In her EKATVA journey, Krishna has learned about inner happiness and inner strength.
“Helping others is the way to feel santosh (contentment),” the 11-year old says sagely.
Krishna describes a young boy she met near Gandhi Ashram whose leg was handicapped from polio. As he was trying to cross the road, faced by an onslaught of speeding rickshaws and heavy buses, Krishna and her friend noticed his struggle and hurried to help him.
“You should have seen his face when I took his hand and my friend took his bag” Krishna’s face lights up as she tells the story.
“He was so happy. When he said thank you, I felt something good open up inside me.”
The value of seva, or service, that Krishna has developed through EKATVA has pushed her beyond her comfort zone. Her mother explains that before, Krishna used to look out for herself only. But recently, she has noticed her daughter putting the wellbeing of her siblings and parents before her own.
“We are one family,” Krishna says. “We should take care of each other.”
What activities of service and compassion have done for Krishna internally, the rigorous EKATVA dance rehearsals have done for her physically, helping her realize the limits of her physical strength.
Since the beginning of this journey, Krishna has been fragile, both emotionally and in terms of her fitness. Daily dance practice has been grueling, especially in the heat of Ahmedabad summer. The rehearsal schedule and dances demand strength and endurance, something that young Krishna was visibly lacking.
But just as she has displayed a change in her behavior toward others, recently, her strength has improved as well.
During the children’s exercise routine at practice one morning, the children began a contest to see who could do the most jumping jacks. Five minutes passed, and kids started dropping. Then ten minutes. The number continued to fall, as more exhausted little dancers ran out of gas. Finally, nearly 20 minutes into the contest, only two children remained. Delicate Krishna and tiny Chandani surprised everyone with their stamina, and even more so, with their will power and desire to win.