After a two week stay at “Shristi”, his grandparents’ farm at Dharmasthala, Abhay is back and so is Onestoryaday! J Unlike the last two years, this time around however, Abhay only stayed for a fortnight, as opposed to a month. Well….. we found that two weeks is an ideal timeframe - for a city kid to enjoy a quiet country life, for his slowly aging grandparents, and for his parents whose lives don’t seem the same without the constant chatter of their seven year old! While Abhay did miss his parents at times, he seemed to have had a time of his life being the boss of “Shristi” – his grandfather ever ready to act as per his bidding, including driving him to a nearby town for his daily quota of chocobar ice cream, his grandmother devising fun ways and means to engage him, even in the darkest hours (quite literally as they survived without electricity for over two days owing to torrential rains!), that included an interactive game revolving around naming places from their ending sounds!! Phew!....keeping kids engaged during holidays is no easy task and making an extraordinarily entertaining game from ordinary things lying around, is truly an art! Thanks to Abhay's Sannaji..... whenever Abhay feels that there is nothing to do, it's Atlas Anthakshari to the rescue!!!:-)
Today as Abhay returned to Bangalore, recalling some of the memorable moments of his vacation at Shristi, I read "The Wonderful Vacation" a National Book Trust publication by Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal and illustrated by Hakim Gulam Mohammad. It was winter vacation and the three siblings, Sushil, Sunita and Sagar felt bored sitting at home. Any suggestion of indoor play or outdoor play by their domestic help or their gardener were met with jaded responses. Sagar hits upon an idea as their gardener's further suggestion to make a bouquet out of the garden flowers ... to gift the bouquet to a place where it will be welcomed and loved - an old age home that was located to close to their house. As they visited the old aged home and delighted the inmates with their home made bouquets, the children were surprised to find the inmates content with their bare minimum existence and hardly any entertainment. Touched by the seniors' warmth, the children decide to put up a performance of a play with the assistance of a theatre enthusiast friend and the people of the neighbourhood who also make a charity show out of it, with funds going into buying the old age home a tape recorder. Suddenly, the children are bursting with ideas and put their heart and soul into creating, experimenting and improvising so as to make the show a grand success. So it was a turnaround of sorts with what seemed like a dull vacation transformed into a wonderful vacation, with a little bit of imagination, creativity and community spirit. With illustrations inspired from the art of papier machie, this is a touching value based story that seems like a throwback to the times when we were growing up! So with an open mind and a little imagination....."there's nothing to do" can always turn into "there's so much to do'........isn't it?? .