Day 17- 26th June
Woke up today on a relatively bad note… both mom and dad were saying how badly it was raining outside and how we really shouldn’t be venturing out today. I thought about it. It did seem quite bad and scary. BUT I really wanted to go and knew we needed to be there today. So when my dad said that I should go if it’s absolutely necessary, I decided that it really was and set out. During our car ride there all three of us were really quiet and kind of slept off. When we got there it had stopped raining and Juhi mentioned how we were so lucky that it stops raining when we have to walk. She said that too soon. At that minute it started pouring. Juhi and I had chai before we walked to the school in those really cool glasses that all the chaiwallas around Bombay have. SO GOOD. Then we decided to the school using the shortcut with the bridge of pee. BAD DECISION. It was all good until we got to the heaps of garbage. That was the worst experience I have ever had in my life. It was absolutely disgusting. As I felt my foot sink into the garbage, that had become all squishy because of the rain, I actually screamed. It was the most horrible feeling ever. It was black mucky water with onion peels, plastic bags, definitely pee, poop, school bags, dirty cloth kind of things. And the worst part was that as I stepped ahead and felt like I was about to puke I had to keep moving forward to get out of the place. We got through it in the end and made our way to the school after washing our feet using a water pump on the way. As soon as we climbed up the stairs and entered all the kids shouted out “Namaste teacher” louder than ever today! They even came running up to us to shake hands! This they had never done before. We went and sat down while Gayathri teacher continued telling the kids a story. After that we got the kids to stand and run through the play, right from the song in the beginning of the play, to the drunken scene. It went really slowly. The transitions from one scene to another takes a lot of time and the most of the little children are just so distracted. The bad points for today are that Abhid Ali wasn’t there. We had to get someone else to do his part. First we chose Nazir to do it and he did quite a good job. However, Saima was at school today and is so demanding that she finally took the role. I think we ran over the play around three times with the kids. During recess, Gayathri teacher got us chai! In between rehearsing I was giving “jhoola” rides again and doing the “fugdi” with Heena, Asheep and Afreen! Then when we everyone got back we started all over again. I found that all the children enjoyed watching the drunken father scene so much. They were most disciplined during this scene and always wanted the kids acting in it to do the scene again. They actually seemed to enjoy it and I didn’t feel too good about that. We did another scene about gender discrimination in terms of education. During the last run throught for the day, Zohar, Juhi and I were just sitting down and watching. We spoke and told them to move on but they mostly went about it by themselves. Most of the kids were just bored of doing the same thing over and over again and did not co-operate. This is understandable as they are kids after all and doing the same thing is boring when they think that the whole thing is a game and we were only there to play. A really good thing I noticed today was that Parveen was really loud and was no more the really quiet grown up girl. She did a great job as teacher in the play. She also was telling the other little children to sit down or to speak loudly and instructing them. Especially after she had heard that other people (excecutive board of Parivartan) were coming to watch them tomorrow. At the end of the day, the kids came running to me for homework like the last two days. They really wanted and were ready to do a lot of homework even if it’s the same thing as the previous day. One girl said that she had nothing to do at home and so wanted homework! Everyone wanted to dance again but then Juhi want up to it and came asked me if we should. I didn’t really want to dance either not only because I felt a little tired but also the kids had been all over the place unlike yesterday when everything had gone smoothly. When we told them that we had to leave as it was raining heavily and that we would dance tomorrow if they acted out well they were surprisingly very understanding. We left and walked back the long way, which was also a mess because of the rains but much better compared to the shortcut with the garbage dump. Today was just like the weather outside. We had progressed but it had been hard. It was gloomy. We then had a meeting with Manjul at my house. After reflecting our thoughts for the day Manjul told us to write down the answer to how we have impacted the children/parents/staff of Parivartan and community in the two aspects 1) live life interventions and 2) theatrical interventions. My thoughts were expression, initiative, education (priority of parents/community), loud voices and belief in teaching using the methods of theater. Then we had to write about the impact of this whole program on ourselves in the same two aspects. My answers were that I am definitely more self-confident, feel useful, not so worried about other peoples thoughts when I believe in what I’m doing and what I want to do, think it is definitely important to make my family a part of everything I do for it to go smoothly, have seen another side of my own city that I always knew existed but never experienced, learned a lot from all the new people I have interacted with, learned to appreciate what I have even more than I already do, “hold my space” much more than I did before and have learnt and now believe in the use of ‘theatre of relevance’. A great accomplishment overall! We then discussed some concerns about the play and heard Manjul’s advice for performance day!