But to my mind, though I am native here
And to the manner born, it is a custom
More honour’d in the breach than the observance.
Shakespeare (Hamlet)

I wonder what it takes to be to the manner born. I have often been stunned by the unexpected gestures of pwhy kids that make me wonder about who is truly to the manner or manor born.

I look forward to the weekly report I get from Prabin, the housemaster of our foster care programme as each week a special treat is in store for me. This weeks report was short and crisp but had not one but two surprises for me.

Manu it seemed now wished everyone good night before he went to sleep. Nothing to write home about would be the normal reaction, but how can one forget where Manu comes from and what a miracle these two simple words were.

But there was more.

Last Friday the foster care children went for a visit to Lotus temple. At the gate of the temple a Canadian volunteer was greeting every visitor with a Namaste and handing out information flyers to all. No one answered her greeting or murmured a thank you to her. Our children answered her Namaste and thanked her for the flyer without be prompted to do so. The lady was impressed and took time to interact with them. Some people stopped and asked Prabin which school the children studied in.

Now remember these kids – Babli, Vicky, Nikhil and Aditya – come from the most deprived homes possible. When they came to us they were aggressive, used language and were a real handful. Today they make us proud.

I wonder what it takes to be to the manner or manor born!