Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Food for thought...

So Sunday, May 10th was Mother’s day…and my friends with kids, who had rushed to the mall to pick up last minute gifts for their wives, were of the unanimous opinion that the malls were packed to the hilt with male folk and kids on Saturday evening and Sunday morning so that preparations, for the mothers to be pampered, could be completed in good time :-) …

I hadn’t realized until that point of time, that over the years, Mother’s Day celebrations have gone on to assume such importance in the lives of families…it was cheering to see the children ,aptly prompted by their dads, do small things for their mothers in their own special ways as a token of their appreciation and love…

Noticing all these celebrations around me, my thoughts transitorily dwelled on Ms. ‘S’, a lady I have met just once and perhaps will never meet again…and just for a moment, I was overcome with this overwhelming sense of helplessness.

About a month back, I volunteered at this organization called One Brick for an event “Bowling with KEEN”. Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN) is a nonprofit, volunteer organization and in association with One Brick holds these bowling events every month for children and young adults having disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, various intellectual and developmental disabilities. So the event I signed up for was a KEEN bowling event where a participating athlete, with special needs, is paired with a volunteer coach for an afternoon of bowling.

I had been thinking of getting involved in some such volunteering activities involving children /education etc for quite some time …but it took a final push from a friend, Rush,who took the initiative to sign up for the event, to actually make me get out of bed relatively early on a Sunday morning (by early, I mean 10:00 a.m., the lazy bum that I am :-) ) and get to 'Strike Bethesda' to bowl with those wonderful youngsters. And am I glad that I managed to overcome my laziness and get to the bowling session that Sunday afternoon(despite having this last minute urge to go back on the commitment I had already made…believe me, my brain was baiting me with a lot of excuses…incomplete household chores …hectic long week at work coming up etc.etc. :-))!!

To say the least, the event was a sobering experience and filled me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for all the good things that I have been blessed with in life…

As a volunteer coach, I was paired with ‘P’, a 20 year old adolescent in the body of a 10 year old child…a wheel chair bound youngster …a fragile shriveled being… who was almost oblivious to the world around him and not responsive to anything other than the occasional gentle touch of his mother…Ms.‘S’,the lady I mentioned before…a beautiful, dignified, single mom, whose world seemed to revolve around her son…

And on Mother’s day,as I rejoiced in the celebratory mood of my friends,I momentarily thought of Ms. S …

I wonder what she did…probably she had family around her to pamper her…I am sure ‘P’ must have made her feel special in his own little way…maybe…probably…perhaps…I really don’t know…all that I know is that it left me with a very sad feeling…

I personally love being pampered and appreciated by friends and family for big things and small on special and not so special days…I would be a hypocrite to claim that I don’t…

Nevertheless it made me feel that maybe...just maybe while all of us fortunate, privileged ones go on with our lives and have these ever growing list of special global days (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day etc), to celebrate our relationships with the special people in our lives and also to endorse and rejoice in a sense of camaraderie with other people, who are fortunate enough to be on the same boat as us, we perhaps unknowingly exacerbate the void, pain and loneliness in the lives of those not as fortunate…

Perhaps, just perhaps…we have got into the habit of eternally looking for reasons to create hoopla and fuss about just ordinary days…

7 comments:

SBora said...

touching P
yes, it is indeed sobering for us fortunates when our world collides with those who aren't. it is a jolting experience, one that helps us see and feel blessed for all we have and make us feel stupid for the pettiness we sometimes indulge in.

Priyanka Rajkhowa said...

Yep Rhimjhim ba...absolutely!!

GNSD said...

Well said.. i guess we get so caught up in our own lives, and in our own accomplishments and our problems.. that we
1. Forget to cherish & appreciate what we have.
2. Not think of others who may not have the simple luxuries we have, and what their ordeals may have been..

Priyanka Rajkhowa said...

Garima, yep definitely...guess more often than not we just don't take the time to think beyond ourselves, family and close circle of friends.

Amateur Blogger said...

Well, 'Knowledge/Realization' is the first step to 'Change'.
Guess you should be grateful to Rush and yourself for giving yourself the chance to experience a different perspective.

However, for Ms. S, I guess every action on any day by her son would probably be more special than anything the mother of a more fortunate child could experience.

In my very limited experience, making someone feel special is something so fundamental, that there are ways to do it which transcend misfortunes and disabilities.

Priyanka Rajkhowa said...

Amen Tushar :-))

Couldn't agree more with your perspective on making people feel special ...gives me hope ...

Neetu said...

so true. we just crib without realizing it is no where close to hurddles faced by millions others.