This week was all about thinking creatively, as we embarked on the crazy world of creative writing.
We began with a single button and from this button we imagined the jacket that it had been attached to. We then imagined the objects that might have been nestled in the pockets of the jacket and created a story board, which would help us to develop our characters and eventually our stories.
Once upon a time there was a boy called Harbeer. He was 28 years old . He studied BA and was in third year. When he was at college he had many problems. His teacher did not like him because he was not good at studying. One day the college canteen suddenly caught fire. The Principal shouted for anyone and called the police and the fire brigade. The Principal’s daughter was in the canteen. He was shouting for anyone to save his daughter. When no one wanted to go into the fire then Harbeer went into the canteen and saved his daughter. Then the Principal wanted to give him some money and a reward, but Harbeer didn’t want to take the money or the reward. Harbeer said instead, “It’s my pleasure Sir.” After that, in college, everyone liked him.
We also explored rhyming couplets taking inspiration from a list of rhyming words that Anisha had written on the board and from our very own source of enlightenment…
Madan is an amazing teacher,
He has one phenominal feature.
He has such humilty, a humbling sight to see,
What an inspirational role model to see how we should be.
It helps him help all those around,
Teaching, helping, sharing wisdom profound,
Hearts feel warm coming from all around,
To have some chai and hear his musical sound.
And all the time is asks no thanks from us,
A beacon of benevolence, causing no fuss,
His peaceful, loving smile, igniting glee,
The most deserving of the title ji.
I was so pleasantly surprised by the boundless depths of the teachers’ imaginations and, even after a somewhat apprehensive start, was delighted to see the emergence of the most fantastic stories and the development of the most complex characters from soldiers to grooms, and talking sheep to wise octopus.
I’ve also been wholly taken aback by the acting ability of the teachers and have had such a great time playing various drama warm up activities with them this week, such as the ‘party game‘ (which is all about adopting the mood or emotion of the group) and the ‘bench game’ (where one member of the group has to try and encourage another member of the group, who is sitting on ‘the bench’, to move without using physical strength). It therefore makes me very excited to learn that on August 15th the teachers, and also a few of the students, will be participating in a street play led by Auntie Ila and Madanji. The play will be centred around raising awareness of the harmfulness of plastic to the environment, which is a big problem in the local area (particularly in the Bani forest near Manger village where people leave gift offerings wrapped in plastic and tie pieces of plastic to the trees instead of string not realising that this plastic is damaging to the surrounding ecosystem).
I have incredibly high hopes for the play, and even greater confidence in the teachers’ ability to convey the importance of respecting the environment. I also hope that the drama exercises I taught them (and all the creativity we were exposed to this week) will help with the improvisation stage of the process (fingers crossed)!
I’ve already seen one of the teachers incorporating drawing and visual aids into his lessons this week, which just pays testament to the support that this project gives to the unique development of the teaching in the Laksh centres and the way in which it helps alternative ideas to grow and flourish.
Peace and love from Laksh,