot.com to know more.regards,madhurima

  4. @madhurimaThank you so much. I will read the blog to know more. Hoping to attend many more events of chrysalis 🙂

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