A Welcome Mix-Up

At the end of the Street Smart program at Gandhi Park every day, we have very little time to spare since Street Smart finishes by 3:45 and the Bindal program commences at 4. So any time that the kids at Street Smart ask for a ride on my legendary scooter (a battered excuse for a non-geared drive) or any other time-pass, my standard reply is “Abhi nahi, doosre school ke liye late ho gaya hai” (Roughly translates to “Not now, we are already late for the next school”.

So this ‘next school’ has become a fascinating place for the kids because they obviously want to know who these kids are, what we feed them, what we teach them and such information. I assure you, most of this fascination is geared at finding out what we are doing different at Bindal so that we can be subjected to more whining and complaining and emotional blackmails by our street kids!
Here is an example:
Kids: “You give them fruit and milk everyday?”
Me: “Umm, yes.”
Kids: “Why? Are they very special or brainy? Or do you love them more than you love us”

*Kids walk away before I can mumble “But we eat lunch together, over here”*

In the past few days, however there has been a convergence of the tiniest magnitude, which is quite welcome. Gopi, along with his friends siblings -Riya and Mehuna- suddenly arrived at the Bindal School three days back. I was dumbstruck but also happy so I had them stand in the assembly line, had them sing prayers and participate in exercises and then sit down to study.

The next day, the kids were back again and this time with two other kids: Sajan and Kumkum who are also Parade Ground dwellers. Now here we started to hyperventilate since these two children are very young (about 8 and 5 respectively) and so they cannot walk up from Gandhi Park to Bindal on their own!

Gopi and his siblings have been coming to Bindal for four days now. And it may be too early to say this, but I do feel they will be regulars here. We will slowly get in the schedule of sitting them down in classes and getting them at par with the other kids. But this is getting to wishful thinking and dreaming again, so it is best the post finishes here!

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