Life in the Mountains

Guest Authored by Aayushi Maheshwari, Co-Founder, Khayaal


We all know that these are the hardest days for all of us as human kind, where we are afraid, scared, worried, anxious, sad and unhappy. But let’s hold all of these emotions for a while and scroll through our journey where for next few minutes we would like to share with you some happy, some crazy, some not-so-usual activities that we have been doing in last two months and make you a part of our happiness.

 

Before we start, we would like to introduce us. We call ourselves not-the-adults of a small village in the lap of Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh. Yes we are pahadi kids, right now sitting under a big deodar tree near the peas fields which are about to bloom for this season. Our names are Rakhi, Aastha, Ajju, Indu, Bhuvaneshwari, Kanika, Kanishka, Sameer and Aayushi didi. Sometimes, Sunita, Suman, Seema, Anita, Anisha and other kids also join us.

When we heard about Corona and 21 days Lockdown, initially we were not sure what this is and why is everyone so scared. Our schools shut down, we were not allowed to move out of the village for initial days. Everywhere we heard everyone talking about Corona, Corona and Corona. We kept asking ourselves, is this new alien in our country? Are we all going to die? But soon we were accompanied by Aayushi didi from very far who came to visit us and our village and within a short span of time became a part of our big village family. She discussed with us her city life, Corona-virus and how it has hampered and put everything on halt along with the current issues that the world is facing. But she asked us not to worry about anything. Slowly we started engaging ourselves in different activities which she curated for us. We started with writing a Gratitude message. It’s not very often when we say a thank you and let others know, how grateful we are of their presence in our life. So we together designed a small template and wrote thank you messages to our friends, family, extended family and teachers. 

Because sun rises very early in the mountains, we wake up quite early. After finishing our homework and some household chores, we run to the open porch where most of the times we meet didi, sitting in a corner, sketching and painting. It’s the first time when a lot of us are exposed to water paints, glitter pens, so many kinds of black pens. We join her and draw and paint.
Sometimes we paint our surroundings, sometimes our school and house, sometimes our aspirations like ‘Sameer’s car or Rakhi’s home, sometimes on paper, sometimes on walls, sometimes on the wooden fence, or sometimes on leaves.

Mostly around 12 it’s time to take our cattle for grazing. And we every time drag didi along with us. Few of us accompany our elders and spend most of the afternoons in the jungle. While they graze, we play tippu (a piled stone game) or rubber flips. Few of us go in the jungle to find guchchi (a one type of mushroom that is edible and we can find only in this part). These days we also carry our English book with us and on everyday basis didi is teaching us how to read and pronounce English words, learn their meaning and spellings. Late-afternoons we are either giving our dictation or loudly reading a story or trying to answer her questions, which she never stops asking. While at the same time we talk in pahadi language and teach didi how to speak the same. She is funny though, but slowly trying to grasp the dialect. On our way while coming back from the field, we cut the grass to feed our cattle later in the evening and roll it around our shoulders to bring back home. We are not used to digital and virtual world. In our free time, we play, run in the fields or help our elders in their chores.

 

Didi keeps engaging us in different activities, whenever we meet her. Every time she has something new to either share with us, teach us or learn from us. For the Mother’s Day this year for the first time we did something not-so-usual. We made special Mother’s Day card for our mummyji. We see her everyday working so hard from dusk to dawn but never told her how much we love her. So this year, didi asked us to draw respective sketches of what we see our Mother’s doing everyday and inside we wrote a small message for her. We were shy of making and gifting the card. But eventually our mothers were happy to hold it in her hand.

 

These days, apart from our regular playing, running, walking sessions we are also helping didi finish her wall painting. She calls this wall ‘a community wall’ depicting ‘the life in the mountains’ where all of us have been drawing some parts, filling oil paints in few blocks. Before starting this painting in one of our regular morning sessions she asked all of us to come out, we all sat in front of this wall and together spent few hours brainstorming the design and concept. She kept asking us lots of questions and it took us almost a day to finalise the design. It’s been 7 days and we are almost through this mural. Tap below and click on the video because we can’t wait for all of you to see our final sketch 🙂

Added by:

Avi Aggarwal

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