Visit to Vision Home

Looking back four years ago on this date, 7th of August, the painful incident reignited. We had to go through this day, a memory of the past.  If there had been no calendar, it would have been better. These dates can either bring happiness or sadness depending on what the recurrence dates mean to us.

As usual I took leave. My wife and I spent most part of the time at home. My wife attended to the household chores and was doing some reading. I was doing some reading, writing and surfing the internet looking for information on subjects related to our lives and spiritualism. I also listened to some of the brief speeches on spiritualism. One of our favourite ones we now follow is Sadhguru. His explanations are meaningful, logical and practical, most of the time. It helps to improve our knowledge and brings us peace of mind.

 I also spent a  few moments at the balcony looking at the highway watching  the free flow of cars.  I used to do it occasionally and on this date I broke down again. It is still unbearable to see so many vehicles on the road but now I cannot see my son Prashanth driving his car to come home. To know that I have not talked to him and saw him face to face for four years is unbelievable. Well, this will continue to pop up all the time as years go if I have to live a few more years or much more.

 

In the evening we went to the same orphanage Vision Home as we did the past three years. We served dinner for the 35 children at the home. There were a few new children who have joined the group. The same care takers Miss Erika, Mr. and Mrs. Sam were present. In fact we always feel that they are wonderful people. They not only take care of these children well but also attend well to people like us during our visits.

 They did some prayers for my son as well as for us. During the prayers this time I was just trying to control my tears by shifting my thoughts.  Only a few children may be aware why we are there but at the same time many other small children are totally not aware of our feelings and what would be going through us.

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We spent some time with the children. We also spent some time talking to Miss Erika, Mr. and Mrs. Sam. We talked about children, our life on earth, experiences and 2015-08-08 08.06.04 (2)the challenges we are facing now. During our discussion we realized that we are all going through many different experiences and sometimes some similar experiences which are very challenging. Handling these challenges will continue without any breaks as new challenges will come along the way immaterial whether we resolve the existing ones or not. Our job is to keep on managing whatever we face.

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The children were served with dinner at 7.30pm. We bought some food they would like to eat. Maria, Miss Erika’s daughter is always an important person in our life. The small boy Bala has also become very close to us now. He was 2015-08-08 08.00.35proudly showing a T-shirt given to him by his mother who visits her children at the orphanage once in a few months. There were a few new children who seemed to be happy when we pay attention to them.  We can see that sometimes some of these children get very excited seeing us visiting them. In a way we too feel good to be around with them.

Whenever we are at the orphanage, we feel at peace.

Bala

New Comers

Around 9.00pm my wife and I drove back home recalling how our life has turned out to be for us missing Prashanth. WeMaria

continue consoling us that everything is temporary here and that we will be together again once we cross over.  Meanwhile, we will continue to visit this home regularly as long as we are around and healthy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prashanth’s birthday

It was 27th of May 2015.  Prashanth has moved to the next realm almost 4 years ago. In memory of his birthdays we went to the welfare home Vision Home as usual. We had a cake in his name.IMG_3277

Although his absence remains as a pain for us, we feel relief in a way to have his birthday celebrated in this home. We continue visiting this place at least four times in a year. The number of children has increased to 33 although a few have left. The children’s ages range from 2 years to 19 years. In one case, the father committed suicide and his wife ended up leaving their six children in this home as she too had her own problems. Although it is painful to see these young children  being left  in this home, we noticed that Erika the one who is in-charge of this home along with the couple Mr and Mrs Sam are really doing a great service.  They pay a lot of attention to these children so much so the children always look cheerful. Sometimes I wonder whether their own parents would be able to take  care of them as these people do. At the same time, we also noticed that the other adult children also pay a lot of attention to the younger children.

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We spent some time with the children as usual. Maria, the first girl we met at this home and who  is a daughter of Erika is almost six years old.

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 She looks cuter now. She means a lot to us as our son Prashanth has treated her when he was at the hospital. Every visit to this home and meeting up with Maria means a lot to us. She was 2 years old when we went to this home. As I have said earlier what made us to go to this home is something cannot be explained. Some energy is always at work.   However, we know it is our son who guided us to this home.

