Treasures of Innocence » September 2016

Monthly Archives: September 2016

Treasures of Mahalaya

Come autumn and Hindus all over the world get enthused in festive fervour. Come ‘Mahalaya’ and Bengalis get busy with the final Puja touch up. The whole of Bengal rises up at 4 in the chilly autumn morning to hear the story of Ma Durga, ‘Mahisasura Mardini‘ or ‘The Annihilation of the Demon’. We are all quite well aware of the story of Goddess Durga’s descent to Earth.

There is a similar story of a girl, Shakti. Her residence was in a small, underprivileged area, but she dreamt of ruling the world. She had often seen girls from well off families in her para and always wanted to be like one of them – educated, well dressed and collected. But, she was bound by her insecurities and helplessness. She was aware of them and it kept on reminding her that she couldn’t be one of them. She didn’t have a father and her mother earned just enough to feed them. Her demons were more powerful than her courage and she had to succumb.

Mahalaya Banner TOI

So, one Mahalaya morning just like everyone, Shakti woke up at 4am and went to a nearby tea stall where everyone gathered to hear the story of their Ma. Her mother often told her that Shakti meant divine power and that if she wanted, she could achieve anything in life. After the story ended, “Odhormer upor dhormer joy” echoed in her ears. Shakti in the truest sense of her name, had got the power to overcome her negativities and insecurities. All she needed was a little push. It was then, when Treasures of Innocence gave Shakti the wings she longed to fly with. Her moment of pride was when she could flawlessly recite her own writings in English confidently, just like those educated girls who came to her locality.

Shakti, another name for Durga is the active side of the divine energy of Lord Shiva. She represents the furious powers of all male gods, and is the ferocious protector of the righteous, and destroyer of the evil, ridding a lion and carrying weapons in all her arms. Just like Ma, Shakti made an end to the Mahisasura of her life with education as her weapon and Treasures of Innocence her chariot. While, the aura radiated from her , the victorious tune of good over evil was heard from beneath the Dhaak.


– Dhruti Sharma

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My First Experience

 

My first volunteering experience with Treasures of Innocence / Rameez Rahmani

On a lazy but beautiful Sunday afternoon in Kalighat, the light drizzle, a fantastic morning exam, the bells and chants of the temple and the scenic beauty of a rainy Kolkata it seemed just more than enough like a perfect setting of an empowering and powerful day ahead.

After an initial bout of way-asking amongst the friendly streets of Kolkata, I walked right beside the famed Temple and felt a positive energy flowing through me already as if Ma was blessing me. The drizzle became a downpour and I slowly walked to Kailash Vidyamandir right beside the flyover fully drenched. However, upon reaching there and seeing the positive ambience my mind seemed to take refuge in an enchanted Trance. Here I was disillusioned from life, but these little children were so enthusiastic despite having so little. Their innocent smiles along with their talent and thirst for knowledge gave me much inspiration for the times to come.

Dhruti, Bidisha, Disha, Preety, Rani di were taking the English class and I was supposed to take a craft session. It was mesmerizing to see so many minds working in unison trying to make a beautiful change and I felt like the most fortunate guy on earth to be a part of it.

Those little hands were raised on every question as we were teaching them pronouns. From the beginning song we shall overcome to animated slides on pronouns to little games like addressing each other without taking their name, there was an active participation on both the sides. Many of us have a stage fear but these little children were more confident than even professionals.
We went there as teachers but we felt like students instead rather we felt like their friends, their family. When my turn came for the craft class I went for the mike and slowly guided them through the steps to make a designed paper-cut kite. They were super enthusiastic though this was the last part of the session. Once it was completed, for the first time in my life I saw paintings on the kites which seemed like made by professional artists. These children were so creative and artistic that they put our talents to shame. Few of them wrote poems as well. One wrote a beautiful poem for his mother.

They were highly courteous, they held the gates open for their teachers. I was totally impressed by these little children who gave me life lessons instead. When I came out and walked home I felt like an emotionally charged individual, a teacher who was taught by his students, a team member of a motivated team. I have loved this experience. I hope you like this blog post too ;).

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