School Songs:

To Dream A Dream

Today, I am a fifteen-year-old girl with the gift of an education. I study in the tenth grade in a school called Shanti Bhavan, an institution founded by Dr. Abraham George for educating the less privileged. I am a girl with a voice for herself, and a vision in her eyes. I have obtained lots of knowledge from studying subjects like English, Biology, History, Physics, etc. and by interacting with people from around the world. I have personal views of world issues, which I exercise through freedom of thought. I am now an individual girl on the road to womanhood with an identity of her own. I have great aspirations and goals to accomplish. As I cherish the fact of how fortunate I have been to be selected among the millions of children from less privileged education in Shanti Bhavan, I think of two unforgettable people because of whom my life took a new course. I am extremely grateful to the person who had a dream, and to the other who made this dream come true. The two people played a great role in making me who I am today—a woman with a voice of her own! The story goes back to the year 1995.

The heat of the mid-day sun knew no mercy. It shone hard upon the four-year-old girl’s tender body as she built imaginary characters with the mud. Having no friends of her own, she had fallen in love with the earth on which she had been born. Looking around to see that no one was there, the girl more confident in loneliness started to form strange things out of mud and stepped back to gaze at her accomplishments as a wide grin spread across her sun-scorched face.
But the girl was mistaken. From inside the dim lit house, her eighteen-year-old mother stood watching. Sarophina, who had embraced married life with dreams of living a happy, comfortable life for herself and her children, had been devastated when her dreams turned out to be futile. Her husband, a young, handsome, softhearted man had been hardened in the clutches of poverty. Poverty’s cruelty had converted this once gentle being into a dark, gloomy shadow of who he once used to be. Disappointment at the birth of his daughter, which had shattered his hopes of having a son, had turned him into a terrible man. He took to beating his wife and daughter, who he considered burdens on his shoulder. But this circle of circumstances did not destroy Sarophina’s dreams. Poverty didn’t succeed in hardening her. She was still the thin, pretty young woman she was, but now determination was choking the breath out of her body as she looked at the tiny being she loved.

“I did not get the opportunity of education, and now I suffer because of this. I do not want my daughter to lead the same hard life as I did,” she thought to herself. “I want my daughter to get educated and to lead a happy life . . . “ Suddenly, her thoughts were broken by the shrill voice of her daughter as she called her in broken Kanada, “Mummy, come see the house I have built.”
Smiling at her baby’s innocence, she stepped into the heat and walked to her daughter. Taking her mother’s hand in hers, a four-year-old Shilpa excitedly showed her mother her piece of architecture. Sarophina stared at the unidentifiable formation of mud her mother had worked so hard to create as Shilpa took her mother on a tour of her masterpiece. Where she pointed to as windows stood two depressions in the mud that she had poked her finger into.
A tin, crooked stick sticking out of the soil was perceived as a chimney through which the smoke after cooking delicious meals would pass. Sarophina’s heart melted when Silpa innocently said, “Mummy, when I grow up I will break down our small house and build a large house. I will burn all your old clothes and buy new ones.”

At that point, Sarophina’s knees weakened. Tears rolled down her cheek. Severe disappointment at being unable to provide a good life for her daughter filled her heart. Bending low, she picked up her child and held her close to her chest. The tears mixed with the beats of perspiration sparkling on Shilpa’s small, round face. As the mother and the child stood silently under the burning heat, bonded by love, Sarophina took a deep breath and whispered in her daughter’s ears, “Shilpa, I pray to God ever day that he gives you the chance to go to school and become great in life. I want you to receive an education and have a better life than mine. If only God would hear my prayers.
Not understanding the true depth of her mother’s worlds, Shilpa let a loud giggle. Little did she know that miracles do happen.

