This is the video of the Gita Jayanti program that the children did on Saturday. Thanks to Lok uncle for the videography.
The kids did a grand job, I think. Simple and grand, given that they were mostly all under five years old, with the exception of Ayushi who is seven. Granted, there were a couple of goofups, especially at the end, with Sophia, who was not happy with the fact that i was on stage, and though all the children were told to sit in Vajrasan, other than those who practised diligently at home, the rest sat in their own sweet positions.
At the risk of sounding like the oscars, I have to thank a couple of people especially for this program. The first one being Uma aunty, who came down to help with the make up. Anjali's Krishna costume was put together so elegantly thank to her. Also my saree, which, without her timely help would have been a total mess.
And then the next thanks too all the moms who pulled things together, made sure there were spares of everything to go around, earrings, beads, hairpins, safety pins etc.
And finally to the children who were extremely enthusiastic about the event. The beauty of organizing a concert is this: that more than becoming a group of performers, they become a team of workers, working independently and together. They also become learners - their scope of learning extending to beyond what they are required to learn - Anjali and Sophia, for instance had memorized nearly the whole of the Purushasuktam verses and were singing it in the car with Ramya. They had learnt the verses just by listening to the music (I confess that i have not yet learnt them, just the line number and perhaps the starting lines).
It is also about forming friendships and playing during rehearsals. During the week, we would get together the children who lived in the Bukit Batok area and make them practice in the mid week. A beautiful friendship thus formed between Ramya, Anjali, Krisha and Sophia. They would rehearse for around teen minutes, play for ten minutes, rehearse for ten minutes and so on. While generally, I would say that playing wastes time which could be used during rehearsals, I have learnt that playing makes the children learn in a completely different sense. During the last rehearsal, just one day before the program, the four girls took all the temporary markers and made drawings all over my living room floor. IT was a superb masterpiece.
On one of the rehearsals in the center, Anjali, Ananya, Ramya and Sophia were having a discussion about having a sleepover. With a pang, I realized how fast these children were growing up. Anjali and Ananya, atleast a year ago, used to be so clingy to me and to Swati. And now they were having independent discussions about sleepovers!
And I also learnt about how to rehearse with really small children. In the middle of a rehearsal, Sophia would go "Mummy, I am thysty! Give me water!"
i would ignore her, and carry on with the rest of the children. Instead of taking the hint (after all, she is two years old!), she would say, a little louder, "I want water mummy!"
ofcourse, this would distract the other children and my cue would be
And Sophia would say
"I want water mummy, Why are you mot giving me water!"
So before the concert, I put a pair of diapers on her and give her a drink before sending here on stage. It was, after all, extremely hot in the GIIS dressing room and stage.
The concert also brought out the Radhas and Krishnas in the children. Children take pretend play so much to heart and for them pretending something is somewhat like living the character. I remembered that about Sophia when she was going through the Dorothy phase and wanted "Happy birthday Dorothy" on her birthday cake.
The program made Radhas out of my girls, even at home.