That was a plain road, wet after rain, in middle of woods, pleasantness of evening added beauty to it and willow trees stood on both the sides of the road. Leafs scattered here and there on the wet road, water stagnated between trees, few yellowish leafs and water drizzles hanged in the air without moving or falling down. In the right most corner, below a tree a pop up raised. It was an outlook pop up alerting a mail has come. When we do not understand something we say that it looks like Greek and Latin, even this looked something like that for me; the mail subject was a Greek word ὀρφανός which meant ‘Orphaned’. That was the Inception of Siragugal and the mail is from the one whom many a times revitalized Siragugal since the inception.
I seldom visit an orphanage or an old age home. I felt people out there where not scientific inventions placed in exhibition for us to visit, or at least it is not the place for us to prove that we are better than those residing there. Those are the torn souls of life who are in need of peace; they are the caged spirits who need least of disturbance. A toddler broke all my idiotic ideologies when I visited a home or a school where children are made orphan by their living parents. His name is Tirupathi, when I was with my team the air was normal, looked as if everything was fine and children out there were happy, I even wonder whether this how all orphanages will look like!
I saw a boy who was crying; I went near and asked him why he should cry when all others were happy. He said he want to go home. I understood least of what was happening there. He told me that his parents left him there two days back. Gosh! This is a school/hostel for orphan children and why the hell should parents leave their child here and go! Slowly things entered inside my slow processor. The place where I was is one where children are left orphan by their own parents since they could not offer food and education for them. This was just one reason which looked okay for me comparing to other reason which the warden of the hostel told me.
Since everybody else seemed fine with their feelings though they have their own pangs for which they are responsible not, I moved close with Thirupathi slowly he started playing and laughing with all of us. I had lot of emotional feels when I looked the way my team folks moved with those kids. When it was time for supper, everybody – around 180 children – sat in their own way of seating arrangement. Supper time started with a 2 minute prayer and we were asked to serve to all 180. In half the way I was totally tired and could not move an inch. I went to Thirupathi, he doesn’t look like eating. I asked him whether he will give me his food. He feed me with his tiny hands. Though the feel filled my eyes, the taste has cut my nerves and the throat resisted the food to go inside. That gave me a lump in my throat, the bitter taste. Can somebody eat such a bitter food! That was a bitter punishment God has cursed them than making them an orphan. Looking at Thirupathi few more kids wanted to feed me. I didn’t resist, I just allowed that bitterest rice to go inside, my stomach was full, may not be because of the food but with the love of those sweet hands.
Warden of the hostel started telling me stories of few notable children. For many years I was thinking only children without parents are the orphans but I heard a different version from a man who looks after that school where Gods are left orphan (Oh! Do not we say children’s are like Gods, that is what I meant). Without father or mother, with mother but no father, with father but no mother, with father and his wife who is not the mother, with mother and her husband who is not the father, with many fathers, WITH FATHER AND MOTHER but still an orphan, let me stop the list which could go bad. It was too heavy for me in heart to carry those feelings home. When we started from there I searched for Thirupathi and he came running to me, smiling. That smile broke all my ideologies into pieces. I do not know whether those kids are really happy that we visited them but I was very much happy that I made that little kid smile.
Coming back to the inception of Siragugal: the first meeting was to discuss on deciding the name for the group. When everybody suggested some name I too suggested a name; Kathal (love) and everybody gave me a weird look at me as if I came out directly from some mental asylum. Okay, time for me to be silent I thought. Siragual, name which was voiced loud and most agreed to it. When deciding name was under discussion, a lovely name suggestion came to the plate, Swasam (that was a suggestion from one of our member’s soul mate) which I liked too. Siragugal – the name for the group was finally decided, whole heartedly.
Two homes was short listed – NEST and Roshini – The first Visit by team Siragugal was to NEST home in Thirumullaivoyal and visit to Roshini home, Kovilambakkam has been lined up. In between a sudden plan to visit Kakum karangal which is in Palavakam has been decided and that too went well. I missed both so I do not know how much our people enjoyed being there. After a short break, visit to Roshini home came again to table and I pushed myself to join our people and had a great time there. That was yet another soul soothing day with those kids in Roshini.
In detail, we have everything is our Siragugal Facebook Page. Contact any of the volunteers of Siragugal to join us or use subscribe by email option (top right corner of this page) or visit our facebook page and like it to show you interest so that we could add you into the group.