The countdown is truly emotional to think about so I won’t mention how long exactly… (Less than a week left). I have also tried to grasp on an Indian skill, eating with my hands. Honestly, I don’t know whether my hands are made for this because it is very difficult. They have a skill which I hope to adopt whilst I still have about 3 weeks in India still. It’s like if spoons were not existent then it wouldn’t make a huge difference. Even with Daal, it will be eaten somehow, it amazes me. And the funny thing is that when I try, everything just falls and they know that she needs help and therefore they provide me a spoon.
The Talent Continues…
For the past 2 weeks, I have been introducing the Vamshi/Basaree/Flute (whatever you wish to call it) to the blind students. If you don’t know already, the blind students are extremely talented in Music. Like extremely! They can sing, play tabla and harmonium! So basically Divya Vidyalay has their own unique exclusive band. Anyone is able to sing if they practice, but the difference is how it is sung. All of the songs are sung from the heart and it instantly touches the audience. On Sunday 8th July, Keshav Srushti held a big event where people from the city come to the tribal villages to plant trees. The city people then came to the school, in which the students performed geets and bhajans, which created such an amazing atmosphere where everyone’s eyes were glued to the singers and brought tears to their eyes as it touched everyone because of the sincerity in the voice. Therefore, there is no better place to introduce more talent to the students! I have been teaching 5 students the Vamshi; 2 partially blind and 3 totally blind. I have been learning Vamshi through Samiti for over 5 years now and also have experience in teaching it. We tend to get annoyed at the learners for not doing it right or not picking up the tune quickly. A skill of mine that has been put to the test whilst doing my sessions was patience. In any scenario, anger or annoyance is the first thing that attacks us if it is not going our way, but what I have definitely learnt is that patience is key, and then eventually it will happen. For example, the mobile connection here is not the absolute greatest and definitely no such thing as 4G especially during heavy rainfall. So when wanting to call home, it may take more than 5 calls and 16 different phone placements (move the phone up… a little bit to the left… a bit higher – You get the drill!) for the connection to be great to have a decent phone call. Therefore, in this case I have definitely learnt that eventually with PATIENCE, it will work.
The very first session, I came out thinking this is going to be a challenge, but I also knew it was very possible because if they can play the harmonium perfectly, then Vamshi is a piece of pie. And of course… 4 sessions after, they are able to play the notes. As well as teaching them, it was my time to bond with these 5 students, by asking them “What do you want to be?”, so I can learn more about them. All 5 are amazing singers, so we did small competitions on who can hold a note for the longest – And I like to sing, so being able to sing with them was even better. These students are all around my age or even older, so having that brotherly/sisterly bond was really important for me, and in fact, I aim to have that with all the students and hopefully, they will end up calling me Didi, instead of Madam/Tai.
Happiness, Fun & Laughter
Sundays are the usual days where the students are resting in their rooms especially because of the weather. Therefore, I tend to find Sundays slight harder to keep myself busy and to utilize my time. I have seen the children dance like crazy before and enjoy it so much, so dancing again will just make them even happier. So I thought, I need to do something with the children today, Sunday 15th July… Dancing! I was first thinking the boys won’t join in because it will seem too girly, but as soon as I went into the hall, the boys were jumping about showing me their dance moves. Hopefully majority of you have seen the video, and you can definitely give everyone an A* for participation. I was only going to do it for a short time; instead we ended up doing it for 2 and a half hours! I also witnessed a partially blind student helping a totally blind student with the moves as well, which is incredible that the thought of thinking about others comes into the student’s minds.
Every day for the past week, I have had the students come up to me and gesturing a dance move to indicate “Let’s do the dance!”, at least we know this dance will stay with them and they can do it in their own time because they have become experts due to the continuous repetition.
On Friday 20th July, we danced even more and everyone including the teachers got involved which was so fun, that the children had forgotten about dinner and wanted to carry on dancing. We did a lot of Garba, Tarapa (Traditional dance) and also some had extremely unique moves in which are unexplainable. Overall, it was just some light hearted fun and an excuse to get everyone on the dance floor and to see every one go crazy as we have some brilliant dancers at Divya Vidyalay! Definitely need to take the Tarapa dance back to the UK!
Enjoy the photos!
“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.”- Swami Sivananda