Written by Joana Alsina, volunteer of Bhimphedi Children’s Home from 4th May of 2016 to 30th August 2016
There is a place in the world that few mortals know and where only the privileged have been reached. The mountains guarding as it was a fortress are gray and inhospitable during the dry season, offering a lethargic panorama to anyone who walks there. Suddenly the sky becomes a party, and as a noisy alarm relives the mountains and fields, spreading slowly across a blanket of water. Within few days gray and brown turn to bright green, the streams begin to revive, fields of corn growing unstoppable inch per day and buds of the old caterpillars hatch to butterflies so spectacular that they might be confused with mythological animal.
There is a place in the world where there parsimony and improvisation, where timetables and plannings lose all validity, forcing outsiders to develop a sense of patience to a professional level. Ke garné!
In this place of bright colors, the hours pass peacefully and often too fast between tea and tea, surrounded by bollywoodians rhythms that flow from the radio at full sound and the smell of incense every morning to honor the infinite deities that take care of maintaining the harmony of the place.
Always with wet feet you walk through the fields or up the street among strong small men pushing heavy carts and goats that seem horses. The bus that carries the milk reaches and distributes its cargo to the women of the town, using the opportunity to chat about the news about other villagers, laughing and shouting with their characteristic endearing and stridency. On the other side of the street starts a parade of dozens of uniformed lads with miraculous white clothes way to school, and dozens of uniformed youth also carefully disheveled way to college.
There is a place in the world where teachers play truant more often than students and where every little event is reason for celebration. In the afternoon the students return home undoing their ties and pulling their shirts out of the clamp trousers. It’s time to go back with family. In this corner of the world there is the most numerous of all, a family where brothers and sisters are counted by dozens. His home is a temple in the middle of the valley, although you should not expect to find the mysticism and peace of a sacred place… nothing further from reality! When you enter this temple, often you can see some of the its young inhabitants hanging over ten meters high trees taking the tasty spring fruits or on roofs next to the water tank that needs a simple and temporary reparation. Yes, there is a place in the world where children run and jump and climb without the help of any adult and without any soft surface where to land safely on. They fall, and sometimes they get a scratch or hound, but nothing happens, on the contrary, because these young men and women adore everything that can be found in a simple medicine kit and the shock of the moment immediately becomes excitement with the first drop of Betadine and the smell of hand sanitizer.
Between laughter and shouts, brothers and sisters take care of each other with delicate words… or with a slap! Their relentless sincerity and spontaneity will make you feel the most special person in the universe or sink you into the cruelest misery. Nothing eludes these little beings!
You can find them all over the temple playing guitar, rehearsing the choreography of the latest megahit, practicing complicated magic tricks, cooking wild plants, planting pumpkins, helping to bring to the world small goats or building any new (and when I say any is any) device. The members of this particular family have infinite abilities. You can also see them with bored face in the study room, memorizing and repeating like parrots the lesson or in the most critical moments, laying on the floor with the head on the notebook sleeping. But if you really want to make sure to find them, look for a screen! Computers, phones, televisions… screen addition is the strongest of the pathologies that suffer these kids.
After much excitement it’s time to sleep. The amazing and loving mothers check that no clever kid goes to sleep without washing teeth, while elder boys gather with absolute secrecy to discuss which the most charming girl in school is. Then, very early, they fall asleep, in pairs, in threes under the fans of the hot room of the temple. Peace reign again for a few hours under the stunning starry sky of this village.
There is a place in the world that has a strange magic that prevents you from leaving it. A place where the emptiness that you feel when you are going from, can be only filled when one day, months later, you wake up and realize that all the memories are real, you were one of the few mortals who had the privilege of reaching Balmandir, Bhimphedi.