Literary Week at School- April’19

Posted by on May 8, 2019 in School News | Comments Off

Literary Week was celebrated at School with much grandeur from 22 to 26 April 2019. School was honoured to welcome several acclaimed writers whose literary effulgence and presence awakened the latent creativeness in the children. What a privilege! To meet and greet writers who stepped off the page right into our School.

The five-day odyssey featured Reena Nanda’s poignant recollections of her mother’s journey from Quetta to Delhi during partition ; Shadab Hussain and Meera Rizvi’s Dastan-e-Chauboli; Vinita Krishna and Samina Mishra’s enchanting world of children’s stories; Gunjan Ahlawat’s presentation on designing book covers; handwriting analysis by Rishi Mathur; a workshop on creative writing by Natasha Badhwar, Drs Veena and Suryanath. Last but not the least, Dr (Mrs) Nayana Goradia, Vice-chair of The Indian School, cast a magic spell with her personal classic, Rupa and the Sparrow.

The cerebral event was graciously patronised by School Director, Mr Lal Raisinghani, Vice-chairs Ms Brinda Shroff and Dr (Mrs) Nayana Goradia, Principal Ms Tania Joshi, parents and members of the PTA body.

The literary extravaganza traversed through several scintillating stopovers on a voracious book trip. Like the vast ocean, it gently lapped at tender imagination and engulfed, one and all, in its myriad hues of the sensory palette. Students and teachers feasted on an eclectic salver of belletristic pursuits.

The pièce de résistance was the international participation through Mystery Skype sessions with school children in Vietnam, South Korea and Argentina. These virtual conferences promoted awareness and appreciation of one another’s literature. In the first of the video conferencing sessions, our students intoned ‘Where the mind is without fear’ by Rabindranath Tagore. Suitably impressed, the South Korean students responded with two gems of their own, ‘Cosmos’ by Wonjae Lim and ‘My Friend’s Face’ by Seung Ryul Choi. In another session, students of Phu Tho Boarding High School for the Ethnic Minorities in Vietnam shared information on the birth, life and works of Van Cao, a salient figure of modern Vietnamese music while the Indianites waxed eloquent on author Ruskin Bond. In the last session, Ms Majoo Ocampos, a teacher of English at Gobernador Eriberto Mendoza, Argentina, told the gripping tale of ‘The Jaguar & the Spider’ based on the Mapuche legend, to an audience of around 30 students from classes 9-12.

The meet-the-author sessions sated the book lovers’ curiosity about the visitors, their book and writing experiences. The wistful melody ‘Mera Jhang Chodh De’ made Reena Nanda indulge in nostalgic about her ancestral homeland in Jhang (Pakistan). A haunting documentary on the travails of the refugees from Pakistan set the stage for a discussion on From Quetta to Delhi: A Partition Story. The writer applauded the efforts of the music department; students and teachers for the fine detailing in the presentation on Jhang and Quetta.

Natasha Badhwar’s My Daughters’ Mum touched a chord with the teens while Ahlawat Gunjan’s ability to design scintillating book covers impressed the art lovers. Samina Mishra and Vinita Krishna, renowned authors, stole hearts with their enthralling stories. Rishi Mathur’s workshop on graphology was a huge success, with students and teachers queuing to have their handwriting analyzed and personalities told.

The School theatre society ‘Paigam’ in remembrance of the martyrs of the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre staged the horror of that fateful April day, a century ago. The ghastly deed was brought to life with some heart –wrenching performances against an impressive audio-visual backdrop. A power point presentation on the similarities in the Greek and Indian epics-Homer’s Illiad and Mahabharata preluded the other – a skit based on The Trojan War.

Special literary assemblies offered students a veritable platter of plays, poetry recitation, movies, book discussions and much more. An opulent literary environment welcomed presentations in English of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Virginia Wolf’s To the Lighthouse, William Blake’s The Lamb, Rudyard Kipling’s If and Cynewulf’s Juliana. Further excitement was added to the revelries when students dressed up as famous Indian writers and poets- Sarojini Naidu, APJ Abdul Kalam, Vikram Seth and played the guessing game Who Am I?´. Premchand’s Panch Parmeshwar was staged to rapt viewers.

The choral recitation in Hindi riveted the audience- Pattiyon Ka Chiriyaghar by Arvind Gupta, Hindi Jan Ki Boli Hai by Girijakumar Mathur, Jo Beet Gayi So Baat Gayi by Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Koshish Karne Walon Ki Kabhi Haar Nahi Hoti by Sohan Lal Dwivedi and Pushp Ki Abhilasha by Makhanlal Chaturvedi.

Several stories in Hindi were read out in the classroom: Kabuliwala by Rabindranath Tagore, Maaga Me Manika-a travelogue by Balram Aggarwal and Inaam by Nagarjuna. The students also made colourful book covers and recited the famous poem Krishna Ki Chetawani by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar.

Students of French explored the history of France and each wrote about two famous authors, thus, expanding the horizons of their knowledge of French literature. Recitation of Le Portrait de L’oiseau by Jacques Prevert and other poems and songs in French created a Magnifique ambiance.

A celebration of literature without an ode to Kalidasa would be heresy. Students of Sanskrit rejoiced in the Shlokas from the incomparable Meghdoot and read from the treatise- Chanakya Neeti as also, the epic poem- Shishupala Vadha by Magha.

It was a veritable carnival of literature as each classroom and corridor emanated the resplendent fragrance of books. The languages- English, Hindi, French and Sanskrit reigned supreme. Grandiose literary activities invited mass participation and engagement of nascent writers and poets.
Limericks, Haikus, Quatrains, Cinquains, as also, short stories filled reams of paper and were on proud display at the front reception.

The weeklong festivities enriched the necessary competencies of aspiring writers and irrigated the desert of their artistry. Even now, there hangs in the air, lingering scent of books and a fading echo of events that kindle the yearning for more.

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