Note: This was originally posted on my personal blog [Environments for Children] in June, 2011 when The Granny Cloud was finding its feet as an independent, self-supported entity. I am sharing this with minor edits to bring it up to date as a way of responding to a question we often got [and still get from time to time] – Why ‘Cloud’? What does the term ‘Cloud’ connote in the context of The Granny Cloud and why did it feel so appropriate….?
June2011 – Driving back from the newest tiny SOLEs in Sindhudurg, in Maharashtra, India, 10 days ago in torrential rain through the ghats, after a scorching 5 days reminded me of our SOLEs and SOMEs Cloud. The summer heat in many parts of Maharashtra and elsewhere in India always reminds of how appropriate the term ‘jeev ghena ukada‘ (life sucking heat’) is!] And why the term ‘Cloud’ is so apt to describe what we do. With or without the word ‘Granny’ attached. [We were still attempting to encourage the use of the term eMediators in those days].
It’s something we had talked about. The possibility that the term ‘cloud’ might not have the same connotations elsewhere in the world. But here in India…? The clouds bring much needed rain for the crops as well as respite from the heat. And they are anticipated and waited for eagerly.
And that’s what the ‘CLOUD” is all about too… Bringing new ideas, showing the children different worlds, sprinkling parched minds with various possibilities, encouraging children to bloom.
Yet, all of us also have a healthy respect for the rains and the havoc they can wreak when they are relentless. The thunder and lightning is often scary, especially when you are on the edge of a cliff and visibility is close to zero! And when you consider that in the context of the Granny-Children interactions, I could empathize and understand the concerns of the community – concerned about the possibility of children exposed to ideas they could not control, that could take the children ‘far away’, that could leave children conflicted and unsure of the direction in which they should turn, thrown every which way by this deluge of sometimes [often?] contradictory thoughts, lifestyles, cultural values and much more.
But that is its strength… it opens up a host of opportunities… Grannies make the effort to understand the context and culture these children come from while sharing their own. It brings out the best of the clouds and the rains. It is what leads us to the goals of The Granny Cloud. It is what is going to help children to be open to differences, to question, to gather and absorb relevant information, and then – to develop their own rational beliefs….
Clouds can indeed give new life…