A Mother’s Home: Love is a Verb

I took the above title from John Mayer’s song: Love is a Verb.

Love is a verb
It ain’t a thing
It’s not something you own
It’s not something you scream

When you show me love
I don’t need your words
Yeah love ain’t a thing
Love is a verb
Love ain’t a thing
Love is a verb

Love is a Verb, John Mayer

Those lyrics pretty much sum up the relationship between Maher and the children and women that it is aiding. Yesterday was my second day at Maher. Gaus and I got started on the database. We profiled 94 kids but there is still a lot more data that needs to be collected. We also have to put it into the database. Our time is diminished due to the fact that Gaus and Amol have to attend College in the mornings. Of course, nothing can be done about that but I think I am going to have to do quite a bit myself during the time that they aren’t there.

In A Mother’s Home, I gave an idea of what I’m going to be doing this week. Regarding the 7 points that Gaus and I came up with, I reduced them to 6, combining one with another and I expanded on them, providing a detailed outline of what we had come up with. I met Sister Lucy today and we sat down and had an amazing discussion. There’s one impression that you get of Sister Lucy, and I suppose it’s universal: A smart, kind, loving and zealous mother-like person. I pitched our ideas to her and she pitched some ideas back, which I moulded into the Maher Working Points (That’s what I’ve named the File) document.

Maher 5

She gave me an idea of how the concept of Maher came into being. Not being able to help every person that came to the doorstep of her church and the situation of the sadly large expanse of slums in Mumbai instigated her to do something about this. And she did.

16 years and a lot of work later, she had Maher. In all that time, her initiative helped over 750 orphans and children from broken homes and over 250 destitute, battered and exploited women. Slowly building up a team, travelling around India and Europe and putting in a lot of effort and passion, she’s managed to materialise her dream.

And you see her journey etched in her skin. She tells you that this isn’t a job. It’s a passion. You see tears well up in her eyes. Yet she maintains her composure and talks about her work, sans pride.

I can only praise her. And it’s been tough, she tells me. Records are all over the place. Sometimes some children run off and sometimes they come back. And though it’s a concern that isn’t the point. The point is, as my aunt puts it so perfectly, “There is room for everyone. No one is turned away.” 

And that’s the beauty of Maher. If I wasn’t blown away earlier, after talking to Sister Lucy, I am. Definitely.

Maher 7 Maher 8 So yesterday, we got started on the database. We’ve got the data and photos of about 90 kids from 3 of the 20 homes in Pune. We have approximately 450 kids to profile, 17 homes to visit and 5 days left. It doesn’t help that there are 3 of us but we will be asking the heads of each home to collect the data and send it to us while we go around photographing them and then entering it into the database. That way, we should be able to get quite a lot done.

The kids were adorable. They even greeted me with a Welcome and a Thank You song and it was absolutely beautiful. It took a while to get them to stand still and take their pictures but it was quite a lot of fun playing around with them and talking to them.

Maher 15 It was a day of unfortunate events as well. The electricity went just after we finished photographing the last child. This was just before their dinner which was being made while we were photographing them. Luckily, it came back a little while after we left, which was after we spent a little time with them.

When Gaus was dropping me back to where I was staying, the engine of his bike stalled twice. Here are some photos.

I know it may have been a bit rude to pull out my camera and take a photo while the poor chap was fixing the bike but I took three back to back shots and then gave him a push..

Maher 14

That honestly didn’t help. It would have had we a downwards sloping plane but we didn’t so…yeah..

Nonetheless, we managed to get it running and Amol came with some petrol to fill the tank so that there wouldn’t be any trouble while Gaus headed back.

But despite all this, I got the go ahead on the Creativity Centre that I shall be setting up provided some things manage to fall into place. I can’t guarantee them because they depend on some outside factors but if all goes well, I shall be jumping up and down and running all over the place like a maniac. Yes, that’s how passionate I am about this but it’s not about what I am doing. I’m just trying to help Maher get certain things in place so that it can give – as I said in my earlier post – a life to the children and the women that they deserve and that so many people take for granted.

The chorus of John Newman’s Love Me Again seems to be stuck in my head. I know the song has no relation to this scenario but the chorus does.

I need to know now, know now
Can you love me again?
I need to know now, know now
Can you love me again?
I need to know now, know now
Can you love me again?
I need to know now, know now
Can you love me again?

Can you love me again?

The answer is ‘Yes’. Maher says Yes. That’s what it’s been doing for the past 16 years and will continue doing.

Should you wish to help out, below are the details. Help is welcomed through monetary donations, education and educational items (eg. Books), household materials, clothing, food and shelter. If you would like to engage actively, I have listed the contact information at the end.

International Donation Account:

Maher, S.B. Account No.  0261101061493

Swift Code – FD Pune CNRBINBBBID

IBAN No. DE41500700100953458710

IFSC No.: CNRB0000261

Canara Bank, Deep Heights, Ramwadi,

Pune 411 014. Maharashtra, India

Local Donation Account (Pune):

Maher, S.B. Account No. 034104000033202

IDBI Bank Ltd, Plot No. 128,

Blue Hills Avenue, Nagar Road,

Yerwada, Pune 411 006, Maharashtra, India

IFSC NO. IBKL0000034

PAN No.: AABTM1421G

Contact Information:

Maher, Vadhu Budruk, Bhima Koregaon,

Tal. Shirur, Dist. Pune – 412 216.

Maharashtra, India

maherpune@gmail.com or

maher@maherashram.org

National Admin Telephone: (+91) 9011086134 / (020) 27033421

Pune Contact Details: (+91) 9011086131 / (021) 37287517

www.maherashram.org

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