The sweltering plain


Girls practising Kathak dance


A lot of water, fruit and vegetable are the best way to fight the heat. Fruit at breakfast, Bael (Aegle marmelos) juice and Aam (Mango) ka panna in the afternoon for everyone. Bael juice doesn’t need cooking and is prepared breaking the hard shell which contains the flesh that is blended with water and then filtered. The thick and sweetish liquid is refreshing and digestive. Its qualities are well-known to the Ayurveda and also reported in the Puranas.

Every day the little girls going to Kathak dance course come by tens and, accompanied by the twittering of nightingales in the shadow of the Neem close branches and of the Bougainvilleas, practice again and again the steps they have learnt while the teacher controls and corrects them if necessary.

Landing in Varanasi the terrible heat gripping the city welcomes you. Thermometer is at the record high and gusts of hot wind raise some fine dust in the great dryness. Fields are burnt and yellowed by the merciless sun.

The moment I reach the ashram, travel stress disappears. The long and hot summer, even if getting close to the end, isn’t finished yet and, despite the inconveniences, we must complete the preparation of agricultural fields. Working under the sun in this season is a very hard task and we avoid the hours in the middle of the day, too hot, choosing the morning and the afternoon hours.

Suddharshan and Karan hook the cart to the tractor

Some guys, old boys of our school over eighteen now, help workers without sparing themselves. Manoj, Sanjay, Karan and Mahender are young men now and some of them already have important family responsibilities. Happy, Babloo and Ramkripalu are involved in the work and make sure this is properly done.

Squirrels also refresh themselves with mangos


To prepare Aam ka panna you use raw mangos, peel them, cut them into slices and make them boil. You strain the pulp and add fresh water, black salt, herbs and spices; some people add red pepper as well. The result is a tasty, refreshing, and restoring drink with a very peculiar and slightly sour taste. 

Kathak dance class in the morning


In the afternoon, in the school, there is the sewing course while, latish, watering involves almost everyone here. Taking advantage of summer vacation, the covering of some of the classrooms has been renovated. The building of the wall doesn’t stop the activities of our hospital, where doctors bring their help and are always present despite the frightful temperatures.


Redoing the covering of some of the classrooms


After little more than a week the first rain has fallen at night, not heavy, fitfully, refreshing the air noticeably. The next rain will make life burst again, coloring the sweltering plain with every shades of green.