Of Stories and Needs: Lessons learnt from children

With a few storybooks in hand and activities planned I made my way to a children’s home. When I met them, it was indeed a stark reminder of the gap between what we think and assume and what really is. Having always spoken faithfully of stories as healing and stories for change, I had somewhere forgotten that they are incomplete, words are not food and illustrations are not love. When the heart craves for a mother and the mind at gaining the attention of a new visitor, I do not know what story to tell.

I realized how small I am, how much of a fantasist I am, and how awkward I am. A few weeks ago a wise friend had remarked on one of my posts that perhaps people are born with empathy, they either have it or don’t. Much as I tried to understand and comprehend the many queries, I knew I was feeling torn inside, I was overwhelmed, I was sad, I was heart broken with my limited capacity.

What did I add on to their lives? A stranger, she came, she played with us, she taught us how to make aeroplanes, we laughed with her, and when she was leaving, we cried…perhaps they were in a better frame of mind before I entered for that small instance and reminded them that there are so many barriers, barriers of walls, barriers of notions of normalcy, barriers of money, barriers of an actually non inclusive education system, barriers of lack of the knowledge of sign language on our part, barriers of the sheer lack of empathy in us…A lady who visits them often, came in with food, one of the little girls, distributed it among all and then took her share, one by one the little ones came and offered me a bite, I felt humbled and human…


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