[singlepic id=1598 w=318 h=340 float=left]I came to Jhamtse without any plan. I didn’t know what I would be teaching or why I was here in the first place. All I knew…there was a calling. I’d read about Jhamtse sometime late last year…it kept coming in my dreams, in my thoughts…
Come June, I was here. I taught (or tried to) Social Sciences to the senior classes. I remember my first day of class…I was a bundle of nerves. It was a familiar feeling, quite similar to how i felt on my first day at boarding school…the difference being it’s 17 years hence and now I am a teacher and not a student.
I do not know if the kids learnt anything from me. I know I learnt a lot from them. There’s something special going on here…something so beautiful, so pure…where education is not confined to the classroom. What impressed me most is that i didn’t witness or hear a single incidence of bullying or fighting. I watched as these 85 students lived in perfect harmony: truly a garden of love and compassion.
Sometimes I feel it was destiny that got me to Jhamtse. As Gen la mentioned in his post, we went through some tough times. But we came out on top. I urge the kids to forgive those who made them feel how they did, but to never forget. It would be unfortunate if they forget. They must remember so that they become stronger. They must remember so that no one else goes through what they went through.
I sincerely thank the staff for their hospitality. I do not have words to thank the kids…they have done so much for me. They inspire me to be a better person. Whenever I feel low, I read the goodbye cards they wrote me. It feels like I am sitting with them, laughing, talking, being silly. Wherever I go, whatever I do, these times will forever be etched in my mind. I don’t know when I’ll be back, but I’ll be back for sure… after all I left my heart there.
Rishi Raj is a young lawyer from Guwahati, India, who is a fan of photography and puppies. ;)
Here is a favorite selection of some of the photos he took (and some taken by the students with his camera) during his month-long stay at Jhamtse Gatsal. Enjoy!