Raman Uncle ...

Raman is a retired Army man and also a widower. His sons are all well settled in the US and are earning a good amount of money. Raman never expected their money to win his bread, he has planned his future very well and hence he lives on his own finance. At the age of 60, Raman has no big recreations in life, and also his sons are too busy even to talk to him and all he gets is an occasional email. Raman does not want to burry himself inside the feeling of "loneliness"; he decided to do something which makes his soul happy. Its not that he is searching for a ticket to "moksha" by doing something good, he just wanted to make a difference in others life and also to give a meaning for his life ...

He is not physically fit to do any social activities which may demand running between pillar to post and making things to happen. Raman is a very good singer and also a good dancer. He wanted to do something with his skills. He quickly flipped through the directory and then found out the details of an orphanage where he could volunteer his services. He reached that orphanage the next day and then told the people in charge that he is willing to teach and entertain those "Children of the GOD", yes, there is no term in English anymore which is said "Orphan", there are no "Orphans" in this world when we are there, is Raman's logic. The authorities were extremely happy to see a 60 year old man coming forward to do this for them.

Raman was introduced to the kids the very next day, there were a lot of "Differently Able'd" children amongst the lot, again, there is no one in this world who is "physically disabled", and everyone has a special quality in them, which you and I does not possess. The kids welcomed Raman with both hands, and some of them came running to him and hugged him around his pants. Raman was moved by that unconditional love and affection which he got the very next minute. His very own son's who at one stage needed his support and guidance, now does not need him anymore and are looking at him as a burden. So Raman too needed this kind of love and affection, it’s a mere give and take scenario there.

Raman used to practice all night at his place and come to meet the children the next day with an awesome jubilance. Raman first divided the team into groups, he formed a group of singers, dancers, instrumentalists etc. Those differently baled children who were dumb, were made to dance, those who were deaf were made to sing, and those who were blind were taught to play musical instruments. He made sure that he is not missing any kid from doing an activity just because they are "differently able'd". The enthusiasm amongst the kids were abundant and they used to wait eagerly for Raman to come every day and Raman too does not want to miss being with them, coz that is the only time he gets to laugh and forget his worries. He used to get the kids lots of yummy things everyday and there were kids who used to wait just to have what Raman uncle is going to bring them to eat.

He started training all the kids in the respective department and he was feeling confident that they all can put up a great show. Raman used his influence and then arranged for a musical evening which will be performed by these "Differently Able'd" kids and then he took the initiative of bringing in popular personalities to create awareness. Hmm, it’s painful to see that our people are so senseless that they need some "famous" personality to tell them "to be kind and help others", Raman thought to himself. Being an ex-army man, bringing in famous people for that program was no big deal to Raman, but those "famous" personalities demanded money for them to come and attend the show, is a painful truth. Raman some how managed all those hurdles and decided on the venue and date for that function to be held.

The happiness on those kids faces were pretty evident and this made them to rehearse rigorously and then put on a very good show. Raman took extra care and orchestrated it to perfection. Days for the function we nearing and Raman appeared tensed and weak. The orphanage authorities gave him equal support and they too took off some of the tasks from his shoulder and decided to manage on their own. Raman though was not feeling well, made sure that he visits the kid and then make them rehearse and tuned certain fine points to perfection. He was extremely proud with his team as they all were performing like true professionals. Even people who are not physically challenged couldn’t have learnt things this quick and then put up such a splendid show, and that's why we call them as "Differently Able'd".

The D-day came and the auditorium was fully packed, not that these "Differently Able'd" kids are performing, it’s just the fact that the famous actor is the chief guest for this function. But that was not the frame of mind of the audience after the show, those kids put on a splendid show in front of that jam packed crowd and that certainly moved most of them into tears. There was one little girl who is blind by birth, came up to the mic and spoke in her sweet voice saying "I have not seen Raman uncle, as I am blind, but today I am able to see the world through him, he is the one who taught me how to sing, and today if my voice would have moved you into tears, it is just because of Raman uncle, If at all GOD gives me eyesight, I would love to see Raman uncle first". Next came a kid who is dumb, said something in sign language which you and I can't understand, and the transcript of those sign language read as "If GOD has planned to give me 60 years of life, let him take 10 years from that account and credit it to Raman's uncles account, as our society need people like Raman uncle to live longer"

The entire auditorium gave a standing ovation for almost 10 minutes but there was one audience who did not stand and applaud, instead he was up above all of them and applauding this great performance as an "Angel", yes Raman uncle died peacefully during the show and those little one's have performed this splendid show just to pay tribute to their master "Raman uncle". Those kids may not understand the meaning of death, the reason being, they do live their life for just 1 day, as they do not know what tomorrow will have them in store. The society is not blessed with too many "Raman uncle's" who are ready to spare time with them. They would have missed this "Raman uncle" forever, but their hope to meet many more "Raman Uncle's" in future, is still burning alive in their hearts.

We software professionals are a set of selfish bunch of people who thinks that internet, i-pod, fashion designed clothing, barista, and pizzas are the world. We enjoy this cheap recognition the society tags on us - "Software Professional who makes money in thousands", I am not denying the fact that we too are subjected to many hardships in our profession, but that’s not an excuse for all of us to adopt a "Don't care" attitude. Some people think, just by giving money to such institutions is by itself is a good deed, but we are wrong, more than money, those children need you and I. There are many beautiful things in life which we all miss due to our 12 hours and plus work culture. Let’s break those chains and have some time dedicated in our lives to do such beautiful things to make the world of others beautiful.

I know this is not my style of writing, so here comes the second way of ending the story. You reader's have to tell me which one touched your heart the most.

The D-day came and the auditorium was fully packed, just because they all wanted to see how these "Differently Abled" kids are performing. Raman was behind the stage and was tensed a bit, but he was confident that his boys will put up a great show. As expected those kids literally moved the audience into tears with their sheer skill and each and every mother present in that auditorium felt as if they could have been their kid. The show was a grand success and at the end a cute little girl who is blind came towards the mic to say a few words about Raman uncle, she just said in one sentence "I have not seen anything in my life till date, but today I am seeing this colorful world in front of my through Raman uncle". Then came the announcement of felicitating Raman for the splendid job that he has done and the person who came to felicitate Raman was none other than his son's who was specially called from the US by the authorities of the Orphanage, its their way of paying tribute to Raman's hard work. Raman sons were moved by their dad's deed and it was a happy re-union.

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