Thursday, June 25, 2009

Putting on the Dancing shoes!

Day 16- 25th June

Ahhhhh…AMAZING DAY… today was just loads of fun… loads…. I was really tired this morning but looking forward to it at the same time…. after the intense conversations yesterday and a new idea, I was excited and just wanted to go try it out and see what happens. Juhi and Zohar came home as usual and we spoke about what we could do today. We decided to play the games we had been play
ing with them throughout last week, show the kids the video and try to use our new strategy to progress with the play. We were on our way and in the car we spoke less about what we were going to do when we were at the school. We didn’t have as concrete a plan as we had been making the last couple of days. But I still felt ok about that. Was just looking forward to the children and kind of a new start after the horrible day yesterday. We were laughing and joking a lot along the way as we walked to the school. Like Zohar even said in the morning… I was feeling the energy and really felt positive. On the way to the school we found out that the cat we had been seeing the last few days had died. It was sad. As I turned the lane to the school I was hoping that the chicken and the little kid who threw it on me wouldn’t be there. I really did not like that yesterday. We entered the school and sat down. It seemed like Gayathri teacher had been late today, as she seemed to have just started teaching. She said that majority of the children had been admitted to the municipal school and will be leaving Parivartan next week. She wanted to hand over the class to us. I noticed a couple of new kids in class today. I later found out they were old Parivartan students. Juhi then started setting up her speakers and I set up my laptop on a chair in front of the class. We played the 10-minute video that Manjul had given us. Some of the children were really enthusiastic that they were getting to watch the video. Although most of the enthusiasm was just for the fact that they were being shown a video on laptop, which is probably something they have never seen before, some kids actually paid attention. They recognized the clapping, singing and formation of a circle, which they had done too. They also watched it a second time. Then we also played a 7-minute video featuring one of Manjul’s previous works that was covered by “M TV.” After this most of the children went home to eat lunch as it was recess. Just as I had put the laptop away, one kid asked Juhi if she could play music and so we set up the laptop with speakers and music. We danced for half an hour. It was great. The energy level was really high and all the kids were up and about dancing. Even gayathri teacher was enthusiastic and joined in. After that all the kids came back and then we sat in a circle. They all sang the song they had learned yesterday. Ahmed volunteered that he knew the song and so we guided him to lead the rest of the group. Then Kushnuma, a new girl who had just come from the village and is new to Parivartan came up and volunteered to sing a song. It was the first time I heard her speak out loud. It was amazing to see that change. She had been very quiet on her first day. And now she was up singing a song all by herself. Then we made the kids whose dreams were to become police come up and act like they were policemen. It was amazing. Ahmed became a policeman’s bike. The whole group created sound effects. Then Asheep became a thief and Sarfaraj and Sahil became the police who both caught Asheep and came up with their own amazing dialogues. Then we created a classroom scene with Parveen and another new girl as teachers and a whole bunch of kids who volunteered to be students. Again, they came up with the dialogues completely by themselves and beautifully. Lastly we had the doctor scene with Asheep as the patient and Nazir and new girl’s sister as doctors. They were great too. After this we played the January-February clapping game with the kids and tried to change the words so they could use it as part of the performance. This didn’t work too great. Then we played the “wah”game and change the word to “suno” (listen). We also got Abhiday to say some dialogues that he turned out to be great at. He is one of the older kids of our group and is one of the calmest kids I’ve seen. I’m so glad he’s a part of this since he only joined us this week. After this we actually managed to run through everything from the beginning. This went surprisingly, very smoothly. We couldn’t be happier. We still had some time left and decided to try and do another scene. We wanted to show the scene of alcoholism and domestic abuse. Sarfaraj was trying to be the drunken father and this is where I thought that showing them the video had been a good idea as he actually said, “Accha, video kai jaisa karna hai.” (Oh, we actually have to act like in the video). Sahil then enthusiastically volunteered to be the drunken father, so we gave him a chance and we had Sana reluctantly do the part of the wife who gets beaten up. Although we would have like Saima to do she had left early since she had a headache and wasn’t feeling too well. Ahmed and Sarfaraj acted as sons. Sahil did an AMAZING job acting and with his own dialogues which were better than anything we could have come up with. Probably since he has grown up watching such scenes in reality. We were all hesitant in giving him this role since he has actually experienced it and if his parents watch him acting out such scenes they could probably hit him for doing it. But I don’t think anyone could do it better than him. I hope that his parents do see it and realize their mistakes. Gayathri teacher also seemed really surprised/impressed with Sahil’s acting. After that we had planned to wrap up for the day, extremely happy with the progress and glad to have something created in the name of a performance. BUT Abhiday came up and asked for music to be played. Then I connected the laptop again and played music. We danced like CRAZY for a whole hour! I just felt it. I was thinking a lot. The number of days I’ve spent there. The first time I saw those kids and they saw me. And now things had changed. From both ends. We all were up dancing. I was swinging some children around. Giving them “jhoola” (swing) and airplane rides. And I thought oh my god. This is so much fun and we have such little time left. I am seriously attached to these children. And I cant wait to go back tomorrow. :)

On our way back Gayathriji showed us a shortcut
. We passed HEAPS of garbage. HEAPS. It was horrible. Urgh. I wish I could do something. I’m going to try. It was obviously worse because of the rain. We then crossed a bridge of pee!!! And Juhi stepped in muck! But then we got home safe.

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