Category Archives: Art

Creativity


Have a look at these snaps from our Creativity Day 2012.

If there is a will there is a tree. There had been excruciating incidents (saved for another post) behind this artificially natural tree. Thank you dear teachers, for your determination which made the dead branch take ‘life’, finally!

Ozone layer. A simple, yet demonstrative exhibit from the science stall.

Our students are experts at Mehendi. Their dexterity will amaze you.

Best out of waste. One of my favourite pieces from the competition.

Origami! This was made by a grade 7 student within an hour’s time.

The student used about 150 paper cups to make this party light. Loved it!

Just that much for the time being. Looking forward to the holidays, to tell you more about the life here and to catch up with all the great posts I missed. Take care!

A Perfect Vacation


Yet another summer vacation is just over. Though we couldn’t visit our relatives it was one of the most creative and well-spent vacations I’ve ever had. Take a look.

Picked up some new skills - making friendship bands and the basics of crochet.

  

  

Best out of waste – bags made from old clothes.

Bit of applique and embroidery to embellish plain T shirts.    

Some frocks and tops, for my girls and four sets of school uniform for my elder one.

The following task  consumed much of my time and energy – new slipovers and cushions for our sofas. All I had to spend was SR 100, for the furnishing material.

So much about the creative part. But the here are real the highlights of my vacation.

1. We painted the whole apartment – thank God it is just four little rooms. The walls had been covered up with the graffitti of my younger one. We waited all these four years for her to grow up. The walls now look great but I miss the mysterious , cute figures that her little fingers had doodled all over.

3. This is something I really enjoyed – I ripped open all the pillows, washed the fibre, combed it with an African comb, and made fresh, fluffy pillows and cushions.

2. I gave up my regular workout programme (after the realisation that it was gnawing my joints) to switch over to the most effective system of exercise – yoga. Wonder why I didn’t try it all these years. Now I wake up a bit earlier than usual so that the I can complete a perfect set of stretches. Spiritually and mentally I feel more rejuvenated.

Now tell me, wasn’t that a great vacation? Hope to be back to active blogging very soon.

Long live our trees


 Our little environmentalists from grade five did their bit towards creating awareness among the students on the World Environment Day. Aren’t their posters cute?

1. DEFORESTATION

2. SAVE EARTH

3. CHIPKO

4. COME TOGETHER

5. CHIPKO

6. AGAINST DEFORESTATION

Once again my favourite tree quote:

Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money. ~Cree Indian Proverb

Do You Know How to Write?


(It’s just okay to skip the next paragraph, but if you would like to know the provocation behind this piece, do read it.)

[Last week I fell in love with a pen(!). It does not belong to me. It was a property that had been lying neglected for quite some time in the Lost & Found box of the school. Two weeks back when I was direly in need of a black ball point pen, I discovered it. The beginning of a new relationship. After a fortnight of silly signing tasks I filched fetched it home today for a short stay (?).]

The experience of writing with a pen after a long time swept me off my feet. It took me back to the college days where we struggled to catch up to the high-speed dictation of notes by the lecturers/professors. Ah, it was fun. (Have the Reynold pens become extinct?!)

Nowadays I usually use pens just for dashing off something brief, and for doodling during the ho-hum sessions of a meeting. Penning a serious, lengthy piece is entirely different. Initially it may seem unexciting. We may get annoyed when it comes to editing the draft. However after a page or two we will find it hard to jot down all the words that emerge from the deluge of ideas. Then we whine: My hands are too slow!

OMG! What have I made of my fingers? They are becoming NUMB. They can no longer perform the fine tasks like holding a slender pen, a tiny needle, or a delicate petal! THEY ARE GOOD FOR NOTHING BUT CLICKING! Can this be written off as something rife in this era? In the process of evolution let human fingers not get reduced to ugly, stiff stubs – that’s my prayer.

Their Grandparents’ House


My parents’ house is just an ordinary place as far as we
grown-ups are concerned. But for the kids who grew up in the artificial set ups
of the desert, even a blade of grass is a matter of wonder. Every nook and
corner offered them feast for their eyes. Let me take you along to some of
those scenes.

Giants in the neighbourhood:

For our neighbour, partitioning his property might have been
a big deal as he had many ‘giants’ to divide among his two sons. Now the sons
who live uphill and downhill have chained two of their elephants on to the
rubber trees in their plots. While the Trivandrum Zoo (at the State capital)
houses just one elephant often there were many around our house!

