I feel happy to be writing my first blog touching the soft, non-technical side of a software professionals life! A visit, which revealed some of the harsh aspects of life, some inspiring lifestyles, revision of mundane thoughts and lot many things. Around 20-25 of SUN Engineers visited the 'Shambhavi Home' for the 'Aged' Ladies, Bangalore on April 28, 2008 as a part of the Volunteer Week held at SUN. It was a good experience spending some time with the mother-inmates over there.
First of all, small description of the activities held. To start off with, there was a session of 'bhajans'. Though not much into devotional act, I pretty much enjoyed the time spent in praising and thinking of GOD! Seldom do I do this! :) This was followed by 'Bharatnatyam' dance by a SUN Employees daughter and a friend. Again, though not much into dance forms, liked the taps made by feet, which ultimately led to sound of 'ghungroos'. This was followed by games organized to entertain them. Some of them were made to say their story of life, and some asked to perform, in terms of singing/dancing. It was a fun time for them as well as us. Then followed the lunch which was prepared by them. Though they were asked to bring in caterers, they opted to cook themselves and were indeed ready with the food by the time we reached. Post-lunch, we had the game of 'Tambola', and winners were rewarded suitably. Also, as a token of love, medicines, flasks, stress ball, etc., were distributed amongst the inmates. And it all ended with the vote of thanks by the granny, incharge of the Home. Thus, ended the visit, hopefully leaving all of us with some good memories.....
Me handing over a flask to a 83 year old Granny
Now 2 cents from my side about the experience! The first thing that pleased me was the sight of the granny's, welcoming us with folded hands and sweet smile and saying 'namaskara'. The smile on their faces, especially of the 80 year old ones, was a pleasing sight. The language was always a problem, as most of them knew only Kannada. However, that didn't stop them from interacting with us and we mostly communicated in sign language and broken Kannada. I was also touched to see the excitement they showed in preparing food for us. I visited the kitchen and some 5-6 grannies were busy preparing chapatis. On seeing me, the warden granny took me to a tour of their store room, wash room and kitchen. It was like they were staying as a single unit, forgetting the bitter past that they might have had! Initially, some of them were silent, but by the end of the day, almost everyone spoke up. I could even get details of the personal lives of couple of grannies. I felt sad, that inspite their children being well-educated (some of IAS cadres), they had to spend their life at old age home at this age! Its a shameful act on the part of their children! Anyways, I did what I could. Made couple of them smile by listening to them and spending some quality time with them.
It was a good experience and looking forward to many such visits in future!