Friday, August 10, 2018

Aha! with Aadya!

July has always symbolized the Aha! International Theatre festival for children and it's almost a tradition of sorts for us to catch more than a play or two at Rangashankara! So much so that every time we are in the vicinity of one of our favourite places in J P Nagar, Abhay is always enquiring as when can he walk into the theatre and hear the "Ahahahaha Ahahahaha Ahahahaha song" play ( which is normally played as an interlude just before a feature performance at the festival). So, however busy we may be or howsoever hectic things get or how many ever homework/test assignments Abhay may have .... Aha! is not be missed!!

While Abhay has been a regular at Rangashankara, I was waiting for my little one  to grow up a bit to experience the Aha! magic and was highly disappointed (and had mentioned so) that last year's Aha! festival did not feature any plays for toddlers (as it did the year before when my little one was only just born). So imagine my delight when I discovered this year's edition Aha! international festival of theatre for children to be an exclusive theatre fest for toddlers!

Well, though I'd like believe that my note of disappointment on last year's post on Aha! festival (and as such it was an but an echo of the long standing demand for more quality programs for very young children),  had anything to do it, this year's Aha! festival is a creative product  of a Theatre workshop for very young children at Katkatha, New Delhi conducted by Barbara Kolling in December 2017.

So this year we skipped our naps and packed our baby bag (we still carry those around!) and off we went to "Rangshankra" ( as my little one puts it). As if mommy's enthusiasm was not enough, her school too jumped into the theatre band wagon all the way to Aha! festival as they gathered all their noisy toddlers into one of the featured plays. 

All the plays sought to introduce the little ones into subtle .shades, shapes, sounds, colours and joys of life as they see it..... just as Arundhathi' Nag put it and to rephrase  Children don't need rapid movements or loud and exaggerated sounds.....a quiet soft movement or subtly nuanced presentation is enough to make them sit up and notice. It may be a spider shaped woolen thread hanging from the clothing line in 'Ool" or the exploring how seemingly mundane objects from everyday life and transform into something striking in "Paper Fantasy" or varied colours created out of an assortment of plastic and refraction of light in "Plasticity"  or an endearing hide and seek play between two characters squeaking "Pattichae" (caught you!) in "Chidiya Udd"..... children did seem fascinated! I'm not sure how much of what they see actually sinks in or how much of what is put up is comprehended.....but the shared experience of watching some of best toddlers' theater live and laughing with your little one sitting on your lap is sure to be one of your most memorable moments in the fleeting early years of his or her childhood! As I see my little one waking up from her usual nap and saying "Rangshnkarage hoguva? (Shall we go to Rangashankara?)... I know that she is asking for more and more of such marvels!

While many of our Rangashankara or Aha! moments have made their way into Onestoryaday, all of them have been related to Abhay. This one is special as it's my little one's first Rangashankara experience and that's why I had to put it down even though it's been more than two weeks since the Toddler Theatre festival!  Anyway, the only person disappointed this year with the Toddlers' theatre festival was the eleven year old older brother!:-(

So on the occasion my little one's initiation to theatre at Rangashankara, we re-read one of her favourite board books introducing various sounds  a child might encounter in his or her surroundings....."Cheep Cheep", a Tulika offering for the very young, with pictures by Sowmya Menon. What are the sounds that your little one is fascinated by? Is the sound of "Koo-koo" of Koel or the "cheep cheep" of the sparrow or the "teep-teep-teep" of the water dripping, or cat going surr surr while drinking milk, or the neighbors singing "Sa Re Ga Ma"? ( or the older brother in our case) .........sounds are everywhere, from natural to man made and to machine made.  Inspired from a Marathi rhyme, this book is vivid yet simple and aided with suitable illustrations, and is almost like a cue for taking the concept forward in guessing other sounds subtle and loud, with your little one, from 'tick-tick-tick of the wall clock, "whistle" of the pressure cooker  or man seller greens shouting "soppu" on the road .... the of world of sounds never fails to fascinate our little ones!  Here's to more such lovely outings with your toddler!!! 

No comments:

Post a Comment