I have written elsewhere about the interaction between the Grannies and children not being a one way Street [ http://thegrannycloud.org/not-a-one-way-street-2/ ] and what happened that day in November 2013 in Rameshwarwadi was just one example. It was a double, even triple scoop of Grannies for the children at Rameshwarwadi. Liz and I were visiting in person and Belinda was going to connect later in the evening from the UK. It was already evening and dark by the time we reached Rameshwarwadi. Given that it is a tiny hamlet tucked away in Sindhudurg not too far from the (‘ravaged to the ground’) historic fort of Vijaydurg, the homes were few and far between, with just the odd light flickering in the distance.
The Vijaydurg fort near Rameshwarwadi
The children were naturally delighted as always, to spend this time with us. There were giggles and unobtrusive stares as the children engaged in conversation with Liz and she read them a story and talked about this and that.
Liz has the children entranced as she reads them a story [15 Nov. 2013] [Photo: Suneeta]
Then it was time for Belinda’s session. And there was some of the usual activity as Belinda showed them some pictures and they identified gulls and herons.
Deep in conversation with Belinda – Rameshwarwadi – 15 Nov. 2013 [Photo: Suneeta]
Yet, spurred on by the excitement of our visit and the questions that Liz and Belinda had about their life, the children were keen to share. And when the word ‘bread’ crept into the conversation, the children tried to explain their variation of it. Ensued many hand gestures and miming as the children attempted to demonstrate how a ‘bhakri’ (a flattened bread typically made from Bajri (millet) or Jwari (Sorghum) flour and cooked both on a ‘tava’ and an open flame) was made.
Sachin’s mother making ‘bhakri’ for dinner – Rameshwarwadi – 15 Nov. 2013 [Photo: Suneeta]
Liz was the lucky one. For she was actually there! And could be dragged to the tiny kitchen of Sachin’s house and shown the process as his mother sat making this staple food on a baked clay oven. Here was a real life ‘ajji’ (Granny) in action and the children wished to share it with Belinda and compare the information she had shared with them about making bread.
Well, we had cameras with us so the children were able to promise Belinda pictures. The ‘two way street’ was enriching. And it wasn’t just information that flowed both ways, but ideas, warmth and respect.
As Liz and I drove back through the night to our temporary base in Shirgaon (approximately 50 kms and and a little over an hour away), I could feel the quiet contentment spread through me. Another day, another session, and a few steps forward….
That’s what the Granny Cloud is about.