Then, suddenly feeling silly, the crowd asks, "Err. What is it?"
I am proud as all dammit to announce the launch of the very first school under the Amina Trust Foundation. This would be the HAJI PUBLIC SCHOOL, Breswana (tadaaa!!!), and if you don't know already, Breswana is our tiny little village way up in the mountains, on the 'other' side of the River Chenab.
Said Trust is a family-run charity organisation ('cosa nostra' and all that) set up to help widows, orphans and poor people, to improve education and civic facilities in Doda District, then move further out and insha'Allah cover the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
(Next obvious step: WORLD DOMINATION....)
The new joint in Breswana starts out as an elementary school this year with lower and upper kindergartens, and we will slowly increment grades as we get more staff and resources.
Ma and I have been busy the last couple of months, training teachers, building the syllabus, procuring books, stationery and other paraphernalia that go into starting and running a school, buying assorted toys for the shrimps in Breswana.... and it has all come down to this: Academic year 2009-2010 declared open. Classes will kickstart in the coming week on Monday, May 4, 2009.
We're heading to the village this weekend for the grand inauguration party, having such celebrated guests as No One Really, WhatsHerFace and The Other Guy. Media presence is uncertain for reasons unknown. Also in attendance will be the peeps of Breswana and one hears they are quite glad their kids will finally have a real school to go to. Well, good for them. *thumps table*
Will put up pics of affair on return.
Quick-guide route to Breswana:
Nearest airports: Jammu, Srinagar
Thereafter: By road, on foot, or on four feet (horse's/mule's)
Things to Know and Ponder About: Breswana accessible only on foot / horseback after a point. Difficult, steep mountain slopes, but great scenery along the way. :-)
1. From Jammu or Srinagar, take the National Highway 1B to Kishtwar.
2. Stop at tiny roadside town called Premnagar (about 6 hours by road from Jammu). Yes, that is its real name.
3. Cross footbridge over the Chenab, take a deep breath and start upwards.
4. On horseback, it takes us a good 3-4 hours. Walking (for the unfit) will take longer. MUCH longer. For the local bumpkins, who do this uphill-downhill routine daily, they reach in 2 hours flat. Won't say they hardly break a sweat, but what I'm trying to suggest here is that they're really quite something.
I want to BE them...
So. Until next week.
PS: Cartoons filched from cartoonstock and Family Guy.