Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bookaroo in the City (Day 7) : Anupa Lal and Richa Bhaskar

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.

Storyteller Anupa Lal writes about her session (via Bookaroo blog) ...
Travelling comfortably across Delhi on a crisp,cool, not-yet-traffic-ridden morning is pleasant enough. 
Heading for a storytelling session with kids, on 17th Nov., made it pleasanter.
And conversing, on the way there and back, with someone as bubbly and yet as mature as my pretty escort Divya Karwal – a young writer – made it a morning to remember. 
Divya and I reached Kendriya Vidyalaya, Tagore Garden well in time for the session.
From the moment we entered the gate we were impressed. 
The school building as well as the area and lawns around it were clean, orderly and well-maintained. 
The dynamic Principal, the affable Head Mistress, indeed all the teachers we met made us feel very welcome. 
Then it was time to go to the library and tell stories to the assembled 100 or so children of classes 1 and 2. Once again, I was happy to be told that many of the bright 7 and 8 year olds in front of me heard stories from their parents or grandparents, something we took for granted when I was a child. 
I launched into my first story ‘ Little by Little’, a folktale retold for Pratham Books. Children love the build up of suspense in it. And carried on…. 
I think the greatest reward for a storyteller is the gleam in a child’s eye as he or she listens intently to your story. 
The greatest high is the pin-drop silence when every child in the room is listening…..
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 Volunteer Debahuti Brahmachari writes about the session conducted by Richa Bhaskar at the MCD  School in Malka Gunj (via Bookaroo blog) ...
The regular ringing up was on the previous evening, as I called the school coordinator and she explained the route towards the school. But I knew one thing that the directions were not at all clear to me. Sigh! 
So next I got in touch with the author and as the phone rang I was still trying to figure where Malikagunj was? (that sounded better to me). Soon I stopped worrying about the malika location as a sweet, soft voice greeted me on the other side. I knew one thing, I would have a beautiful session with this lady. 

The morning chill touched me sharp at 6 am in the morning, I saw my watch and smiled, for a change I did not have an early morning session today. But despite the perfect opportunity to snuggle in my bed, I was already up on my toes gearing up for the day’s session —‘into the magical world of characters.’ 
As my cab picked me, my driver bhaiya zipped zapped zoomed across the unbearable traffic and we reached our first destination. Richa ji was already outside her house all dressed up in red. As we greeted each other, her warmth was the best part all through the journey. 

It was a little difficult to locate the school but finally the coordinator Shahana helped us through the streets. Children rushed to the library as soon as they saw the Bookaroo banners. The atmosphere became all lively, energetic and full of anxiety to know what lay ahead. 
Richa ji bought the characters all alive as the kids entered a different world ranging from a little caterpillar to a butterfly, from ghosts to shadow images and finally to kinship tales. The finest part was the use of little props to enact the stories which were interestingly made from toothpaste covers, paper plates as masks, chocolate wrappers, etc. Visual aids, use of repetitive language structures and making the children enact the characters led to a fun filled session by the brilliant storyteller. To add up to it she bought chocolates, which I distributed to each kid present at the session. 
Finally, as the school bell rang the kids were all ready to go home, but did not forget to thank us with beautiful “thank you” cards made by them. A bunch of them came up to me to take down the details of the Bookaroo festival and promised to see me again. 
Their promises gleamed in their eyes and it was the truth that-
“The soul is healed by being with children”
So it was with me!!!

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You can read about all the Bookaroo in the City sessions here. You can also view more pictures here.

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