IMG_3280We are now also getting closer to another young boy who is around 3 years old. He is one of the   six siblings at this home. His name is also Bala. Initially he could not accept my name to be Bala as well and kept insisting that the name only belongs to him. Maybe he believed that one name is only for one person. Anyway, with our frequent visits he gradually compromised with me. He is a loving person. He is the boy who called my wife mother, when he was young. That made my wife cry then thinking of Prashanth. She felt that Prashanth was sending messages through him. Whatever it may be it does give us relief and in a way some peace whenever we are at this home.

IMG_3291 We met one girl by the name Natalie, a Chinese girl who is now residing in Hong Kong. She is doing some social service and she will be at this home for about six weeks. She spends some time teaching the children Chinese. Sometimes some of us might assume how much Chinese she could teach during these six weeks. The truth is the children can always pick up fast. The boy Bala can now say one to ten in Chinese  with speed without any pause. I believe all these small gestures by individuals can trigger many young people to pursue something useful in the future as we know everyone in this earth has his or her own talents. We can assist them to tap their talents. IMG_3290IMG_3274

On this day, we ordered some food from a nearby food court for dinner. The food was served  after the birthday wishes was sung for my son. Mrs Sam said some prayers for  Prashanth for us. We believe our son Prashanth is watching us from the other side knowing well that we continue missing him and at the same time we are moving on with our life.

Prashanth’s 31st Birthday – 27th May 2014

Prashanth’s 31st birthday

Prashanth's 31st Birthday

Prashanth’s 31st Birthday

 

 

As usual we celebrated Prashanth’s birthday in the Vision’s Home. It was his 31st birthday and it was the third consecutive year we celebrated at the same place with the children. It means a lot to us to have his birthday celebrated every year. Each time when are we at the Vision Home with the children, it gives us a satisfaction of being with Prashanth.

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Maria

The innocent children even asked me whose birthday it was. It is difficult to explain to these small children. So I just said that it is my son Prashanth’s birthday. The children are generally excited  and that a few of the smaller kids even volunteered to cut the birthday cake.

Happy moment

Happy moment

We will continue celebrating Prashanth’s birthday at this  home. As usual, we served the  children with dinner at 7.30pm.  After spending some time with  the children, we left for  home marking another day with  the physical absence of our beloved son, Prashanth.

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Loyal Handicapped and Disable Children Home

On the 1st of January 2014 my wife and I visited the Loyal Handicapped and Disable Children Home Association to provide luncheon. It is located at No.17, Lorong Silibin, Taman Grand Silibin, 30100 Ipoh, Perak.

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This home started in the year 2001 at Jalan Labrooy, Ipoh,  before they moved to the present location. Initially they started the home with two kids. When they moved to the new location they had 30 and now 40 with 21 boys and 19 girls. They come from different age group. There are those who have to be taken care in everything.  There are five adults who are unable to attend the calls of nature on their own. There are also  five children who cannot even stand. Just imagine how these staff would be taking care of them. They are great souls.

The rental for the bungalow unit is RM2,100.00 a month.  The workers are paid RM1000.00 a month and that the cost is escalating with increased salaries.The state government grants RM15,000.00 and the federal government RM80,000.00 yearly for the food. The rest comes from the well-wishers and sponsors without which they will not be able to manage.

Mr Raymond

Mr Raymond Ong

A yound child

A cute looking child

There are three people who are the caretakers of this home namely Mr Siew Too, Mr Raymond Ong Kah Ghee and Madam Sin Kuan Lin. Mr Raymond Yap, a friendly individual briefed to us on this home. They stay at the home and take four days rest every month. Mr Raymond is single,  after being divorced about 20  years ago. He never married and is committed in doing this service. He has a son working in Kuala Lumpur whom he visits when he is on leave.

