I would cherish this day for the rest of my life. Having returned from Ahmedabad about five months back, I have all but lost touch with blogging. It is not so much a matter of time, as it is a question of discipline and retrospective thinking. But this day, December the 26th of 2010, marks a re-entry of sorts into personal blogging.
The first post, as would normally be expected, is not a welcome post at all, though I welcome every one of my visitors with a heart filled with love and compassion. Yet, all I intend to talk about in this first post, is this special day where I got to meet pure bliss, face-to-face, in an immediately recognizable human form.
Way back in 2007, my friend Rakesh asked me to join in a unique celebration of A.R.Rahman’s birthday – in an orphanage – where many fans of A.R.Rahman would arrange a small musical concert, distribute lunch, spend some time with the kids of the institution and donate money. Fortunately, I was also asked to play a small violin piece during the music show. That day marked the first of the yearly celebrations conducted by the A.R.Rahman Fan Club at various such orphanages or social service institutions. It was a great event, although I couldn’t realize, back then, how important it was for these hardcore fans of the musical genius. “Pop” Shalini was the chief-guest that day. We also had one of the inmates of the orphanage play a tune on his flute, beautifully. I left a bit early after this and missed out on the later events that happened on that day.
The next two years, I could never make it. Most of it was purely out of a lethargic sense of existence. But Rakesh and most other fans not only conducted these events with full vigor but also made a point of conducting a food-distribution event every Sunday.
This year, on the day of Christmas, I received a Facebook Event Invitation from Rakesh regarding the celebration of A.R.Rahman’s birthday at a place called Samarpana. I was anyway leaving for Ambattur (where Rakesh lives) to my Aunt’s place, so I thought I’d join him the next day to attend the celebrations. That, as fate would have it, turned out to be an eye-opener for me.
Samarpana is an organization for Spastics and Mentally Retarded children that has been running since 1995. The place is run by a couple who could rather be called Gods on earth.
Spastic children are a hard lot, to nourish, to teach, to take care of, to train and to live with. To think that someone has left all material pursuits and abandoned leading a normal life in order to devote their entire time, nay, life, taking care of such children – along with other children whose single parents are not capable of fending for them – is much more than a stunning fact. It is the sacrifice of the highest order, of the greatest soul.
The children are all gems of every possible hue. The smile on the face, the hyperactive states of certain kids, the innocent stare, the inquisitive questions, the caress and the mere touch of these kids elevates you to such levels of bliss that is hardly expressible in words. That is precisely where I met bliss, and where I could instantly see the truth behind the saying, Children are like Gods.
The third instance of happiness is something that I will cherish for a long long time and would probably get to see more often, hitherto. Many of us know how great a person A.R.Rahman is, not just through his musical ingenuity but also through his humility, total lack of ego, enormous love towards all and his chastity of thought. In each of the Rahman Fan (Rahmaniac) that I met this day, I found a heavy trace of the same qualities that make A.R.Rahman such a wonderful person.
I have always held Rakesh in high esteem simply owing to his positive attitude in life, his ever joyful soul and his tremendous humility. At Samarpana, as more Rahmaniacs joined in, I fould many more Rakeshes. Dedicated, devoted, humble, humane, polite… words are simply found wanting when I want to explain about these die-hard fans of A.R.Rahman. But to have been there, to have felt it all and to have experienced it all and realized the phrase of the man himself, “All my life I’ve had a choice of hate and love and I chose Love and I am here,” was totally a magnificent event.
Love towards service by the Rahmaniacs. Love in its pure, innocent form from the children. And love in the people managing the institution, having completely sacrificed their lives to the benefit and well-being of these children. This is what is pure Godliness. This is what is bliss all about. And I must have been extremely fortunate to have witnessed them all a day after Christmas.
My sincere thanks to Rakesh for informing me and taking me to the event; to all the wonderful Rahmaniacs for conducting it in such a brilliant manner; to V.R.Vithur, the main organizer and great Rahmaniac who wholeheartedly plunged himself in total dedicated service; to Al Rufian for the trip back home. And to the unseen Gods in all other such institutions for making such a huge sacrifice.