The snap

Sunita Giri 10:49 PM |

When my niece came to say with me, I took one snap of her, the very next day. Of course it was for official purpose, her new school needed it for record. I took one more after a month. I thought, I should take one every month, to capture the change; she had been going through.

When she came to stay with me she was thin, which can not be regarded as healthy and slim. Now she is on self impose diet, she is only fourteen. I am quite not sure, I should interfere her or not, for that diet idea of hers. She is worried that she is getting fat too fast. She is healthy and not facing any health problems, even after that self imposed diet program of hers. All this happened in less than three month she came to stay with me, so I am not taking any step to force her to eat more.

However, I gave up the idea of taking her snap every month. That idea pulled me to another memory zone. As usual, I do not remember my exact age, but I only remember that particular incident and the people involved in it, and the lines used on that time frame.

Ajeet, was just admitted in Bal Mandir, my guess here is one of his family member must have accompanied him to leave at the door of Bal Mandir. When his loved one left him on the hands of office staff he started crying, profusely. This kind of picture is quite usual, when a new one joins and sees no familiar face around him/her for some time. Some recover from this phase pretty fast and some take about a week or perhaps more than that, but sooner or later they will recover from this kind of situation.

He was still crying, when he was handed to his new care taker [ room nanny ]. He was in front of the veranda of the room; where he was going to live for some years. Perhaps he was seven or eight years old. His nose was running, his dress was ravaged and dirty. Just like his clothes, he too needed a clean bath, which he will get soon. At that very moment, didi of that room, must have been rummaging in the pile of clothes to find one that fits him, when she gives him the bath.

Then a housemother, Kedar Shrestha, came. She was carrying a camera, in her hand, then she started taking some snaps of Ajeet. When she was taking snaps, she was also talking to herself, “when you guys enter here, you look like this and when you grow up you act like you never have a past like this, I need to take this pictures, so that I can show you when you grow up, how you looked when you entered here.”

If she would have turned back, there I was, slightly behind her. There were others too like me, who was watching her, taking those pictures and listening what she was saying, amid the cries of Ajeet. If she had taken one more picture of me; I bet, I would have been caught in that camera like this: with long face, open mouth, my head turned upwards, trying to read her mind, with slightly raised eyebrows and then that dazed look of a preteen or perhaps early teen girl.

When I reflect now on that particular time frame, those lines really force me to think; not just think, but think hard. If we were not that ravaged looking and did not gave the perfect picture of poor and needy one; will any one of us would have, ever landed in Bal Mandir ? So, what if the food, clothes and education bring change in us, in due course of time ? was not that the main objective of any orphanage around the world ? Provide better life, which otherwise, we would have been deprived off ?

Why staffs in orphanage, in almost all level, think its necessary, like a ritual to remind us how we looked, before we entered in Bal Mandir ? Why they don’t want us to forget the truth ? Why they never wanted us to be normal teenagers, careless and carefree ? Most of those reminding came at the time, when we were so careless and carefree about our past.

If they don’t remind us that way, will we ever find ourselves surrounded by our loved ones like other children ?

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