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Game 43: Varanasi, India

We arrived in Varanasi on the first festival day of the year . Today was the festival of kites and what a sight it was ...hundreds of children flying their colourful gliders and dive bombers from flat roofs all over the city. Dan was resting so I headed to the Ganges waterfront .

There I saw a band of kids racing each other up and down a sloped embankment . They saw me and all ran over holding out hands and tin plates for money or food . Just then a chap named Yasir Khan walked by. Yasir turned out to be a weaver who works 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, 362 days of the year . I asked him to explain to the children that we would have a game of footy and then I’d head off into town for some food for them .

Yasir explained to me that these children were all orphans and lived on this promenade by the Ganges . Little Gita, Jamun, Karina, Rinu, Rinda, Golu , Resab and Ramesh had a brilliant time playing a penalty shoot out and then a short game after which ended with the ball looping into the holiest of rivers .

I popped into town for hot food, sweets and toys for them . The look on their faces as they filled their hungry bellies will live with me forever . Playing with their toys with big smiles on their faces , they looked like children anywhere in the world should look. Sadly , their reality is very different.

India leaves you feeling helpless at times ..there are so many needy people. We had a lot of smiles and laughter today and I guess that’s all we can try to do for these poor wee rascals .

Impossible to tell the whole story here so will save the rest for the book.


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