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<time datetime="2005-09-27T00:00:00-07:00" pubdate><span class='month'>Sep</span> <span class='day'>27</span> <span class='year'>2005</span></time>
<h1 class="entry-title"><a href="/project-life.html"> Project: Life</a></h1>
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<div class="entry-content"><p>Those smiles.</p>
<p>Those won me over, erasing my resentment and anger at waking up at 6 on a sunday morning, getting ready and going to a place that didnt even exist in the Street Directory.</p>
<p>I saw the kids as they were practising their well rehearsed song. Andy was exactly like Calvin, picking up a fight with the a big guy (who looked like Moe!) and of course in this case, Susie was there to support Calvin!</p>
<p>There were twenty of them, creating a ruckus in the <a href="http://www.starhub.net.sg/~nc0066/html/history.htm">Chen Su Lan Methodist Children&#8217;s Home</a> somewhere in Serengoon Gardens. The Chindren&#8217;s Home houses kids from 4-12 who come from broken homes, abusive or poor families.</p>
<p>We were around ten, led by Vrush, who had thought and planned the whole thing. The plan was to take the kids to an oldage home and let them play with the oldies there.</p>
<p>And so we did. It was a riot.</p>
<p>Old People Nursing Home Caretaker: &#8220;The old people eat five times a day&#8221;</p>
<p><em>Dawn (seven years old): &#8220;SO MANY TIMES AH!&#8221; </em></p>
<p>The kids played dodgeball with the oldies enthusiastically. The whole place was filled with joy, happiness and excitement. I have never been so excited in my life.</p>
<p>Then, the cameras were fished out. And instantly, the only thing the world was made up of was the camera. Kids were milling around, wanting to be photographed.</p>
<p><em>Six year old Kid: &#8220;Only girls do like this.&#8221; (showing the V sign 90 degrees rotated, near the eyes).</p>
<p>Ry and Shao: &#8220;Stand with us for the photo.&#8221; </em></p>
<p>A ten year old kid was asking if the old people fight. Startled, I asked why she thought so, and she said she overheard a person saying so. I didnt want to know what her story was. I was afraid.</p>
<p>Me (holding out chocolates): &#8220;Take as much as you want!&#8221;</p>
<p>Ry takes one.</p>
<p>Me: Take as much as you want! The teacher wont say anything!</p>
<p><em>Ry grabs as much as she can with her small nimble fingers.</em></p>
<p><em>Ry (clever to avoid the teacher catching her in the act): Hold these for me till we finish.</em></p>
<p>Oh, I loved every moment of it! And I thought I will come back within an hour, but ended up staying till the end.</p>
<p>What I got present to was the miracle of happiness. We, so called &#8220;privileged&#8221; people, didnt have one tenth of the happiness of the kids at the Children&#8217;s Home. And at that moment, I just saw how in the apparent quest for happiness, what we gather simply pave the way for more sadness (&#8220;i wish I had more of money! more branded goods! More shoes! More bags! more money -did I say that before? more..&#8221;).</p>
<p>The kids taught me.</p>
<p><em>All it takes to be happy is a chocolate.</em></p>
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<p><img class="avatar" src="/assets/divya.png" height=50> <a href="http://twitter.com/divya">Divya Manian</a> is a Web Developer in Seattle. <a href="/about.html">More about me ❭</a></p>
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