Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Day Out at Daksha School - The Olympic Day

These days all Anjali talks of is about the Olympics. Apparently much sporting work is happening at Daksha and they play some game everyday. Yesterday Anita invited me to chat with the children about sports and perhaps explain something about the game of cricket to them. The audience was daunting (really) - 60 kids of 1st class and PP II - the smallest I ever addressed.

As the ages of children go lower, it gets even more daunting to me. They find you out quicker than anyone else. You cannot pretend with them and you need to know exactly what you want to tell them. Also keep them involved. Huge challenge.

With much apprehension I walked into the school at 11. In a while the two classes came out and sat neatly in rows. I was introduced by Anita as Hari Uncle, a cricket player. They all nodded appreciatively. Two children, one of them being Anjali, came up and gave me a bouquet of roses and they said 'Welcome to our school'. I thanked them and they went off.

Next the children were to introduce themselves. They were very meek and we could hardly hear their voices. We decided to give them the mike. And then each one would shout his or her name at the top of their voice and the rest of the group would guffaw as loudly as they could. It was hilarious to see so much fun and energy. After they all finished yelling and laughing and holding their tummies and ears (Anjali), we moved on to the main issue - my talk.

I asked them if they all played games. Yesssss, said they and a jumble of games were shouted back. I asked them if they played cricket and once again a jumble of cricketing related words came back at me - batting, bowling Sachin umpire, Deccan Chargers and many more words. Then I asked them how they played the game. Bat, ball, pads they shouted back at me. I added umpires, two sides, wickets etc. By now it was getting too unruly as everyone wanted to tell me that they played, or had a bat or wanted a ball or something like that. Anita told them not to shout and to raise their hands if they wanted to ask anything. Mnay hands were raised - and they all wanted bats, balls or wanted to tell me that they had some. Some wanted to bat.

We decided to engage them in the game. Once again a roar of approval went up and there was much shouting of "I want to bat" and "bowl" and 'Uncle' and 'Hari uncle' going on. I split them into batsmen and bowlers and the others (very few) just strolled off to sit on the steps. One boy only wanted to field so we made him keep wickets. Every pair got two balls bowled by each bowler (one ball per head) and every time the batsmen hit the ball, they took a run. All the teachers helped and fielded as well and by the end of one hour, I was sweating like crazy, and everyone got a bat and a bowl. Anjali wanted to bowl again and batted too and it was all over in one hour.

One of the most hectic interactions I have ever had in a long time but all the kids were happy and it showed. They all came and shook hands with me, faces smiling and joy pouring out of their eyes. It was a morning well worth it and I have never had so much fun in a long time. Thanks Daksha and Anita and the children mainly for showing me how much fun life really can be.

No comments: