*** Sai Inspirations is a daily blog about Sukhbir’s Yathra 09 experience from the 27th of November to the 22nd of December 2009. To read more about them, go to http://dramedyremedy.blogspot.com/search/label/Sai%20Inspirations%20-%20Yathra%20Trip%2009 The latest posts are at the top.
~Spirit of Unity~
Day 4 – 30th November, 2009
Great! No bath in two days! And what’s more, I’m only left with a pair of clean tracksuit. There was still no water, and what’s more, this time the girls couldn’t take a bath as well because the whole SS3 centre was out of water.
So the kids had their Omkar without bath and it was one of the most sleepiest Omkar sessions ever. I was stinking from head to toe.
After the Omkar, Shamini Akka conducted the first morning session. Today was the day whereby the kids would do a service to the centre by cleaning and sprucing up the garden which is located just outside. I found her prep talk to be a little boring so I observed Uncle Muthu (the Chairman of SS3 Sai Centre) coming in looking restless. So I asked him, “You need any help with anything Uncle?”
“You can help?”
“Okay follow me”
So I followed him. What I didn’t know was that he was going to the top most floor to mend the pipes. I was thinking he needed help carrying things. Most old people in any Sai centre, when they look for young people, they usually need help carrying things. Things like harmonium to wheelchairs etc.
So I followed him to the top most floor (where the girls rooms are). There’s this huge long ladder leading upstairs to the roofs. And at the roofs are where large water tanks are located.
He stopped, looked at me and said, “Are you afraid of heights?” I shook my head. “Very good". Come let’s go up. I’ll go first”
And my God! He climbed up the ladder like a pro! The old man was actually climbing up the ladder! I was speechless. Then halfway through he looked down at me and said, “Are you coming?”
I nodded my head and said, “Yes Uncle! Coming!” And I quickly climbed the ladder.
I have to admit, I am afraid of heights. But the climb was worth it! The moment I came out from the small tiny entrance to the rooftop, I could see Shamini Akka leading the kids to the gardens to do their Seva (service) down below.
Uncle checked the pipes and the water tank and tried fixing a few things here and there but it was no use. He’s a man of practicalities. He said to me, regardless of how educated we are, we need to know simple things like mending broken pipes and car engines because all these can be cost saving and also life saving.
There was nothing he could do because there was this something that was not properly inserted in that something. Don’t ask me what he said, I didn’t understood a thing he said about pipes and tanks. I just nodded my head and tsked all the way.
After a few minutes of trying he finally gave in and said, “Well, we can’t do a thing about it.” He turns and looks at me, “How long since you had your bath?”
“Today would be full two days Uncle”
“Owh my, that’s bad. I’m so sorry for everything.”
I laughed and said, “It’s alright Uncle. I’m used to not bathing”
Then he gave me this look. I corrected what I said, “I meant, I’m used to it Uncle because-“ He cut me from explaining further by saying, “Alright. Let’s get back inside. You go in first.”
Later on I joined the boys and helped them out a little bit. Their job was actually simple as compared to the girls. All they had to do was remove weeds from the plants and the ground.
And for that, they took 3 hours to do it and most of them were not concentrating on their work. Vasanth tried singing a few bhajan songs but each time he sang, he always went off key. But the kid tries his best.
Akka was extremely disappointed with the boys and as a punishment for not doing a good job, they were to do another extra session of Seva at the front yard in two days time.
And I was to assist them. Great…
We came back into the centre by lunch time and the kids couldn’t bath yet as there was no water. I on the other hand was getting used to it.
Practice session took place later on and I assisted the narrators. There were three narrators, Dheepika, Tarshinee and another girl whom I forgot her name. From these three, only one would be selected to do the narrating part.
All three are awesome narrators but in the end Akka only selected one and that was Dheepika and I think she was a good choice. She could really feel the emotional part of the story though she needed loads of brushing from our side.
The boys were filled with lots of enthusiasm and spirit. I was really amazed with them.
At 8pm sharp, we had our first recording session as we needed the performance on video so that we can show to Chakravathy. Chakravathy is a very brilliant man who holds a very high post in the Sai Organisation. He’s head of the Cultural Commitee I think and it’s through him anyone who wishes to perform goes to. If you’re wanting to perform infront of Swami, you need to have a sample of the performance ready and sent before 6 weeks.
We didn’t do that. We were only recording our sample today. Akka says to leave it to Swami. It’s after all in His hands if we can perform or not.
Suresh Banana came over with his tripod video camera and so did Vinod. It was amazing to see everyone from every corner of KL coming to assist the kids. And by then the kids already knew that the reason we were practicing was because it was a performance for Swami.
Before the recording began, Akka went to the front and told the kids, “Listen, take this recording session seriously because there are chances we won’t be performing for Swami. I don’t want you all to go with that expectation in mind. But keep in mind this, even if we don’t get to perform for Swami in Parthi, we have performed to Him tonight. So give your best.”
I think that was an amazing piece of advice. It really boosted the spirit of the kids. Some of the girls who were having leg aches and back aches were given a new leash of life.
Each one of them performed to their best.
I had to miss the first part of the performance as just moments before it, Anand Anney (he’s Uncle Muthu’s son) told Bro Sathya and me that we can take a bath at his place.
And took a bath I did. It was so nice of him to allow us to bath at his place and I took a bath like I never did before in my life. Felt so fresh after that.
By the time were back at the centre, there were quite a few retakes taken for the performance. Some of the kids were making mistakes. But it’s alright, mistakes happen. What really matters is how we deal with the mistakes. And the kids dealt it well. Keshov kept forgetting his lines but the boys rooted for him.
The recording session finished at 1.30 am. And by then the kids were exhausted and Pavithri (one of the main female singers) was already loosing her voice.
The facis only slept at 4 am after having a small meeting with Shamini Akka. But the meeting wasn’t boring this time. All of us were in the joking mood and I was really glad to see the smile on Akkas face.
As for the performance, the kids performed well that night. They showed the true spirit of unity, sacrifice and brotherhood.