Read what happened…
After completing my post graduation and certifying it with a job ( for my relatives) my mother asked me to donate some part of my 1st salary in some temple nearby where I was staying (Indian Tradition).
Well for me there is only one God.
Its definition according to me is some supreme power responsible for sustaining everything on this beautiful planet and that power is everywhere around you. Hence, I never believed in visiting temples and for that matter spending a single penny on them (with no disrespect to anyone’s religious sentiments).
I thought of many things but this was the only feasible option that came to my mind.
I gathered all the poor kids (around 14-15) around a famous mall in Hasratganj, Lucknow, India. And took them to McDonalds.
The entire happenings of that day:
As, we were entering the mall the security guards tried to stop us.
Guard 1 ( in the loudest volume): Hey! You ill mannered boy (to one of the poor kids), where do you think you are going??!!
Me: How dare you say like that, they are with me !!
Guard 1 : now looking at Guard 2 (senior) with some request for help in his eyes.
Guard 2 : Sir, these type of people are not allowed in the mall.
Me: And why is that?
Guard 2 :( with no sure answer ): Sir, we are ordered by the higher authority not to let them in.
Me : It’s ok, they are my responsibility. I will make sure that they don’t disturb the environment of the mall.
Guard 2 :(Defeated) : Ok sir as you say but if anything happens you would have to pay for it.
While I was zeroing upon the options I took out my Wallet and offered them my debit card.
McDonalds Person 1: Sir, we don’t accept card payment.
Hunt for an ATM
Now I had to search for an ATM outside the mall and for that I have to leave these kids alone in McD. I asked the kids to not to misbehave and told them I was coming back in 5 mins.
I went outside the mall. Found one ATM which was non functional. Asked people around. Found one more ATM after a search of 5 mins. Took the cash and ran back to the mall.
In total it took approximately 15 mins for me to return to the mall from when I left it.
As, I was entering the mall I saw that these employees of McDonalds have pushed these kids outside their outlet.
I ran towards the their front gate and in a loud voice said “These kids are with me !!!!!!”
McDonalds Person 2: Sir, they are not allowed in here.
Me: Show me where it is written in your company’s policy.
McDonalds Person 3: Sir, we cannot do that.
Me: Sorry, Then we cannot leave.
McDonalds Person 2 and 3 after looking at each other decided to let us all sit.
I ordered happy meals for all of us. Had some great time. Spent 2-3 hours laughing and talking to each other. Kids spilled 3-4 Pepsi filled glasses which to my surprise were refilled for free by the McDonalds staff.
All in all we all enjoyed and finally we left the mall with some great memories.
There were many reasons for me to do this:
I never wanted to waste my hard earned money in temple donation.
I thought by this way I would be able to make these kids feel accepted.
I wanted to break this social convention of rich and poor within me and others around me.
I always thought of doing it in my college days.
I wanted my 1st salary celebration to be very very special.
Now, all these kids know me very well and whenever I pass by from that area we all spend time together playing, sharing jokes, playing pranks on one another. They call me by various names “Bhaiya (Hindi for big brother)”, “Uncle”, “cha-cha (Hindi for Uncle)”, which makes me feel much more accepted in their life than they been in mine.
If you have read it all, thanks for bearing with me.