Guest Post – 9Tanki at Ridge Valley School, Gurgaon

On the 5th day of a pleasant August morning, I didn’t enjoy my leisurely morning cuppa in the balcony. Something that I dearly look forward to after Sara, my daughter has left for school. On the contrary I was already in the car at a quarter past 7 , Rushing to pick up Dhirendra from the appointed spot. And what was more surprising was that I had Sara next to me on a week day which essentially meant skipping school. A big NO NO in the past. In fact when I suggested this earlier her eyes were wide and round. My explanation-School is meant for education and this Friday by skipping school you’ll be able to orient yourself to a higher learning.

So it was. 9tanki the theatre workshop to sensitize children towards physical impairments proved to be a higher learning for Sar and Me..

Nidhi the soul behind Esha, was known to me through the audio books had recently started recording for the visually impaired. On her suggestion I jumped in to join 9 tanki as one of the conductors. Had been looking forward to this 5th dy in August. Hence, the rush, the enthusiasm, No school and No morning cuppa.

Dhirendra has been a colleague in an earlier organization. He is visually impaired. The intention was to train him through the workshop so he can conduct these independently. More importantly the intention was to make him meet Nidhi, a person who has taken on the beacon through dark lives. So we scheduled to meet at 7.30 and be at ridge valley school from Noida to Gurgaon by 9AM.

The vibes of a school have always been emotiaonally charged for me. The artwork in the hallway, the sound of little feet and excited voices. The inspirational quotes on the board. One quote that stuck with me that morning ‘The worth of a child is immeasurable’

The beginning of 9Tanki
Some 13 odd children from class 4 & 5 were ushered into a big classroom which was especially cleared for the 9 tanki group. Immediately the ice was broken through exchanging of names and understanding the meaning behind each name. We briefed them about what’s in store and were on the roll from the word GO. More cause of the children’s receptivity than our own expertise.

The middle
The workshop had 3 acts interwoven in the story. 3 teams were made. Somewhere in between the acts Sara came up to me on the side and kissed my cheek saying ‘I love you Mamma’ Could I have asked for more? 

The End
All of the 13 participants enthusiastically shared their experience. Some related it to real life incidents that they were witness to. Tanya the shy one came up to me and said ‘If I can’t use my hands and feet how will I eat? It’ll be like a dog!’ The statement hit me across my face and I could sense my eyes welling up.

It’s been a few days since the workshop. Reminiscing about it leaves me with a sense of pride. An experience to add value to me as a person. For my own sensitization. For my own humbling.

Till my next 9tanki am sending out little thank you notes to the universe and lots of love to all.
Simply Suparnaa

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