On Oct12th, we did a 9Tanki workshop at IIT Delhi, Department of Management Studies. This was the first workshop where i was only a spectator. This is the guest post by Suparnaa Chadda, who was the co-trainer with Raju Koli, our trainer.
When one of the most prestigious higher learning institutes beckons, you rarely miss a chance to be present.
So was the case on 12th October, despite an impending event that needed my mind space and physical presence to get things organized, I was more than happy to be present at the Department of Management studies within the IIT Delhi campus. As had been the case so far, my 12 year old daughter Sara accompanied too, since our shared experience as a mother and daughter through these workshops now seemed very precious.
Promptly at 5 in the evening I went knocking at the door of a professor on the 5th floor of the campus. As it turned out ‘Jaijit Bhattacharya’ the professor, host and (hold your breath) dog character through the play was someone I had met in a different capacity earlier. That evening made me see him in a new light, with new found respect. As is the case each time with the workshop. The story and the acts remain the same but the experience each time is different and more enriching. It was thanks to his commitment towards experiential learning for his students that the workshop was enabled at IIT Delhi that October evening.
Raju koli, the main conductor of the workshop has been living with 5 percent vision since he was 4 or 5 as he was detected with cataract and due to the lack of proper and timely treatment he has had to live with this disability through life. The fact that I chose to write 5% vision as opposed to 95% blindness is because that’s the way Raju has chosen to look at life. The glass half full than half empty or rather 5% light than 95% darkness as Raju would quote. His introduction itself is a source of inspiration for any workshop that he conducts.
The 19 odd students plus their professor divided themselves into 4 teams-Royals, Arjun, After Dark and Owls. And the 2 Acts that followed had me and Sara literally rolling on the floor laughing. The first act created so much of a ruckus on the floor that stern looking professors from surrounding classes marched into our class- turned Audi, with much disdain and warned us to keep it low.
Thankfully for the second act, the actual auditorium on the ground floor was vacant and we gladly occupied our places on the stage and chairs, as the evening proceeded and as the situation demanded.
The fact that experiential learning can be so much fun was an eye opener. Full credit to the talented students of the Institute. A hard core reality of life was internalized without being pedagogic. On the contrary the evening, as it panned out, was a lot more engaging and hilarious than many comic acts that I have seen on TV or otherwise. Thank you Nidhi for making me a part of ‘Esha people for the Blind’