But we did not dare question him.

But to do away with the glamour factor completely for the sake of our principal’s apparent dislike for celebrities seemed rather old-fashioned and backdated to us. A fete without a music band performing and without some major brands endorsing our products seemed pointless! But we as members of the student council were expected to follow his instructions and we did not dare question him. The rest of the student community also simply cowered under the impact of this not-so-tall man’s towering personality.

So, the students set up colourful stalls with different kinds of games to attract the children and as they started arriving in groups led by school authorities that cater to the needs of these deprived children, the joy and gratitude on the faces of these children started overpowering us emotionally. The joy on the face of a seven-year old as he was lifted by our teacher to shoot at the balloons was priceless.

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The kids started having a ball at the various stalls, be it trying to light five candles with the same matchstick or bowling all the stumps with one ball. They tremendously enjoyed the programme that the school music and drama teams put up to entertain them. The food stalls which catered to their needs for free added to the charm of the event.

(We had to buy our stuff, though!) We loved every moment of the fete organised to entertain these children and then, something struck us! Would we have had so much joy if we ourselves did not perform to bring happiness to the lives of these children? Perhaps not! A rock band performing at the professional level would not have created the kind of chemistry that developed between these kids and us when our school rock band performed. The sense of joy and satisfaction that filled our minds when these children went home with faces shining like a thousand suns could not have been experienced if we would have merely concentrated on the glamour quotient.

The true way to go global, as our principal taught us, was to develop the spirit of humanity by sharing our joys with others who are not so lucky. A fete would be no occasion for fun with friends unless it has this sense of purpose in itself, love and joy for the neighbor who craves for the bliss that we take for granted!