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A chemical engineer by education and an author by profession. It is a fantastic combination isn’t it? So was the session by traveller, adventurer and wildlife enthusiast, Deepak Dalal. He lives to travel and spread that love through his books.

While chatting with him on the way back after his session at Bishops School, Deepak told me that he likes places which are quieter and calmer. He is the serene kind indeed. When asked what his favourite place amongst all is? he smiled and answered “Favourite? I love them all – each has something different.”

Rituparna Ghosal

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I enjoyed yet another session at BIC Pune, this time by Prashant Pinge, the writer. Surrounded by very small kids, the experience was just awesome! I was amazed to see the kids’ reponse and their immense energy. I really admire the way Prashant put across his points on the term “Character”.

The child within us

The child within us

I think interacting with small kids is always great because they are always pumped up and want to know more and more about various things and also we get to learn that we should never kill the child within us!

Yashi Srivastava

The world of creativity and art enthralls one and all. Frane Lessac, author and illustrator for over 30 years now, has been mesmerising children in the world of storytelling.

To quote her, “Kids are more receptive to visuals”. I agree completely. In a session this week the children – and I – learnt how to make turtles and write stories. It took all of us into a wonderful world of imagination.

Art and children

Art and children

Kids today love creating new things. The students in the session made some really life-like turtles and were on high energy levels to create a new story.

There is one incident I remember very clearly. A kid asked me for some help to cut out the turtle figure. The kid next to him jumped up and said, “why should ma’am (referring to me) help you? Learn it yourself.” It made me realise that today’s kids love to learn, create and amuse. And illustrators like Frane should be encouraged more to visit schools in India to continue the league.

 

Rituparna Ghosal

Dense forests… owls hooting… wolves howling… and Muniya fighting against the whole village to save her big elephant bird. This is a story of  ‘ Bird Elephant and Muniya’.

 

A lively tale

A lively tale

The story could not have been more interesting or livelier then today. Rupali Bhave did total justice to the narrative and enthralled the kids with her actions and voiceovers. She managed to capture the attention of the little tots who lived a 40-minute journey through the life of Muniya.

Having said that, she gave some important advice to the kids to fight for what they believe in and show compassion to every living being on earth. Rupali didn’t just tell  a story but engaged the children by asking them questions, enacting scenes and asking kids to “mooh”and “roar” with her.

The children of Achari Atre Primary School were delighted with this session. Said professor Sonali: “Never have I seen children so quiet and listening with rapt attention to any of our guests before. It’s Mrs Bhave storytelling style that engaged them to this level.” They let her go after entreating her to come to more such sessions for the school.

Megha Awale

I enjoyed Kala Ramesh’s Haiku session. I was not aware of this term, but today I got to know what Haiku stands for. Kala discussed Haiku and its beautiful examples.

I was amazed to see the children who were listening and enjoying every Haiku Moment with ma’am. The workshop was a big hit as the students stayed glued to their seats without their attention wavering.

Haiku moments

Haiku moments

The way ma’am described the terminologies of Haiku was commendable. I would love to explore more about Haiku and its significant components in the near future.

Yashi Srivastava

“Khankhan-ji-re khankhanji,” sang the students during the session. The story is about a priest who gets late now and then because of his lazy nature. So enthralled were all of us in this chanting session that, Swati Raje slipped in a message to all of us saying that “Lazy is boring, Hard work pays off”. Though subtly put, it had a strong impact on children and the elders.

The long hall and curious children

The long hall and curious children

Though the entire session was in Marathi, her approach and way of reciting the story helped me understand it quite well.

Rituparna Ghosal

As we geared ourselves up for the outreach from January 28th to 30th first and the weekend celebrations at Pandit Farms, we decided to scout around Pune, the city – and its  people – that  we fell in love with during the first edition of Bookaroo last year.

In between trips to stationers we squeezed in a visit to the Aga Khan Museum. It was fascinating to see all the objects of daily use that the museum has preserved. That Kasturba Gandhi and Gandhiji’s secretary died in this house during their internment after the Quit India movement was news to me.

On 26 January, we were lucky to visit the International Super Kite Festival which was held at Moshi on the outskirts of Pune. Forty four kite-fliers from 14 countries pulled various strings to make their creations soar high into the sky. Looking at the kites you realise that when you have a passion for something, the sky is the limit.

The Kite Fest

The Kite Fest

Walking down Pune’s streets is quite an experience. And in the three days that we have been here, a walk down one street or the other filled our evenings. The quiet bungalows, some with a British touch and the apartment blocks – not exactly the towering monsters that Delhi has – lend that special appeal to this wonderful city.

Even as we pore over excel sheets with flight details, IT requirements and GSM of paper we enjoyed the dal khichdi for lunch, washing it down with cool buttermilk. The meal at Hare Krishna is still pending, but we are doing well, switching between the various cuisines available outside too.

The beautiful venue for Bookaroo Pune 2015: Pandit Farms

The beautiful venue for Bookaroo Pune 2015: Pandit Farms

Did you know that gol gappas out here are filled with daal and chutney as opposed to choley, aloo and sauth and green chutney in Delhi? Then there is the variety of Bhel. I say variety because each has a unique style. Mava kulfi is something I have not tried yet as the throat is not behaving well.

Now, it is time to get down to the brass tacks. We shall come back with reports of Day 1 and Day 2 of the outreach programme soon.

Swati Roy