Sunday, June 19, 2011

Three days and much to learn - Part 3

Treasures in the Library

Sometime during our discussion on women in rural India, our local friend mentioned a book she'd picked up from the Aarohi library - Oona: Mountain wind.

We'd heard the name before. Oona Sharma was the inspiration behind Aarohi, the NGO we had come to know in Satoli.
"A hugely idealistic person ("each one of us must be crusaders, for this giant nation which is blundering on"), who backed that up with a professional education, solid hard work, sincerity, and a practical hands-on approach ("only action counts," she wrote)," as writer Ranjit Lal remembers Oona on the Aarohi blog.
Even though we never got down to reading that one, we found other treasures in the Aarohi library, that night.

One was a collection of sketch books by a young village girl named Hansi. I believe there were 8-10 of them, though I could be mistaken. The little girl had written her life's tales, just like a children's book. Each page adorned with simple, yet adequate illustrations to go along with the words.

For instance, one book was about her family, with sketches of utensils her mother used to cook food in. One was about her trip to Almora with her friend with sketches of the "snake-like roads", another on her school and so on.  I was amazed with the young mind's thought process and beautiful artistry. I wish a publication like Katha picks it up soon for mass publication. The proceeds of course, can go for the development of Kumaoni villages.

The other was a book called, "If I Were Rain", created by the NGO Youthreach. It was a collection of stunning photographs of urban street children of India, not by famous photographers, but equally talented ones!

But the best part, the book told stories of these children through their profound thoughts, insightful poetry and lovely paintings showcased along with these photographs. There is so much creativity and intellect stored in these kids and the streets haven't been able to dampen their spirits.

A glimpse of the book is in this piece of poetry written by a 12-year-old girl:-

The child's response through a drawing to the question, "What would you do if you were rain?"

"If I were rain,
I would go to those who have no water.
I would say to them 'I am coming."
Everyone on earth would come out
and I would pour water into their
utensils and fill them..."


  1. Really nice post :) u get better with every new post :) I missed the trip :(

  2. Thank you! Don't worry, we'll go there sometime again :)

  3. Congrats for notable newbie.
    Love the blog :)

  4. Hey thanks Anuroop! Delighted :)


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