The answer to her prayers came in the form of a handsome, bright man in his fifties, with a vision in his heart. Dr. Abraham George had been born in India but had gone to America with his family in search of a better life. After earning the funds of labour in the fertility of American soil, the desire to save his own country seized him. With that desire, he laid out the foundation of Shanti Bhavan, a school he created to educate the less privileged.
That is how I found myself to be in Shnati Bhavan—a place I called home. The serenity of my school created by a man who followed his heart no matter what, came its way, is one of the most precious aspects or things I treasure. Aware from the world’s clutches of cruelty, I feel safe, secure, and deeply cared for. Shanti Bhavan has not only been the key to the dream of my dreams, but it has also been the “home” where I have so many brothers and sisters. We have our own stories to tell of tales of poverty, misery, and cruelty during the early four years of our lives. But here we are, admitted in one man’s dream, to help change the world in our own ways. We have been given the chance to accomplish one worthy cause in life.

I have grown to love the beauty of Shanti Bhavan’s cause, the unity we all are bonded with, and to treasure the love and care I and my brothers and sisters receive from my founder, the principal Ms. Lalita Law, our hardworking housemothers, and teachers who are all part of a dream.
As I embark on the road to accomplish dreams, the feeling of fear and loneliness does not succeed in defeating me. I am not afraid nor alone, because I am with the help of a mother who had a dream, the love of Dr. George, who I feel honored to call my “father,” and the guidance and encouragement of my aunties and teachers and the support from my brothers and sisters. I believe I can accomplish anything. I set my mind to. I am extremely grateful to my mother, who had a dream and to my father, Dr. George, who made the dream come through! I am glad they had the courage to dream a dream.

By: Shilpa

10th Grade

Shanti Bhavan’s Surroundings

Shanti Bhavan is a school in which I study. Dr. George is the founder of this school. It was inaugurated in 1997. Mrs. Law, Dr. George, and current tenth and eleventh graders were there for the inauguration.
Shanti Bhavan was first a place with no trees, buildings, proper roads, etc. Only snakes and scorpions were there. Then, after everything was cleared and built with proper buildings and dorms, roads, parks, PT grounds, and many trees and flowers including the lawns make it so beautiful and neat.
Many volunteers and visitors find this a very beautiful place.
Here is one school building, and many dorms. All are kept neat and tidy.
Shanti Bhavan is big with many trees and plants. There are different birds and fruits, especially now: there are grapes! Shanti Bhavan has three farms consisting of grape farms.
Shanti Bhavan is a very comfortable place in which to stay! Right now, from the volunteers to the security staff, everyone feels comfortable staying here. I love this place!

By: Shrimathi

7th Grade

A New Life, Experienced

“Oh my God! I can’t see anything! Someone help me!” I cried. Suddenly I stopped shouting. I moved back. I hit something soft. I lifted it up. A bright light falls on my face and enlightens the darkness I had seen. It looks familiar. And then suddenly a shadow falls at the end. It does not look like a human; it looks like an animal. I look behind myself. I see nothing.
I put my hand on my head as if I have a problem with my eyes. Then I see that shadow move too. I move my hands up and down, and the shadow also moves its hands up and down. I looked at myself.
“Ahhh!” I cried, but I did not hear myself shout. I stopped crying, but no tears ran down my cheek.
I had turned into a rabbit. I did not know what to do. I did not know how to brush my teeth. I got a plan. I pushed the toothbrush down and put the ironing machine and some clothes on the handle part of my toothbrush to keep it from moving. And then I opened my mouth with my teeth closed and rubbed my teeth against the bristles of the toothbrush.
My mother’s footsteps were sounding as if coming closer. So I put my pillows in an order that looked as if I was still sleeping, and my doll facing toward the window with its black hair facing the entrance.
“Let him have some more rest because he did a lot of work yesterday,” my mother said with a relieved voice because she had heard a noise from my room and thought I had gone somewhere.
I felt hungry and didn’t know what to do. I had a plan. I had an old cassette of myself acting in a skit we enacted at school. I switched it on and forwarded it to a particular part. I know my mom would call me for breakfast; that is why I did this. And when she asked me, I pressed the button.
My mom felt suspicious. She thought to herself: “I wonder what he is up to after so long.” She came to my room and got a shock, but not a very severe shock. I had written this on the wall with the toothpaste:
Mom, I know you won’t believe what you are going to read now, but it is true. I have suddenly turned into a rabbit overnight. But if you don’t want to get me mixed up with the other rabbits outside, you better get a collar and write that I am really a human!
P.S. I am standing next to your foot!
My mom looked down and saw me. She went and bought me a collar with the writing on it. Meanwhile, when my mom closed the door, I ran to the breakfast table, dropped the food on the table, and started eating. I felt like a human without any hands.
I wanted to go to the toilet, but I did not know what to do because I couldn’t jump to the commode and go to the toilet. So I had wet the dining table.
My mom came back with the collar. She called me and put the collar around my neck. She saw the urine on the table but wiped it because she thought it was water.
At school everyone was worried and asked where I went, and why I did not come to class? The teacher telephoned my mom and said, “Your son is missing.”
“Don’t worry,” said my mom. “He is here at home because he is deadly sick.”
When my mom had gone for work, I went out of the house. Everything seemed humongous, and the insects were a little bigger than when I was a human.
Everything seemed better when I was small than they seemed when I was big. Only one thing I did not like—when the people kept sliding their hands on my back. Then suddenly a boy saw the collar. He read out loud:
Please! Don’t hurt me a lot. I am actually a human who has been turned into a rabbit!
Everyone stepped back, dropped me, and ran away. I felt like a poisonous snake, in a lost world.
I wished I could turn back into a human again, but before that I needed to cut the collar because I would get choked. I managed to cut it with a fallen knife.
The next morning I felt cold. I opened my eyes slowly, but just then I opened them fast with a shock. I was sleeping on sand with a knife beside me. But I was happy to be a human once again! I know that a collar went to waste for a good cause. Because to live is more precious than a million dollar collar!

