Our wait for the rains is long over, and Mumbai is finally drenched in the monsoon showers. This means many things to many people- dancing in the rain, jumping in the puddles, umbrellas, traffic jams, train delays, or hot chai and samosas in the evening.
For the Touching Lives Community leaders, it means finding a way to teach and engage the children, in spite of the rains. Sometimes, this brings along some interesting experiences, often cherished in the time to come. Touching Lives Community Beginners classes take place in open areas, within the communities where the children reside. Roshni and Bhagya, two of our young and bright community leaders, conduct their class on the footpath, near to where the children live.
Last week, when they went to the community, they found that a Neem tree in the vicinity was cut down. Their learning area was strewn with broken branches and small logs of timber. So the class started with clearing up the space. Much to Roshni’s delight, the children rushed to help. “It was wonderful!”, she says, “All the children willingly came forward, to help me clear up the area. I didn’t even have to ask!” This was a great start to the class. For her, it was the beginning of an uplifting experience. That was followed by a unique Meditation activity and that became the highlight of that day. In the beginning, there was resistance and too much movement. The children simply wanted to play in the rain. But Roshni was not about to give up. “Listen up children!” she said to them excitedly. “I have an idea. We are going to try a different kind of meditation today.” Roshni took advantage of the fact that it was drizzling.
She asked everyone to form a circle and hold each others hand. “Now”, she said, “let’s feel the rain falling on us. Let us close our eyes and observe how our skin feels with each and every drop.” This seemed to agree with the children somehow, though it took them a while to settle down. Soon they were silent and the whole group was totally in sync with each other.
She shares the experience with her twinkling eyes, “I could feel the rains. It was so peaceful and wonderful. The rain drops poured so much love on us that day. It was one of the most unique experiences I have had, as a teacher and community leader.”
After that, the rest of the class went smoothly, with everyone joyously playing football in the rain.