Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Ben Story

One of Ben's biggest fans asked for a new Ben story, to replace the upleasant swimming lesson image, so here goes.

Ben has a bike that he likes to ride around our compound. Really, calling it a compound is a bit misleading - its not like we have shotguns and spiked Kool-Aid stashed in here, ready to fend off an ATF raid, nor are we lolling about like Greek gods sipping gin and tonics under twinkle lights. Instead visualize a nice small apartment building, with a parking lot where the ground floor would be. Add enough pavement around the edges for the cars to manuver and you've about got it. The whole thing is walled in, about 5-8ft high, and with big gates that roll back to allow access from either street. The non-street sides are nicely shaded by other buildings and trees. In one corner there is a lovely little Hindu shrine, mostly devoted to Hanuman
but Ganesh hangs out there too, as does Sai Baba.

This afternoon Ben and I went out to ride bikes. (Ok, he rode, I sort of trailed after him and confused the security guard.) I wasn't really keeping up and as Ben rounded the last corner, I saw him stop in front of the shrine, put his hands together and do a little "Namaste" sort of head bow.

Next lap, same thing. And then again and again. I finally asked him why he stopped every lap and he said he was, "saying hello to Hanuman. For good luck. Like praying, Mom." I nodded and smiled and the boy kept circling and checking in with the big H everytime he passed.

Eventually Ben announced he was ready to stop. He finished off the lap and this time, instead of the little Namaste, he tossed off a jaunty wave as he passed Hanuman for the last time.

Note to the Highly Observant: Yes, that first picture includes some VERY colorful children. It was taken on Holi, an event which I have entirely neglected in ye olde blog. Stay tuned for a belated Holi post!


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to hear more about Holi. I am somewhat familiar with the holiday but only through movies!

margaret said...

THAT'S what I'm talking about. Oh, Ben. This and the "why should I" story from GG and Aunt Shu keep me feeling good about my quirky little friend. Thank you for brightening my day, Maggie.

Maggie said...

Perhaps this makes me a bad mom, but what's the "Why Should I?" story? Refresh my memory someone!

margaret said...

Don't worry. Susannah has it on video. When GG and S visited Varanasi, B and C did a performance. You had worked out a "wrap it up" signal with the kids ahead of time to prevent super long performances. Ben does this stellar song/interpretive dance/Star Wars reenactment complete with headdress, and it starts to go a little long. So you give him the signal. He ignores it. Repeat. You whisper "Wrap it up!" Ben looks at you, just baffled, and without even the slightest hint of attitude, says "Why should I?"