By Prem

Running Away

The moon spread its evil grin over the forest, its rays leering and poking fun at me. I turned away, and there by me lay the tired Kathleen. The reflection of water played against her face. Yes, she is very pretty. But still I had no hope of surviving now. Looking down at her face, my memory went back to the same scene once again . . .
Being the youngest in her wolf pack, she was always given a lot of attention. When I looked at her, I fell head over heels in love with her. In my pack, I was supposed to take over because my dad, who was the best and most courageous leader in the pack, died. So then I decided to make Kathleen my wife.
That was a BIG MISTAKE.
Her pack and my pack were never very good since we trespassed the territories during hunting. But when my pack went hunting one day, I pulled her off into the bank of the river. The starry night was very beautiful, and the moon drifted lazily among the clouds. I could hear my pack howling in search of me, but I did not bother. I proposed to her. She said that she would get married, but her pack would not let it happen, so I then went and called my best friend Avery. He wedded us secretly under the glassy moon. The last part of our wolf wedding was to exchange a blood oath for our marriage together.
When she laid her beautiful paws on mine, my pack saw it from a distance. But quickly Kathleen bounded off, and by the time my pack arrived, she was gone from their sight.
That night I made Avery swear that he would not breathe a word to anyone about our marriage. In the morning the nights’ sightings were forgotten by most except one wolf named Shaggy who I despised very much. He kept a very close watch on me.
One day, Avery and I were fighting for a piece of meat. Being stronger than him, I won it fair and square, but Avery was very angry, and accidentally let it slip that I was wedded to Kathleen. Immediately, Shaggy bounded upon me and slapped me. He then broadcast the news to my pack. They decided not only to hurt Kathleen, but also the pack.
I went to find her and saw that the pack too had found out, and Kathleen was already injured badly. Carefully I attacked the pack from behind and pulled her back and raced from the pack. I took her on my back and raced to the hill where I jumped from one cliff to another (which no one else could do) and carried her safely to the bank of another river. I slid her off my back. Now I stand here guarding her life because . . . a gift of love . . . that’s what she is to me.
Now I will start my own pack with her, and we will live happily together. Then I know the thorns of this life will fade away into a beautiful rose, and I will be able to live with her forever.

