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Under the rain

 

Sunset on the Ganges

It rains again and again…the sky is leaden and under a pouring rain I sing softly an old rhyme which takes me back to my childhood and I think that staying with the children one becomes a child again!

Monsoon doesn’t give in, it rains continuously and sometimes so hard that we cannot even see what is around us, very often humidity and haze veil the river and the opposite bank.

The Ganges is in flood and has reached our boundary wall, coming in through the gate in the lowest part of the school to the great joy of our kids who can cheerfully swim in the pool in the ramp until the river has subsided.

 

The children bathe on the ramp of the gate

 

In these days fishermen’s boats are anchored to bamboo poles, nobody goes out fishing, so the boats are often used by village women to do the washing and wash because riverbank is flooded.

Even under the rain the activities of the ashram go on incessantly, to the hospital patients come in great numbers, sometimes with very complicated clinical cases, but they find our doctors always ready to intervene with care, skill, and a lot of understanding towards the ones who suffer and hope for a real help.

 

The Ganges laps against the ashram

 

As every year, at the beginning of the school, we have closed enrolments in our school “Shri Aghoreshwar Gurukul” soon, with more than 380 kids; as always we have had very many demands and there are mothers still coming with their children who wish to go to our school, but, except for some particular cases, enrolments are closed and school has started.

 

The first day of school

 

We had to divide the classes to coach the children properly, we took on some new teachers and also tutors for the about 80 kids going to secondary and high school.

To everyone’s great satisfaction and happiness, Sunita was admitted to the university, a goal she wanted and deserves; we hope that her school career could set an example for our girls and boys who are going to the high school!

I follow many activities and new projects, but when the rays of the sun peep out from clouds, I work in the garden; with my team of little gardeners I have created a new area next to the temple, taking ground, transplanting cuttings of succulent and ornamental plants that were already in the garden, putting also some big stones coming from Vindhyachal – one of them looks like the mount Kailash – and a nice brass cobra completes the composition.

 

Gardening with the kids

 

The kids like gardening, I explain to them how to treat the ground, respecting what the nature has given us; they follow and help me, listening with care to what I say and show; I wonder whether, at a future time, some of them will devote himself or herself to plants and flowers care!

 

The garden of the ashram

 

Many friends and supporters have visited us, Cristina and Roberto (Yoga and Wellness) were very happy to see our centre and spent time with our kids whom they help and support; I thank them and all the friends and supporter who tirelessly give their help with great generosity.

 

Cristina (Yoga and Wellness) and Roberto in Varanasi

 

Some Rotary members came back to visit us bringing school materials, new plants for the garden, and we talked about the possibility of cooperating with them for some new projects that will be carried out in a short while.

 

Rotary friends visit the ashram

 

August was full of news and celebrations, Nagpanchami with saphera’s cobras and the little cobra found in a flower bed, Raksha bandhan that gave me a collection of rakhis, bracelet of every kinds and colours, from our little girls.

 

Saphera

 

Tying a cloth bracelet around their brothers’ wrist symbolizes the affection of sisters towards them who, in turn, will protect, help and support their sisters.

On August 15th, the independence day of India, kids arrived on time under a never-ending rain, practically a deluge, they were drenched with rain, without umbrellas but happy to celebrate such an important day for them and their nation.

 

The Independence Day

 

The ceremony of hoisting the flag marked the beginning of the day that has gone on with readings, poems, chants and dances, of course.

Our children and our boys and girls like music and dance a lot, with the help of tabla and harmonium teachers they can always prepare new songs and deepen the study of music instruments.

 

Music and chants

 

The new Katak dance teacher is able to arouse the enthusiasm of his class that increases numerically at every lesson, even some of the girls of the sewing course have decided to follow his lessons three times a week; I think that every art form can help to express what everyone of us cannot communicate with words.

 

Some of the girls of the sewing course

 

My afternoon reading lessons in Hindi go on, Ankeeta and Suprya (5th class) are always on time, ask me if I did my homework…then they start to make me read, correcting my faults and my very often imperfect pronunciation!

 

Gururatna’s teachers

 

With a group of the elder kids I spent a cheerful day! We went and watched a movie after eating pizza all together, and, even if I didn’t understand the talks in Hindi, the plot was very clear, the kids had fun and for them the strangest thing was the escalator leading to the cinema entrance.


Pizza with our kids

 

At the ashram there is always something to do, a lot of work but you have also the time to stay deep inside your own being, concentrated in meditation and prayer, with the morning aarti the day begins very early and with evening aarti we are together again chanting and sharing Aghoreshwar’s loving feeling, then silence accompanies us to the true reality…

Gururatna