Peeking out from my window, to see the hues of a mountain sunrise, I saw three children of labourers sitting outside on a bare piece of fabric. A five year old holding a six month old, and a three year old playing with the baby, distracted only by her need to be a monkey off and on.
I looked around, there was no adult in sight simce labour work begins early. I strained hard to see what the monkey of a girl was playing with in the middle of that fabric for it was not a durrie, groundsheet. There was also a stick on the same which was being waved in hand conversation.
MARBLES! Stick! With a baby so close, Oh no! My first impulse was to go and educate them about child safety. I got up and putting on my chappals, was leaving my parents home, when it struck me that I saw it for the first time, not them or their parents. I didn’t have to fix anything which was their norm.
Over the next few weeks, I kept an eye on them, started my month long classes for them, and learned a lot in the process. That three year old, the monkey spirit, came for a few days and was wilful about her duration of stay.
The others had been tamed in school but with her, I was careful in letting her realize that learning was a choice, her choice.
Her artwork was the most advanced I had ever seen! With thirteen years of teaching and montessori training, I just knew she was so smart.
On the days she didn’t come to my cilvilized classes, she was always within my peripheral vision, or me in hers. She would climb on a construction truck to see us. She could walk with speed and agility along the wood panels, on barely two inches of frame, to hold onto with her tiny toes.
Zero fear! Responsible with a baby. Gleam in her eyes! No education!
Her mother asked me to take her since I was so excited about her daughters potential. I want to teach such children but not take them to civilization.
P.S. She must now be seven years old, being civilized in school. I hope I can meet her again before life hits her.