Building a teamWe created a strength wheel that we would want to fill during the process of the project, depending on what we gain in the project.
par ye geet humaare geetn nahin hain
aaj to is matke ko bhar kar hi rahenge
Breaking the iceTo get the artists to talk, I introduced the game passing the parcel using Bhapang.
ab to teri baari bhi ayegi, sochne lag ja kya bolega
to phir lok geet aur mewati geet main kya antar hua?
kabhi ye sab socha hi nahin, hum to wo hi gaa dete hain jo humain bola jaaye
Bringing in the per-sonalEach artis had his own story of how and why he learned to play the in-struemnt and sing. They made a song and used these stories to talk about the artfrom to the students
Mausam bhai used to prac-tice on a broken bucket while scaring away crows from his field.
apni kahaani to main bhi suna sakta hua
bachchon ko mausam bhai acchi tarah yaad hain, kyunki unhone apni kahaani sunayi thi
aap ye hi soch ke chalo ki aapke saamne shisha hai
Very often the artists made their own videos and spoke about themselves.At times we sat and watched the vides togehter to help frame a story or I the artists did this by themselves.
05AUGUST ab samajh main aya hai ki workshop kya hote hai
in bachchon ko teem din main tayyar kar sakta hun main
Re-visiting the workshopWe all sat down to discuss what worked and what didnt. The artists were still overwhelmed by the experience.
The artists were pleasantly surprised by the reaction of the students. The were happy to know how curious the students were about their art-form and their lives.
While doing a workshop it is as important to listen to yourself as to listen to the students. You need to know what is it that you are telling the students, to gauge how much they are learning
maaniye ye jo aapke saamne hain aapke jaise lagte hai par kisi school ke principal hain!
hum bachchon ko apni kala ki peh-chaan karwa rahe hain
very often the artists would video themselves and listen to it with evenryone to practice what they would want to say when talking about the project.
instrument haath main aane se hi instrument banta hai
Such interactions created s sense of fomral learning spaces with their gurus even if they were their father or uncle.
aap jis bhi vastu ko apne haantho se baja sakte hain, vo hi folk instrument hai
Aapke gaane main mukhyakirdaar kaun kaun hai?Gaane main kaun kaun haiGaana kis par aadhaarit hai
Aapke gaane main kahani hai?Usme mukhya log kaun hai?
Baat cheet main ye gana kaise gaoge? aap kya banoge aur yusuf kya banega?
Maam jaise is kahani main sher aur haanthi
We started looking at our songs as stories. Who are the main characters? WHat is the plot. What is the climax?
Yusuf bhai, vo dekho uss kaune se aa raha hai paani. Jakir bhai zaraa paani ki aawaaz nikkal kar dikhao?
The artists spent hours picking up different songs and discussing what visuals need to be made to retell the story. They found a new way to connect to their songs
They looked at books, anima-tions , and free hand drawing to see examples of how a song can be visualized.
I grew up reading stories from Baalhans. It is a local childrens comic book.
Storytelling - a profession?Parul Gupta is a storytellerand works on learning language through storytell-ing.For the artists it was new and refreshing to see storytelling as a profession
kahaan sunate wakt sabse zaroori hai bhasha ki saralta
bachchon ko kahaani main kuchh jodne ka mauka milna chahiye
As a part of the project, we aimed to identify more local practitioners in Alwar who might be interested in the pro-ject. Parul Gupta was our first practitioner.
When things dont go the way we plan
Not only was vijay mandir a new set of kids and new space to
adjust in, very soon the artists realized they would not have the
luxury of space they way they did in the previous school. It started
raining and we had to shift inside.
vo bachche humaari bhasha aapki bhasha se zyada samajh payenge
aaj kya kya cheezen humaare hitt main nahin thi? the space was way smaller than required and the
number of studnents was much more than the artists could handel.