Being Fed

Being fed by the foreign maid

There are 6 ladies who take care of these children. One is a local and the rest are foreigners. Four of the foreigners are Indonesians and one is from Cambodia.  According to Mr Raymond it is difficult to get locals to help in this home. Anyway, this is not the first time I am hearing about getting locals to serve in the welfare homes. Logically this looks true as even senior citizens who have their children, sometimes have to stay in these welfare homes.

The children are of single parents and they come from not only Ipoh but as far as Alor Star and Kuala Lumpur as well. Some can communicate reasonably and a few of them go for some classes. We were told some of the parents do visit the children regularly and some occasionally depending on the distance where they live. There are also cases where the parents never visit them.

These two kids - attend some classes

Ready to go for classes

Breakfast is served at 7.30am followed by lunch as early as 11.30am. At 3.00pm tea is served with some biscuits and bread. The dinner is served at 5.30pm and normally they are fed with rice. When necessary additional meals are also served in between the standard meal time.

The touching part of our visit was when Mr Raymond Ong was relating a story of a girl, Sim Pei Wei. She was 8 years old when sent to the home. She was a hyper active girl but cannot read and write. She was

The mother holding the child. Mr Raymond standing behind

Sim Pei Wei when she was young. A doctor attending to her. The mother holding the child. Mr Raymond standing behind.

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Sim Pei Wei as a grown up girl

very close with Mr Raymond and that when she was 12 years plus she suddenly moved on to the next realm. This affected Mr Raymond badly. He shared with us how close the girl was with him for the five years. It seems being hyper active he was the only one who could handle her. Although it was not easy for him, he had special attachment to this soul. Since then he said that he is afraid to be close with the children.  But during our stay there, we noticed that he is paying a lot of attention to  the children. Love for the children is inborn in him. He reminded me of my son Prashanth.

Having their Lunch

Lunch Time

As we wanted to serve these children some food, Mr Raymond proposed that we serve luncheon rather than dinner as normally no outsiders are allowed into the compound after 5.00pm.  Some children can eat on their own but some had to be fed. While we were there we mingled with the children trying to talk to some.

Once again my mind was wondering why we are here and the purpose of our life. If we are spiritual beings then, whatever ‘sufferings’ we see here is temporary. Are these people  born in this condition to teach us some lessons?  Can we learn something from here?

I believe we can learn many things, not only by looking at these children but then even from the staff as well as the foreign people who are here to serve these children.  This is another new episode in my life which I am witnessing since our son Prashanth moved on to the next realm. While driving back with my wife after the visit, I silently thanked my son in my heart for keep showing me new things in life which I have not been seeing in depth or witnessing in depth, all these years.

 

A visit to HAPPY Old Folks Home

On Saturday, 20th of January 2013 my wife, my daughter in law and I visited the HAPPY Old Folks Home to give a luncheon to the senior citizens. The Old Folks Home is located at N0. 9, Jalan Labrooy, 30100 Ipoh, Perak. It is a bungalow unit which is rented for RM2,000.00  a month.

The Home is a private home is managed by,  Mrs Chew Bee Teen (SRN/SCM) who is the Nursing Director and her husband Mr Inderjeet Singh. Mrs Chew is a trained staff nurse as well as a mid-wife. Mr Inderjeet was a radiographer before started managing this home full time with his wife, since last year.  

Previously this home was managed by another person for about 8 years. Mrs Chew and her husband later took over and now managing it for three years. They also have another home at Kg Simee, Ipoh.

The home is mainly meant for those elderly citizens who are not able to  be taken care by their children or their loved ones,  due to their own commitment. In some cases the children themselves are in the 60s

Those who send these senior citizens to this home have to pay a sum of RM650.00 a month. The family members are requested to provide five sets of clothing. Currently there are 34 of the senior citizens staying in.                             

The maximum they can house is 36.  The oldest person is about 90 years old and the youngest among them is 58 years old. There are five foreign maids to take care of these elderly citizens. They stay in with the senior citizens.

Just last month one senior citizen passed on to the other realm, at the age of 101. Mrs Chew said that they take care of the senior citizens until the last day of their earthly life.  We believe Mrs Chew being a trained staff nurse should be able to attend to the needs of the elderly citizens. Mrs Chew even showed us the routine blood pressure record. All medical attention is given where necessary.

