I have no excuses. For nearly five months I had been postponing the trip to Pune. Every month I made a plan and something or the other would postpone it again. This time I was determined to go. A wedding in Pune acted as an ideal catalyst. I left early from my hotel room and drove down to the school. My partner was kind enough to lend me his car.
Reaching the school, I first met Mr. Bhalke who was waiting for me. I found that the children were busy practicing for the Republic Day celebrations. Every class had a small amplifier connected to the teacher's mobile and the children were dancing to some song. I have captured the young ones dancing in some of these videos.
The amplifier itself was an amazing innovation. A metal box with an in-built speaker and an audio in (for the mobile), USB port, Bass, Treble and Volume controls. And the price; Rs. 350/-. It was an ideal example of the Indian 'jugaad'.  
Mr. Bhalke had to leave since he had some examination to invigilate. I bid him farewell and then sat with the students of every class outside the school and had a very satisfying chat with them. I asked them their names, what they had learned in class recently, about their dance practice and about the naughtiest child in class.
The topic of the naughtiest child in class was the most popular. As soon as I asked them about this, their eyes lit up and they started to point fingers at each other. 
In a few classes there was unanimity about the most naughty one. There were some very cute children. 
Another topic which we discussed was the importance of our ID Card. Every child had an ID Card hung around his/her neck. Some had kept it inside their pockets. Some had not got it. I showed them the ID Card of my company. They were all very excited to see my ID Card. Each one snatched it from the other and looked at me trying to figure out where in this man sitting in front of us can I see the guy who appears in this photo?
I could understand their predicament. The photo in the ID Card was old. I was clean-shaven then. Now I sported a beard. The children were slightly confused. I asked them all, "Which Narssimhan looks better?" The one in the ID Card or the one sitting in front of you. "This one!" was the unanimous reply. So much for my beard detractors. 
The children were very pleased to chat with me and so was I. Since we were running out of time, I could not spend more than 15 minutes per class. I shook hands with every child and it was immensely enjoyable. Every young one wanted to shake hands with me, I observed. 
I then spent some time with the teachers and listened to their issues. The toilets were operational finally and electricity had also arrived but there were some teething issues. There was no water connection and the electricity was only available till 1 p.m. The rising cost of living was also a pressing issue with the teachers.
I promised them that I will do my best and left as soon as the school closed for the day. The Republic Day celebrations which was supposed to be held on the 26th was postponed to the 8th of February as we did not get a place to conduct the celebrations. The children asked me if I will come for the Republic Day celebrations. I replied in the affirmative. They were very happy. 
Even as I was leaving, they reminded me about February 8th. They had all boarded the school bus and were ready to leave. All were waving out to me. I waved back and left. 

Returned back to the wedding venue. Looked at the children and the people there. The ostentatious display of wealth, the waste, the artificial relations and the vanity. 

I knew where real happiness existed...I had just been there!