By: Kishori

10th Grade

Our Zoo

Ah! I feel so furry. My tail is so bushy. It feels as if I have needles all over my body. I have only four teeth, two on top and two on the bottom. I turned back, and guess what! I transformed into a squirrel.
In the beginning I was so excited and curious. But then I wondered: “How on earth am I going to tell everyone what happened to me? How am I going to communicate?” Big drops of tears rolled down my hairy face. My four teeth started chattering. I was sad and worried.
I looked around. All of my friends had become animals too. We had an ant, an elephant, a lion, tiger, a tortoise, and me, a squirrel. My sad long face now had a big, broad smile. All our faces were so enlightened, ready to start a new adventure. Aunty came in to wake us up. She screamed so loudly. At that the poor ant had to run and hide behind the tortoise. She ran away and never came back. All of us did not have to brush our teeth. We did not bother. But we were so worried because we did not know how the whole of Shanti Bhavan was going to react.
We did not go for P.T. in the morning. When we came out for our breakfast, all the other children were so afraid, and they were like rats in front of lions. But some children were so excited because they saw some of their favorite animals were there. They ran and petted all of us. They sat on us and had rides.
We went to class to find that our class teacher Mr. Daniel was busy writing down sums on the board. It was our monthly test. None of us wanted to enter the class. The ant went in and sat on Catherine’s chair. The squirrel went on top of the class and sat on the railing of the roof without any noise. All the small animals were lucky and entered the class. Mr. Daniel did not realize. But the big animals like the elephant, cheetah, tiger, and lion had no other choice than to go and stand outside. Our teacher waited for fifteen minutes. No other students walked in. He waited for ten more minutes. The class remained empty. He walked outside to see what had gone wrong. At the sight of all the animals, he stood there frozen. He was motionless for five minutes. He did not speak nor move any parts of his body. When he started moving, all the hair on his head was sticking up.
He asked us: “Um . . . . wha . . . t . . . ha . . . ppened?” Another child from ninth grade came running and said, “Mr. Daniel, this is your class children. These are your eleven beautiful children.”
Mr. Daniel on hearing this started perspiring, and he got a 104 degree temperature. All of us stomped in making a lot of noise. Each of them took their seats. Some of the animals were taller than Mr. Daniel. Kavitha the elephant sat down with a tud. But obviously she couldn’t fit in her chair.
He blurted out: “No . . . mon . . . th . . . ly . . . .te . . . .st.” All of us started clapping and grinning in our own way. Mr. Daniel had no other choice than to go and sit and stare at all of us. He sat there with his eyes wide open, blinking very rarely. All of us stared back at Mr. Daniel. After some time, all of us started talking and talking. Each of us made one type of noise. It created such a racket in the school building.
Assembly was a great terror. We did not know how to sit in our places. Mrs. Law was really shocked. All of us had to stand at the side of the stage, because we couldn’t fit. For lunch all of us had to go hunt for our own food. I ran to trees, found huts, and had a feast. My stomach was so full that I did not come for classes. My stomach started making noises, so I slept on top of a tree. I had a nice nap. I slept for three hours. I was in my own dream land.
I felt someone biting me. That part of me had become swollen. Catherine the ant bit me to wake me up. That part became red like a plum. Both of us ran away to our dorm. In our dorm from four to five was a transforming period. All of the six animals transformed back to girls. But all of us were so ashamed. All six ran to the toilet to wear our clothes. “Woof, what a shame . . . “
We all had a wonderful day on that day. It was marvelous to have another world to live in. We all went to see Mr. Daniel to see if he was OK and if he was still in a bad condition. We all apologized to him.

