You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2015.

Aaaaaaaaaccchhhooooooooo! Just the rightly pitched story in the season of changing weather and flu! Almost 200 children aged between 4-7 years from GD Goenka School in Sarita Vihar sneezed along with Gajapati Kulapati, the gentle & friendly elephant who unfortunately had come under the weather. Our storyteller of the day Simi Srivastav engaged the children, along with the teachers and other school staff into this funny village tale. Being a storyteller for 19 years, Simi impeccably amused the crowd with her creativity of mimicry and puppetry capturing the series of hilarious incidents that Gajapati’s gargantuan sneeze triggered in the village and how the villagers came together to find a cure for dear Kalapati’s sneezy distress.

Spellbound audience

Spellbound audience

The children participation in the storytelling session was overwhelming which was evident from their excitement, animated expressions and actions as they imitated and repeated after Simi.

Advertisements

A group of 15 children from 4-9 years participated in an art and crafts session with illustrator Suvidha Mistry at Vadehra Art Gallery. Suvidha introduced the idea of belonging to nature and internalizing its rhythm though few paintings and commentaries of A. Ramachandran. The latter’s work is based on the premise of being part of one’s ecology and the nature. Ramachandran inscribes this philosophy through his own paintings. In one of his works he dwelled as an insect among the flowers. He captured that imaginative journey through his vibrant paintings. Suvidha wanted the children to take in the essence of Ramachandran’s paintings. The children then watched a BBC documentary that captured the rhythms of nature. The documentary showed the lives of animals – deer’s running in their own habitat, polar cubs being born, sea horses gliding in water and many such images of the ecosystem.

Nature walk through art

Nature walk through art

Now that the idea of nature and rhythm were somewhat made clearer the children or the booklookers as they called themselves were asked to capture any rhythm of nature on paper. Suvidha told them to draw/paint anything they liked about the environment/nature. The children came up with beautiful pastel art with a little help from their teachers, Suvidha and Diti. The reading corner of the Vadehra Art Gallery was soon filled with magnificent drawings – a bunch of pink flowers, flight of a sinister owl, stroke of waves, a community of ants fetching foods while the snakes waited to attack them, a group of colorful owls having fun, a thick grove of trees and many more images. Suvidha had made the children use their imagination with colour and they had not let her down.

Jantan Umbat reached Salvation Army 45 minutes before his scheduled time. That showed how excited he was to share his stories with the children of Salvation Army who were in the age group of 10-12. The children too were eager to listen to him. After the initial introduction, Jantan shared one of his stories on why cocks crow with the help of hand drawn visual aids. The children participated actively in the interactive session. At the end of the session, Jantan presented a set of his books to Salvation Army. The children were listening intently and had a good time in the 45 minutes session.

Jantan Umbat at Salvation Army

Jantan Umbat at Salvation Army

The children were hoping the session could be longer but all good things come to an end eventually. And Jantan promised to return with even more delightful stories.

 

When imagination takes flight it transports you to another world. Such was the scene at Sunrise Public School, Goyla Village when storyteller Shalini Tayal took center stage, mesmerizing her audience of over 60 students from classes 1-6. Shalini started the session started with a song about monkeys swinging off branches that had the audience swaying to it. The children were charged up and clapped and sang along. This was followed by a short story about how the thin line between truth and tales can be blurred.

Flight of fantasy

Flight of fantasy

We were taken on Ivan’s journey in search of the “Sunehera Pakshi”, an adaptation of the Russian folktale “Firebird”. Since the audience ranged from 6 year olds to 11 year olds, the responses were also varied.  The responses of the students from junior classes were much more uninhibited than the older ones. They interacted without holding back. Ivan’s story of magic and adventure worked its magic on all those who were present in the room, students and teachers alike. The children enjoyed every bit of the fun filled session.

An excited group of 25-30 kids at the Very Special Arts, Vasant Kunj greeted Kavita Singh Kale She was there to introduce chalk art to these enthusiastic kids. They patiently listened to Kavita as she weaved her magic with chalk art. Kavita started the session by letting the children browse through some books she had carried for them. The books contained sketches of animals, birds and trees. She let the children absorb the sketches.

Fun with chalk art

Exif_JPEG_420

Kavita then chalked out areas on the ground for each child and asked them to use their imagination to fill it up with any image or colour with chalks. Soon the floor was filled with colourful fishes, birds, flowers, trees and geometric patterns. The result was a dramatic graphic resembling a mural. Despite being specially challenged, the children showed exemplary artistic inclinations. They thoroughly enjoyed the one hour session with Kavita.

The story telling session with Valentina Trivedi at National Association for the Blind, RK Puram on September 20, 2015 was immense fun for the group of 70 odd children belonging to the age bracket of 6-18 years. The author had consciously dressed in a bright Red Green Salwar suit so that at least the children with partial vision could get a feel of the colours around them. For these children, the world is imagined through various sounds. To build an initial rapport with the children, Valentina introduced them to some basic sounds like Meow, Whoosh and snarls and told them how each sound can open up a whole new world of stories. She told the children that they should try making up stories each time they discover new sounds. The children were really glad to discover the true essence of wit and the inefficiency of strength without wisdom. They were thrilled to learn about a tiger that was unable to hunt a donkey. To hide his shame the tiger threatened to kill the only witness to that act-one man.

Wise ways to win

Wise ways to win

However, the story which had two more hidden stories inside informed all of us the necessity of using one’s brain to escape the difficult trials in life. The children thoroughly enjoyed Valentina’s session and were all smiles when it concluded.

On the 22nd of September 2015 storyteller Devendra Mewari visited Premdhan Orphanage at Najafgarh. A group of about 65 children in the age group of 9-12 years had gathered at the school hall. Devendra Mewari had two wonderful tales to share with them. He began the session with a story about a Goat couple who ran away from the village to the jungle to escape death at the hands of human beings who wanted to sacrifice them for their religious festivals.  In the jungle, the goats had to convince their fellow four legged friends that they all belonged together. The story ended with how the couple survived the sly fox’s attempt to overpower the goats.

The second story was about four friends who met a professor with a time machine during their visit to the zoo. He transported them to the past in the time machine during Muhammed Bin Tughlaq’s era followed by Akbar’s era where they all saw the fate of the animals due to the rulers’ favourite sport – hunting.  Animals were killed just for the joy of hunting. Then they went 50 years in the future with the help of the time machine to a zoo where Chimpanzees were selling tickets. Inside the zoo, the animals had measured movements and expressions. It was all too bizarre. In a small room there was a room full of animals and a register. Apparently, this was a library of pets where instead of books people could borrow pets for few days or weeks and return them after they felt happy.

Voice of nature

Voice of nature

Back in the real world, these four friends were indeed worried about the future of their environment and particularly animals.  Before revealing the end of the story, the author asked the kids, what they thought they would find inside the zoo in future if Chimpanzees were selling tickets.  The children came up with various conclusions. Some said they would find human beings inside the zoo, others said that the Cheetahs would be back. Animals had revenge planned out for humans according to others. But Mewari had a different conclusion. He had imagined technology to rule the future and thus robot animals would be seen at the zoo not only to entertain the human beings but also to give them company due to lack of pets. Through the story, Mewari had given a message to the children about the importance of nature and its inhabitants.

The session concluded with Mewari singing a song about the nature and the children sang along with him.