Posted by Deepali Correya
The Summer Camp ended and what an exciting Summer camp it has been!!! In all this excitement, a story with a train would fit just right. So I gathered the children and we all started about how everybody travels and everybody mentioned car, bus,train and a plane. Everybody had travelled in trains and had enjoyed it. One buddy Ashray very quaintly told me that he does not know much about Indian trains but has travelled on the London train…
So it was time for us to read the book, ‘Chuk Chuk Chak’, written by Vinita Krishna and very beautifully illustrated by Suvidha Mistry. A very simple but heart-warming story about a girl who has no space to draw an entire train on her slate but comes up with a bright idea of drawing the rest of the train on the veranda floor. All the children were engrossed in the story and were quite surprised that she drew the remaining train on the floor. I wondered loudly why?? All the kids stated that they were not allowed to mess up the walls and the floors in their houses. I felt disappointed and a bit sad as today’s kids have all the modern amenities provided for them but very few get to enjoy some of life’s most simpler pleasures. We decided to remedy that. To their surprise, we gave everyone slates and chalks which again many of the children did not have at home and asked all of them to draw train engines and continue the trains on the floor.
In no time the library space in Bookworm was choc-o-bloc with trains….trains of all sizes and colors and lengths. Wow!!!! Oh how they enjoyed drawing trains on floors!!! They all even put their signatures at the bottom of the railway tracks and asked me not to wipe their masterpieces and we did keep the trains the entire morning and everyone had to hop, skip and jump over them. In contrast to that, I have to write about the MOP session I did today in Tonca with the very same book. What a contrast it was!!! None of the girls who attended today’s session had ever travelled in a train barring one girl. Many claimed to have only seen it and know that there are benches inside to sleep. What is this if not one of life’s many contradictions? All the girls loved the girl from the book and completely identified with her as they all have slates and chalks and even draw on floors just like she does in the book. Do I need to mention that my heart gave a jump of joy for these girls for enjoying their slates and floors. As the session is done in an open area, I could not get them to draw on the floor but we did a train related craft activity but I do know that these girls who have yet not travelled in a train would have definitely gone home, and drawn trains on the floors or on their slates.