A note on my three blogs

A note on my blogs

(1) vio; in love with india - this one is the main blog about my Indian adventures, which started in 2005. I don't write much on this blog these days because I prefer to write privately in the confidential blog. But check out the categories and the index to figure out your way. I have kept some older posts not about India but which I still find interesting or relevant in Old words. Also check out my new, fun category Only in India in which I post photos of funny, unique, Indian situations...

(2) sounds of india - this is my blog of sounds, because India wouldn't be as incredible if it was not so vibrant and just so full of incredible sounds!

(3) vio; confidential - this an extension of my main blog in which I post entries I do not want to reveal to the entire webspace for privacy or sensitivity reasons. You must receive an invitation from me and then accept the invitation to be able to read it. You may email me if you are interested in receiving an invitation.


Saturday, 1 March 2014

A small blond head amongst the black-haired boys...

Back in Varanasi.

Wedding time in Khajuraho was tough. It was long and heavy and overwhelming with millions of family members and Hindu rules, but it's all done now, it's over and behind us. I've been pretty low and confused recently but I'm getting back up slowly. I was away from computer mostly so I wrote a lot in a written diary; I have to type it all up for my confidential blog...

Today was amazing. I went to the boy's "jail" in Ramnagar with Jerome & Marie-Christine to start up a new project of the association: a music class for the boys. The music teacher will be my best Indian girl-friend, Sakshi. She will first teach them singing and harmonium, and according to how the boys are doing she will later introduce the violin. So today we went for a first contact session.

I was stunned when I walked passed the centre gates and into the garden. It has been completely transformed since the last time I came, a whole year ago. Last autumn the Jimy Library association rearranged what used to be a scruffy field into a beautiful garden with clean borders and a playground! We walked through the garden and through the barred gates of the building which still looks like a grim prison, although it is millions miles away from the hell it used to be 4 years ago. As we entered the classroom and greeted the children something really unusual stoke me. A little blond head. "Hey?!" I shouted to Marie-Christine. "What is this little blond boy doing here!?"

He was from Lithuania, and the Indian government had temporarily placed him in the centre because they didn't know what to do with him while his father was in hospital. He had been in the centre for 8 days and he seemed surprisingly well adapted within the group of Indian boys. The little blond head spoke perfect Hindi.

So the 30 children sat in front of us and Jerome and Marie-Christine introduced Sakshi. She told the boys she would be coming every Saturday to give them music class, and she warned them that they had to be good and serious otherwise she wouldn't teach them music. Then she played a few famous Indian tunes to the boys and asked them if they recognised them. Jerome used to give music classes to the boys when he was on a sabbatical 2-3 years ago, but he never stayed long enough to start a sustainable class, and since then he has been sustaining some sort of exchange between the Ramnagar boys and one class of his French pupils. He distributed the drawings the French children had made for the Indians, and then we refreshed the boys by playing Jerome's old songs. The boys joined him and I accompanied him on violin; it was a lot of fun, and the boys were really happy. The blond kid was singing way more in tune than the Indians; he had a lovely voice actually. He was really shy at first and even hid his face in his hands to cry, but soon we got him to stand up and sing one of the bhajans, "Mata Kali". Although the boys were really happy I had never seen them so well-behaved. Now that the 12 mentally challenged ones have been placed into a specialised centre, the "normal" kids' situation has improved a lot. Indeed they were a lot more focused and centred than I had ever seen them, and they were a lot easier to handle. It stoke me that they have grown a lot since I first met them too.

I loved playing violin but I was happy to stop because I really wanted to speak to the blond boy. He totally fascinated me; he seemed so mature for his age. I found out that he was ten, and that he had been living in India with his father for 3 years. He had brought his parrot with him to the centre, who was quietly standing on Marie-Christine's shoulder as they spoke. We asked the centre staff in which hospital his father has been sent so we can visit him and bring back news to his son next time we go to Ramnagar. Little Blond Head thanked us profusely and asked us when we would come back...

It all was so surreal, a bit like the beginning of a Claude Miller movie set in India...

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