Monday, 31 March 2014

Crayons of Hope - Episode 1 - What's in a Name?

After nearly 10 years, I stepped into a school. Honestly, it was neither very nostalgic nor did any memories of school flashed on my mind. I walked in to meet the principal. But then, the peon stopped me and asked me to sit down at the entrance. I waited for nearly half an hour and then, I was sent in to meet the headmistress. As I mentioned in the introduction post, we decided to go ahead with the Crayons of Hope project.

After a few days, I was scheduled to take up the first session at the school. This session was focused on self discovery. In this session, our objective was to delve into ourselves and discover what's within us. We started with the meaning of our names. A lot of thought, idea, discussion goes in when parents name their children. They choose between hundreds of names for their kid. In most cases, parents try to ensure that the kid grows to represent what he is named, in some or the other way. In fact, the names also represent, in some way, the parents' aspirations from their kids. This more so true in India where each name has a story behind it. So, it was very normal for me to assume that all these kids knew the story behind their names.

However, I was totally astonished when I could see that 90% of the children didn't know the meaning of their names, forget the story or logic or reasoning behind it. They kept saying their name and asking me for the meaning of it and I was taken aback. After all, I didn't know the meaning of all their names. I'd often read in articles on social welfare that the ground realities are different but then, never did I feel in the wildest of my dreams that the ground realities are so different. And yes, the kids I was speaking too were scholarly, could speak all 3 languages (English, Kannada, Hindi) and were sufficiently mature and knowledgeable.

Unfortunately, this is the truth in our lives. We speak and discus about so many matters everyday but if we are asked to speak a few words about ourselves, we are dumbstruck. Our focus on details for other things is very high but our focus on understanding ourselves is too low. We spend a lot of time to give ourselves things, like we buy, we spend, we talk, we boast, we socialize, etc. May be, we just don't give that time to ourselves to introspect who we are and what are we doing. Long ago, I started an exercise to do a quarterly review of my life to quantify my progress, and I stalled it after 3-4 quarters. May be, that will be an interesting thing to do to promote self realization. Defining ourselves is quite a tough task and can get really challenging at times.

The time spent with the kids was extraordinarily amazing. There were so many questions. I tried to get some teachers who helped some kids with the meanings of their names. However, we could not help a lot of them. Unfortunately, I had no access to the internet too. I promised the kids that I will come up with the meanings of all their names in the next session. We progressed into self realization and the kids came up with their own ideas about themselves. All these ideas were put up in the postcards. The postcards indeed turned into amazing pieces of art.

It was a great experience for me, and I believe, for the kids too. They looked excited, happy and curious to find out more about themselves. May be, this little hint will help them to get an understanding. May be, they'll go home and ask their parents, "Why did you name me this?" May be, they'll go on and google more about themselves. The path to discovering, uncovering and exploring has just been opened. I hope to find out more as the days go by. We've just sowed some seeds of hope.

Its time for some homework now.

Name
Meaning
Ajay
Victorious
Aneesa Banu
Pure
Bhavana
Feelings
Bhumika L
Earth, Role
Chethan
Consciousness
Eram
Paradise
Faisal Pasha
Decisive, Wise
Geethanjali
Collection of Poems
Girish
Lord of Mountain
Gowthami
Removing Darkness
Hamsa
Swan
Irfan Khan
Gratefulness
Jeevan
Life
Kishan Kumar
Young Krishna
Lakshmi
Goddess of Wealth
Leelesha
Playful, Light hearted
Mary Stella
Star
Mir Hamza Ali
Powerful
Mirza Abbas Ali Baig
Prince, Lion
Mohd Kousar Ali
Abundant
Mohd Sharif
Honest
Nanditha Nandu
Happy
Neetu
Moral
Preethi Singh
Love
Puran Joshi
Success
Raghavendra Nair
Destroying Sins
Rubiya Sultana
Queen
Ruwell
Saba Farheen
Jubilant
Sabiha Banu
Beautiful
Saniya
Moment in time
Shahid Mubarak
Blessed
Shaik Mujaheed
Head, Warrior
Shakti Kiran
Power
Simran
Remembrance
Sukhendu
Pleasure
Trisha
Wish, Desire
Umme Salma
Peaceful
Venkatesh
Lord of Venkata Hill
Zabi
Zahid Ali
Devotee, Unselfish

So, this evidences that I am a sincere student. Haha ;)


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