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The monsoon


A couple of days after Guru Purnima the first rains have timidly started. They call it monsoon and it usually arrives towards the middle or the end of June. This year it was late and farmers were waiting for it in trepidation. We too were waiting for it because the week before the thermometer had reached the annual peak of 46° again.

The garden

When the monsoon begins, nature seems to vigorously spring up again and is mantled with colors, sound and smells. The nights, quiet before the rains, fill with the deafening croaking of thousands of frogs, appeared as if by a miracle. During the dry season insects are generally absent and none misses them but now they reappear in abnormal numbers, retaking their environment and giving some trouble to the humans.


A lizard on the hedge

This hot and humid weather facilitates infections, fever and other unpleasant tropical diseases. In the nearby villages there have already been the first cases of malaria. Now the hospital has to face the emergencies of this season and every day there are children in infirmary.


Last enrollments

The enrollments are closed, we outnumbered the pupils enrolled last year and reached a total of 408 children. Going all over the classrooms, it’s easy to see that many of the kids are brothers and sisters, put in different classes but you can happen to find them even in the same class.


Morning exercices

After finishing the terracing, we allowed ourselves a short holiday and we left for visiting Tarapith, then we went also to Kalighat, in Kolkata (Calcutta). A one-week journey to two Shakti Piths in Bengal I have never seen before and my first experience in Calcutta.


Tarapith, Bengal

The British rule had Calcutta as the capital until 1912. This city was developed by the India Company whose mark can be still seen in the town centre. Many of the monumental colonial buildings where the Indian Empire was managed are now occupied by the Bengalese government and by its various agencies while the old town evokes a glorious past, with palaces and blocks that now are run-down and deserted, silent and sad witnesses to an age already passed.


Old palaces in Calcutta

The new town is marked by modernity, keeps on growing, and is increased by people who have left the countryside. The inhabitants are about five millions, twelve millions if we add them up to the ones from the hinterland.


Shri Aghoreshwar’s room, Calcutta

The month of Saavan, between July and August, is dedicated to Shiva and many pilgrims dressed in orange carry the water they take from the Ganges in different places to the temples near home to perform ablutions to the Shivalingam. Varanasi is the city of Shiva and every Monday of this month, day dedicated to Shiva, hundreds of thousands of these pilgrims invade the city where Kashi Vishwanath temple is, obliging the city authorities to hold the traffic up. The main roads for Varanasi turn orange and traffic is heavily conditioned by it.


Orange people in a queue in Tarapith

In few days a solar power plant will be installed and will allow the school and the hospital to be energy independent. The plant has been generously donated by Shri Manoj Kumar. Heartfelt thanks to him and his family.


Little girls tie the bracelet

The Ganges has started swelling and is getting closer to the ashram. A young monitor lizard observes the bank from the front wall, but it takes cover quickly as soon as it sees our dog Bhola appear. I observe the green rose-ringed parakeets (Psittacula Krameri) flitting from crown to crown and pecking guava fruits (Psidium Guajava) while a storm is brewing on the horizon. This is the monsoon.