Monday, February 27, 2012

Din 179: How can words express the feel of sunlight in the morning?

Priya's birthday has treated me really well. I started the day with steam (to free my pores of the make-up from yesterday's photo shoot) and a warm shower. I then headed outside, where Dadi was tending to her prize-worthy sweet peas.

Next, I ambled into the park, where I spent the morning photographing the spectacular flora and talking to an old Uncle. He always buys a packet of cookies or a bag of fruit and brings it to the park, offering the snacks to anyone who stops and says "hello." We discussed his past and his family -- he wishes all families could be joint families because his children are educated and have moved away, leaving him alone. Talking to him made me think about how old people are just like children: Uncle was so pleased when I asked if I could take a photo of him, and called all his friends to jump in as well!

In a way, they reminded me of my Gyaan Ghar students, who always leap into the frame excited to be photographed. I guess some things never change. (Remember that when you're old, Priya!)

In the early afternoon, I started getting ready for a prayer ceremony Dadi had arranged at a nearby gurudwara in honor of Priya's birthday today, and Jaan's birthday on March 1st.

I was very happy to be in this serene environment, and especially happy to have the company of Sonal, who was praying by my side. After a short period of silent reflection, we took a break to run home (the temple is very close to our house) and give the birthday girl a good morning call!

She opened her material gift (a sweatshirt) in front of me and then I emailed her her "emotional" gift. This was a compilation of words from different Priya-philes (lovers of Priya) who had something to say about her on her birthday. I disguised the document as a report I wanted her to edit, and this was her reaction when she opened the file and saw what really lay inside (except there was screaming and laughing too):

Click here to download the document.

After bidding my baby bye-bye, Sonal and I returned to the gurudwara for the remainder of the ceremony. The priests honored the grandmother and sister of the birthday kids with a special pink scarf that I donned for the rest of the day and have now packed to give to Priya when I see her.

We walked home after the tea and snacks that Dadi had arranged for everyone at the temple, and Sonu dropped by for a while in the evening. I was happy that Sonal was able to meet one of my most interesting students.

Sonu looks thrilled!
She too noticed from interacting with Sonu that he is very intelligent, as well as very different. I told her a bit about his case, as well as some of the other students I've been working with one-on-one, and we both marveled at the amazing talents they have to share with the world -- if only they are allowed.

After some more Sonalese antics, she was off and I was left to start this post. Dadi and I just enjoyed a nice dinner with talk of Laura and pilgrimages. I've had a delightful day, and I hope every day of Priya's year will be just as blessed!

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