Saturday, April 21, 2012

Din 233: My heart can hear you!

Rome's birthday has treated me very well indeed!


The day of the annual Gyaan Ghar Variety Show is often one of my favorite days of the year, and today was no different. Students arrived at 7 in the morning to start rehearsing. We ran through each act again, we finalized outfits, and we practiced entrances and exits.

Children were all over the place -- in the classrooms, in the yard, in the park, all working hard to polish each piece. They had breakfast and lunch at our house, and returned to their homes in the afternoon to get washed, dressed, and rested for the show.

After they left, Ms. Ritu and I started fretting over the order of the acts! Because the Bhangra teacher would not be able to stay late enough for this lively Punjabi dance to be the last act of the show, there was lots of rearranging to do. I composed a chimerical "Master List" for myself, without which I was convinced the show could not go on, along with a cocktail of other documents. Let's not even get into technology woes and the infinite interfering cooks who almost spoiled the broth!

I forced myself to put everything away for lunch, a nap, and a meditation sitting -- but not before practicing my speech, which you can now read by clicking here.

Around 5, the students were back and final preparations were in full swing. After inspecting the arrangements for the evening and running a sound check, we asked the actors in our longest skit to practice one last time. It was after they had done this that Ratna and Dadi stepped inside to catch their respective breath and get dolled up.

The guests arrived at 7:00 post meridiem, Indian Standard Time (in other words, around 7:30 in the evening).

We started the program with a prayer . . .

















 . . . followed by my welcome speech. 


















(This may have been the only part of the program that went according to plan! Our order of acts had to be completely rearranged, due to my underestimation of the time it would take the girls to get made up. Typical Ratna.)

I do know, however, that we heard about respecting one's classmates . . .














 . . . and taking care of one's health.
 
 Students' voices rang out, "we will be successful!"

 















 . . . and, "never hurt anyone!"


















Some kids dressed up as flowers and insects . . . 


















 . . . while others played the roles of Lord Krishna and his wife Radha.


We enjoyed a dance form from the state of Punjab . . . 


















. . . as well as one from Uttar Pradesh.

















 Students even performed a play on the importance of literacy!


Dadi and I are happy that the show was a success . . . 

























 . . . and the students are thrilled that all their hard work has paid off!


My head was in a tizzy all night, but audience members say the show couldn't have been better. Phew!

After mingling with the guests, debriefing with the students, and finally eating a bit of dinner, I came inside and got to work preparing my nails for Earth Day tomorrow. What is clearly less important, I also laid out a lesson plan and finalized my presentation on the activity we will be doing. It's 2am and the students will be here early tomorrow morning -- so long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, good night!

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