Beyond the Obvious: 6th August

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Slight breeze welcomed me as I stepped outside to board an auto towards the Metro Station. Grey clouds started appeared veiling the sun that tried to outshine itself. But no such luck. Wet breeze kissed my cheeks as I got down at the Metro Station. I got worried seeing the clouds pursuing me, but I was determined not to let my spirits dampen. After all,  I was going to a storytelling workshop which could not only raise my spirits higher but could give wings to my imagination.

I got down at the venue and registered myself. And within seconds there was a drop on my cheek and then the slow trickle gave way to a downpour. We were all seated in the comfortable auditorium waiting for the magic to happen. And boy was  I in for a ride. Since the moment Simi Ma’am came on stage we were all spellbound and held captive by her words and actions. I for one could not take my eyes off her. She seemed to transform into this mystical fairy who sprinkled fairy dust upon us. And we were all transported to a faraway land.

She had us all in raptures. She began the session with a riddle that caught everyone’s attention. It was meant to illustrate the working of the human mind, how it is conditioned in a particular manner based on physical appearances. She very cleverly expressed how the human mind perceives things visually. The answer to the riddle brought forth several versions, which rightfully demonstrated to each his/her perception. Thus, we should delve deeper when we perceive a child and not judge or dismiss them based on their appearances or even the first encounter. Each child is like a flower that opens petal by petal to reveal his/her beauty.

 To further expand on that thought she narrated an incident which a few years back had surfaced in FB. It was about a boy who expresses his gratitude towards his teacher by asking her to fill her the place of his mother at his wedding since his mother was long dead. Had it not been for the efforts from the teacher, the boy would never have made a niche for himself in society. She as a teacher made that extra effort to know the child when he started to drop in his performance. She tracked his earlier form profiles and saw that since his mother’s death , the boy had performed bad. She had a change of perception for the boy who till now was judged as difficult and devil’s own. It was that EXTRA effort on the teacher’s part that changed the child’s life, or else he would gone through schooling unnoticed.

Simi Ma’am progressed on to explaining the fine lines of storytelling. She elucidated upon the concept of “Mini Theatre”  and how stories could be used in daily classes and daily life to teach concepts to children. She tell went on to tell another story which taught factorisation concept in easy steps. I was astonished and speechless that a daily routine in the kitchen could have saved me from the agony of my Maths teacher. But alas! I was not lucky enough to have Simi Ma’am unravel the secrets of learning in stories back then.

We were all students in her magical class, and she was slowly producing one gem after another. To my utter surprise she narrated a fascinating story, but she stopped midway, at the climax. And we were all waiting i anticipation for her to go on and end it. But that is when she dropped her genius art: an open ended story allows growth of personality and lets the imagination run riot. the ending of a story is a reflection of the author: his/her observations/discernment.

In the span of just 2 hours she taught me a lot about the art of storytelling and having incorporated them in my daily life with my daughter, I find her to be too eager for story time. The art of story telling is so ancient that one cannot lay a finger to its origin. But yes, its a universal fact that every culture has stories and that is what makes them rich. India is a diverse land that has so many stories to offer that one cannot consume in a lifetime.

My takeaway: Magic of the story is that it enhances productivity skills of speaking and writing and augments the receptive skills of reading and listening.

I am definitely looking forward to another enthralling session with her and become a child one again.

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