28 -30 jun 2011, karwar, karnataka
karwar is a coastal city – beautiful and green. it was raining when we reached. ammu welcomed us with such joy! she jumped on us. shaking hand and licking she went around. it was brahmachari guruprasads pet dog. he was here for the construction of the school building. After he left 2 months ago, ammu must have felt very lonely. thats why, seeing us, she was so happy. we also sensed she was hungry. we served her a generous helping of the curd rice that we had. she gulped down all of it. every day she would visit us many times. often, even late night a pair of lively black eyes would unfailingly peep through the second floor window – just to see if we are there. its ammu.
there was this beautiful welcome ceremony: children dressed in beautiful colourful dance costumes. and lamps and pots. while the school principal was introducing us to the children, it seemed they were excited. especially the lower class children.
the culture of karwar is different. they are more conservative. kannada, konkani and marathi along with hindi are common languages.
the higher class children were very stiff in the class. literally like a stone. really. so serious. i felt its because the thrust was more on making money than on acquiring the knowledge – by the parents and the society around them. we tried very hard to break the shell of the wrong concepts and help them break free of their self created shells.
how can u learn when u are stiff? the learning will happen only when we are relaxed. when will we learn that?
the next day when we went to the class, we felt they had changed – smiling, happy and relaxed. they enjoyed asking questions. happy and laughing a lot, they demanded more. now they have become very elastic. they also realised the change and felt great. all amma’s grace.
among the younger batch, the scene was totally diff. children were much more flexible. in 2 sec you could connect with them. they were enjoying every bit of the session. at the same time they were bombarding us with questions. … “why god created the world?, who created god?, if god is every where, why cant we see?…” the questions would not stop. it was really challenging. i loved it.
mukesh-ji and manoj-ji were busy with their sessions of yoga and lectures.
the teachers also wanted a session. reminded them about their role, importance and the need to smile in the class. suggested some tips.
we visited every class. distributed sweets. guess who was accompanying us? ammu. yes, the dog. she came with us to the classes, demanded a chocolate in each class! yogamritaji is very smart in drawing line sketches. he drew pictures of flowers, students, class teacher or swamis on the black board which brought prolonged uproars of laughter from the students.
in the last session, before saying a good bye to all, i told them a story – about the importance of education for life along with education for living. it was nice to see many come up voluntarily and share what he/she learnt from the classes. they all thanked us profusely, wanted us to come back. many came to me with a thank-you card, some driving me mad with their pleas for autograph. as i came down the building, the children surrounded the car – like the bees around the honey comb – in which i was supposed to travel. oh my god! was my sigh. how do i get into the car? they waited waving, crying, cheering. still children were coming with thank you cards and even letters for amma. it was amazing what ammas love can do. i felt humble. i know that i am nothing, have done nothing. it was her vibhuti – amma’s glory.
“swamiji pls come back to karwar!” was their only ultimatum.