My kids were filled with awe to see them feed on the palm
leaves, the way they curled their trunks, the prize tusks, the fanning ears,
the heaps of elephant droppings, etc. The elephants were in an angry mood and
we could hear them trumpet unceasingly. I did feel sorry for them, though they
were taken good care of by their owners.

On our way back we spotted this millipede heading along. I
had a kind of aversion for such creatures, but don’t know why, recently I have
started admiring them. They are not jumpy like the crickets or the frogs, not
fluttering like the butterflies or the dragonflies – just cool and composed. Don’t
you think it is beautiful?

The nest:

The little humming birds (or better you name it) have been
the inhabitants of our place since my student days. Earlier they used to
construct their nest under the net above the well. When the drenching rains made the nest-making a risky affair, (once the nest almost fell) my father decided to guide them to a safer place under the eaves. He made all the necessary arrangements for the shifting and luckily the birds did not ignore the good intentions.

The windows of the drawing-room open to the live show of
their life and it was so peaceful watching it. The kids learned a few
practical lessons, more than what their EVS books offer.

Attending a wedding:

The last wedding I attended was eleven years ago where I acted
bride. Since then so many of my dear and near ones (including my sister) got
married but I missed every single one of them. This time I was in the thrill of
attending a cousin’s wedding.

The wedding ceremonies in the villages have not completely
lost their charm and above all their innocence. Everyone in the family will
have some role to play, making them feel an integral part of the ceremony, and
that is the beauty of the traditions.

On the eve of the wedding the brothers-in-law
(one being my husband) twisted the threads for the wedding knot. (For the first
time I got to know the concept behind pulling out exactly seven threads from
the wedding saree for this purpose.)

Another memorable event of the eve was a traditional
Christian dance performance, which reminded me of Kalarippayattu, the martial
art form of Kerala. The powerful Kerala culture permeates all our religious
functions – slight alterations are made just for the sake of giving them a
different identity.

(Idea stolen from my daughter’s holiday homework.) Moral of the blog: Now and then go through the assignments of your kids – you will get ideas to (blog)bore your readers.

Needles, Threads and Nature


I love to embroider. Whenever I was in need of a design I just sifted through the motifs I had seen in that lush green world around me during my childhood. I have never had the perseverance to sew up time-consuming projects. Tracing pictures from books often seemed quite unexciting and so I was contented with a little flower or herb design which would be very original and thereby tangible - to me. When compared to the elaborate projects my mother did (on entire five-metre sarees), my attempts are of no much significance, but just something plain, simple and at times childlike/childish. :) Check them out!

The embroidery on a short top. These blue flowers were found all over the place.

I love these pink-rose-white flowers which actually grow in bunches.

The short pants made for my elder one. The inspiration - the beautiful daisies in our garden.

The following are the nameless flowers which were there in our garden and in the surroundings.

                                                                                                                   

The next three are the designs made on my onion-garlic-potato holder made using a battery-display stand (gift from a shopkeeper) and the canvas cloth of rice bag.

Wait! Once I did attempt something serious – a montage design.

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It took me more than three weeks to complete this.

Now I feel I should once again fall in love with needles and threads, before my eyes fail me more.

Notebook or Art Book?


I usually wind up my advice sessions in class with this point, “These are merely suggestions. You need not limit yourselves within the lines I have drawn. Feel free, go to any extend to express your creativity – and that’s what I ultimately expect from you.” Majority of them happily follow just what I say. I call them good, obedient students. Many of them dare to be innovative. They are excellent students.

But geniuses incarnate rarely. Last year I got such a student (glad to have her with me this year too) – an avid reader and a gifted artist who thinks out of the box.

What makes her notebook stand out is her ability to artistically represent what she visualizes out of the lessons. Almost the whole lesson will be there in pictures and captions. If it is a poem, literally each and every image will come alive in her unique style of drawing. Each time she gave me her book for correction she offered me an intellectual, visual treat.

Take a look at these illustrations.

This is how she began.

A lot of details about the authors are collected and included.

This is how she illustrated the classic poem by Tennyson – ‘The Brook.’ Have a closer look at the details and you can see that she has included even the minute points from the poem.

Song of the Rain by Khalil Gibran

Anyone who has read Wordsworth’s ‘Solitary Reaper’ would not need any more explanations here. What attracted me is her imagination to make the three singers stand on the victory stand, giving the first position to the reaper.

Finally this is one of my favourites – Pam Ayres’ ‘Oh I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth.’

These are the original creations of a 14-year-old girl born into an ordinary family. Are the parents fully aware of potentials of this prodigy? I am not sure. Anyway these days they are seriously thinking about her higher studies – she aspires to be a doctor. May God help her and all the deserving students like her.