Sunday, 23 July 2017

A genuine and unembellished space!



“Bala Vidhya” – The name itself sounded filled and whole. If I were to give a picture representation to this phrase, it would be Lord Ganesha. The fullness, the grounded-ness and the classic yet cuddling energy in this initiative brings me too, to the ground.
The part I took up in Bala Vidhya, in their recent project, is to do a pre-assessment of a sample of kids regarding their readiness for yoga and meditation in government primary schools. The schools and the program was supported by L & T, Coimbatore. 

The two days were totally meditative for ‘me’ as my mind did not wander anywhere else or in anything else but just in the kids there. We were a team of 5 and I am sure that my peers too had similar experience of this single focused mind. 

The energy of the kids totally embraced me the entire time there in school. Their spontaneity and curiosity was so admirable. 

When I asked a girl, ‘Unaku enna romba pidikum?’ (What do you like the most?)
She instantly said without hesitance, ‘Enakku ungala romba pidikum teacher’ (I like you very much teacher) and of course she listed her other teachers and her family members, thereafter. 
But the spontaneous response, in a jiffy, that she likes “me” so much, whom she met just an hour ago: how many such instant response can I get from others around me. In fact the question that I asked was not even focused on people. It was a general question where she could have mentioned candies and toys. 

Thrilled I was to enjoy their responses, however, their innocent sharing and expressions of themselves really pulled me down to see the crude reality of their lifestyle, as well. When I asked ‘What is it you do so well and everyone appreciates you for?’ I expected them to say something like drawing or dancing.
But at least four children said ‘I help others’.
I was a bit surprised. I asked ‘What help?’ 

Two children said, ‘I help my mom to clean the house and mop; do all the vessels; wash clothes and cook’.  Another said he goes to the shop to get things required for home. And another said he cooks tomato rice for the family and in fact shared with me the recipe and method of doing tomato rice, the nine year old boy. They have felt appreciated for such ‘help’ they do.

The kids were hardly 10 years old. It was like someone pushing me hard on my neck and showing, ‘See! This is also reality. This is how a number of kids are: taking up unimaginable responsibilities in such age or even younger. Well. I have heard about these stories either in TV or net or through others. But only now, I saw these kids in real, that too in a school environment, with such raw realities. But, I did not feel sad. They didn’t feel sad either. There was so much energy in their sharing: they were happy with whatever they shared, and they were so genuine in their happiness and sadness. That is the beauty of children’s innocence.

I thank my co-assessors Ms. Abirami Hariprasad, Ms. Anjana Anandakumar, Ms. Bhavana B and Ms. S. Poongodi. Their support made the assessment very lively and meaningful.

The assessment went off quite joyfully as ‘Bala Vidhya’ has designed a play way story method for assessing different aspects of readiness of the kids for the training. They enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed it. Their spontaneous and thought provoking questions kept us vibrant through the process. It is of course a privilege and joy to be amidst genuine and unembellished space: the joy of simplicity; the extraordinariness of the ordinary!


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