SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

When your daughter fits into your clothes...

There I have said it...

I have actually wanted to write about this for the past 4 months, but just don't have the discipline to put pen to paper, or as the case here, finger to keyboard.

What have I disclosed?

Hmmm...my daughter fits into my clothes!! (Picture me with a wry face!!)

How does that make me feel?
Proud, happy, awestruck
Bemused, sad, and a wee bit scared...

Whoa...I thought the first time it happened... is she that big?!!

Well, let me set the context here. My daughter learns Carnatic music and till 4 months back she was allowed to wear long skirts and tee for classes. I guess the long became too flowy and unwieldy and definitely distracting for some children, so the rule now is to wear kurtas/ salwar to class.

So she picked out her only kurta and legging and wore it for class. Then the next class came and the absent minded mother that I am, I had done nothing to enhance her wardrobe. So she started scouting....conveniently in my cupboard. 

Lo and behold she found a kurta that fit her, that was a little tight for me...and claimed it for herself. I smiled and admired her resourcefulness and indulgently let her go.

Yes, the thought that crossed my mind...Oh, is she that big? ( Or am I so diminutive?!!)

Folks, there is a slight issue here though...now inspite of getting her couple of kurtas more, I find her rummaging my cupboard before every class, just in case she can find something from my collection to her liking. 
Variety?
Hmmm...
More choice?
Hmmm...

Hey, now I can't find my kurtas and my matching leggings...in all probability it has wormed it's way into my daughter's cupboard...

So my daughter fits into my clothes and I allowed her to wear one of mine...
Look where it has landed me!!

Back in my days, all my Mother's wardrobe could offer me was her Sarees (all neatly starched and pressed and placed in individual plastic bags), that I had to ask permission before I could take them...for some event or function, and that too, much later when I was in High school...and even later when I went to College. 

So now that I have given access to my cupboard, I am sure I am going to find my Tees missing...maybe a jean or two (not yet, my posterior is way bigger than hers!)...my sweaters...my jackets...my ear rings, my jewelry....

I think I better drop the "MY" now!!

But when I rewind to watch videos of her first day with me...the puny baby legs, the scrunched up wrinkled face, the tiny fisted hands....and then turn around to watch her, watching me...the baby is my memory...
...she is a beautiful young woman, with a gently wicked sense of humor, a kind soul...who is big enough to fit into my clothes....

once again I am reminded of Khalil Gibran:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.


You may give them your love but not your thoughts, 
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, 
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, 
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, 
and He bends you with His might 
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, 
so He loves also the bow that is stable.



                                        ~ unconditional love is the only purpose of life~

~ssstoryteller~




Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October starts with "Picturing Change"!

Where do I begin to tell you of all the wonderful things that have been happening?

October started with a bang...with a great storytelling session for the Picturing Change event at Thalam Gallery in Domlur.

Let me rewind a bit to tell you that I met a wonderful soul called Mathangi in a theatre workshop. Somehow in spite of the age difference we really clicked!! We kept in touch, and I happened to keep bumping into her from time to time.

and so it happened....she invited me to do a story session for children from the Anganwadis that she was working with, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. But the request was to do it in Kannada!
That is a challenge, as I can tell in English and Tamil, but have never tried Kannada.

Luckily for me, Aparna, who I work with at Kid and Parent Foundation is fluent in Kannada, so we accepted the invitation to do a session in Kanglish (if you will pardon my typical englification of Kannada!)

Picturing Change is a wonderful idea, conceptualized by Mathangi and photographer Greeshma, to have teachers in Anganwadis capture their story and their life using simple digital cameras. These photographs speak a language of their own, as it shows a world that you and I don't have access to as outsiders.
(You can catch some wonderful images here on their FB links and here.)

Trained by Greeshma, 5 ladies have put together images that show a life filled with colour, vibrancy, love, laughter and most importantly deep emotions. As is true with any story, only when we bare our soul can we access the beauty of the narrative within. So also these images were souls bared, telling us innumerable stories through the pictures they had captured.

I am still in awe of what I saw and the feelings that went through me, just looking at those images. The play of light on a students face, the mother carrying her disabled son, a child doing yoga....so many voices, so many thoughts...

It is but apt that they invite us to do a storytelling session! So we did; the story of Rupa the Elephant, using our gigantic Story Book prop, and the MilkMan's Cow, which is based on Aparna's idea, to incorporate Indian dance forms into our story narrative.

The children were pulled into an imaginative world, but most importantly, we shared the message of Kindness and Compassion (as it was Gandhi Jayanthi) through our stories and finished off with a great Chicken Dance!

Here are some pictures for you to see...












Picturing Change was on till October 12th at Thalam in Domlur.
(In case you wish to know more then;
Mathangi is on a Fulbright Research scholarship to India and can be contacted at mathu.subramanian@gmail.com
Photographer Greeshma can be contacted at greeshma@greeshma.com)

we were also covered in the news, thanks to the wonderful response and encouragement we got from the team at Picturing Change... and you can see that here as well...

.....and of course for all your storytelling needs you can contact me!!

(keep watching this blog for loads of great stuff happening in my life...)

~ssstoryteller~