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A 'Pratham' effort

It was a fine evening when a green package arrived at my door step. I was super excited as I tore it open and found a treasure inside. The treasure- the books – were sent by the Bangalore based publishers Pratham Books who were encouraging people to conduct a story telling programme on the World Literacy Day. And with just that much I became a Pratham Books’ Champions.

The book reading was to be conducted on September 8 which fell on a Saturday. I had decided to conduct the story telling session at my house and had duly called up all the mommies around me, who I knew would be and should be excited by the prospect of a story session.

Though the day had dawned bright and gay, by the time evening arrived, the rain gods seemed a wee bit unhappy. That, however, did not dampen the enthusiasm that had built inside the Sood household with the husband helping with shifting the furniture to make ample room for jumpy kids and Netra donning her brand new lehenga to essay the role of Susheela, the protagonist of the book- Susheela’s Kolams.

Susheela’s Kolams a vibrantly illustrated small book had arrived as part of the treasure earlier. This book was being read across the country by many other Pratham Books’ Champions in numerous events being held the same day.

Susheela learnt to draw kolams from her mother and loved to draw them everywhere. So great was her love for kolams and so great her talent that she was even approached by the Air Force whom she told ‘how to dip, dive and turn their planes...’

On the appointed hour, our guests began to arrive, unfazed by the shower, thunder and lightning. A couple of them were accompanied by their mommies as well. A dear dear friend, Deepa, was generous enough to bring with her a friend's daughter who herself was not keeping well. We started our session at 5.30 PM. I read out the story to them. There were enthusiastic oohs and aahs as I used a puppet to play Susheela and other things like a kite at the appropriate moment. The session was interspersed with a lot of interactive questions answers like what material was Susheela using to make her kolams. What else could be used? If they had assisted their mommies ever in making kolams or something similar? This was fun and the kids came up with well-thought out answers. They could easily draw a parallel between Suseela’s kolams and rangolis that were made with gulal on various festive occasions and to mark celebrations. Our youngest participant 'Siya' was as enthusiastic as the didis.


The story telling session was followed by a game of chits in which each child was asked to draw a chit and then perform the activity written therein. The chits had a name of a colour and a number written on them. This meant that you had to name the number of things with that particular colour. Others included telling a song or a rhyme on colours which had them all singing the poem on traffic lights.

Next came the most interesting part, where my champion Shikha treated us all for our hard work with delicious cake, savouries and a sumptuous chowmein.

By the end of the session Shikha aunty and Susheela had won many ardent fans.


Comments

Prerna said…
This sounds like so much fun! I wish I was there to attend it.
Neha kalra said…
Well done Amu...I am soo proud of you!!
Neha kalra said…
Well done Amu...I am soo proud of you!!
amu said…
Prerna, would have loved to have you here and I am sure that would have just doubled the fun!!!
amu said…
Honey Di, thank you so much :)
Anonymous said…
Wow...you are too good.. please do inform me the next time you hold another story telling session..I was smiling reading this post.

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