Hungama in HLF with Ghost Stories by School Children
Hyderabad Literary Festival (HLF) is one of the most popular LitFests in the country. It is held in my alma mater, the iconic Hyderabad Public School.
HLF, which focussed on plenary sessions, cultural events, stage talks, poetry recitals et al, also had a slot earmarked for children. Very sweetly titled Nanha Nukkad it comprised a series of events on varied themes. I conducted a workshop called ‘Spinning a Yarn’ devoted to story writing. Presenting a selection of the imaginative stories that emerged!
The teaser of the workshop ‘Spinning a Yarn’ went something like this:
Do you want to:
LEARN how to tell a tale which is fun, quirky & cool?
KNOW what makes a great story?
SCRIPT crazy characters, thrilling plots, fascinating language & captivating dialogues?
WRITE & PUBLISH your story in a popular e-zine?
Then this Workshop is perfect for you!
Come join in & enjoy a dose of mirth, madness & masti, even as you spin your very own yarn!
Well, the 90 minute session was a blast. The kids came up with some delightful stories (published below). They read them out and also analysed each other’s tales. The imagination and creativity of the children, their synergy and camaraderie and above all the chutzpah of the sparkling minds was a pleasure to experience.
The workshop was coordinated by the patient, charming and super dedicated Padma PVL.
For me the defining moment of HLF was one of the volunteers telling me, “Sir this has been the best session of the day!”
Island of Chocolates in an Ocean of Ice Cream
By Srilaxmi, Saachi, Tanvi and Natalie
It was a normal day at the Mackengies House. The kids Maggie, Bianca and Jaques were at school. They had no idea what to do except when they reached home. Their parents had told them that they had a surprise for them. So, when they reached home their parents told them that they won the lottery and they were going on a cruise. The children could not believe their luck because they rarely got to have fun as they were poor.
Their parents told them that the cruise would start at 9 in the morning and that they had already packed for them. So they got on the cruise next morning. They could not believe what they saw. There was a humongous swimming pool on the cruise. They had to share a room in the cruise. The next day they explored the cruise. They made friends with a fortune teller. When they woke up the next morning they could not believe their eyes. The ocean was filled with ice-cream instead of water. But the cruise still kept on sailing. Then the cruise stopped at an island made of chocolates. Then they went and told their parents what they saw. Their parents didn’t believe them, so they went and explored the island for themselves.
They saw trees of gum, grass of mint strips and fruits made of caramel. They searched the island for people. But there was no one. So they started helping themselves to the chocolate and candy. Then they went back to the cruise. But there was no cruise over there. Then they understood that the cruise had gone without them. They did not know what to do. Then they heard their parents calling them. When they opened their eyes they saw their parents’ faces and then they understood that it was all a dream. Their parents told them to get dressed and that they had a surprise for them. Then the children jumped up and asked, “Now is this a dream or real life?”
The Ghost Who Played Cricket – I
By Bhuvona, Ishanir, Nandini, Jeremy, Pranav and Sai Pranav
Once there was a Ghost. He was very handsome. He wanted to have a friend. He crashed into a tree and went underground and fell into the human world and had a lovely time. He fell on to the roof of a house of a boy. The boy’s name was Rohan. He was lonely. He had a problem, that is, he had no one to play cricket with. When he went on the roof top he saw the ghost and called out. Rohan and the ghost became friends and found a solution to their problems.
But now they found they had another difficulty confronting them. The ghost had neither a home nor a shelter. So the ghost asked Rohan if he could stay at his house. Rohan said ‘yes’ but the ghost had to be hidden away from his parents and had to play cricket. The ghost agreed, to be hidden but he could not play cricket because he had no arms. The boy said he would make artificial hands. The boy worked day and night to make hands for the ghost. At last, the ghost played cricket.
The Ghost Who Played Cricket – II
By Adithya, Fairzan, Aarush, Geeta
Once upon a time there lived a man named Arun who was a very good cricket player. He was poor but he had very good knowledge of cricket. He played for many years and won many tournaments. He literally played for 48 years. Now Arun was really old, around 97. After two years he passed away. But when his body was burnt, his soul came out of his dead body. His soul was kind and still keen to play cricket. He would play cricket with other souls. He loved cricket more than his life and still continued to play his favourite game cricket even after he had become a ghost!
The Ghost Who Played Cricket – III
By Anoushka K, Himasree, Arjun and Aryansh
Once there was field near a beautiful pond where children played cricket. The five children – Candy, Rakesh, Arjun, Pari and, Kutty were playing cricket. But little did they know that the ghost whose name was Ghostie was watching them. And was feeling jealous and wanted to play cricket. It was thinking of a plan on how to play cricket without the children noticing. Then she came with an idea: ‘After dark the parents of the children will call them home and then I can sneak into the shed to get the essentials to play cricket’.
After dark Ghostie sneaked into the shed and found a cricket kit. The ghost picked the kit and took it onto the field. And then she realised that she couldn’t play cricket because cricket needed more than one person to play.
So once again was thinking of an idea and then suddenly she came up with a plan. She would hit the ball from one side and fly towards the other side and hit it with a bat. Ghostie did that for over an hour and then thought I didn’t want to play it this way. I think I can just have fun by seeing them play. The next day Ghostie went to the field and was waiting for the children to play but unfortunately the children did not come because they went to the school camp.
When they returned in the evening Ghostie was hiding behind the tree and watching. Suddenly Candy fell down and got hurt. Ghostie felt the urge to help her and went forward to pick her up. Initially on seeing Ghostie the children were shocked. However, seeing that Ghostie only wanted to help they began to trust her and became friends. After that day the children and Ghostie regularly played cricket and had loads of fun.
More to read
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