Written by Barkha
When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother, “What shall I be?”
Shall I be pretty? Shall I be rich?
Here’s what she said to me…
Last Saturday at the Preschool session we read ‘My Mother’s Sari’, a Tulika picture book written by Sandhya Rao and illustrated by Nina Sabnani. It tells the story of a young girl’s relationship with her mother’s saris. The illustrations combine both photographs and art work in the most innovative ways.
In order to build a stronger relationship with the story we had a dress up segment. Every child was given a dupatta, meant to be a pretend sari and other supplies and accessories and asked to dress up as someone else and also identify who they were. The supplies included bindis, streamers, golden net ribbons, bangles, moustache cutouts from black paper and bits of coloured paper.
There were about fifteen children and significantly more boys than girls. There was one girl who said the ‘B’ (Barbie) word and then two others followed. They wanted only pink dupattas but there were none. They wore bangles, put a tiara with the golden net, and used bindis of the same colour as earrings. They all wanted to wear a one piece long dress. There was one exception where a girl wanted to wear a sari and play a teacher; the connection with the Mother and her sari was long forgotten by this time.
Meanwhile, one boy wanted to be a policeman because his dupatta was yellow so he stuck a fake paper moustache and asked one Resource Person to help with the uniform. Some others insisted they wanted the same but settled for Superheroes. Based on the colour of the dupatta, they were batman and superman. Spiderman didn’t appeal to them I guess. They tied the dupatta around their neck like a magician’s cape and raised their right arm in the air to fly. They jumped and fought like super heroes.
The children enjoyed the dress up session as it allowed them to play their favourites. The boys were thrilled at the idea of being a pirate or a super hero like batman or superman while the girls were excited to dress like Barbie or be a Princess! In the end, every child found a character they identified with or aspired to be like. In a very short time, so many characters came to life and in such lovely and innovative ways!