There was a palpable sense of excitement as we struggled through dense traffic last Tuesday morning on our way to Guddahatti with a group of eight. The reason? We were to present a puppet show of the story of Punyakoti choreographed by Leela Garady. When we reached there were already a small group of eager children awaiting us. The stage setting proved a bit of a challenge initially but with enthusiastic hands, rocks, walls, books, benches and chairs, a stage emerged. By then the crowd had swelled and now we began to see parents hesitantly sidling in. By the time we began, there were at least 60 children and 20 adults. The narrow space, the sharp sun, the pillars were no obstruction to total enjoyment. We could see some of the children mouthing the songs. The appearance of the tiger was a big hit and we all had a lump when Punyakoti came back to keep her promise and the tiger refused to eat her up preferring to fast and die.
After the show, Leela had planned an amazing activity of painting with all natural colours which she had made. beetroot juice, spinach paste, Turmeric paste, red mud and broom sticks for brushes. After a minute of sitting blankly, the children got into it with great gusto. The talents revealed were much appreciated by the teachers.
This school is special because it has a very open-minded headmaster, an amazingly energetic head teacher and of course our Shashi Kumar an old student of the school who now works at Wipro and lives in the same village and spends every sat. morning at the school doing extension activities. Thanks to all those who made it possible!