A MOTHERLY HAND:
"Wish we could be like you".. That's what the children of New Age Society For All must be saying to themselves, when anybody from the human race characterised by no deformities or devoid of humanly disorders visit them. Yes,I am sure that this pertinent question kept reverberating in their minds when I paid a visit to them for the purpose of filming a documentary.
"New Age Society For All"- an N.G.O(Non Governmental Organisation) catering to those deformed,detached,dismissed children of the society with all their might to present them a happy tomorrow and a bright life. It is located in Sonarpur in the South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal,India. It is home to 22 children who were ignored by their parents,or ousted from their native lands, or even faced brutal humiliation over time,which they innately brought with them. The organisation etched "a motherly hand",becoming their guide for the present and future while totally helping them to discard their dark past,so that the past fails to leave a negative blotch in their present. At first,when your eye falls on the building,it might look a bit grotesque-set amidst medium sized houses,sky tall trees,a stagnant pond at one edge and shrubs hither thither which have encroached upon the window sills. But on a second glance,and with deeper symbolism,the trees which reach the menacing clouds do reflect the future of these children-stalwart and bold, while acting as a canopy,a shelter,a badge of security too. The pond and the adjoining vegetations, powered by lush green,which encompass the house,is indicative of the fact that Mother Nature is embellishing and nestling its most valuable creation-children. The huge gates symbolise the gateway to success and good will of those children. Apart from the verdant rural imagery,my eyes attracted those children I was talking about,longing from the balcony,towards me,with great hope and desire glowing in their eyes. I rewarded them with a smile,which they effusively appreciated and rushed in. I was embraced and greeted by them with jolts from each side,in such an emotional and compassionate manner that I failed to combat my tears. I could envision my childhood days, those days when I did get all I longed for,all my wishes were pumped with oxygen turning them into life.. But these children? I was left dumbfounded. I turned blank. I knew that a smile was always worn on my face,but inside I had a heavy heart,which could not be unveiled to those several jolly,jovial,smiling faces which clustered within moments of my first step inside the building.
The organisation began in the month of February,2000 with a vision to save,rescue,protect,culture,nestle and nurture such children who were deprived of humanly love,affection,care,respect and needs,or those who were led astray and drove into nefarious activities at such a tender age. The organisation has played a pivotal role in reforming and replenishing the lives of several other children, who are leading a life of smile and gaiety now, who once were plunged into activities played by outlaws and miscreants,and by now could be absorbed completely in this epidemic black chapter. Their contribution to the society,in the earlier stages,in slums,in prisons is praiseworthy and they did illuminate the lives of several children,who were or delved into dungeons of uncouth,detestable practices. That could have rewarded lifelong imprisonment or a threshold of life burnt into ashes. With only a handful of hard working members,the organisation is still performing a brilliant job in shaping the lives of such children, handing them the nightingale lamp,throwing light on what's right and what's wrong while gifting subtle care and affection which they were kept aloof from.
Let's take a closer look on the activities performed by the organisation at present, through the eyes of my camera captured,with the veins and arteries of my heart felt. Every morning,when the children rouse,they perform a few minutes of physical exercises,just to be fit and healthy,to refrain from invites to untimely disorders. Following that,they are greeted with a handsome breakfast, really nutritious and following a balance diet chart prescribed by their home doctor. At noon,a teacher comes to render little span of happiness,togetherness,brotherhood and knowledge which they would love to drink. Some of them cannot hear or speak,but they do have glossy receptors of accepting and understanding facts faster than other children. Really,god does gift everyone with unique qualities. They may be impaired but this quality of powerful acceptance is the domineering attribute of these children. That learning session-the immense participation in knowledge,parturition of thoughts,dedication sphere is simply inexplicable. Such a delirious moment is to be savoured, and none can avoid from going down the memory lane to their golden days of childhood. They receive a few hours of sound slumber in the afternoon,popularly called the "siesta",with envisages of far stretching fields of joy,kicks of happiness and their epitome of doubts and questions,which usually clot in a child's mind,completely painted with imagination and thinking. They may look short,their age may be less,their maturity might be questioned,but it is a sure thought that their mental maturity is developing my leaps and bounces. Till the sunset sets in, after their sleep,they enjoy rapid playing here and there,sometimes at a local greenery filled field,under supervision of a few elders. Playing necessarily doesn't refer to all those games which picture in our minds. Our degrees of exposure were much more in sharp contrast to their length of exposures. For them playing is an art of exercising,relaxing,recreating themselves,with any kind of an act which reciprocates with them merrily,anything which creates and preserves the embalming relations amongst themselves,which draws them one step closer to Mother Nature,yet every step further from childhood ,as they grow up.
The entire documentary was shot really well. The biggest question is: Can a camera steal the hearts of those children by recording or can a human heart jinx with those bubbly children more firmly? Can the camera picture the grave situations,the grievances,the atrocities they confronted at such a tender age? Can it record the inner self in them,their dreams,emotions? Human eye indeed topples a normal camera there. It's the most powerful camera in the world,one of the most intricate creations of Mother Nature. My experience for a single day there was so much ebullient,emollient and delectable that I wished to accompany those gems forever..... Very sad and disappointing moment it was to bid them a goodbye,for I could see my childhood in them. I wanted to return to those days. "Will they ever return?.."I contemplated on it. I had to return by showering a big smile,real tight embraces,kiss on their cheeks,yet at the end with a counterfeited glee. They are contended and happy there,yes it was a delightful moment to spend a whole day of immaculate fun and enjoyment,serving and coming across seldom found happiness, laughter, docileness and symbiosis. The building silhouetted with the sunset did symbolise the laudatory dreams breathing in the progeny.
"Wish we could be like you" is an dream come true question from the children's point of view.. But we,the homosapien race,know the real answer. We know how cruel,how painful,how merciless and how disruptive the outer world is. Their tender,glistening eyes dream of how the outer world would be and can even picturise with emotions. When the impure air of reality touches human,we are stung with inhumanity and egregious malpractices. In the end,their question should be asked unitedly from all of us,desiring for those lost days... "wish WE could be like you"...
About Author / Additional Info:
I am a student of media studies,writing blogs and articles,to render motion to my thought processes,while sharing experiences of lifetime.