Saturday morning turned out to be quite unexpected for us. As we dropped our daughter to school for a story telling session, little did we know that the workshop was actually for us and not just for the children. We had an elaborate plan of sending a courier, going to a dress boutique and generally conquering the whole world as our daughter attends the session. We were swooped in for this wonderful experience with Sowmya Srinivas, who is heading Pre Primary in Sri Chaitanya Techno school and an artist in All India Radio. She has a neat way of telling stories through sound, expressions and gestures and she also sings.
The session started with some activities for parents. For example, we had to draw our child’s favorite thing or person and then enact or tell a story on that drawing. We drew a Lotus (Daughter’s favorite flower) in a pond and Sun and my wife thoughtfully named them as Kamal and Suraj and that the story is about their deep friendship. As we went on, Sowmya enacted how a story can be told with deep, long, loud expressive voices, facial expressions and hand gestures with rhyming jingles. The story was about the Monkey and the Crocodile. It reminded me of my Hindi teacher who took us this lesson – “Magar aur Bandar” and how he pronounced Magar (crocodile) as Maagarrrrrrrr, which earned him the name Magarji. There was then a touching story of a boy who lost his mother and then considered his teacher to be his mother. She showed how flashcards might also be a good aid in telling stories, probably just like the story books filled with pictures. Lastly we had a small activity of enacting an animal without narration by 4 different teams. We did the peacock with one of us as the dancing peacock and the rest of us making the sound of rain and hand gestures of rain falling from the top.
It was a day when we loosened up a bit for our children. Adults in their late 20’s and early 30’s were turning themselves into 5 year olds and learning the art of having and spreading fun. It also helped us to see how the teachers of our children turn themselves into 5 year olds to teach our children, as they participated along with us. Lastly as we had a brief chat with Sowmya, She reminded us where we actually heard stories from, our grand parents. I heard stories from my Grandma, My daughter hears stories of MGR killing the pirates from my father and other mythological stories from my in laws. Perhaps when we become Grandparents we will have stories of Rajinikanth to tell our Grandchildren. It becomes so, that as we age, as we go through our life, we finally learn the value of Fun, the fun that we can have with our Grand children. We remain busy until then taking care of the life.
Ultimately, be it a simple story telling session or playing a video game on a phone, we fail to recognize that it is Fun that we are actually having and not the object of Fun. Objects change, but Fun remains the same. Hopefully, we will get to this inner realization as we age.
Until then, Just have Fun!