They say doing charity in the city is too mainstream. So I did charity up on a breezy mountain, amongst the mist and clouds, 51,000 metres away from the bustling city of Kuala Lumpur.
Courtesy of both Nuffnang and Resorts World Genting, I was invited to attend a charity screening of Men In Black III at First World Hotel, Genting Highlands. Alongside fellow bloggers and social media fans, this screening was joined by underprivileged children from 3 different homes. Accordingly, there were about 80 over kids in the theatre. YES EIGHTY LITTLE BEINGS IN ONE HALL.
To begin with, I need to let it be known that I’m not exactly the biggest fan of kids. I mean, I don’t hate them. But I just don’t like them as much as I like say, beer and football. Know what I mean? Of course, if there’s an adorable little kiddo who had just let out the cutest fart, I would actually smile and pat his little endearing head. After all, I’m not a sadist who steals candies from kids and make them cry just for my pleasure. I’m just not that fond of children.
When I first learn of this charity screening with kids, I was somewhat hesitant as to confirming my attendance. But I thought, meh, I’m on a semester break anyway and it has been a while since I last exposed myself to a climate that is below 26 degree celcius. So what the hell. Maybe if the kids annoyed me I could just walk away and mind my own beeswax, was what I told myself. Little did I know that I will be terribly ashamed of myself for having this consideration in mind.
So there I was at the screening with Xue Jen. This girl, unlike me, likes children a lot. So much so that she has half the mind to adopt kids of different ethnicity and nationality, raise them as her own and be proud of them. A true Angelina Jolie of Malaysia. Well, minus the hot bod. And perhaps the luscious lips.
Remember how most of us are afraid to go watch a movie with a lot of kids in the theatre? How it might be plausible that one of the kids will start crying and the rest will all follow his lead? Or how a little loquacious boy pestering his parent every 5 minutes during the show just to ask, “Eh mummy what happened to the bad guy?” at the peak of his squeaky little voice? Yeah, kids and cinema somehow don’t make the best partners.
Of course, now that there were more than 80 kids in the theatre watching a film that is mostly about aliens and men in suits that are generally of opaque black in colour, I was pretty afraid that they will get all excited and start yelping as though they were at a candy store and given permission to take anything they like. I prayed for the worst.
And boy was I wrong about that. Through out the screening, not even the slightest ruckus was made. The kids sat through the movie, laughing at jokes and watching silently otherwise. These kids, they behave so much better than a lot of the idiots we vote for and give a seat to in Parliament. Seriously, I slapped myself mentally for having such a negative assumption about the kids before getting to know them.
And just right after the movie, it was lunch time. The food was okay, but perhaps this post is not really much about the food, so I’ll just leave you with a photo of Jen trying to look for an imaginary diamond ring in her bowl of porridge.
After consuming a reasonable amount of food, Jen suggested that she would spend some time talking to the kids and get to know them better. After being proven wrong in the cinema that not all kids are annoying, I joined in this little interactive session with the kids. To my greatest surprise, they were some of the most charming group of people I’ve met.
We chatted, cracked jokes and even took photos for each other. Even though it was only the first time meeting both Jen and myself, the kids made themselves really comfortable with us. You don’t get that kind of amicability much, I’m telling you.
This was followed by a gift-presentation ceremony. Yeah, each of us who attended the charity screening prepared a little present for these underprivileged kids. And this was the moment that truly melted my heart like how our horrendous Kuala Lumpur heat melts a tub ice-cream.
When the kids began to unwrap their presents, their eyes gleamed with a new sense of exhilaration. Even though it was just a simple box of crayons and colour pencils, you can see the awes on their innocent little faces.
Some of them hugged their gifts with a glow of gratitude on their faces. Some went around showing off their unwrapped presents to their mates with such pride only a kid like him could relish. It was truly a heartwarming moment. Even for a ridiculous piece of crap like myself who has little affection for kids, seeing their joy really meant a lot to me.