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Saphera

 

Safera shows his snakes

 

Nag panchami is the festival of snakes and safera came punctual wearing big malas around the neck, showy clothes and carrying his wicker basket where his valued friends, the cobras, are resting.

In their Sunday best, kids were waiting for him and while waiting they moulded cobras and Shiva lingams using Ganges clay.

When safera arrived, everyone sat down in circle around him with trepidation but longing for “wearing” the cobra around the neck and he pleased everyone, either grown-ups and children,  patiently.

 

A little girl plays with a cobra

 

We have known him for ages and he knows he can always rely on ashram’s respect and generosity and that he is welcomed with enthusiasm. Safera’s tradition is almost getting lost for many reasons and only few people keep on wandering through the villages showing their friends the cobras with care and feeling. 

 The day went on very cheerfully as we know that the day after we would meet again to celebrate a very important anniversary: the Independence of India.

 

Kids wander through the villages singing hymns

 

As every year, children wanted to organize a small parade through the villages surrounding the ashram waving national flags proudly and singing their love for their country.


Sweet jelebis for the kids

 

The friends of Rotary of Benares shared this day with us giving exercise books, pens and sweets to all the 360 children present and planting more trees in the school garden.

 

Children come back to the ashram after the parade

 

All morning dances, poems and chants that our kids prepared, constantly helped by their teachers, followed one another and the abundant monsoon rain didn’t stop the cheerfulness and the will to share such a special day!

All the school and extra school activities go on with will to learn and this year with master Govind we have added a new discipline: taekwon-do.

 

Master Govind in a Taekwon-Do demonstration

 

It is a martial art which trains the mind to concentration, control, determination and self-esteem and it is also a good means of defence.

 

Morning prayer

 

After morning prayer and meditation, Govind teaches this beautiful discipline to fourth and fifth classes with expertise and competence, little girls take part with their school mates and are glad to do it, following the master and his teachings, realizing that it can give more self-confidence, stability and willingness to them.

 

Martial art before school lessons

 

It’s rainy season and grass and trees in the garden are bright green, there are many kinds of flowers and birds that cheer us with crows’ caws and peacocks’ calls while showing their wonderful colours generously.

The Ganges flows fast carrying present and past life incessantly, the tolling of the bells takes me far back in the past and I hug you goodbye.

Gururatna