From the diaries of SBI YFI Fellow Axita: They say, if you want to see the world at its best, see it through the eyes of a child.
A community in a hamlet named Sadyampatti, nearby a small town named Ponnamravathi nearly 250kms from Madurai, Tamil Nadu, is where I will be spending a year of my life. A meaningful year, as I believe!
It’s been 3 weeks since I ventured into the field to engage with the local community, to become a part of them, observe them, learne from them. And the best of the experiences yet, I have to say, was when the kids were around.
One usual afternoon, my co-fellow and I visited a nearby school. Despite trying our best to blend in, we do end up giving alien feels to the enthusiastic and inquisitive kids. Rather, we are closer to being comedians to them. However, we ain’t giving up so soon!
It’s amazing how even when there’s nothing in common, including language, culture, and appearances, sans the fact that we are both humans, nevertheless, the communication flows.
Being from the land of Himalayas, Hindi is the only language I am familiar with, and that has made the kids here nickname me ‘Hindi kaarng’. On the other hand, they understand only Tamil. So, they tell stories about their land, the people, their school, friends, and other experiences, all in Tamil.
They have a story about every single thing around them. They do try to teach me their language, only to laugh their hearts out at my failed attempts and the unnatural accent.
Whenever I visit their school, the excitement in them is palpable since they feel like it’s their fun time! Just the other day I took a tour of the school and interacted with the teachers there, who are actually more of foster parents of these children since they take care of them the entire day, teaching them everything under the sun, feeding them, and finally packing their bags and arranging their bags when it’s time for them to leave.
Just as I was about to leave after getting all the information I wanted, a bunch of kids gathered around me for a selfie (is there anyone in the world who is still untouched by the selfie rage?!).
Among the group, I saw a boy pulling a shy girl towards me, saying something and then laughing… I just couldn’t understand what was happening. He then just held my arm, he held her arm and brought them close and pointed. Then it hit me! I told them she’s beautiful and has beautiful eyes. I could see her eyes smile. She did say, though, that the boy is her friend, although he is a little irritating since he keeps saying that she won’t get married because she is black. Wow!
Wonder where he got that from?
The bottom line is, if you want to see the real picture of the world, see it through the eyes of a child. It will show you how beautiful this apparently flawed world is, and how we, as humans, are ruining that beauty.
How efficient and quick we are in stereotyping, making judgments, discriminating on the basis of countless but baseless attributes! Everyone wants a perfect human, probably a Barbie or Superman! Let’s all be more attentive to what we teach the next generation. Let’s make them more sensitive and conscious of being humane, preserve their innocence, and help make this world a better place.