Food menu is arranged by Mrs Chew herself and that she has trained the maids in cooking the various dishes. The dishes are mainly of the Chinese menu as the majority of them are Chinese. Nevertheless the luncheon we provided was of the Indian menu which Mrs Chew specifically requested, as for a change in the routine menu. Anyway from our observation and feedback, the senior citizens generally liked the food.

Breakfast is served from  7.00am to 7.30am with   oats, noodles or bread.  Lunch is served at 12.00 noon with  rice with vegetables and meat,  noodle soup or porridge etc. Dinner is served at 6.00pm and that the senior citizens normally retire to bed early. If they  are awake  later than 8.00pm some drinks also served  before they retire to bed.

Normally the maids are a  little free only after 8.00pm  when the senior citizens retire to bed. They then attend to their needs before going to bed.

According Mr Inderjeet, the cost of managing the home is increasing with the new minimum wage being in force now. Formerly the maids were paid RM700.00 and now it has to be increased to RM900.00. Anyway, the maids are deserved to be paid this sum taking into consideration the care they need to extend to this senior citizens. The maids start work at 9.00am as they have to take the senior citizens to have them washed up in the morning. Some of these senior citizens are in wheel chairs and some need to be carried to the washroom. Thus not only those who have patience but also who care for the needs will be able to take up this job.

Visitors are allowed from 9.00am to 8.00pm. Normally the family members visit them. More visits are common on weekends and holidays. Sometimes some of the senior citizens are taken back home for  a day in some cases maybe a few days. There are two senior citizens whose children are working in Singapore. Thus their visits are generally not too often than those staying nearby.

The premises were kept clean. Mr Inderjeet told me that the maids are to mop the floor four times daily.

During our visit I met a senior citizen above 70 years old, who came to visit his mother who is in the 90s. He told me that his two children are away working outstation. Only he and his wife are in Ipoh. As they themselves are getting older they have no choice but to put his mother in this home. But then he visits her daily and brings her some food for lunch.  Initially he put her in another home but according to him he moved her to this home as the previous place was not kept clean. I talked to his mother who was having some hearing   problem. But the radiance in her face overwhelmed me. I sat beside her and talked to her a few words. She held my hand and I was really touched by her gesture. In spite of her own pain living in this home,  I realised that she puts up a brave cheerful face. Each time I recall it, I feel something different in me.  I wonder whether she was a soul I have met earlier.

We met all the maids and they pose cheerfully when we request a photo to be taken. I asked Mr Inderjeet whether the maids are happy doing this kind of service. He told me that they are and moreover they are happy because they are together, unlike living as a single maid in an  individual home. I believed what Mr Inderjeet said, by seeing  the happiness in their faces.  Anyway, during our visit, we felt that the senior citizens are well taken care under the management of Mrs Chew and her husband Mr Inderjeet. We based this by seeing the happiness in some of them, the cheerful looking maids as well as Mrs Chew herself who is energetic, bubbly  and the sincerity we saw in her, to help others.

Sometimes I feel we owe the foreign maids a lot since some of us or may be many of us will not be able to take care of our own parents. Looking at it, more such services will be needed  in future as we are expecting the life expectancy to be ‘improving’  although we might not be able to manage things on our own. In some cases many children are going further away from their parents and some residing in overseas and you can see parents talking proudly about it. However, as we age we will have to seek  for new help desperately and sometimes we might be seeking from those whom we have not even met before and that is the foreign maids. However, one question arises, will there be enough maids in the future?

I asked Mr Inderjeet whether he will be able to manage without foreign maids. His answered “NO” without any pause. He said our local maids cannot wake up as early as 5.00am leave alone  getting local maids in the first place.  Of course I believe in what he says. We  will be handicapped, if there are no maids. This will not only affect our country but other countries too.  It is already a concern even in a country like Japan. You can come out with robots but we still need assistance from fellow human beings.  Only after visiting this kind of home we may realise how weak we can be one day, especially if we cannot manage ourselves attending to daily routine needs. Probably a day might come that even with money you might not be able to hire a maid. Extended life expectancy could also be a real problem for every one of us.

