Later on at 9am I met Sister Aquinas. She gave me one of the warmest, most loving hugs I have ever come across- she snuggled me close to her with a loving force. That was when I realized what it really means to hug someone and have been practicing since. The team of Swasthya Swaraj and I started off for Kaniguma at around 10am and reached there at 12 in the afternoon. The scenic beauty outside was breathtaking, forest everywhere and small streams sidelined with boulders reminded of all the times I have planned treks just to experience them. And here they were lying in their plain innocence, raw and wild beauty but with grace still intact. At Kaniguma I met the staff and students associated with Swasthya Swaraj. Swasthya Swaraj has started a diploma course in community health for tribal girls so these were the 6 students I met in addition to its huge staff of swasthya sathis, field animators, ANMs, lab-technicians etc. Since it was a day of the celebration feast was also getting cooked in the open. I could spot water flowing just 200m from the place and went there with my friend. And what a pleasure that was. I threw my shoes and socks away and went in water: running, cold, clean water. I even drank from that spring and spent some 15 minutes there. This place is still etched in my memory.
Later on games began. We played lots of games : like jumping and trying to reach out for the candies tied above on a rope while both our hands tied backwards, blindfolding games, musical chairs, passing the parcel, tug-of-war and the tribal girls also performed dance. I got to see the tribal dance closely, even though what I saw was limited but that rhythm, symphony and pattern in which the girls danced in a round circle felt nothing short of some mathematical function contracting and expanding with immense grace and perfect periodicity.
|A game in which the person is blind-folded and is supposed to hit the vessel with the stick.|
|Suveschcha, Me and Sangeeta (Left to Right)|