Nothing happens accidentally and we do not meet people accidentally, everyone and every opportunity come in our life for a reason. For me, my experience in India, especially in Jaipur was very special because I got the chance to work with disadvantaged children.
Sometimes, the people who come into our lives help us with figuring out who we are and who we want to be. Children in India who I crossed paths with guided me to be the person who I wanted to be. My purpose for this journey was to make an impact on some of these children but quite the opposite they touched my soul.
It is very difficult for me to describe the first day of school. The second, I entered the class every single one of the children said “hello” with their kind and warming eyes at the same time. That moment was indescribable for me.
I sat down on the floor in the garden and there were five children behind me. They put white flowers on my hair and braided my hair. That moment was the most vivid memory I had about India. Whenever they smiled, my heart skipped a beat. Whenever I looked at their jet-black eyes, I felt so peaceful. In those eyes, I saw their life, their tiny world.
Every morning when they arrived at the class, they were rushing towards me to give me my morning hug. That morning hug was the highlight of my day.
When I saw how happy they were in their tiny world, with their little opportunities I felt ashamed of the life I have back in Turkey. They are incredibly happy with their lives; their heart is so pure and full of happiness.
Before I went to India, I did a research on their culture, their daily lives and all I saw was that they use colorful and lively colors in their pictures. Therefore whenever we draw together, they did not want to use dark colors. Every drawing we made together was bright colored and there I saw that black did not belong to their life. Their imagination is as colorful as their hearts.
They really enjoy making henna, “Mehndi” as they say; and I was happy to see their imagination leaving a mark on my body. After I came back I still had the henna leftovers on my body and every time I saw them, they gave me great joy.
During our class, we were supposed to show them where the countries located on the world map. Each time we showed them, they became more curious and wanted to learn more; so we taught them new bits of information every day. Now come to think about it, I do not know if it was necessary to teach them about the unfair world, because the world which they imagined was so beautiful and innocent. In my perspective, they should teach Jaipur to the rest of the world. It is a part of the world which needs to be shown to teach people about happiness and pure love. They should describe the “Pink City”, introduce Indian people, teach us India’s chaos in their own cosmos, and respect for each other in countless cultures in Varanasi. People should be inspired by Indian women. When I looked at their face, I saw the pain in the smiling; they were tired but hopeful and pure. The rest of the kids should learn how to be happy as much as Indian children’s happiness when they play in the mud.
I believe that children are the first step to change the world, what you teach to them, what they believe in will shape the future. Every child is special in their own way, different in each part of the world. They are a blank page, a start point which can be shaped and written by their elders. With their innocence, you learn how to dream and picture a world without cruelty and malice. Each time you sit down and imagine a dream with a child, you are being welcomed in their fairytale and you are a character there; sometimes even a hero. After the time I had with them I realized that they became my hero in my fairytale.