Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009 at LEAD

Having missed the Children's day celebrations at LEAD, Christmas celebrations had been on my mind for long. And I haven’t been so excited about this festival ever before…



Christmas is about Santa Clause, cakes, fun, gifts and joy.

2009 Christmas at LEAD was definitely a summation of all that and more! It was truly a grand one for the children and all volunteers. In some ways, it made all the volunteers feel like kids again :)

The schedule was fixed.
25th would be the Mall visit- planned out by the event management team.
And 26th would be the celebrations at the NMMC hall.

25th December, Friday- Christmas day

At 4:30 in the evening, Volunteers (Rupesh, Arun1, Ashish, Manjula, Deepesh, Manisha, Rajni Madam and Shilpa) gathered at the centre for the gift wrapping.

Abhilash and Jake helped us get the cartons of gifts (40 Tiffin boxes – sponsored by Shilpa) to our centre from Vashi. Our all time well-wisher & supported Prof. Mani had donated many tifin boxes, soup & noodle packets for our children. Each gift packet enclosed a soup packet, tiffin box, 2 pencils, sharpner, eraser & a chocolate.

The team work without doubt fastened the whole process of gift wrapping. And in an hour all the gifts were neatly wrapped and ready.

By 6:15 the kids began coming for their class.

Deepesh, Sanjeev, Sandeep and I had decided to keep books away on Christmas day.
So ‘no study today’ was the verdict!

The CD player was ‘ON’. The music was good but slow. But dance?
Kids were shy and started to blush especially when slow songs were playing.
The boys, Maruti and Vinod seemed absolutely disinterested in the ‘dance’ idea.
‘Only girls dance’ expression on the faces of most of them! :)

But then all of sudden Anil stood up and did this strange non stop dance jingle. Everyone was amazed and laughing by now.
And the ice was broken. Suddenly everyone wants to groove.
And luckily by now, the CD gave us the fast numbers.
Deepesh and I joined the kids who were full of energy. Vinod and Maruti were jumping around by now.Girls like Anjali whom we usually find sitting meekly were also dancing with joy.
The Christmas dance continued till around 7. And by this time all were sweating. Everyone sat down.

Now what, for the next hour? ‘Antaakshiri’ !!

Two teams were made.
Deepesh, Sandeep & kids ---–‘Rock On’ team
Sanjeev, myself & kids----- ‘3 idiots’ team
The points table was drawn on the board.
The kids were super excited by now. Of course, the team leaders too J
The game went on with absolute enthusiasm…
Lot of songs being sung. Marathi and Telugu songs sung by some of the kids were the special flavors…
The points table was a fighting zone by the end. Overall a really good game!!

And finally, to end the amazing session, there was the final act by volunteers Sanjeev and Deepesh who decided to do a ‘dance’ for the kids !!
Well, at the end of the dance, Anil made 2 columns- ‘Deepesh sir’ and ‘Sanjeev sir’ on the board. And gave both of them – zeroes!!

(The dance was video recorded. But both have been convincing me ‘not’ to show that to anyone)
But they have promised a dance number for our next event :-)

In short, the Christmas day was full of dhamaal !! And of course the kids were keen about the bigger party that awaited them the next day.

26th December, Saturday- The Celebrations.

2 pm afternoon…. Enter the NMMC hall of sector 3 and you could literally sense the enthusiasm. A Lot of buzz around. It was Decoration time. The children were running around, playing with balloons and some were helping in decorations.They even demonstrated the discipline by lining up their footwears properly..(Check the snap :-)

Volunteers (Rupesh, Arun1, Kartha mam, Vinita, Devyani, Archana mam with her father & brother Ashish, Manjula, Deepali, Deepesh, Pravin, Kamlesh, Shilpa & her mom, Ramesh & his 2 children ) were doing all the preparations to make the day a grand one. Colourful torans and balloons brightened up the hall. Of course, the balloons did not stay on the walls for very long :)


Slowly everyone settled down. Curiosity coupled with an excitement made the children restless. Seeing the impatience of the children and considering the beauty conscious SANTA who was taking very long to make an entry, Archana mam suggested that all kids dance…..

