I was in class five and our winter vacation had started. I was just reading comics, while I lay on my bed. It was a holiday for me but my dad had office so I was with my mom at home. I heard our main gate creaking. I jumped out of my bed to answer the knock on my door. There were two guys in their twenties standing at our doorstep with some big bags. The two men looked like the tribal people of Assam.
They asked for my mom. I called her at once. They were speaking in broken Hindi and possibly Nagamese, a language which is a concoction of mostly Assamese with a tinge of the local language of Nagaland. My mother couldn’t understand them much and suspicious about their intention, asked them in Hindi to go to some other place.I, on my instincts, tried to talk in English with them. Being brought up in a missionary school for about five years inadvertently makes you capable of conversing in the global language. I came to know the intention of the guys soon. They said they had come for collecting donation and clothes for people affected by drug addiction and children rendered orphans by drug addiction. My family was not that well economically as we were from the middle class. So hearing the word ‘donation’, my mom immediately said that she had sympathy for the work they were doing but she couldn’t give them money. They accepted our answer and gave us some pamphlets and the address of their institution, an NGO named “Jesus Home”, and told us that if we felt we could help them in any way, not necessarily monetarily, but by giving old clothes, we could go visit their NGO.
In the evening when my dad came home, I told him about the visitors. He read the pamphlets. I being an only child had many old clothes and since all of my cousins at that time were older than me, my old clothes were accumulating in our drawers. My dad thought this was a good opportunity to donate those and make a difference to the lives of some fellow human beings. It was decided by my dad that on the coming Saturday, being the second Saturday of the month and a holiday for him, he would go to donate my old clothes along with some of his to this NGO. But I insisted adamantly that he take me along with him to that place. My mom tried to scare me saying that addicts even after attending rehab were dangerous, and even scolded me on my repeated insistence. But I held on to my stubbornness and they eventually gave in to my demand.
The Saturday arrived and I and my dad started our journey to this Jesus Home. On the way, my dad brought me some chocolates. We got into the office and my dad enquired where to donate the clothes. The warden or supervisor of the home called some guys. One of those guys had been at our house. I recognized him and he smiled at me. We gave him our clothes. We could hear some children singing; I asked him where the source of this sound was. He said the children, most of them orphans, were practicing for Christmas. I wanted to see their practice.
With my dad’s approval, I went with the guy; whose name I came to know was David, to see the practice. They were all singing seriously. I felt sorry to disturb their practice. David introduced me to the kids. All the kids smiled and some of them shook hands with me. I was greatly moved because I thought them to be hostile and belligerent because of their upbringing. But I was proven wrong. They were the friendliest people I had ever met, even friendlier than some of the boys in our school. I was happy and sad at the same time; happy for I had come to visit them and could help them and, sad for I harbored grave misconceptions about them and the bad luck they had to endure. I wanted to do something more for them. Suddenly I remembered that I had chocolates with me. I distributed them among the children. By giving the chocolates I tried to bring a little happiness and sweetness in their bitter lives. I parted by wishing them goodbye and Christmas cheer. They along with David invited me on Christmas. I happily obliged and went to our home with my dad.