21st with the Bal Ashram Boys

A few hours into my birthday I receive a voice message from Laasya asking if I’d want to FaceTime the boys because they wanted to wish me for my birthday. Obviously I would never miss a chance to see their faces, let alone on my birthday, so we FaceTimed. 

I spoke with them until their phone died. They threw the phone around and shrieked, “Happy Birthday Didi!” Some sang ‘Kya Baat Ay’ for me; some chatted with Amma and Nanna; some used their puppy dog faces to ask me when I was coming back again; some asked me to cut a cake on camera. 

The most heartwarming part, though, was when ‘V’ virtually took me to the conference hall and connected the phone to the TV so that my entire face was displayed on the TV. That’s when I saw at least 30 kids sitting on the floor waving intensely at the camera and screaming, “Happy Birthday Esha Didi!!!” 

There was a humongous part of me that immediately thought What did I do to deserve this much love? Am I even worthy of it? But, then another part of me thought, They love you for you Esha. This is the kind of love that you’ve always wanted.

They made my birthday feel like the most epic day ever. I felt whole. 

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