(Central Himalayan Rural Action Group; Also means ‘lamp’)
Every time I return to India I witness immense beauty in simplicity. I feel that beauty changing me. I grew up in a simple, sweet world. Moving away from it was difficult but time moulded me. Somewhere deep within that appreciation of simplicity remains. I see it without romanticising it. It is a part of me. I feel closer to myself each time I am faced with it.
Last week I volunteered to tell a story at a primary school in a small village in the Himalayas. I sat in a circle on the floor of a well lit large classroom with a group of sixteen 7 year olds and we chatted for about half an hour in a mixture of Hindi and English. One of them asked me if we would be singing but I wasn’t able to confirm that. It bothered me.
The Principal, an enthusiastic young man of 29, said they didn’t have a music teacher in the school as the charity had just about enough money to pay for teachers to cover the academic curriculum. A local musician has offered to teach music but they are waiting for funding to come along to be able to employ her.
It is Saagar’s 23rd Birthday today.
I think he would have liked for that school to have a music teacher.
Happy Birthday Darling!
“O Bud! Your life is so moving that only for a while
You blossom, for just a smile.
“In this garden, O dear,” said the bud
“Just a few are lucky to smile, even for a while.”
(Translation of an Urdu couplet by Josh Malihabadi)