Happy Children’s Day!

What is it about children? Sure, they are just bursting at the seams with cuteness–curls, dimpled hands, twinkly eyes, missing teeth and what have you! Then there’s the iridescent energy bubbling just under the surface (other times without the trouble of disguise so unbridled and tumultuous). And it IS true that children alone possess the means to produce happiness simply by virtue of presence… is it any wonder that homes light up with festive spirit and cheer when there’s a little munchkin running amok?

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But there is something more isn’t there? To be ‘like a child’ is distinctly appealing while I am yet to hear someone boasting of living ‘like an adult’ (adolescent aspiration of a fairy tale life of ‘freedom’, though laughable are notwithstanding).

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When I think about children or childhood, I think of magic! What do I mean by that? Let me explain…

A few days back, my colleague and I paid a visit to a minority welfare residential school, on the outskirts of Hyderabad. Since VOICE 4 Girls will be conducting camps for girls from minority welfare schools later this month, our partner organisation wanted us to take a few pictures with the girls at one of these schools. We were introduced to a class of girls studying in class seven, though in age and build, there was variety– girls’ ages ranging between 11 and 14, some clearly pre-teen and others emulating ‘lady-like’ qualities indicative of them making the physical transition into womanhood. Make no mistake, they were all children. As we explained to our rapt audience, that we would soon be conducting camps where they’s be learning exciting and interesting things about themselves and their bodies, their rights and their futures, there was pin drop silence. Half an hour and one energizer later, we struck gold! The lobby-turned-classroom echoed with the sound of laughter and excited voices clambering over each other to catch ‘Akka’s’ attention. Life is not a walk in the park for these girls; the only constant is strife and struggle. Yet, one silly song about a monkey and his monkey tricks had these children roaring with laughter and clapping with boundless joy! And oh! Their eyes! We could have powered a small town with the collective sparkle in those eyes! MAGIC!!!

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I think that’s what makes childhood so precious… Why it is so very crucial that the sparkle in those eyes be protected… So very promising to fuel their dreams—floating on little boats, but the largest amount of conviction billowing their sails.

Happy Children’s Day everyone… May we all learn to practice the brand of magic these children wield. Like Roald Dahl once said,

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”