By: Prathiba
8th Grade

One Happiness is Not Enough

In a town named Xian in China in the year 1914, darkness crept upon the evening light. A scream splattered the stillness, as a 3-year-old girl was having her feet bound. Distress and agony showed on her face as she struggled against the clutches of her mother. Her grandmother, who was doing the binding, looked up for a brief moment, but put her head quickly down as she felt her heart melt for her little angel, her granddaughter Chang. She knew that she had to follow her son-in-law’s order. He had already planned to join his daughter’s hand with the General’s son who lived in the lavish house next door. He had said firmly: “Bind her feet as small as you can. The smaller they are, the more impressed will the General be,” and he replied softly, “the faster she gets married, the quicker we shall get the store.”
A new scream brought her back to the present. Tears flooded Chang’s face, and her eyes were red and swollen. She would always remember this day.
Through a small crack in the window, the small body, the General’s son, stood in a trance-like-state, viewing the scene before him. He saw a little girl screaming, and his heart went out to her. He quietly decided that he would make her happy one day.
In 1917, the binding of feet was banned by the Chinese government, and some of those who had bound feet just started removing their bindings, but it was not possible for Chang. The General’s son, Que, had proposed marriage to Chang to her father, and according to her father’s wishes Chang had to get married with her feet bound. As for the tradition, she was carried on a royal chair to visit all the four gates of the town and was then taken to her husband Zue’s house.
At the age of 13, both understood each other very well, and both understood what each other wanted. One night as Chang lay on her bed with the moonlight illuminating her face, her breathing soft and even, Zue entered the room carrying a bowl of warm water. He kneeled quietly in front of her feet and slowly started unbinding her bound feet. As the last fold was removed, he gasped with shock. Dry skin was peeling from her feet, and they were in an odd shape which clearly showed that they were broken. He had promised to make her happy, and the only way he could do that was to get married to her because he knew that other men would have considered her small feet fashionable.
As he quietly bathed her feet in the warm water, she woke with a start, and her eyes fell on him. She tried to pull back her feet, but he just held them tightly, not allowing her to pull them back. He looked up to her and asked, “Chang, do you want your feet bound?” She shook her head vigorously, and her loose black hair felt straight along her shoulder.
He replied, “In that case, I’m going to help you with your feet.” Gently, he kept her feet straight and bound them such that her feet would look normal and grow again. Chang, who watched him intently silently and quietly fell back to sleep. Zue kissed her gently on her forehead and left her alone in her world of fantasy.
“Zue!” The General’s voice basked in the morning.”Chang hasn’t yet come to the store. Her father and I made a deal that the store’s profit would be shared between us, but if she doesn’t work, her father will not get the profit,” his voice snarled at Zue. “Go find her. Our shop is not profiting, and we need her to influence people to come to our store.”
Zue went to her room and saw Chang struggling to stand and walk. He helped her, and she smiled at him and his heart soared.
Four years later, the General passed away, and his magnificent and profitable store went to Chang and Zue. Due to the absence of the General, many people started coming to the store. Chang walked normally with only a slight limp. The store’s two wellwishers, Chang and Zue, looked at each other as a smile escaped both their lips. They held a secret, which would become the world’s knowledge in a few months.

By: Amrutha

10th Grade


School Songs

Save the Earth

Just look around you and you’ll see
The world is no longer
What it used to be
From a world of peace engraved with beauty
To a world of sorrow
Outlined in dirt
It has changed incredibly
Hey! You people wake up
From all these years of littering
And start cleaning up
This mess that you’ve caused
Before you regret and say, “Why didn’t we do this earlier?”
Give back the world her real identity
“Earth, was a heavenly paradise”, our grandparents would say
In the past days
But it has lost all its beauty
With us misusing nature’s gifts
It will no longer stay beautiful, for future generations to see
If we don’t put a stop to our actions
Before we face its consequences.
Here they are
The sixth and seventh graders
We love to Live, Live, Live
We live to Learn, Learn, Learn,
Learn to love yourself
Beat Beat
Hey Brother, Yeah..
One for all and all for one
Hey sister, Yeah
Lets join together and have some fun
you gotta
love to live,
live to learn,
learn to love yourself (x2)
Learn to treat each other, with respect and encourage
No one should feel hated, lonely or discouraged
We are all a part of the current situation,
Embrace cooperation and we can change the nation,
you gotta
love to live,
live to learn,
learn to love yourself (x2)
I can make a difference if I give up this indifference
it’s time to be courageous and believe in what god gave us
We can make a difference if we give up this indifference
Its time to be courageous and believe in what god gave us
to love and to be loved
is the greatest gift to the human race
join hands and clear a path
lets make the world a better place
sixth graders, Yeah..
One for all and all for one
Seventh graders, Yeah
Lets join together and have some fun
Hey Robin – hey friends,
Shanti Bhavan
Lets join together and have some fun
Desire Unity, Fulfill Our Destiny
what is it you desire?
Keep it on fire (x2)

