The visits from the young ones have been quite regular much to my glee. It follows a pattern. The first knock on our door is at 6:30 in the morning. A little chatter and morning tea together they are on their way only to return at about 11 and then again between 2 to 4.
Since they flip through the wildlife magazines with great pleasure, we felt they might also enjoy watching some films on it. Nimesh and his colleagues have been working through schools on conservation education and film screenings and discussions have been one of the means used, so organizing this was not difficult.
The group was here as has been their routine at about 2:30 and they were in for a surprise. Tables and chairs were being re arranged for them and the laptop was being set up speakers and all. They comfortably ran to the seats and observed all of this wondering what was in store.
The film was Point Calimere and since I’ve seen it before it was good to sit with the kids as audience and watch them discreetly instead. Mild mannered Marin kept her eyes firmly on screen, an attention seeking senior kept shushing and correcting the others, while Vidya seemed to be commenting on most things on screen and off it. Jenny came in a bit late but fresh from a bath and was very concerned when a friend pointed out that she had some mud on her sleeve. The group seemed to be enjoying the experience.
My language handicap hit me quite hard today. It would have been wonderful to truly be privy to their discussions. Since that was not to be, I watched John interact with them in his soft tones and warm eyes.
Next they looked at the field guides and were talking about whatever they recognized. John later shared that the discussions were indeed quite colorful. The children informed him that somewhere close a pig had given birth to an elephant and while the elephant kept growing the pig obviously had died in the process. Pointing to a picture of a dead elephant Vidya claimed it that it was killed in Aizwal , Puja was quick to point out that the people standing around were not Mizo so it couldn’t be in Aizwal! We gathered Remrem gets quite creeped out by snakes. A book on snakes was lying open, she flipped a page accidentally and jumped back and fell down in fright when her hand touched one of the images! She did get bak to the book but shuddering at every page. Nimesh went through the pages with her.
Vidya ran through the bird book with great interest pointing to birds he’d shot at with his catapult. He also took on the role of explaining to the younger girls the different categories of birds which I think broadly were parrots, ducks and pigeons. I had noticed him on a previous occasion weave stories about the birds in a magazine to the younger ones I now realize some of it may have been autobiographical encounters!
We had a swell time! We must do it again.