The sky is darkening as I write this. It’s the end of Sunday and I’ve been much more awake today. Either I’m getting used to the heat or I have just caught up on the sleep I had been missing out on.
This afternoon I took the opportunity to visit one of the children’s classes that Suvidya is teaching. I was curious to see what they were like now that he’s leading them on his own, and wanted to make the most of my revived energy levels.
Yesterday there were around thirty children in the afternoon class, today there were just under twenty. There’s no register, so to speak, although the children that do appear are all regulars.
We met in the front room of Suvidya’s brother’s house today. I think it was the atmosphere that impressed me the most, and Suvidya’s unhurried relaxed leadership. There were children of all ages there, from just a couple of years up to fifteen. It was wonderful to see them all sharing the space, interacting with each other and being interested in what was happening in the class.
It was the English lesson first, and then the Buddhist class. Whilst anyone can drop in to the English classes, Suvidya makes sure that only children with their parent’s permission come to the Buddhist group. Today most of the children in the Buddhist group were from Hindu families, it’s crucial for the children to get the parent’s permission in those cases (in all cases really), and for us to be clear that they have it. We don’t want to convert people, which is a sensitive issue in India, rather make a space for those that want to attend to attend.
There was chanting, prostrations, a ‘pop quiz’ on the five precepts, and I told a story to the class before seeing the magnificent pictures they had been colouring in.
I did take a few photos but don’t seem to have captured any smiles, although there were lots of smiles there. I think they must all have been concentrating on what Suvidya was saying when I was behind the camera… that’s my excuse anyway.
Love from Delhi
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