The visit to this home is another memorable day seeing the life of senior citizens in such homes. We will continue to visit such welfare homes from time to time in the memory of our beloved, treasured  Prashanth who has been guiding us from the other side, to visit such homes.

Visit to Orphanage at Kampong Manjoi Ipoh – 3rd Nov 2012


On the 3rd of November 2012, my wife and I visited the orphanage “Asrama Puteri Anak-Anak Yatim Bakip”  to give a lunch. This orphanage is located at N0.41 Jalan Bunga, Kampong Tengku Hussein Baru, Gugusan Manjoi, 30020, Ipoh, Perak.

The orphanage was established in the year 1985 and was initially located in Greentown. In the year 2010 they moved to this new building which was donated by a businessman Datuk Zainal Abidin bin Abdul Kadir. The compound is spacious which is almost half an acre.

Initially the orphanage had both boys and girls, at the same residence.  Now the boys live at another place (Meru) which is a few kilometres away. There are now around 19 boys.

However, the boys and girls are managed by the same management under ‘Badan Khidmat Islam Perak (BAKIP)’.  As for schooling both the boys and the girls attend the same school which comes under Jabatan Agama Islam (Islamic Religious Department). Voluntary  teachers provide education for these children.

Children who do not have their father but left only  with their  mothers are also given accommodation at this orphanage. These children are from the state of Perak. Every year application forms are sent to various schools to take in children who are orphans or who are of single parent. Presently there are 26 children at this orphanage. Those from standard six until form five are accommodated. After completing their form five they either go for further studies or find a job. The boys and the girls attend the same school which comes under Jabatan Agama Islam (Islamic Religious Department). Voluntary teachers provide the education for these children.

All expenses for  the children are borne by the management. As it is registered under NGO  some fund comes from the government yearly. The rest come from well-wishers and donations.

Presently the administraor is Pn Fatimah (Petamah) binti Hashim. She also cooks for the children right from breakfast to dinner. She works from 5.00am to 9.30pm with breaks in between.

Tn Haji Samsuddin bin Md Hashim, the husband of Pn Fatimah is assisting his wife and spends considerable amount
of his time at this orphanage as a  volunteer ‘warden’. As this being a female orphanage, he only assists his wife. He was a government servant worked in the land office for 36 years. Presently he is 69 years old but looks very fit and is very jovial. Every day he wakes up at 4.00am and sends his wife to this orphanage before 5.00am and stays with her until 8.30am before he goes home and come back again to fetch his wife at 11.30am, when the children finish their religious class and prepare to go to the school. He then sends her back in the afternoon where she works until 9.30pm.
 
There is another person Puan Hajah  Rashidah bin Arshad who is in-charge for coordinating the programme for the children who carry out part-time volunteer service.
 
For the children the days start with prayers at 5.00am. Their religious class starts at 7.30am and ends at 11.30am. After lunch they are sent to their own school to continue with their studies on other relevant subjects. Teachers come from Jabatan Agama Islam who are mainly retired teachers. The children come back home around 7.00pm. Four of the girls are studying in SMK Seri Intan, Ipoh.

Breakfast is served at 7.00am; lunch at 12.30pm and dinner around 9.00pm. The children normally retire to bed around 11.00am. During school breaks some of them return to their respective homes.

The orphanage has its own bus to transport the children. Tn Hj Samsuddin said that they are now looking for a sponsorship for a better bus to have the old one replaced.

My wife and I find Tn Hj Samsuddin, his wife Pn Fatimah and Puan Hajah Rashidah as very pleasant people who made our visit very comfortable answering to all our queries with regard to this orphanage.

On this date we served the children with Kentucky Fried Chicken. As young children they do love this type of food says Tuan Haji Samsudin. The children were found to be pleasant and respectful. Although it is sad to see some children being not able to be with the parents when they are growing up, we are also seeing that there are also many good people around to take care of them. Many of them are doing volunteer service and spending long hours. Although they will be under their care only up to form five, we believe that this is the most important part of their personal and career development. Thus the care takers should be recognised for their roles.

