Thursday, January 23, 2020

संवेदना की अनुभूति | 'Samvedana' ki 'Anubhuti' in Virampur, Gujrat

Sometimes beautiful things happen in a way that you just go with its flow without calculating much. The same thing happened to me when I was looking for an organization for the month of December for 'Anubhuti'. Within two days everything got finalized and on the third day, I was in the train, going to work with the Tribal Kids (Dungri Tribe and Garasiya Bheel Tribe) of Virampur Village, situated in Banaskantha District of Gujarat (in collaboration with 'Samvedana Trust').

When I first met the kids, they were extremely shy in speaking to me. But I could see the little tinkles in their sparkling eyes, and a curiosity to talk to me. As we started our workshop, I was amazed to see their discipline, sincerity and dedication towards exploring the dance form and diving deep into it with their full commitment. Within a day or two, we were able to find a deep connection with each other, although there were some kids who were still quite shy and hesitant in speaking in the class.

I still remember about 'Chuna', a kid from 6th std, started crying upon asking his name on the very first introductory session of the workshop. He was so under-confident (because of his name as kids used to make fun of it) that he wasn't able to speak his own name in front of his peers. Another girl 'Anadu' from 6th std, was so shy and hesitant that she did not even make an eye contact with me for the entire first week. 'Nagaji' used to dance by hiding himself behind his batch mates, so that I couldn't see him. 'Malee' used to be very silent during sessions.

But as we moved forward to the workshop, I found that these kids have a tremendous ability to do anything. They were so innocent and pure hearted deep inside that sometimes I wished if I could be like them. They were LITERALLY like blank slates on which you can write anything and they will adapt it wholeheartedly.

I used to encourage them continuously to lead particular sessions, to speak up in their group discussions, to invent their own dance steps (no matter however much imperfect they were in this) and present it in front of their peers, and that's how we learnt how to appreciate and encourage each other and be a support for each other despite of what our names are or how do we look.

In every workshop, I always ask kids the meaning of their names to connect it with the meaning of 'Kathak'. But here, the intention was different upon asking the meaning of their names as when I first heard their names in the introductory session, I found them very strange and found that they were quite hesitant in speaking their names. I personally feel that every name or every word has some positive meaning in it, so I asked them to find the meaning of their names by taking help of their teachers, or parents or me or anybody. The intention was simple, to make them positive for their names. And the next day when they came back to the class, they had the meaning of their names, and they were quite excited to share it in the circle and they shared it without any hesitation as they already started knowing that they are having a very beautiful meaning of their names and they can tell it to anybody without any hesitation.

As the days were passing, I was experiencing the huge changes in the kids. 'Chuna' has started mingling so well with his peers and learning so quickly. 'Anadu' started leading sessions voluntarily and once, she also asked us to click her photograph, that too without any hesitation. 'Nagaji' started standing in the front and dancing with a great confidence. 'Malee' started opening up herself and started helping me during sessions and for multiple other things too.

There was another kid 'Shailesh' from class 6th, who got sick just after 3 days of the workshop and he went home on leave. After about 10 days, he came back and showed interest in re-joining the workshop. The workshop was coming to its end, and after 6 days we were going to have a stage program. I was in doubt whether he would be able to perform or if he can learn everything whatever he missed during his sick leaves. I just casually asked him to learn everything from his friend in a day only and he nodded. The next day the session began, I was amazed to see him dancing while mingling with the whole group so well, that you couldn't say seeing him dancing that he was on leave from past 10 days. The kind of dedication, discipline and commitment he showed, I was so overwhelmed by this gesture of him.

On the final day, as expected, kids gave their best performance. What was more eye catching for me is that, during the experience sharing on stage, 'Shailesh' came out from the whole group voluntarily and hold the mic and started speaking. He was literally shivering while sharing his experiences because for the first time he was gathering the courage to hold the mic and speak on the stage. Another girl 'Rekha' also speaking for the first time, she almost cried as she tried speaking. No matter what and how long they spoke but I was satisfied that they at least tried to come out of their comfort zone and broke their boundaries. As I read it somewhere that "It takes courage to be courageous."