When things dont go the way we planThese children have had some exposure to this kind of music and have a pre-conceived notion about the artists. For them, the artist is just an entertainer.The biggest challenge was to be able to overcome the assumptions and notions about how they were viewed as artists and develop a learning space around those kids.
gaon ki ladkiyaan seekh hi nahin sakti
agar aap mere saath kaam kar sakte hain to in ladkiyon ke saath kyun nahin?
This was the first experience for the artists to work with girls. I had expect-ed some tension but here the artists decided to completely ignore girls. It was pretty acceptable considering they had never been allowied to interact with girls before. But in our discussion I realized, that it is not just exposure. They carry with them a bias against girls and their will and ability to learn something new.
We all had a lot to think about. I had to think about being more sensitive to their upbringing and find ways to work around it and the artists had to ques-tion their own beliefs and biases.
aaj hum dono bhai to soch kar aaye the ki sabko khush karna hai. Ladkiyon se bhi baat karni hai
for most of the artists it was the first experiencing of dipping fin-gers in paint.
the exchange between the artists and the students is what made the workshop so rich.
main aaj tak school nahin gaya to kabhi pencil pakadne ka mauka hi nahin mila. Yahan bachchon se seekhna ka mauka mila to maine pakad liya
jaise bhai ne aapko gana sikhaya aap unhe chitra banana sikhao
in bachchiyon ke saath kaam karne ke baad maine apni behen ko gaate hue suna. Main ab isko bhi tayiyyar karoonga.
mam humaari kasan baaki bachchiyon ke liye misaal ban sakti hai.
Pushing the boundariesYusuf brought his 6 year old sis-ter Kehkasa and made her sing in front of the group. It was a big step both for the family and for the project.
Parallel processesThe artists were in Bombay for 10 days auditioning for Indias Got Talent, 2012 - a reallity show. They got selected for the semifinal round.
This was also a space for the artists to sit back and reflect on
what they had done so far. We had completed exactly half our
mujhe darr hai ki aap log ye sab kaambhool na jaayen Bombay Jaakar
main musalman hokar bhi har saal is mele main jata hun.
Weaving our local cultural practicesBharat Hari mela is something that everyone looks forward to in Alwar. For me and many like me, the only significance it had was that it was a reason for a local holiday. It was here that I got to know about the entire story of Raja Bharat Hari.
the artists retold the story ofRaja Bharat hari through their songs and couplets. The entire katha was a mix bag of couplets which have been existing for decades, songs that people listen to radios today interwoven with personal experiences of artists.
The performance elaborated on what was unheard by most of us to the way the practice exists today in the region. It ended by a very local take on the festival where a young Mewati wife is ask-ing her husband for money to par-ticipate in the ritual and be a part of the community celebration.
Building a bridgeye workshop karne ke kaaran humain apni kala ke baare main aur kitna kuchh jaan ne ko mil raha hai. Humain to pata hi nahin tha kidohew ki kya taraj hoti hai
That evening the artists sat down with the elders of the house to know more about thesubtleties of this kind of singing and deep-ened their understnading of the story.
Broadening horizonThey brought their cousin aslam, a 13 year old boy to the studio. they started open-ing up the space for more youngsters from their family. Alsam likes to draw. They said like other students, they would like their cousin to particuplate in the project.
hum sab kalakar hain
hum sab kalakar hain
We are all artistsThis was most unplanned,to get the students to repeat after us. But, as soon as we did this we could see the enthusiasm in the students. It became a regular feature at every workshop.The artists also believed that theirresponsibility is to help each kidfind the artist in herself.
hum sab kalakar hain
hum sab kalakar hainhum sab kalakar hain
bringing in the sense of collective experience
mam agle school main bachchon se aur bhi josh
Taking a step furtherThis was the most challenging space for the artists. This time it was not just the artists but even students who would hesitate in interacting with the artists.These girls are not allowed to sing anything except wedding songs at home.
mam darr nahin lagta par bachchiyon se baat karne main jhijhak to bahut hoti hai.
humko nahin pata tha ki hum ladkiyon se kabhi baat kar payenge.
maine socha nahin tha