“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Somehow this quote by Walt Disney has stuck with me since I was a child. It seems to be very obvious and that of belonging to common sense. The true power of it can be really felt only when you see your dreams come true before you. Something similar was felt by 7 kids from my classroom who were selected for a trip to the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.
For this reason the past month, the song “leaving on a jet plane kept buzzing in my mind.” Every time I would look at the display board with the golden ticket and the names of the seven kids on it in rainbow colors, my face would inevitably break in to a big smile and my heart would be brimming with glee.
After almost a whole week of “didi, five days to go!”, “didi, four days to go!”, “didi, three days to go!” We had our golden tickets in our hands and all our bags were packed and we were ready to go! The over excited parent’s auto rickshaws waiting outside the school with last minute instructions about don’t talk to strangers, don’t keep your hands outside the window in the plane, and always stay with didi were being dished out by the parents of the seven winners of the tickets to the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. The first and second graders were wondering why the plane still hadn’t landed in the school ground to pick us up. I still wonder about how within a matter of few hours of my previous blog I had numerous email replies in my in box from family, friends and complete strangers wanting to sponsor the kids’ airfare for the trip. In fact my manager at Akanksha foundation even sponsored my airfare which allowed me to other logistical expenses for the trip. Only one thought came to my mind, “When you decide to do something, the whole universe conspires to make it happen.” – Paulo Coelho.
The time at the airport, on the flight and the ride back on the longest flyover in Asia was magical. Kids were at their curious best. They were eager to grasp and digest everything new thing that they came across. They wanted to know its name, functionality and purpose. They wanted to know everything. What surprised me was the maturity these 8 year olds showed throughout the trip. I don’t remember doing any of the cool things these 7 kids did when I was their age. As their teacher I feel that this trip has left them more confident and independent individuals. I want you leave you with a very long sentence that tries to capture a fraction of the day we experienced on 28th July 2012.
Starting off with interaction with everyone at the airport including the indigo staff, wishing every didi and bhayya there and chatting with them about their school and them going to ISB, flying to Hyderabad in a pretty cool airplane, picking our luggage, loving the Rajiv Gandhi international airport, driving home, having a dinner party, waking up the next day to play Ultimate Frisbee at 6:00am, jogging around our colony, having yummy home cooked breakfast, exploring the city by road on our way to ISB, reaching the magnificent gate entrance, running ourselves towards the sprawling grounds, being in awe of their library with thousands and thousands of books, learning paint on desktops, being personally tutored by ISB students, walking around the humbling atrium, checking out the oh so wow swimming pool, gym, basket ball courts, recreation center, walking up confidently to every single person on campus and starting a conversation, talking to the Dean of ISB oh so casually about how we think there should be more children on your campus because it is too quiet, sitting in one of the classrooms watching Sai bhayya’s sky diving video on the magical automatic projector screen, wishing every single facility staff on campus bringing a big smile to their face, meeting the international salsa dancer for a personal dance class and teaching him some of our dance moves, having high tea with the admissions team at ISB, winning ISB sipper bottles for dancing fabulously, playing foot ball in slight drizzle and scoring goals, taking Sai bhayya around on his wheel chair in heavy rain on the beautiful ISB campus back to his bike, giving didi a big group hug in the middle of the rain just us telling her how much we LOVE her, running back to the car in the rain washing away all our inhibitions about where we come from, who we are, what we do, to knowing deep in our hearts that we too can and have the option of doing anything that we want to do and that the choice is always ours to make, to finally sleeping like babies in the back of the car while didi drove us back 50 kms in the rain and traffic all the way home smiling sillily to herself all along knowing that some dreams come true.
Leaving you with some pictures to let you relate text to illustrations 🙂