SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Monday, April 25, 2011

She and I are the same....

My son came back from school and as usual the auto chap had ditched them and they had to come back in the hot sun.

(Unusually hot this summer Bangalore is fast losing its green cover, I see wonderful avenues denuded in the name of expansion. Yet this topic is a double-edged sword as the roads are pretty narrow and one can find heavy, heavy traffic lumbering through snaky picturesque narrow lanes.)

He was upset for many reasons. Having had to carry two bags (he was helping his sister), and feeling hot, and as he had not eaten his fill at school. Even on half-days he carries a good solid meal to school, as hungry boy is a seriously upset boy!

So today he was upset and angry. Throwing his bag on the floor and kicking his shoes here and there. He removed his belt and socks, yelled for some water and kept shouting and yelling. I had no idea why...

So cautiously I questioned him and he said;

My teacher did not allow me to eat today. I am so angry with her.

But why?

She doesnt like us eating inside the class.

But why?

Because we spill food

Then what does she want?

She wants us to go out and eat.

Ok,why didn't you?

Its too hot.

So you did not eat.

No.

But, that's not right...

Yes, but she and I are the same. So why can't I eat inside?

Sometimes we are stymied by the words children use. Obviously my son was referring to the "human" factor here. His ability to eat inside without spilling is overruled by an inability to see that sometimes rules are pretty useless when that very human factor of discretion and flexibility is ignored.

A child can see that...

He could also have meant that she is equally capable of spilling...just as well as him...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another story, another audience

 
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The story of Shambala, from the Kalapa valley told by Waltar Fordham was the story for my telling today. We flew to Tibet and the cold valley mountains along with Iliana the brave and courageous girl who travels afar to face many challenges, meet some fantastic creatures and ultimately to find the Sun of Human Dignity within her.

Every time I tell this story I feel a thrill, I feel the magical connection with Iliana and every other human who has embarked on this journey called life.

The same wonder is mirrored in the faces of the children, though what they take back is definitely far far different from what I get in the telling. I can see the wonder in their eyes as Iliana travels through the snow and meets some fantastical creatures.

Its not just a story it is the experience and just as Iliana goes through many emotions; wonder, fear, joy, sorrow, thrill, defeat and pain. I see the way our own lives is but a kaleidoscope of feelings. If we see the wonder and amazement of actually living a life that gallops through this gamut of feelings, we can then see ourselves as adventurers, stumbling at times, confident at times, ecstatic at times, despondent at times.

Yet these are all but elements of a journey that makes for fascinating living.

So you can see that easily this is one of my favorite stories to tell, and today, even the 3 year old was rapt attention as we walked like the gentle tiger, pranced like the frisky lion and soared like the great Garuda.

You can hear the story...please do, I simply love it...here

Friday, April 15, 2011

Around the world in 5 stories




Around the world in 5 stories is the theme for my summer workshop this year. Though the response has been limited, we had a blast...the children loved the story of Perseus and the Gorgon Medusa...and they loved the mask which we made along with it.
Tomorrow we complete this session which ran through the week.

I took them to Africa, then Russia, then introduced them to a Greek Hero, flew on to Tibet on wings of imagination and finally tomorrow we return to India with a folk tale!

What I really found fantastic was that the children really were waiting to hear the stories! I clarified on the third day by asking and unanimously the children said they loved the stories!!

So that makes me doubly happy...and though other attractions like the craft activity or the theater games make these sessions interesting, I believe the children are really there to hear the stories...

What a wonderful space to be in...
...you know I never want to leave this space!!

Next week I do a similar workshop at a branch of the same library.

(If any one is interested to join new sessions from 18th to 23rd, between 11.00am to 12.00 noon, please leave a comment on this post with your contact email.
This is happening in CVRaman Nagar...Bangalore...please pardon me that I am shamelessly promoting my sessions here...but what other better way than to do it this way!)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Excercising Rights...

I feel a little embarrassed, a little sheepish, a lot of pain and sheer squeamish to say this. But I have to:

My maid came to me this morning and asked for leave. That's not new.
She is brand new though. After 6 months of maid come-maid go,and walk in rate of 3, I got some one to do the sweeping and mopping...that's a job I could not take on myself.
I have to draw the line somewhere....

Well within the first month of work she took off 3 days, yet I don't cut salaries and I let it go.
But within a week, yesterday to be precise, she comes to me with "Akka, I want leave".
( Now her addressing me "Akka" has a funny story behind it as well...two days into work, half way through the sweeping, she looks at me with a serious expression, gives me a pointed look...
"What shall I call you? Akka or Madam?!" I did a double take, wondering where this is coming from...and then it struck me...with a quizzical expression I asked her, her age...and she gave me a very supercilious look (my interpretation!) and proudly stated she had just completed 35 and was entering her 36th year.

I gave her a wry look..."Call me Akka...cos I am 36 going on 37"

...and then I saw the jaw drop....I know...its difficult...especially with the way I dress and the way I talk...probably looks like I am a teen...hehehe).

Any way coming back to my topic...she asks me for leave. My every cell registered its protest...and I was about to deny her this privilege, when she hurriedly said...
"I need to go to my hometown to vote. I will leave tonight and will be back tomorrow night"

Silence

Just last week my partner was chiding me for not even locating my Voter's ID card...and here was a responsible citizen of my country, who was spending money to exercise her rights and responsibility...

Of course my partner claims her trip must be sponsored by some political party..and I don't deny the truth in that...

Yet she is taking her responsibility seriously isn't she?
....and I still can't find my Voter's ID

Monday, April 4, 2011

Kissing Carps!

There is something about animals and creatures that live on this planet with us...

I am no great animal lover, more like...don't disturb me and I wont disturb you....or vice-versa. Yet these absolutely adorable Carps at Wonder La near Bangalore were a delight!!

My kids couldn't get enough of them...as the fishes were clamoring and crowding for the food they were holding.



My son tells me it felt as if they were kissing his fingers!

They were a bit squeamish at the beginning, but once they got over the newness of feeling fishes feeding from their fingers, they were pretty excited and thrilled (nice alliteration huh?!!).

Lovely, lovely space to be in....watching fishes swimming is surely mesmerizing!!