Night Our-2

So, we stared at 5pm on 13th April.

Asmin came first. She was all confused seeing no one at the place to wait. Then, Sania reached, it took one hour to gather all the 17 girls; understandable reasons-girls and fearful girls.

We were searching for a rickshaw and Asmin's father came up. Imtiyazbhai drop us to our venue. Girls were happy to see the wide open place and fearful also as the place is not much crowded. The first thing they do was to sweep the gallery and wash it with water. Saniya mingled up with the house lady and started asking her innocently curious questions- every day you have such cool wind?

Then, all moved to Richa's palce; a new friend they have met a few minutes ago. Richa is a standard five student and her mother offered a candy to all the girls. Few other boys and girls from the neighbouring homes came and mingled into this bonding of friendship.

We started playing games, kho-kho(differently), sunday-monday, bhajiyu, antakshari and we sung a lot many Gujarati classics learnt at school. Gujarati songs were always a joy for new listeners.

After dinner, we went for drama. It was all spontaneous. Someone suggested to perform drama and we make it a point to perform brand new dramas. So , girls fall into groups (just like that-no planning), planned their script, practiced in the group and performed. It was amazingly creative. We had 'darling' to 'getting a star' to 'cho-cho' to...

Now, it was stargazing time. Girls know a bit of it and can identify few stars and constellations. Today. we explored Leo, Mars, Saturn and Swati-Chitra. Though, it was not a satisfying experience for the girls to see them through Telescope. As , these stars and planets do not seem 'really big' through Tele, it do not amaze them.

It was already 12 and nobody wants to sleep. Teacher used her authority power and made all go to bed at least. Few fall asleep soon, but few never. They continued to visit bathroom and then to the kitchen. Jigisha, Hetal, Usha,Kajal...they did not sleep and made the teacher awake at 5am for Moon gazing.

We sat the Tele and...'wow!' The details of moon mesmerised all. The teacher asked all to speak a sentence about this moon and we came up with -like an orange/apple/nail slice.

Then, we started observing change in the atmosphere ; the colours of the cloud, the mist and chirping of birds. We guessed the point of Sun rise and the Sun has tested all our patience to rise. But once it rose...aha!

Now, its time to rush back home cz Amin and Sania have to attend madresa. So, we walked up to Chikhodra crossing for a rickshaw. It was a pleasing sight for the morning walkers-18 girls chirping like sparrows. Asmin,Saniya,Divya and Nisha went by rickshaw, all the rest went by foot(3km), without any elder around ! Because, they did not wanted to reach back home early !


Night Out-1

Night out is an activity that have become a tradition for standard seven. Since last three years, we are following this.

Staying a night at the non familiar place, without any direct relative(!) around is a big deal for the girls wrapped in social taboos. The first hurdle is ..not parents, it is the girl herself. All girls like to join in this adventure but...there are a lot many buts. Some have fears unknown to themselves, some fears of even asking their parents; and here parents means all the family members-from grandma to 'foi' to neighbor auntie. Most of the girls even don't dare to ask fearing the humiliating answers.

This year, our 'mission clasroom' was 'how to talk to people.' We have identified this mission by informal talks and then worked over it. Few real 'classroom' experiences helped us and we actually saw how we can change the point of view of our visitors by clear,determined and sweet talks. These experiences reached out to some of the girls and they are fully convinced that 'how we use language' is really very useful technique to get things done. Some of the girls had this skill ; we opened up and put it before every one's eye through classroom discussions.

Well, so, first we decide the date and venue. Then the real challenge starts, how to convince girls and then parents. Girls do not need any reason to join and parents want some curricular reasons to send their girls. Mobile phone is quite a useful tool here. It is hey easy to convince parents mostly. They do trust the teacher. Those who don't allow their child are either socially stubborn or socially fearful. Difficult part is to make the girl ask her parents clearly. most girls, as stated above, suppressed by a bundle of fears, do not even ask their parents clearly. Such girls do not try to put the things properly before the parents. It took a while for the teacher to understand this problem.

It never happened that the whole class joined. But, we have managed to do this activity and that is important.

This year, 17 girls participated. We stayed at a completely new place for them and explored friendship with people of various socio-economic background.