Sunday, October 25, 2009

Diwali Dhamaka

18th OCTOBER 2009….. Diwali Celebrations at “Lead-Airoli”

Well After weeks of online deliberations and discussion around Diwali with or without Crackers…… the d-day was here……. Sunday, the 18th… volunteers were asked to be present by 2.30 PM…… there was work allocation which had happened the previous day with specific responsibilities being assigned to respective volunteers…..

Kailash was leading the diwali festivities…. With Kartaa Aunty along with her husband & daughter Anupama leading the charge on the decoration front……. The place was being setup to match the glitter in the eyes of the kids who were waiting in anticipation of the celebrations to start……

Anupama, Shefali & even Kailash’s little princess Manisha did a nice big rangoli outside the “LEAD HOUSE” (Oh! Btw I forgot to mention that the kids had learnt to do rangoli the previous day and that morning…..)Special Thanks to our wonderful volunteers Shruti, Nikita & Prachi. The class was further decked up with two rows of small lanterns – one row supported the ready made ones & the other row included the ones completely made by our children under the guidance of Archana teacher, Deepali & Shefali.
While the decorations was on….till upto 3.30… our “Teacher” kept the kids busy with some “drawing activities”….

3.30-4.00 PM… the decorations were almost done and by then our MASTERJI (aka.. Rupesh) was here…. As soon as he entered… our kids Vinod, Maruti, Raja, Sunita, Reshma, Sita thronged him with the beautiful hand made diwali greeting cards(do check the snaps) that each of had made for him…… The smile on the kids face was priceless as they handed over the greeting card to our MASTERJI…..Vinod even gifted him with a pen !!!

Well, in many ways that marked the beginning of the diwali festivities…… this was followed by the rangoli competition…. Everybody (boys and girls alike) participated in the competitition…. Making nice decorative and designer “DIYAS” as rangoli…… I could see that the guys enjoyed making it more than the girls…. ;-) (Sign of times to come and how the next generation will be……..)….

Our Judges….Kailash, Kartha Madam and Damayanti teacher were entrusted the task to judge the best rangoli…. They were assisted by some other volunteers….. it was a difficult one for the judges…. While the judges were going about doing their jobs… the next event of the day for the kids had already started….. That was a 15-20 minute Cartoon Movie on…. Naaaa not the projector but on the laptop! (we promise to make it on projector next time, kids)

While it was chaotic in the beginning getting the kids to sit in a way that the screen is visible to everyone… finally every one settled and the movie began…. As the time passed…. And the movie neared the end…. MASTERJI had got the photographs of the previous events…. Which were played out for the kids…. Kids enjoyed watching their photographs more than the cartoon series… well as this activity came to a close…..

Our “Sumi” teacher was ready with games for the kids… the games were played….Games like --- one of the kids from a pair decorating the other with maximum number of clips in 1 minute, then the clips replaced by the funnier stuff- Bindis, & finally the entire group played the game that tested their presence of mind (touching their eyes, nose, ears, mouth very rapidly as per the instructions) --- And this was followed by a song and dance…… With boys coming in the front and getting off…. On a bollywood number…. The second group of boys came in with some random steps (fullon masti) enjoying the every moment of the song dancing amongst themselves not even bothered to look at the audience (the other kids and us volunteers who were playing audience while they were dancing)… the show stopper of the event was the dance by Sunita, Reshma and Sita. The dance was impeccable especially Sunita who was brilliant. I was amazed by the precision of the steps and the movements through out the song…. (it gets me to think about the individual talent that each of them has inspite of the living environment they are in)… this was followed by a one more dance item by our little volunteer Manisha on her favourite number “Pappu cant dance Saallaa!!”. Again she was amazing! Sumi had even got some beautiful gifts for our children like towels for the winners & crayons for everyone.So after exhausting themselves with the dance and cheering for each other… it was time for some pet pooja for the kids…. Our volunteers… kamlesh, babu, sanjeev… had made sure that the snacks and fruit juice were ready by the time kids were ready to eat!

Beena, & some college volunteers Pallavi, Sushant & Jenson went about preparing the plates for the kids and passing it on to volunteers who were distributing it…… KIDs enjoyed the sumptuous SAMOSA and Wafers and the Mithai…… this was followed by Frooti……..Patil Sir from Rupesh’s college made a guest apperanace with lot fo Mithais & some pencil packets …. Even Shruti’s & Nikita’s mothers had packed & sent the home-made Diwali snacks in packets …..Thank you so much Aunty for these & more importantly your love & affection for our children 
The logical next thing after this was bursting crackers….. so that then was the next activity (rather the penultimate activity of the day)… kids were taken to the maidan with each of them having FULJADIS, ANAR and Pencil RASSI….. (Crackers with least noise pollution :-) Sincere apologies to our environment conscious friends, we had to give higher priority to the smiles  …. Well as each of them started… it became unmanageable… one of the kid… Musoba did get his foot burnt by the burnt sparkle and he had to be given some minor medical treatment and more of mental strength to get him up and back in the maidan to continue the celebrations…. Kids were having a ball of a time…. And here I was with my BP going up and down worried that some of them will injure themselves in the process of bursting it….. it was indeed fun to watch them though enjoying… I had stopped bursting crackers at the age of 15… it was after that many years that I was “celebrating” with crackers and was happy about it…..

So as the kids were almost done and away with bursting of the crackers….It was time to head back home for the kids…. And for remaining volunteers (Ashish, Sanjeev, Kailash, Ramesh, Arun) to the LEAD HOUSE….. yes.. the clean up of the place was waiting for them…… and no this wasn’t the last activity I was referring to…. This was followed up with going to the Sector 3 GAON and Sector 17 to check out the KILLA(forts)(Do check the snaps of all the 3 forts) that was made by the kids… without exaggeration the KILLAs made by both the groups was amazing…. With the limited resources that they had… it was a mind blowing effort… our attempt to capture this in mobile camera was futile with lot of darkness around…. We left both the places with the promise that they will keep the killa till about tomo morning and our MASTERJI will visit in day light and capture those marvels……

And that’s how the celebrations came to close….. personally for me who felt and saw diwali as just another day and could not understand the hype around it …. This was probably the Diwali when I was contended to having CELEBRATED it….. it really felt nice… being with the kids…….




  1. You guys gave for once and for a change these kids a reason to feel special. Keep going.

    Best Regards,

  2. Another great acheivement by LEAD!!!

  3. since childhood i've been told diwali is a festival to say
    and i thnink nthng else can prove da meaning and worth of dis shloka than dis celebration..........


  4. Diwali indeed rocked for our kids at LEAD!! :D

  5. I missed this event...But couldn't help as i was visiting my home town after 6 months of hard work...anyways kudos to LEAD for pulling this one...

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