Maaza a gaya – What fun I am having - are the words that Manu pronounced in the middle of Flore’s farewell party. Flore has been a long term volunteer who spent nine months with the special section.
On Saturday she threw a big farewell party for all her special kids. There was music, exciting eats – chocolate filled pancakes and lots of sweets and cold drinks – and lots of games. Flore had brought presents for each and every child. Some got games and books, others lunch boxes and toys, the bigger girls got perfume and clothes and Manu got a monthly ration of his favourite cookies.
Everyone danced with abandon; even those who could not walk. Manu did a perfect rendition of a head banger while sitting in a corner and Radha and Nanhe danced in Shamika’s and Flore’s arms. Preeti did a perfect rendition of the Macarena even though she cannot walk. And Shalini who had got a pair of ghungroos (bells for her feet) regaled us all with her version of Kathak.
When it was time to play games, every one was game and you could see Preeti running on her hands and even winning! For a few hours everything that was sad and ugly was forgotten. I even think that for those precious moments little Radha forgot that she would perhaps have to spend another night on the roadside.
When it was time for the party to be over, one could feel a subtle change of mood. Everyone was trying to be brave but it was no easy task when the friend you were losing was as precious as Flore. Was she was not the one who had spent innumerable hours with every single child in the special section and was she not the one whose stamp was marked on every nook and corner of the newly painted classroom, particularly the clouds on the ceiling that made each one of us dream every time one looked up.
Flore is not your regular nineteen year old. She has wisdom and compassion way beyond her years and had a hart as big as the world and more. So no matter how brave you tried to be there was no way you could hold your tears when it was time to say goodbye.
You can share some moments of this very special farewell party.