Sunday, April 22, 2012

Din 234: "You are your own medicine."

Happy Earth Day!

Gyaan Ghar students came over at 10 this morning for a celebration of our planet. We opened with a discussion on why our Earth is important -- which led to follow-up questions on the importance of planting trees, and the negative effects of pollution upon people, animals, and the planet itself.

Next, we addressed the "is one person enough to make a difference?" question and talked about how if each person -- from a young student to the owner of a huge factory -- were to clean up after herself, there would be no issue. But since this is not the case, we often have to help clean up other people's messes as well. I challenged each student to promise, starting now, to leave behind the mentality of "it's not my trash; why should I pick it up?" (which was clearly prevalent at our Awards Ceremony yesterday).

I then explained the "Design Your Own World" project we would be doing, and showed the students examples of such globes from the Rio exhibition where I got the idea. We went through all the photographs, noticing different details, and the range of designs in the collection -- and yet when I told the students to get started, they seemed a bit confused. They weren't sure exactly what to make. I got many questions like, "Didi, can I make a mountain and a river and some trees?" and a lot of confusion when I responded, "you can make whatever you want!" The concept of following one's imagination wherever it goes is really foreign to these kids, and most started whipping out their rulers and drawing geometric houses at first.

But when they saw their Didi pasting dried leaves to her globe, and dripping nail polish over them, I think they started to understand what I meant when I said they could do anything. It was then that the doors of creativity burst open and we got some great results.

Manav and Amandeep weren't afraid to work the sparkly nail polish.

The girls used some of Ratna Didi's decorations after her balloon popped!

Rishab, Shubham, and Shubam plastered their globe with environmental slogans. Go green!

Rahul, Vinay, Jasdeep, and Hardeep filled the world with flowers.

Miss Ritu got into the spirit, and made an Earth Day rangoli in the classroom!

The fun went on and on into the afternoon, and included an Earth Day photo shoot heavily staged by Manav, the future photographer and my bodyguard.

Students headed home around 3, after receiving the Earth Day goody bags so kindly donated by Mrs. Nita Jain -- thank you, Auntie!

I had lunch after this, and then, having survived the minor heart attack of thinking my laptop stolen, lay my weary self down to rest. I conked out for a good two hours before my evening hour of meditation. During my Vipassana session, I had the strangest craving for a mango milkshake. I struggled through the sitting and then mentioned this whim to Dadi, who had miraculously prepared one just minutes ago -- thank you, Grandmother!

After calling members of the Gyaan Ghar Executive Board to remind them of tomorrow's Annual Meeting, we headed to the park. Just as I finished my walk, it started to drizzle -- thank you, Mother Earth!

Over dinner, I chalked out my last four days in Ludhiana on this trip -- they are looking mighty tight!

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