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Rainy season

 

Ganges swollen up by rains

 

Flying over Varanasi, from plane windows I see a thick layer of clouds hiding the landscape, meaning that it is probably raining. Crossed this cloud cover I see the fields flooded. It had started raining hard two days ago and temperature had dropped almost twenty degrees. Leaving the airport I don’t find Anil Baba waiting for me as always. Maybe he has been kept by some setbacks. Several taxi drivers approach me and one of them inform me that the heavy rains during night have caused many problems in the city. Uneven road, fallen trees, widespread flooding.

 

Cake for everybody at Gurubaba`s birthday

When, after a while, he comes, Anil Baba tells me that there was a traffic jam and that it took more than three hours to arrive. Going the way back to the city I notice that carriageway, just widened in many parts, had given way opening frightening chasms on the sides of the road. There were trucks everywhere and overturned vehicles, blocked in slush. People working under a fresh rain maneuvered cranes and windlasses to take the means away.

 

The temple and the vegetation of the ashram

 

We have no problems going back to the ashram. The first thing I notice is that vegetation seems to explode, interpreting all the tones and nuances of green. This season makes this land fertile and able to have two harvests per year. If rains don’t come or arrive late, this could be easily become a tragedy for many peasant families of the plains. This regular beginning had encouraged the heart of those who depend on land, that is to say, most of Indian population.


The bridge on the Ganges

 

Short before my arrival, Koussum, one of the girls of the school, has got married.


Make Up for marriage

 

Her ex-classmates have been invited and have come to celebrate her. The ceremony and the party took place at the ashram in a joyful atmosphere and lasted until late in the night.

 

Koussum has said yes…

 

Most of our girls’ and boys’ families are very poor, children are many; generally parents don’t take so much care of their children’ education and growth, either because they are burdened with work, or because they work far away from their families, if not made inept by vices such as alcohol, drug or gambling. As soon as they can rid of the burden of a daughter, they do it as soon as possible.


…and now to secondary school!

 

It is not only the luxuriant beauty of the nature that welcomes me; soon I learn the last event of some of the families of our kids that hardly match with the harmony of the ashram. Their situation are often sad, and sometimes dramatic. If I should start to tell moving stories, I would have one per day.


Koussum is ready for the ceremony

 

Miss Neelam Gupta, Mr. Shivaji Gupta’s wife, two esteemed doctor and old friends of ours, came with a delegation of members of the Rotary Club of Varanasi and gave four sewing machines for the courses in the ashram.

 

Tarla Joshi visits the ashram accompanying the women of the Rotary Club of Varanasi

 

Tarla Joshi accompanied them and spoke to the women of sewing course, giving a warm and motherly encouragement to the women present.


Sewing machines given by the Rotary Club

 

Summer holidays are almost over and now enrolments to the external schools proceed feverishly, those who have to go to these schools are very excited. This year we began to involve more the families of the kids sponsored, so that they can be more conscious of the education of their children and can support them at the best in their future studies. Some years ago the government passed a law that guarantees 50 % of state jobs to people of needy castes and classes but these positions keep vacant as only few people have the education requested to enter into them. If our kids want to continue their studies keenly up to the university, they will be able to have jobs of some prestige.

 

Sunita teaches how to use pc to the youngest ones

 

Rainy days alternate to sunny days; humidity and sultry weather are little pleasant fellows if accompanied by the thermometer still touching 40 degrees. Very many insects come out from every hole in the ground. Life hot summer seemed to extinguish with its torrid temperatures, breaks out again with violence, starting again its annual cycle with vehemence.

 

Music course

Some days after my arrival, the level of the river started to rise very fast and doesn’t seem to slow down. Now it is about twenty meters far from the fence and weather bulletins report of heavy rains in the North.

 

Babloo and the gavial cub

 

The other day a Ganges gavial (Gaviali Gangeticus) was found along the river. It is a very rare crocodile and lives only in India, it has a typical narrow jaw with a protuberance over nostrils and, when is adult, can be 5-6 meters long. This crocodile that eats for the most part fishes and small animals, is not generally dangerous for man.  We sent it to the veterinary centre in the zoo of Sarnath, where there are many adult. We hope that doctors take care of this very particular reptile.

 

Ganges gavial

 

Gurupurnima is approaching and we have already started to organize the event. We will have guest from Italy and Switzerland. Viviana will be here in some days, Jai Shree for the day of the Guru. This is the 14th Gurupurnia we celebrate in the ashram.

 

The students of the school year just ended (2010-2011)


 

Life in the ashram and sewing course for the women of the village