When we were leaving both Hj Samsudin and his wife Pn Fatimah came right to the gate to send us off thanking our gesture.

As usual, when we drove back, my wife and I were just thinking about our beloved son Prashanth who in a way has made us to visit these orphans. While we have our daily pain and tears of his absence, doing a little of what he would have done continues to give us some satisfaction. It is our belief that he is watching us from the other side and wants us to continue visiting these orphans until we are with him again.

Note: If you wish to pay a visit to this orphanage you can communicate with the Administator Pn Fatimah – Hp 012-5663754

 

Home for the Aged (CWS) Simee

On the 8th of September 2012 my wife and I visited the “Home for the Aged” and gave them a lunch.

The Home for the Aged was established in the 1952 by the late Rev Father Anthony Khaw (1918-1970). Originally the building was a single storey wooden plank and with asbestos roof. It was built to meet the needs of the residents of the Simee village (Kg Simee). The picture on the left shows the new building.

The Home is open to all deserving cases regardless of race or religion and will continue to run by the Caring Ministry of The Catholic Welfare Services, Malaysia with the support from the Titular Bishop of Penang. It is a Non-Profit Orgnanisation, registered with the Welfare Department.

In order to be homed one has to be at least 65 years old and must be single. Some of them are either not married or have no children. A selection committee interviews them before being housed. In other words, those who have hardly any relatives to take care of them might be admitted in this home.

Presently there are 47 senior citizens of which 23 are men and are 24 women. The oldest person we met was 102 years old who will be turning 103 end of 2012.

There are 14 staffs at this centre. Mdm  Helen  is the administrator.  She has been working in this centre for almost four years. Apart from the office staffs there are two cooks, one driver, and two caregivers.

A physician Dr Koh Wai Keat from hospital Fatimah who is a consultant visits the home once a month. There are also wheel bound senior citizens who have to be taken care at the centre.

Some aid from the government is extended yearly. But generally the donations from well-wishers are important for the management to meet the expenses. The home also receives fresh vegetables, sundry goods and other food stuffs from well-wishers. Some regularly supply vegetables. Occasionally there are those who sponsor meals.

Breakfast is served at 8.00am, lunch at 12.00 noon and Dinner at 5.00pm. Before going to bed some take supper.

They have the treadmill for their physical exercises. Weekly they are also given pictures to colour. The coloured pictures are placed on the walls.

                                                                                         My wife and I talked to some of these people. Some look very cheerful. Some even say that they are very happy staying at this home as they are well taken care of. Moreover there have been regular well wishes who visit them and provide food.

                                                                               What touched me was that as I was moving around talking to this elderly people one by the name of Mr Joa  Chim Ho, who is 86 years old asked me how I am doing. As I thought he casually asked me I just said “OK”. He then asked me “Are you alright now?”. I then paused for a moment and before I could answer him he said “I know what happened in your family”.  Only then I realised that Mdm Helen, the administrator has told him earlier that our son, Prashanth, is in the spiritual realm.   I told Mr Joa that we are moving on with our lives although it is difficult. He told me to take care. I felt touched by his gracious words. What I am bewildered is that there are people whom I have met for first time and have asked me how I am doing, after learning from some one of our tragedy. Mr Joa who is one of them. Although he does not have children he seems to know the feeling of parents when they are grieving. I then realised that there are also people who care for others when themselves have to be cared.

Visiting this Aged Home Care Centre makes me realise something. As we grow old there are many things we will face in our life. Some of us may even have no friends and relatives around especially if we live ‘too’ long, Eventually some of us might end up in this kind of home or even in hospice.

I told myself ‘Be Prepared’ although I wish I need not have to live that long. But then most of the time we cannot predict our life span on this earth.

My wife and I have decided to visit this home periodically. One thing  for sure is that the senior citizens will be happier here then to be stranded somewhere else. While in a way making them happy with our our visits and extending some kind of help there are many things we can also learn from them which we cannot find in the books or in our daily routine life.

