I was supossed to continue our stories of India in a chronological order and tell you about the crazyness of Delhi and the experiences in Rishikesh, but days pass faster than one can count or write and destiny has decided we should spend Christmas in this holy city. And I think it really is exactly what we needed.
We came here not knowing exactly what to expect. We got only a tip from our friend Robert (to whom we will be forever grateful) to spend some days in an ashram a bit further after crossing the bridge that links the mainland to this little island magically shaped in the form of an “Ohm”. In this piece of land owned by the ashram, people devote their lifes and efforts to provide education for children from the area.
Roughly 500 students are accueilled. From different ages (mostly only roughly guessed) and backgrounds. 42 of these, reside in the ashram, together with some teachers and other people. These are kids with family issues, that cannot or would not remain with their parents (alcoholism, poverty, death, violence). The ashram, through the donation of benefactors and guests staying here, have managed to increase the number of children and the infrastructures (housing, library, temple, kitchen, computer room), a work that provokes admiration and respect. In a day that has so little significance for eastern countries, we happened to arrive by chance on the celebration of the sports day in the school, a 3-day event that started today with several activities, including a dance performance (of which we were made participants), some classical school sports (potato-bag race, three leg race, lemon balancing on a spoon,…) and of course, cricket!
The day continued with an expectacular meal prepared by a neighbour ashram, that celebrates another event and is feeding the whole town today: anyone coming to the ashram is granted a set of delicacies like rice, roti bread, tomato chutney, matter paneer, rice milk or sone very sweet flour balls. Maybe it is all too much for my delicate stomach, but i will have to deal with it later, for the moment I am just amazed. It is only 3pm by the time I am writting this and I still dont know what the rest of the day will bring but being away from all our beloved ones I cannot think of any better place to be. The serenity, friendliness, generosity (and not forgetting the 27 degrees I think we have) surely will comfort our families, knowing we cannot be with them. And as this was supposed to be just a little post, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas full of love, peace and harmony. A big hug to our papas, mamas, brothers, sisters and smaller ones and lets read us again soon.