Ishwar

I told a friend of mine in the US about Ishwar, how he came to the capoeira class on Wednesday and did the entire class with one hand injured. Ved asked me to tell him a bit about Ishwar, about why he’s my favorite. I thought I would share it here too. Some other stuff came out when I was talking about Ishwar. It’s true, I thought I’d keep it in there too.

Ishwar is sweet and genuine and I think a little crazy (he gives funny faces sometimes and looks like he might be talking to himself inside his head) but I think that only adds to his cuteness. He’s small, in 7th standard but only comes up to mid arm. You can tell that him and the rest of the kids are malnourished a bit. He keeps himself looking very clean, cleaner than the other kids. He always puts a bit of oil in his hair, almost always wears the same blue plaid shirt and jeans. The other kids often wear the same clothes all the time, but he keeps himself very well put together. He’s also the least masti-ful of all the kids, pretty quiet in general. But when he speaks and he opens up, he speaks like he did last night. His sister passed 10th standard 3 years ago. I’m unsure if she still lives at home with him and his mom. His father lives in their village, which I don’t think is very far. Some of the kids villages are in Karnataka. Hanging out with the kids makes me super sad though. Lingapa, we call him Chapel – in Portuguese (Topi in Hindi) because he always wears the same hat, is at least 2 years older than Ishwar. He’s in 3rd standard. The first few times I thought I heard wrong. There’s nothing I’m really doing for them in the long run. They work at that corner Chinese place out in the cold almost every night. (Ishwar doesn’t). They’ve been stripped of their childhood, they don’t have a good education, they have a bleak future. I know I’m working with other kids in a good program, but it hurts to see these kids, my kids, or so I call them, in such a dismal situation. I’m sure they’ll be fine, but I wish there was something I could do. That’s Ishwar.

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