The girls and their friends put up a short yoga demonstration at an event last weekend. They had been practicing for over a month and were very proud of their routine.
The next yoga class after the performance was last Tuesday and after the class, the teacher sat the kids down to discuss their feelings about the programme.
When it was Anjali's turn, she said, "first i felt nervous, then i felt angry and then i felt happy".
'Why were you angry', we asked.
"because some of the children watching said 'eeeuh-they are touching their nose with their legs and eeeuh-they are lying down on the dirty floor'"
That started a volley of comments from the other kids as well and it was clear to us that the children felt strongly towards the issue.
"they are jealous of you",said the teacher. "because they can't do the poses that you can"
"but if they can't do, why don't they learn", asked Sophia, who is very vocal at pointing out obvious solutions.
"that's what they should do", we said, "but some people are just malicious."
I would have let the matter pass for the most part except that something else happened this week which made us revisit the incident. A friend of mine became the victim of cyberbullying which, from the looks of it, stems from the same kind of malice.
On one of our walks together, i shared the story of this friend with the girls and drew a parallel between her experience and theirs.
"if people are jealous, why dont they work better? We can teach them!", asked Anjali. "why do they say and do things that hurt?"
That is a million dollar question. I am not a psychologist to analyse the darker side of human behavior that seems to manifest even in kids or the beauty that shines in those who have been hurt which brings out their strength, or the importance of family and friends who can lend a listening ear and a steady shoulder in these times.