Baal Mela - 30th November, 2018
As the city was waking up to the winter chills, a lone car was seen on the streets of Pune leaving trails and echoes of ‘Dada Shyam’. Following this car were several more vans brimming with food, chocolates, ice-creams and where were they heading to? Zilla Parishad Prathamic Shala Marunji! The kids today were in for a surprise!
Sadhu Vaswani Mission as it continued celebrations of Sadhu Vaswani’s birthday throughout the month of November, organised a bal mela for about a thousand students of Zilla Parishad Prathamic Shala Marunji and a few others who had been brought by the Mission to the school grounds.
Singers Shashank Ombhase & Nisha Shivdasani joined in by Hemant Udasi on the drums put up a great vocal performance for the students. The children were utterly engaged and singing along with Ombhase. A Ganesha kirtan- ‘Morya...Ganesha… Om…Ganesha’saw the students clapping in the air and singing in a rhythmic choral. A volunteer then came up on the stage and addressed the students asking the significance of Sadhu Vaswani’s birthday to which all responded, ‘reverence for all life!’ All the kids unanimously agreed to tell their parents and relatives to go meatless and abstain from all forms of flesh food. It was then time for the chartbuster song, ‘jhingat’to which all kids were dancing along in merry.
Finally, the tables were set, the counters readied and the mela was on! Children had a variety to choose from, missal pav, wada pav, bhelpuri, dosa and fruit juices. The dosa counter was the busiest! Bhelpuri was everyone’s favourite! The little ones were munching on these delicacies when the desert highly on demand was brought forth- Ice Cream!
“Their happiness is contagious. Serving them was a beautiful experience. It is 2 pm and it is very unlikely that I am not hungry, my hunger I believe, is satiated from seeing these kids enjoy their meal. Above all and more than ever, we could sense and experience Dada. He is blessing us from the unseen,” said Priya Mankani, a volunteer.
As the mela came to a conclude, the children were given utilities, napkins and towels. “We all revere Dada, he is very dear to us,” said one of the teachers as she ushered the kids along.
It was then time to leave, with a heavy heart as everyone bid goodbye to the little ones, Muskaan and Nagini, came running along chasing the car asking, “Will you come back again? We’ll be waiting… Come back soon…” And the volunteers promised back saying, “Dada will bring us back to you…”