Desire unity, fulfill our destiny
Desire unity, fulfill our (clap) x2

together we can do our dreamin,
to wake up and face each morning,
equality between the rich and poor,
will set things right forever more
we have the power to bring peace,
and with it all the wars will cease, cease, cease…

Hey Divia? Yeah Francis?
We’ve got one another! X2
He Keshavn? Yeah Janci?
So we have a brother? A sister and a brother!
Hey Prascilla? Yeah Shakti?
We all come from one mother? Why not love each other? (x4)

Desire unity, fulfill our destiny
Desire unity, fulfill our (clap) x2

we can do our sacred duty,
by teaching the world equality,
we can overcome adversity,
embracing each others diversity,
even in times of difficulty,
we will be a strong community,
we can achieve a peaceful humanity,
believe in hope and unity (x3)

what is it you desire? Keep it on fire!!(x2).

Nothings Impossible

Nothings impossible give it try
Nothings’ too far if you want it close by
Nothings too fast if you set the pace
And nothings too fearful for the human race;

looking around I see fear (solo)
questions overwhelm me, nothing is clear
I pray, that the cold won’t last (solo)
sun settin’ fast, shadows of night cast
my insides, feel wound in a knot (solo)
my mind becomes unsteady by the things I have fought
I feel, im runnin’ out of time (solo)
Days are upon me when nothing will rhyme

then I remember:
Fate favors the bold
In challenges we find
Fate favors the bold
It all depends on our mind
Fate favors the bold
Make the world unwind
Fate favors the bold

We are educated, and we are free
To explore the potential of what we can be,
If we practice, what we preach,
There’s no limit to the stars, that we can reach
The moon,
will have prints of our feet
When our courage and determination meet
Dancing boldly,
to the harmony,
in the inspired sound of our destiny

so I remember:
Fate favors the bold
In challenges we find
Fate favors the bold
It all depends on our mind
Fate favors the bold
Make the world unwind
Fate favors the bold

We have only one life, only one and not more…
Live in the moment,
fate favors the bold,
One life, only one and not more
This is our moment
Fate favors the bold
10th grade its our moment
be bold and stay on it
together we’ll find it
Fate favors the bold
Who discover the undiscovered.

Nothings impossible give it try
Nothings’ too far if you want it close by
Nothings too fast if you set the pace
And nothings too fearful for the human race;

We are educated, and we are free
To explore the potential of what we can be,
If we practice, what we preach,
There’s no limit to the stars, that we can reach
So I remember:
Fate favors the bold
In challenges we find
Fate favors the bold
This is our moment
Fate favors the bold
Lets enjoy our life
Fate favors the bold.

Accept Our Truth

accept our truth
We are young and unique
To love or to be loved
That’s what we seek

check, check, check, check
check out my melody,

check it
right from the start,
we gotta be
smart, smart,
we’re out to seek,
what’s truly unique,
Livin for today,
wanna do it our way,
truth is our destiny,
lets make it our necessity
forget inequality,
we’re made of God’s quality,
Check out my melody

Accept our truth people
We’re young and unique
To love and to be loved
that is what we seek! (x2)

don’t worry
we’re not pansies
just whimsical chimpazees
we’re unique and strong and we get it goin on.
passion is the mashin’ of our love & satisfaction
we’re unique and strong and we… Oh!
passion is the mashin’ of our love & satisfaction

even if the sane have gone mad, mad
and all our laughter has gone bad, bad
what I want to be is who I am,
not some freak named Sam I am,
Oh yes, world learn to bear us, bear us
love us like the rest, the rest
We’re different and we like it, like that!
Shanti Bhavan’s treasure chest.

Accept our truth people
We’re young and unique
To love and to be loved
that is what we seek! (x2)

we’re unique and strong and we get it goin on.
passion is the mashin’ of our love & satisfaction
we’re unique and strong and we get it goin on
passion is the mashin’ of our love & satisfaction
accept our truth ,We are young and unique
To love and to be loved, That’s what we seek
Shanti Bhavan’s truth ,We are young and unique
To love and to be loved, That’s what we seek.