Spandan - The Beat of Nation (Jan-Feb 2014 Issue).pdf

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Spandan – The Beat of Nation: A Bilingual Monthly Magazine and an effort to cover various issues, aspects related to India with expert reviews, articles, reports, stories and poems. Languages – Hindi and English Issue # 01: January – February 2014 In Association with Freelance Talents Editor – Rashi Saxena Content Editor – Mohit Sharma Authors – Akash Soam, Colleen Finn, Kapil Chandak, Mohit Sharma, Tim Watson, Siddhant Shekhar. © Spandan & Authors, All rights reserved. *) - The Good Ones (Colleen Finn) In late spring of 2009, I visited India for the first time, eager to explore a country that I had dreamed of visiting for years. When I arrived, it was with all the arrogance of a seasoned traveler. I had been traveling for years and sometimes even did volunteer work in the countries I visited. I thought of myself as culturally sophisticated and open—an explorer without borders, accepting of any person or experience, regardless of how foreign. In this particular case, I was excited to be traveling through glorious Rajasthan for a few weeks before embarking upon a week of volunteer work teaching English in a New Delhi orphanage. When I arrived in New Delhi and reported to the volunteer organization, the program manager informed me that they were already well-staffed at the orphanage, so I had been reassigned to work at a center for street boys at the busy Nizamuddin Railway Station. Despite my eagerness to do volunteer work, I felt trepidation at this news. Street boys? Up until that point, I considered my encounters with street children to be pretty typical. In Jodhpur, I was sideswiped in the bazaar by a speeding auto-rickshaw when I attempted to back away from the outstretched hands of three street boys, looking for anything that I might give them—spare rupees, sweets or ballpoint pens. On another occasion, I made the classic error of handing out a few small treats to some street children in Jojawar. Soon after, I found myself surrounded by a large group of them all looking at me expectantly, hoping that I would relinquish just a few more. Some of the children aggressively picked at my bag and pockets, unwilling to believe that I had nothing else to give.


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