In the pouring rain, we made our way across the city to a school far, far away. It was beautiful. Greenery all around us, streams in the most unexpected places – this was not a part of the city I knew.
I’d heard about Vidya Valley, and met a few students from the school at other workshops. This time, though, I was visiting the school to conduct three sessions with the sixth standard as part of the build-up to the school’s very own lit fest.
Teaching creative writing to a whole class is always challenging. In a class of forty, if I’m lucky, eight enjoy writing. The rest couldn’t care less. When all forty are required to sit together in a classroom and write … I didn’t know what to expect. Yet, in a school with its own literature fest, I was hopeful.
The whole day was simply delightful! We talked about all kinds of books, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out about all the Indian books the children read. As we moved on with the workshop, one of the activities I set for the class was to imagine that any part of the school was a magical portal. The responses were brilliant!
One child wrote about the basketball court. When he scored a basket, he was transported into another world. But there was a catch – he could come back only if someone else scored a basket! And one day, he was in the other world, waiting, and no one scored. He called out for help, but who could hear him from across the portal? Finally, an alien called Zak came to his rescue. Zak had to practise for nearly an hour before he could score – but he finally did, and our hero was saved.
Another child wrote about a Marshall amplifier in the old basement. None of his friends had a Marshall amp, so what was it doing there? Curious, he turned it on. Immediately, music filled the room. As he drew closer, he was drawn through the amp into another world with other guitarists …
Ah, it was lovely!
On Saturday, the school has its all-day literature fest. I won’t be there, but I’m sure it will be simply wonderful considering how involved and enthusiastic the children and their parents are!