A year gone by and its wonderful evening!

15th February 2014

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The swish of fabrics, tinkling of laughter and the rhythmic lifting and dropping hum of excited voices heralded AuroMirra school’s big day…the Annual Day Celebrations. Anticipation crackled in the air as parents converged in full force on the campus, to cheer their little ones. And without much scope for disappointment the programme got going well on time on a pleasant Saturday evening of the 15th of March.

The comperes, smartly dressed with shiny, bright faces welcomed the parents.

Their voice had all the warmth and bubbliness that one can expect from an enthusiastic bunch of four, in ages ranging from 7 to 9 years. The evening had now got started and the performances began with an Invocation song by the 4th and 5th standard students. The youngest flock of the school, the Nursery children had all the parents gushing over them with their rendition of the foot-tapping song ‘JAI HO’.

The rest of the evening progressed with the children’s age, beginning with the 3-4 years old. The performances had as much appeal and diversity in them as the range of personalities of its little performers. From western songs (and a chinese song to boot) to classical Indian dances and goan folk dance; from a sanskrit skit to a peacock dance; the range covered the length and breadth of a cultural landscape. There were modern western dances, dances from Gujarat and ones that crossed the international waters…Chinese and Spanish dances.

What made them all come alive was the near efficiency of the organisers and the earnestness and genuine delight of the young performers. The parents could be seen, by turns, beaming with pride as each of their offspring made their moves on the stage. As the evening light faded and the flashlights and spotlights became brighter, a video screening ‘Glimpses’ brought the curtains down on the year gone by. The parents were taken on a visual journey of the highlights of the year. The show took a bow with a vote of thanks and everyone stood up in respect when the national anthem was played, before moving on.

Beauty conquers all!

25th January 2014

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What was the most beautiful thing you saw today? The question set the mood for a morning spent in experiencing the joy of beauty within us.

‘My wife’ quipped one of the participants, obviously tongue-in-cheek!

And why not, for this gathering of enthusiastic school parents had come with their spouses–an unusual request from the organisers of the PEP (Parent Enrichment Programme) session conducted by Harvinder Didi. Everyone perked up, like eager children, to see where the question would lead them. Particularly since the session was to be on the theme of beauty.

But that was all that had been revealed! The rest of the morning was to unfold as a beautiful surprise. One after the other the responses went around. Everyone shared moments of beauty from their hours before the PEP session, from the beauty of the day’s unusual cloud formation to entering the green campus to watching their child sleep. The atmosphere turned genial with all the parents warming up.

What is beauty…followed the next question. Is it the beauty of something we behold or is it something deeper? This opened up a discussion on what we experienced within to make a moment or someone beautiful; and then articulating those feelings. We are surrounded by beauty always, continued Harvinder Didi. We just need to recognise it and pause awhile to experience it.

To support this she played a film on nature where the participants were asked to soak themselves in hat they saw. She paused the film and asked everyone to sit quietly with their thoughts and then write down what they experienced within, including any memories that came revisiting. Some of the participants shared what they had written down. ‘Wow’, ‘Peace’, ‘Blue and White’, ‘Majesty’…were some of the words that they expressed. One or two parents talked about fear that the mountains in the film evoked.

Harvinder didi then played the remaining film but this time the mood and the tempo of the film was a little different. She asked the participants how they felt this time around and if there was a difference in what they sensed now. Interestingly for some parents there was a clear difference in how they experienced the first film and the latter one. The spouses were then asked to sit facing each other and look deep in to each other eyes for some time.

Perhaps posing a challenge for those who have not done so for ages! And a gentle reminder of the  beauty we could be missing out on when caught up in the routine humdrum of our everyday life.

What followed next was the big surprise of the morning! Out came paints and moisturisers and the spouses were asked to paint each others’ faces! The idea was to express the partner’s beauty in creative ways. A morning of light hearted interactions and its fun finale! The couples spilled out in glee, preading out in the campus, to seek quiet corners where they could paint in privacy. 20 minutes later they regrouped, pleased with their handiwork… each an expression in itself. Harvinder didi asked everyone to

once again share what he or she experienced during the exercise. She raised a pertinent question…did anyone experience inhibition or the release of it? She had thus summed up the objective of the session and how it connected us to our children.

– Sreeja (parent-participant)