The Home’s Address:-

Home For The Aged (CWS) Simee
Jalan Kompleks Sukan, Simee
31400 Ipoh, Perak
Malaysia

Tel: 05-5473252
Contact Person: Mdm Helen (Administrator) 

 

 

 

7th August 2012 – at Vision Home Orphanage – Ipoh

To mark the first anniversary of Prashanth’s return to his spiritual home  we gave a luncheon at Vision Home Orphanage – Ipoh, where we have been regularly visiting the past one year. My wife, my son Vinod and I attended. Since it was a Tuesday, a school day  my daughter-in-law and sister-in-law (my wife’s sister) who came over for the weekend were not able to attend.

At Vision Home, there are now 23 children. However,  not all children are orphans. About five of them, who are natives are staying at the home since their parents are not in the position to take care of them. Nevertheless, they go back  to their parents’ home, occasionally.

I have been to orphanages before but on very rare occasions. But now I feel visiting this orphanage regularly is not only a new experience in my life but I am also gaining some knowledge about life at an orphanage.  I wonder why the children have to land up here in their young age. However, at the same time I learn that there are still many people around who devote their life, caring these children. Sometimes I feel they are even much greater people than parents like us. We parents only adore our children whereas there are many disciples of Mother Teresa.

Here, I know a boy who was 3 years old when his mother left him here. It seems she was not able to take care of him as her husband has left her.  I was told that the first time when his mother left him he was crying vehemently requesting her not to leave him. According to the caretaker it was a pitiful sight when the mother left. From what I understand he was the youngest child in the orphanage at that time. The mother visits him now but on very rare occasions. When the rest of the kids went to school he was alone and bored. He is now six years old and now attending kindergarten classes.  I feel attached to him nowadays as we know him for a year now. During my last visit he sat close to me asked a few questions. This time he asked me how old I was. When I said I am 59 he did not understand as he is still learning numbers.  He is generally a polite boy. He has just started learning English.  Our communication is in our mother tongue, Tamil.  He got a great smile, his milk teeth are dropping.

There is another Chinese boy who is around sixteen. He is already working. When he talks he stammers slightly. Over the years he has picked up Tamil.  He can also talk a little English. He feels very happy whenever I talk to him and is very respectful. He goes to work at 7.30am working in a soap factory. Back for lunch at 1.30pm and goes back to work again at 3.30pm and back home at around 7.00pm. I admire the discipline and commitment he has. Although many of these children are without parents it fascinates us to see them living in peace. I was thinking, while these children without parents are living a simple life and in such a harmony, there are many parents struggling in having to discipline their children. We need not ask ourselves who has to be blamed.

After the lunch, when we were about to leave the place, the young boy Suria told me “Uncle come again”.  I was almost in tears. I then start thinking how close can I go to him. Attachments are great feelings but when we have to detach for some reasons pains creeps in.  As we left some of these children came to the gate to bid farewell.

As I was driving back with my wife and son Vinod I was just thinking how wonderful it would have been if Prashanth had been around and  that together we visit these orphanages. The opportunity of us  as parents serving with him, at an orphanage, will remain as a dream for the rest of our life. Once again my eyes turned misty.

We managed this first anniversary by launching the website and visiting the orphanage. Later around 5.30pm my younger son Vinod gave us his routine hug to return to my brother in law’s residence at Kajang, Kuala Lumpur as he has to work the next day. My wife and I stood at the balcony and waved him once again as he passed our apartment and this has been always our routine, when our two sons or any others leave after visiting us.   But now we don’t see Prashanth’s car anymore. As Vinod’s car was out of sight, my wife and I  started to feel the loneliness again, with both hiding our tears. I was wondering why the wonderful great days we had have faded permanently.  We now have to substitute to our good routine days with others, and for the moment with the only main choice of going through grief.

In the later part of the evening I then did some reading and attended to the website while my wife tried to focus in some school work. At 1.00am  after talking to my son Prashanth, looking at his photo, as usual,  I  retired  to bed with my wife recalling that we have not seen our dear son Prashanth at home for 365 days.