Pappu cant dance saalla..’ ‘Dhann te nann..’ The fast numbers were played and needless to say all volunteers joined in as well. Children’s favorite Prachi teacher too arrived :)

After the dance session, Archana mam explained the significance of Christmas to the children. A small story put them in an attentive mode.
Also she made it clear to the children that Santa Clause was not a Joker -as most of them thought him to be… :)
She told them that Santa was a good person, very similar to their ‘Rupesh Sir’.


And finally it was THE jingle time…
Santa made the entry.
The children were truly awestruck. Bharat asked us curiously if it was ‘An asli or nakli SANTA’ ???

Chocolates for everyone from Santa with the ‘jingle bells’ in the background!
Smiles on the faces of our children were something that we will never forget.

And then it was time for the performances….

The 15 school children (from Archana mam’s side) performed a beautiful dance on a prayer song…’tu pyaar ka saagar...’ Then there were a few group songs sung by another group like ‘yeshumassi …’ ‘meri mammi ,kitni acchhi…’, ‘ek sadak pe jaataa ladka…’, etc…The group songs, the ones with actions etc got full support from our LEAD children who joined them.

After the performances, it was time for the SURPRISE entry---A JOKER cum magician!





Dressed in bright purple dress, big black shoes, gloved hands, a painted face and a fat tummy – the ‘ideal’ joker made the entry to put the children in absolute glee.

The antics of the joker mesmerized the kids and through those antics he gave out messages on cleanliness and personal hygiene.


He then called Manisha (Kailash’s daughter) and Sunil to help him perform a rope trick. He often put forth the question of ‘Girls are better? Or boys ?’ to the children.

At which the entire audience was shouting aloud. The rope trick was a hit. !

Then Ketan, (Archana mam’s student) performed 2 excellent dance numbers.

Also, our very own Simran performed a marathi dance number (‘Aika daaji ba..’).

She was taught by our volunteers Priyanka & Amisha. I am sure her flawless performance would be the greatest reward ever for the tireless efforts put in by her 2 teachers in such a short span. Also, humble thanks to our volunteer, Guru, who allowed us to use his home for the dance practice. Amisha would agree that it would have been very difficult without this. Damyanti teacher gave Simran the fantastic ‘aamchi marathi porgi’ get-up with nau-vaari sari & ornaments.
Simran danced really very well and earned huge accolades and cheering esp. from her friends. No doubt, our other girls aspire to become Simran now J

Also it was very heart-warming to see our Anjali wearing the new frock made by her ‘mother’(Anita) for this event.
(We had helped Anita, about 4 months back, enroll for the tailoring class at Aarambh & now she has started using her hands wonderfully)!!

Back to Joker- magician. Now he performed a handkerchief trick keeping the children totally engrossed in it. The 3 kids (Aarti, Rahul and Shainki) who were called to help him in the trick couldn’t simply contain their excitement. Teasing their names and vague expressions had them in splits. He then continued with a few more funny tricks…
There’s n doubt that our show would have been truly incomplete without our crazy Joker (Pravin) & cute Santa Claus (Rakesh, a tenth standard student from Kandivli) Absolute splendid performance from both of you!!

Finally, it was time for the snacks-. All children were made to sit. Our just-wed Drawing Sir Arun 2 had arrived by then with his beautiful wife Smitha and assisted the other volunteers with the serving and distribution.

The spicy Daabelis, yummy cakes, sweet chocolates and Frooti was relished by the children and the volunteers. A hearty thanks to Archana mam for sponsoring the first 3 food items. It was the perfect ‘sweet’ ending to the amazingly entertaining day.

Special Thanks to our volunteer Ramesh who helped us in picking up & dropping Archana mam’s children & even shifting the stuff between our centre & venue.
He deserves a special mention because of his excellent devotion despite losing his father just few days back. Also thanks for involving your 2 children.

Thanks Arun 1, Dipesh & Kamlesh for the crucial winding up work. It is here that we need more voluntreers too

Here's the link to the snaps of our event:
http://picasaweb.google.co.in/lead.airoli/ChristmasCelebration#

The Christmas Celebrations culminated after the dance masti (public demand :-) followed by our national anthem.

The year 2009 it self was bidding adios.

2010 awaits us all with its own challenges.

But being the coordinated and enthusiastic team that we have been, we can go past all of those and grow into a better team.


Happy New Year 2010 to the entire team of LEAD!

P.S: special thanx to Rupesh for the editing part of this report and incorporating snaps :)


Regards
Shilpa
LEAD

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