evam’s Happy Cow – Our Children’s Art Education division. An experiential learning platform which enhances communication skills through theatre activities like mime, speech and drama.
In November, evam’s Happy Cow facilitated the theatre sessions of a Leadership boot camp in Andaman. Here is an article written by one of our children participants about her experience :)
by Kavya Satish
Many view drama as a method to express themselves and let out their feelings, but the people of Evam saw it as a way to teach students like us to stand up, rise to the challenge and become a leader. On the trip to the Andaman and Nicobar islands, we were accompanied by Bhagirathy S, or as we came to call her-Rathy. Rathy joined us in Chennai airport, where we had our first drama session with her. In this ‘Ice Breaker’ session, we stood in a circle and had to describe ourselves in just one word and say it out loud with our name, for example: Nice Novya, Amazing Aparna or the crowd favourite; Dangerous Divit. We began with Rambunctious Rathy and made our way around the circle. We were quite enthusiastic about the activity and had a great laugh at all the funny names we heard.
When we reached our hotel that day, Rathy handed out bags with craft supplies and told us to decorate the mask in it in any way we wanted. After we were done with that, we had to create a character based on the mask. Naturally, we were a little anxious about it but we figured it out in the end.
Our next session was about story building. First, we made a story with each person saying one word and going turn by turn. Next, each person said one sentence and finally, each person said one paragraph. We hung onto each and every word as the stories went from comedies to romances to thrillers. We thoroughly enjoyed and became quite attached to our new story characters; Cinderella and Billy the cat. In this session, Rathy also asked us to create a short play with a story based on a memory we had in the trip, and present it in a later session. We quickly decided our groups and our memories and set to work, excited and energized.
In our third session, we had to make a line of questions. In a normal conversation, one question leads to another and we had to recreate such a conversation. “If poison expires does it become more poisonous or less poisonous?” “Why do leopards have spots?” “Why are pizzas circular but served in square boxes and cut into triangles?” such were the questions asked. It was an evening of laughs as everyone made the most hilarious conversations possible.
We then presented our plays to everyone else and re-lived our memories together, laughing at the twists added to them. From “The moth” to “Antakshari on the Bus”, the plays had everyone reminiscing and giddy with joy. Next, the final verdict about our masks was given and awards of milkshakes and mouthwatering cold coffee were given out. Although there were only 3 winners, the milkshakes and cold coffee were passed around so everyone could enjoy them together.
In our final session, in the arrivals hall of the Chennai airport, we played the game ‘Sugar pill’. In this game, each of us was given 21 cards on which we had to anonymously compliment every other person on the trip. So each of us sat in our own little nook and poured our hearts out into those little pieces of paper. The cards warmed our hearts and made us heady with joy. Bright smiles illuminated the room and you could feel the happiness radiating off each person.
Then, with heavy hearts, we said our goodbyes to Rathy- only after exchanging email ids and phone numbers. We remain in touch with her and constantly reminisce the times we spent with her.
We will never forget Rathy and the times we spent with her. We will cherish the times we spent with her and cannot wait to meet her again.