Renowned children’s writer Ramendra Kumar held creative writings sessions in two Kolkata schools and a bookstore and promptly named Kolkata, the City of Kool! Just as he was charmed by the enthusiasm of the children, his young audience couldn’t have enough of him!
What happens when, on three days for an hour each, you are in a space where there is pure and pristine laughter, unadulterated joy & unfettered masti – you feel like you have won a complete set of PG Wodehouse titles in a raffle. On top of that, when you realise that you have in a not so tiny way contributed to this deliriously, delicious and delectable state of affairs then you feel like you are over the moon with or without Vikram!
And that is exactly what I experienced as I went session hopping to two schools and a bookstore in Kolkata: the City of Kool!
Having got caught in a traffic snarl I was taken straight to the auditorium of Sri Sri Academy where brightly dressed nine and ten year olds were waiting for an hour long session with someone with an almost unpronounceable name. After the mandatory introduction, as I started the boredom morphed into curiosity and finally joy. A fifty plus adult, acting like a ten minus kid was something new.
In between the dollops of fun, I told them a story Boond, which talks about preservation of the environment. They heard it in complete silence and then quizzed me on a range of issues. Their awareness was truly amazing. I couldn’t help but feel relieved that my generation would be leaving the world in far more concerned and committed hearts.
The Storyteller Bookstore is not a bookshop – it is an experience. Managed by the indefatigable and irrepressible Mayura Misra who would give any self-respecting beehive a complex, it is a bibliophile’s delight.
Here too I was to conduct a workshop, talk about my books and interact with the parents and kids. The audience was eclectic, the joy was shared and the session went off like a breeze. I ended it with a mantra in which every child and parent participated – both in the chanting as well as well as the calisthenics.
I was taken to Asian International School. In terms of warmth this school is really, really special. I am yet to meet a Principal as cool as Vijay Laxmi Kumar! She took care of every minutiae of details, attended both my sessions and was as enthusiastic and effervescent as the kids! I was even presented with a beautifully framed certificate!
The kids as always were supercalifragilisticexpialadocius! The kids quizzed me like I have never been grilled before – on my style, creativity, ideation, theme et al.
The packed auditorium often echoed with the sound I cherish the most – the uninhibited, full throated, ever-so-innocent euphony of a little angel laughing in absolute abandon.
Later I interacted with the teachers. Normally a session with the mentors can get quite serious. But thanks to my insanity and their interest it turned out to be an engaging one. Finally it ended with the teachers shirking their reticence and led by their dynamic Principal indulging in my mantra.
My short sojourn in the City of Kool will remain indelibly etched. It restored my belief that even in the throes of politics, pelf and power the land of Gitanjali is still as special as ever.
Ramendra Kumar will hold a special session to teach children (10-14 Yrs) the art and craft of writing a story in a fun way at the Treasure Island, Yashada, PUNE (Maharashtra).
The session organised under the aegis of the prestigious Pune International Literary Festival will help children learn the elements of story writing. What’s more! The budding writers will get a wonderful chance to have their stories published in Learning and Creativity, the popular ezine!
Date: 22 Sept 2019 (Sunday)
Time: 3:50 pm to 4:50 pm
Venue: Treasure Island, Yashada, PUNE (Maharashtra)
The session is OPEN FOR ALL!
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