I experienced the ‘joy in reading out books’ first hand when I read them to my son in his early years. The curiosity that he displayed by seeing the pictures closely and posing questions as I read the text and turned the pages, made me realise what a special magic a picture book has, to connect an adult to a child.
As he grew I included his friends in the circle of such discussions and it gave me an inexplicable joy to see them enjoy books. All this was done in an informal manner with sessions conducted as and when I could take time. Just the last year, I was trying some ideas in a school for a slightly larger number of children, that on a visit to Kahani Tree, a lovely bookstore in Mumbai, I had a chance to meet Beena Choksi and got to know of the LEC course. I couldn’t have asked for more, as in experts in children’s literature had formulated a course to make book interactions more interesting. Wow! I had been so eagerly waiting for the announcement of the 2018 plan for this module, that I was so elated when I finally reached the Old Goa Retreat Centre where the first contact period of five days was organised for the Module.
Having been in a home maker’s role for almost a decade, the moments that I was about to be in away from the routine and have the space and time to learn by interacting with experts and peers in the field of child education, was finally there to be experienced.
After settling ourselves in the campus and having our lunch, we all gathered in the room setup for the module. It had a very inviting, colourful, lively and warm touch to it. The faculty members did a very brief introduction of themselves and asked us to introduce ourselves not by where we came or what we did, but how we felt being there. What a thought ! From there on every activity conducted, every plan briefed, every game organised, every interaction output – just about every matter of the course had a freshness to it. We shifted our perspectives from being an adult to that of being a child, to look at matters closely. The half hour Aasthachal ( a time to be with yourselves) slot and an hour’s assembly ( a time to recollect the day gone by by sharing it with all) were two beautiful practices that I fondly recall and felt a must in our daily lives to live a life of peace and introspection.
An hour’s reading time each day and body movement games to refresh ourselves, kept the child within us asking for more. There are assignments , readings and projects that are a part of this module henceforth, so there is an anxiety of being able to meet up to its expectations. I am so thankful to this opportunity of getting to know more people and their stories, and use it follow my passion with a more enlightened outlook. Thank you LEC organisers.