Two days ago, Leela Garady and her intrepid group chugged to Malleswaram to interact with the girls at Seva Sadan, a home for orphans and abandoned children. The children ranged from age 6 to 18 so Leela’s ingenuity was stretched to the full. However, as we might have guessed, she came up with a very delightful set of activities for all the ages. This included the ever popular painting with natural colours but also had the older children make stick and string puppets which they dressed up imaginatively with cloth pieces and decorated with gee-gaws. We were all struck by the enthusiasm and persistence of the girls who returned after a simple lunch to complete their craft work.
We started the morning with the presentation of Punyakoti through the string puppets made by Leela and her friends. This was a professional performance thanks to the new Seva Sadan stage with overhead lights and graded seating. After this Leela talked about the difference between Janapada stories and other tales and read out the Kannada version of ‘The Pied Piper of Hamelin’. This has been written by Kuvempu who has translated it brilliantly and breathed his own life into it. Leela loves it and was happy to expose these youngsters to it. But she was also saddened to hear that though the Kannada language is these children’s strength, they had only known of the poem in English!!
Hats off to Leela and her gang of six!