Monday, November 21, 2011

Bookaroo in the City (Day 4) : Tapas Guha and Suvidha Mistry

Have you ever fallen into the pages of a book and fallen off your chair laughing? Have you ever smelled the earth as you see the picture of rain falling on parched mud? Pratham Books brings you such magic in your world with books! Pratham Books is proud to present "Bookaroo in the City" across several schools in Delhi.

Volunteer Urvashi Das writes about the session conducted by Tapas Guha (via Bookaroo blog) ...
After an absolutely sleepless night I fished for any excuse to get out of today’s session. In my insomniac state I helplessly failed and found myself staring into space. As my alarm screeched at me I still lay in bed. Then some strange energy overtook me. I leapt out, brushed, bathed, dressed, drank my cup of coffee and I was still sleep deprived but ready for the day.
The house number of Tapas Guha on my sheet made me nervous. 1332. But with the very able Mr. Sukhdev driving me around, I cannot, not be on time,like ever. Little had I known, my talent too has his sunrise later than today’s unavoidable one. 
After that, everything that followed seemed to happen in a flash of lightening. When it was over, it didn’t seem enough. One could tell from the faces of the little 8th graders that they wanted more. It was easy to see why. After all they were the lucky ones who not only got to interact with the brilliant Tapas Guha but also miss class. Oh the lost charm of being in a school! 
I speak not only for my today’s visit to Kendriya Vidyalay but also for the other sessions I attended, the talent the children exhibited was amazing. Bookaroo and all the story tellers, illustrators and the musicians involved with Bookaroo who choose to give these children their time and show them a world which they were unaware of, has in my mind broadened their horizon at least in some infinitesimal way. I’d say Bookaroo has in many ways achieved what it aimed at. 
Inhibitions however do seem to take a toll on the children. I can’t forget the blank anxious expression on their faces when they were asked to “have fun with cartoon characters”. There was a look of need for some purpose behind having to draw a cartoon. They failed to understand why they were made to draw something which wasn’t going to get graded! 
Only if you dare to be a little aimless, a little daring and just try anything on your own can you achieve something. That is my staunch belief! Could they have had a more meaningfully purposeless time? I’m in no doubt that the 8th standard children of Kendriya Vidyalay, Masjid Moth had a Children’s Day that they will remember. I’m glad they saw a different face of education. And I am glad I overcame my sleep attack!

Volunteer Iswarya Subbiah writes about the session conducted by Suvidha Mistry (via Bookaroo blog) ... 
Much before we’re introduced to the world of letters, we are introduced to the world of pictures. And this is what illustrator Suvidha Mistry was trying to remind the children of M.C.D School, Indra Nagar on 14 th November. As children grow up, the emphasis is often taken away from pictures and focused on words. Ms. Mistry tried to coax the children into bringing their imagination to life through the media of illustration instead of writing. Through two sessions, one with boys and the other with girls, she managed to get everyone involved in artistically expressing their creativity. 
The children were extremely happy to take some time away from studies to know that one could learn something very important using just paper and crayons. Mrs. Mistry encouraged the children to use their imagination in their art, and gently persuaded to think outside the box. 
The children responded enthusiastically to all that she said. The most important message that children took away from the session is that pictures can be as significant or powerful as words. And I’m sure the next time they are asked to write a story in class, they’ll take time out to illustrate it too!
You can read about all the Bookaroo in the City sessions here. You can also view more pictures here.

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