There are times when many of us want to do something for the society. There are many of us who put a smile on the face of underprivileged children in our own way. And we all feel content to see that smile even if it’s for a short while.
I also belong to that genre of people whose heart cry to see these children who sleep empty stomach many times, who wears torn clothes and no footwear; still surviving in all the harsh weather. I do try to bring a smile to their face whenever I can. Sometimes by buying the balloons from them or sometimes feeding them their choice of food.
Once a random thought of celebrating my daughter’s birthday in an orphanage crossed my mind. I was happy to think the number of faces who will smile with us when we will celebrate her birthday.
Finally, the day came, we have ordered a big cake, all eateries were nicely packed, gifts to distribute were bought in advance and we left for the nearby orphanage to celebrate her birthday.
We were all happy. The mother in me was happy too as I thought I am inculcating good values in my daughter.
Soon we reached there. As we entered, I saw many faces lit up and they all welcomed us shyly with a smile.
When the cake was put on the table all their eyes were glued to the cake which was fancy enough to attract them. I saw the cheek-to-cheek smile on many faces as they sang the birthday song for my daughter.
Soon the food was distributed, toys were given to each of them by my daughter and they all looked happy. Even my happiness knew no bounds to see them all happy.
When it was time for us to leave, a tiny hand held my finger. I looked down and sat beside him as I could guess he wanted to say something.
The little boy whispered into my ears,” Didi, will you come with the same big cake and so many things to eat and a toy on my birthday too?” His question left me speechless. He again said,” But I don’t know when is my birthday. Can you please tell how to find it out?” Tears started rolling down my cheeks. I composed myself and gathered the courage to stand up. I left without saying anything to him because I didn’t know the answer.
All that happiness took a back seat and I wondered whether I did a right thing or not? I hope I have not harmed their emotions. I never thought what impact the birthday celebration will have on their mind. I hoped I have not made them feel more unfortunate. Anyways I wanted to rectify it. I went there the next week with two cakes this time and asked each one of them to cut it.
Though it still didn’t make me feel good but I learned one important lesson that day. It’s good to bring a smile to these children but it is more important to not make them feel that they are unfortunate. I still celebrate my daughter’s birthday there but I never say that it’s her birthday. I simply take a big cake and ask each one of them to cut it. We all sing the birthday song for each other. This makes them feel happy and to see them happy I feel the same way.
So if you too are planning to celebrate your child’s birthday in an orphanage, its a humble request to you to do it the same way. This way we don’t leave any child wondering about his family, loved ones and his birthday.