I am hoping to go back to these kids again soon, very soon.. so that I can also learn multiple things from them. :)

On the concluding day of the workshop, Hasmukh Dada (Founder of 'Samvedana') shared :

" जब अनु यहां आई तो मुझे लगा कि यहां नीचे कोई रोड़ा कूटने का कार्यक्रम चल रहा है। यह सब तो मैं मज़ाक में कह रहा हूँ, मुझे पता है कि ये क्या है। मैं भी दुनिया घूमा हूँ , हम भी गरबा करते हैं, और भी डांस करते हैं।  जो हम हमारी संस्कृति के आधार पर करते हैं, वह तो हमें करना ही चाहिए , पढ़ना - लिखना भी इसके साथ साथ करना चाहिए। पर यह नृत्य की खासियत यह है कि इसकी वजह से आपके जीवन में ऐसा परिवर्तन आता है जो आपको दिखता नहीं है। अनु ने सही कहा कि यह जीवन कौशल्य है। फिर इस वर्कशॉप से जुड़ने के बाद बच्चा किसी भी क्षेत्र में जाए, उस बच्चे में एक प्रकार की संवेदना, संस्कृति के साथ लगाव , वह उस बच्चे में देखने को मिलता है। हम सब बूढ़े हो गए हैं, ज्यादातर गाँव में रहते हैं, हमारे भी उस ज़माने में जीवन कौशल थे, हम अपने गाँव में नाचते थे, कई सारे उत्सव थे , उस हिसाब से हम सेलिब्रेट करते थे। उस टाइम पर भी यह कत्थक नृत्य था परन्तु यहां हमारे तक नहीं पहुंचा था। अनु उसके मैसेंजर हैं कि यह कत्थक दूर के बच्चों तक पहुंचे। जब मैं घर पर जाता जाता हूँ तो वहाँ पर उत्सवों के पास (Passes) आते हैं, और हम जाते हैं और देखते हैं कि लोग उसमें कितनी मेहनत करते हैं। परन्तु यह नृत्य यहां वीरमपुर में आया उसकी कल्पना करना बहुत मुश्किल चीज थी। भले ही यह नृत्य समझने के लिए बहुत मुश्किल है, लेकिन मैंने अनु को कहा कि तू यहां रह और बच्चों को सिखाओ , जैसा भी सीखते हैं बच्चे। पूरे देश में घूमती है यह। अनु तेरा दिल से आभार। 20 दिन अच्छे से काम किया। मैं अपनी प्रसन्नता व्यक्त करता हूँ। बहुत मज़ा आया, 20 दिन में हमारी बेटी जैसी हो गई है यह इसलिए इसका आभार भी क्या मानना। "

Shilpa Ben (Director of 'Samvedana') expressed herself :

" यह आपने अभी जो बच्चों का परफॉरमेंस देखा, यह अनु ने सिखाया उसका फल है। और इनमें से जो चार बच्चों को आपने देखा वह कभी पार्टिसिपेट नहीं करते थे, लेकिन इस बार इन्होंने इस डांस में हिस्सा लिया और इनमे इतनी हिम्मत आई कि इन्होंने आज आप सबके सामने बोला है जो कि यह कभी भी बोलते नहीं थे, कभी भी स्टेज पर नहीं आते थे और घबराते थे। मेरा भी पर्सनल एक्सपीरियंस यह रहा है कि इस कत्थक वर्कशॉप के माध्यम से बच्चे बोलने लगे हैं। हमारे जैसे इंटीरियर एरियाज में बच्चों ने कत्थक के बारे में कभी ना तो सुना है और ना ही टीवी में देखा है। तो इसी को लेकर मेरे मन में भी एक डाउट था कि बच्चे कत्थक जैसे difficult डांस को कैसे करेंगे। पर बच्चों ने यह जो डांस सीखा और डांस परफॉरमेंस किया वह बहुत अच्छा किया और इसका सारा श्रेय अनु को जाता है। उनकी एक बात मुझे बहुत अच्छी लगी कि जब भी उनकी क्लास होती थी तो एक भी मिनट इधर या उधर नहीं होने देते थे। 8 बजे का हो तो 8 बजे, 10 बजे का हो तो 10 बजे, वह अपने टाइम से पहुँच जाते थे। एक बैच सुबह होता था और एक शाम को, वह एकदम परफेक्ट टाइम से आ जाती थी और अपने कार्यशाला के हॉल में पहुँच जाती थी। ऐसा उन्होंने 21 दिवस कंटिन्यू रखा। अगर उनकी जगह मैं होती तो कभी ना कभी तो समय को लेकर चूक हो जाती, लेकिन उनसे ऐसी चूक नहीं हुई। मुझे बहुत अच्छा लगा इतने सारे बच्चों ने एक साथ कथक डांस सीखा, यह फॉर्म टेक्निकल है लेकिन बच्चों ने बहुत अच्छा किया। "


  1. As usual, I suppose one more beautiful journey with much care, love and adventure. And yes it takes courage to be courageous and you are one of the diamonds from the coal basket.

  2. Really heart touching lines ,👍👌👌🙏🙏

  3. always your stories inspire me! Love the work you do and so many stories you are weaving with heart ❤️! amazing work Anu ❤️