As I walked towards the ‘New Building’ at Udavi, I was welcomed by laughter and the rustling of leaves. Every morning I looked forward to experience moments with these wonderful children full of inquisitiveness and joy. Ready to paint, to create something new, use their hands and experiment with materials.
The approach that I took was starting with the power of seeing, observing what’s around, then looking into their imaginations. I tried to not tell them what to do much, but let them discover. We started with trees and mixing colours. 5th std made paintings visualizing a place that makes them happy. Class 6th using memory and imagination traced the way from home to school. With the 4th std, we drew our favorite animals, then using sticks and thread transformed these individual images into a collective mobile. We made large collages, and 3d models of forests, villages etc.
Through all this creating each ones individual self was starting to peek out. Their comfort and confidence with experimenting and making their own decisions grew. Everyday was special, full of new moments.
Suddenly, the art room (originally the store room) was full of energy and active even during the break time. Brushes, paints, crayons, paper, sticks, seeds, stones, scissors, glue, newspaper, Styrofoam etc was flying all over. We tried to use a lot of materials from nature around us. Their ability to share and help each other was amazing. The support I got from everyone around me was unconditional and wonderful.
This laughter and freshness of Udavi will always be in my memories. And the sounds of “Appu Akka, Appu Akka”, as I walk into my paradise, I will always remember.