Like in the other cities, we too, in Bangalore had organised a Kannada book reading session for Maximo and the Big Cat the Kidwai Memorial Oncology Hospital Children’s Ward on 12th October. Preparations started the day before itself with Amma calling me just after she landed in Bangalore, saying that she wanted to accompany us for buying the gifts. Like earlier, we had planned to buy them at the crowded, busy Mamulpet area, where a very wide variety of toys and other items for children are available and we were not sure whether Amma would be able to wade through the sea of people, handcarts, garbage and huge boxes of “maal”. But then she insisted and we ( Vicky and I ) had to give in. It was festival time (Dusshera) and there was “extra” traffic jams that day. Amma braved it all..:-) and arrived there on time. (She actually reached before me) We then started our gift hunting and after a few shop-hopping (you know the “thoda aage jayenge to sasta mil saktha hein” syndrome) we zeroed in on brightly coloured Lunch Boxes and Water Bottles and boxes of crayons . And by the time the shopkeeper readied the stuff, we treated ourselves to “mumphali” and treated ourselves further to Masala Dosas. Bangalore aayein aur Dosa na khaye..:-) After this we transported the packed boxes ourselves navigating our way through the crowded roads (the stuff wasn’t heavy enough to get help from professional coolies) to Amma’s big car (Qualis..:-) and headed home. Vicky went to make “Donated by FOM, Bangalore” stickers.
The next day we assembled at the Hospitaland put the gifts into a cover. Our other FOM friends arrived on time and we were ready for the session. The book reading was being done by our translator Mrs.Mallika. There already was a recreation session going on at the hospital with one of our renowned actor Mr.Ramesh Bhat as chief guest. He made a small speech where he said we should not fear for anything in life, however big it may be……and was actually surprised to see the same theme/story in our Maximo books. So unknowingly he had made a ‘Prelude’ to our Book Reading Session…:-) He was also surprised and delighted to meet us (you know we are a handsome/gorgeous group of Cancer patients…:-) thanks to Glivec..)
We then started off with our book reading session in the local language by Mrs.Mallika. The kids enjoyed the session participating eagerly and answering questions thrown up every now and then. The kids’ enthusiasm overpowered the Teacher’s story telling, and was sometimes tough to make them sit quietly and listen to the story. At the end I presume they understood the true meaning of Maximo’s story, especially their care givers. After this we had the gift distribution (the kids always wait eagerly for this..) We then clicked photographs on the iPad, Sony Xperia, Samsung Grand Duos, Xolo Q800, iPhone 5….and of course the good old Canon Powershot..! We ended the 1st Session with a sumptuous Lunch at Grameen & got back to our Nests to get ready for the 2nd Session (English Book reading Session by Amma at the Landmark Store..) report by Avinash follows
Rajeev R, FOM Bangalore