Pictures of a Sunday in Januay, Part II — KABADI

KABADI, KABADI, KABADI, KABADI, KABADI, KABADI… and so on, until you are out of breath!!!!  Gibi, our co-founder, aka Mrs. Jasvinder Kaur, is the clear champion of this game!

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Well, this was the morning, the Sunday morning in January, that happened also to be the birthday of my mother… a day I thought about her, what she might be thinking if she were alive and knew about my life now.   Part III to follow… the afternoon with our visitors.

Pictures of a Sunday in January – Part I

Img_3431 Mime Sir setting up the scene center stage while others wait in the wings.  He is explaining that the girl is pregnant, which brings giggles.  Actually it led later to the question of whether a girl can have a baby without being married… a discussion for another time.  Our girls have a combination of innocence, or rather ignorance, while also having knowledge of sexuality that children of any age should not have.  It’s a real knowledge split… the reality of their lives, and their childness.  I want them to feel safe as children first… a first step in strength and understanding.

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OH NO!

IT’S A GIRL!!!!!!

Gibi’s daughter Preety (Harpreet), fifteen years old, wrote an email to me a few months ago:

Dear Mummy,

How are you?  This is for you and the girls.

Love, Preety

I am a girl.
   Who am I?
I am a girl,
    Born in this world.
>
Am I a mistake?
   Yes they say so,
   They call me a mistake.
>
What is my future?
    Not the future,
      Which they see for me,
But what I see for myself.

**********************************

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Grandmother tells her son-in-law that he is wrong.                                                                                                                            

Stressed out, he goes to sleep.

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                                                                                  The Fairy comes to him in his sleep.  She scolds him,     Img_3470 and enlightens him…. girls and boys, all of us, the same, the same worth, the same to love.

(From the Author — I give up… this is taking hours.  I’ll just post some pics….)

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The audience

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Mother and Child

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.

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END OF THE FIRST PART…. KABADI… KABADI… KABADI…TO FOLLOW

Technical Difficulties

I have been trying to post for a week!!!  I am serious.  Last Sunday, 20 January 2008, I decided to document a day, especially since it was a really fun day. So I kept the camera close and took many pictures.  In the morning Mime Sir came, and we had the little ones playing the part of babies in a mime about a woman who is pregnant, and her husband wants a son, and then she has a daughter.  He is upset, very upset, enough to fall asleep so a Fairy comes and tells him that girls are good.  He wakes up and tells the story of his dream, and filled with remorse, he goes to his wife and embraces her and his daughter (well, after she at first doesn’t trust him and shields the baby from him).  We did it several times with different girls, and babies, playing the parts.  Then, since we had all had so much fun, we danced, all of us.

Next, and still before lunch, Gibi  and the girls played a game similar to tag.  The difference was that you had to take a deep breath and could only tag as long as you had the breath to keep saying kabadi, kabadi, kabadi…..  Once you ran out of breath you could be tagged.  Gibi was fierce!!!!!  It was wild and fun.  I took pictures.

Lunch was uneventful.

In the early afternoon a group of five volunteers came from AID-Kolkata to spend time with the kids. (more pictures).  The girls wanted to go to the classroom first with the visitors.  They have been learning rhymes in English and Bengali, and enjoy reciting.  Two of the girls (weak on rhyme) danced instead.  Then the visitors did some recitation too.  Oh, and then they wanted me to.  I led us in "If you’re happy and you know it clap you hands."  Next we headed for the roof.  This time it was skits, mime, running around, sitting around, and then the volunteers (with some urging) did a skit too.

Finally, as promised, we all went to the park!  We all went, handicapped children too.  The kids (our girls and the volunteers — not so far from being kids themselves) played on the playground equipment, wandered around, sat on the swinging seats, and kept the little ones in their arms.  We were a wonderful procession there and back. 

The playground is a real treat.  We only go when there are enough of us to keep an eye on the girls.  Girls don’t play outside much here.  And without a lot of us around, teenage boys will start hanging around and making us uncomfortable about staying there with the girls.  Girls don’t do much by way of sports for the same reasons.  In the US I’m used to girls’ soccer, baseball, volleyball….  Actually, women don’t even go out as much, even to markets — I know it’s changed in many places, but not here.  Actually, even the fish market in the morning is all men out shopping.

But, back to the technical difficulties.  I started that evening to put the pictures up on the blog album pages.  Then my broadband quit for a day and my dial up is too slow for pictures.  Then the broadband was fixed, but the typepad album kept dropping the pictures.  And then broadband quit again.  I have to remind myself this is Kolkata and everything that works is exported.  Well it was like that, and then I had to travel to Bangkok for three days and came back yesterday.  I started again last evening to try to put up pictures.  Today I spent about five hours… I’m not exaggerating… but the pictures that are listed are not the same as the ones that show up and the captions got lost on some….. So, I will try to put some pictures into the blog itself and see how it works.  But I won’t try to do much by way of captions, you will have to guess… 

It’s a rainy day today.  Some staff didn’t show.  We sent the big kids to Seema’s to see the Republic Day Parade on her TV, and to spend the day, which they and she treasure.  So, I’m at the computer… and happy to be home.  I’ll post this so if anything gets lost in trying to put up pics, at least this is posted… with the reason for my silence… Technical Difficulties.

January 2008
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