The dragon´s heart

(Personal blog post)

Sometimes I really feel like I want to be back home. I am dreaming of regular regime in my life when I look at my legs and know how much they were profiting from regular exercise and run. I’m dreaming of common problems that, for example, I need to save money to buy washing machine. I dream that I will cook everyday the food I know so that I will not feel like I want to try always all that new food. I dream of a regular meeting with my friend on coffee, where I can admit that no breakthroughs are happening in my life.

While thinking about that, someone knocks on the door. With laziness and tiredness from heat I get up from bed and go to open. It´s Krishna. My little monkey. Actually rather my small King-Kong.

He smiles and points me to the courtyard: “Veronika? You? “. Well, I go to look at it. “Veronika, chuchundra’s home”. I look at a hole on the ground and some pattern drawn by a stick in the earth around it. “Really? Are you sure it’s a rat house?”. (Chuchundra is a rat in Nepali language, I know this since I had one in my room, it ate my rukraksha japa-mala, made a hole in my sleeping pants and was even running next to my head in bed 😀 ). With a wide smile, he nods. Well, so I also admit it may be the house of a rat then. Krishna has probably made its small house cozy also from outside now. “Veronika? Dolphin, not dangerous? “. I am smiling. I answer that it is not, and I try to explain to him in English that dolphins are human friends and how many times they have already saved them when they find exhausted people swim in the sea. He continues, “Dolphin has heart?”. I am smiling again. I’m happy because I glad that they remember. Since I wanted to teach them in one of our classes, that they should not hurt any animals and they should love all of them, no matter whether the animals is fury, or it is a snake or a spider. And to do that I started by showing them that all the animals have a heart.

Exactly on that day, a few hours before the class, one of the boys caught a bird sitting at the gate. In my opinion, the bird must have been sick, otherwise he would not catch him, and perhaps it had already been broken leg even before. But it seemed like Nitesh broke it when he was putting the bird in the cage. I pulled the bird out of the cage and wanted to set it free, but before I let each of the boys press his fingers gently to the bird´s belly. I wanted them to feel its heartbeat. Finally, they persuaded me that I should not let it go now when it has a broken leg because we should take care of him. And so I agreed, put it back in the cage and put it on the ground in my room. We gave him rice and water. At the hour I asked them what they felt when they put their hand on the bird. They all knew it was a heartbeat. They recognized his heart was very fast. And I asked them, “What do you think, how did the bird feel? Why was his heart so fast? ” Because he was afraid. I wanted them to understand that all creatures feel. They have hearts and so that they feel. They have a heart and so that they can be sad. Like when a mom loses her baby. They can be cheerful when they pet another animal or when our dog Jackie wins the tail, happy to see us. And also the little spider in the corner of the room has its heart. Full of love for us, since catching the flies at night, to keep us away from them.

A few days later, I reflexively hit with a palm my thighs. In this area, the mosquitoes are totally inaudible, but their bite is painful right from the beginning like a hell. And there comes a question from Ramesh, with a smile from ear to ear: “Why did you kill it? Does it not have a heart? You said all the animals have it “. He got me, he obviously listened to me thoroughly. And so I have a lesson from him. I still have something to learn and I have to move in my meditations to be able to eliminate the reaction of my body to the uncomfortable feeling that mosquitoes cause me. I still have a lot to do to not act reflexively in the future, but just blow it away by a movement of a hand.

“And dragons? Dragons have heart? “, he asks more.

I observe Krishna for a few more minutes. I worry about him. He has epilepsy, and he has not been given any medication today. In my thoughts, I try not to be upset to the tutors, that they allow things like this are happening. That they forgot to check for how many days of treatment the pills still have left. Without medication, he will almost certainly have a seizure, other boys say. And they grimaces and mimic how it looks when he has a seizure so I will understand what they mean what will  happen. But I can not be angry with them. I’m not in their position, so I can not judge them. I can imagine how hard it is to work here. We have 5 days as working week, 2 days of weekend, variable number of holiday days. Here in Nepal they have weekend only Saturday. The woman tutor had to entrust her daughters to her sister, since it is not possible to have them with herself. And she has holiday every 3 or 4 months. She is raising 16 children and she does not have time for her two. Moreover, the tutors actually do not have real working and non-working days, they do not have their own free time besides the children here in a children’s home. And I understood that too. I came here to volunteer, which means I should work 3-5 hours a day 5 days a week. But this is just not possible when you live in one house with those boys. As soon as you sit down, with certainty one of the 16 boys is knocking on the door again. Actually, you do not even want to close the door of them. Only if you’re fainting finally from the tiredness.

And regarding those drugs, here is no mandatory health insurance in Nepal. There is no co-participation of the medical insurance company for medicines. There are no people in the pharmacy complaining to pay 17 cents for a prescription, shouting on pharmacist that doctor said “everything will be for free” and balancing eyes when he/she allows him/herself to correct them that the medicine is never “for free” but “fully covered by a health insurance company.” Here, you are lucky when you are not sick, otherwise you have to pay everything. For Krishna, the child´s home Our Sansar pays for his medication, in contrast with all the other kids still left on the street. And actually, there are not all the drugs here.  Krishna is lucky that the children’s home is only 6km from the Indian border, so one of tutor can go there to buy him one of his medicines.

For a while, we are playing with Krishna to fight who is stronger. He tries it first with his hands, then pushes to my stomach with his head, strengthen his legs, but it does not work. After a while, however, he stops pushing and he stays with his head leaning against me. I know it’s not like he’s got out of his strength. I do not want to disturb him. He is now leaning on a woman, in which he probably see for a moment a mother. He feels the contact that is missing. He is missing someone, who hugs him before he goes to sleep. Who would talk to him that even dragons have a heart. Someone who tells him that the dragon’s heart is even special, because the more you believe in him, the stronger his heart is.
I do not want to disturb him,  I want to just take as much as he can while I’m here.
Because I’ll leave once too. As all others before.

So I am forgetting about the washing machine, my lazy legs, actually about everything.

And I feel it is right that I’m here and now.

And that I’m the one who tells him that he has a dragon in himself too. And that I believe in this dragon.