Sunday, 19 April 2015

The Balloon Superheroes

You know when you're really bored at an outdoorsy party where everyone else is speaking another language that only you don't understand? No? Guess that only happens to me. Thankfully, I was equipped with not just a lot of free time and boredom, but also my camera.  So welcome to my first photo-journalistic venture. Customarily, I began by snapping pictures of the colorful flowers in the vicinity, then I moved on to the dogs and the baby goats in the area.
Isn't he adorable?
look at this goat shake her bootay!  
   After I took so many pictures of baby goats that would make Aussa proud (Congratulations on getting married, Aussa!), I found some interesting and unsuspecting human subjects to take pictures of. Because that's where the real story lies.
Meet the heroes of this story
These two little boys are the balloon superheroes. They kinda saw me vigorously taking pictures for this story, but they didn't care.  Particularly the guy in yellow, because Iron man isn't the coolest, you know? The pictures will probably tell you the whole story, but these two little boys were just having a lazy boring Sunday morning, until they turned it around. No, They didn't play temple run or plants Vs zombies on their phones, they weren't even part of the party crowd, nor were they invited, they were just two kids who probably lived by the park. They were probably the kids of one of the boat men in the park who took the tourists out for a ride on their old fisherman raft style boats down the stream(More on the boat men later). But these little kids had their own little raft. which they probably built themselves.
It floats on soda cans wrapped in what I think is fishing nets
 So this party was by this stream, and for some reason we had balloons. Balloons, that the kids of the people in the party were playing with. These two little boys would stand by one of the trees and watch everything that was going on, just like a superhero who likes to slink around in the background until he's needed. Think Clark Kent.

Every once in a while, One of the little girls in the party would let her balloon fly away, Now these weren't helium balloons that would fly straight up into the sky. No. these balloons would just float away, into the water, carried off by the wind. 
The Pursuit for the Purple Balloon


This was a job for the Balloon Superheroes. Saviors of balloons on water. There's not enough room for both of them on their little raft. (Insert batmobile reference). So one of them takes the raft out and rows towards the runaway balloon, Because there can only be one batman at a time. It's no easy job to sit on a tiny raft of crushed soda cans and fish nets, and row towards a purple balloon that is still floating away. But these little guys don't give up so easily.

It floats left. It floats right.  It floats whatever direction the current takes it.  Our superhero keeps going after it. 
I was just standing there cheering him on, and taking pictures to document the whole thing. I don't know how many people caught the action on the stream, but it was definitely way more entertaining than the party for me.
Eventually he catches it. 
But it's not easy to row the raft and hold onto the purple balloon too. 
You're heart breaks a little that when the balloon starts to float away again.
But don' t worry, his brother gets it back along with a bunch of other balloons on the water, In the next few hours, together, the brothers will save about a dozen balloons.
And they'll do this to entertain themselves. quite simply, for fun. 
When one brother makes it back to the shore, the other one will tie up the raft to a tree. Then they give the little girl her balloon back, for nothing more than to see her smile. They don't keep the balloons. They never wanted to play with the balloons. The little girl quite possibly had another balloon to play with, nevertheless these little superheroes will save the day balloon to return it back to the little girl. 
They probably didn't think they were being so compassionate. It probably wasn't even on their agenda for the day to be nice to some little girl. They certainly got no returns out of it. They didn't get a penny for it, from me or anybody else. Even I got this story for the blog. They got nothing except a way to entertain themselves that cost nothing. They didn't care. They were just doing it for fun. They were just doing this naturally, so effortlessly for fun. They were smart and brave and so content. They didn't expect anything, even though they didn't have much. They were satisfied. 
 One of my biggest demons has been wanting things. I'm not nearly as compassionate enough to write about these people, but for me this is the goal. Some day I want to be as happy and as content and satisfied as these kids. That will be the definition of success for me. See? I did it again. I said 'I want'. Maybe we all have this happiness somewhere inside us. We just forget it when we grow up. But sometimes life reminds us of it with a story like this one.We just have to be attentive enough to catch what's playing on the sidelines. Happiness is a myth. I've said that before. I've always known it. We don't have to pursue happiness. All we have to do is pursue a purple balloon, and the warmth in our hearts and the Happiness in the eyes of others could quite possibly fill the gaps in our own empty soul. And then maybe we'll feel whole again. These kids were just taught that they don't need things to be happy. They don't have many things. But they do have many things that a lot of us don't, They have happiness, and bravery. They have imagination, creativity and a beautiful content life. And we could learn a lot from them.
This is the India that you won't see in any documentary. The India with kind and compassionate people, who are content with their simple uncomplicated lives. This is one story that I think everyone should know, one story that everyone deserves to know. And these superheroes deserve to be heard of too, don't you think? That's why I am going to ask you to share this post. So please do hit the share button. 

Have you ever had life sneakily throw something beautiful likes this at you that you could have easily missed? Has it changed your views? Have you met such content, happy, compassionate people? Do you think the compassion in us erodes with age? What do you think is success in life? Let me know in the comments below! 


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