My first session of the day was at 10:30 am and I had to get to central Delhi from Gurgaon, a neighbouring town where I had gone that morning to meet friends from Duckbill Books and a brilliant breakfast. In spite of the numerous warnings about traffic jams, I got back in plenty of time.
At first, the Amphitheatre was empty – after all, it was Sunday 10:30 am – and I thought most people would have a lie-in, a late breakfast and perhaps some newspaper browsing. But eager readers from New Delhi came in droves just in time for the session.
The first session was IDEA BLASTER – we were going to take off into StoryWorld with things we can find around us.
With the help of the young people in the audience and some grownups who were brave enough to reply, we built three stories out of nothing but our imagination and some prompts from the world around us.
Our first story was about an eagle called Narangi – because it was orange in colour and it was stuck inside the Matti Ghar that was on the premises.
The second story involved Astro-Cat fighting with a superhero to take control of Mars.
The third story involved an Astro-Mutt and a cartoon superhero villain with gadgets.
All in all, we had super-fun.
Then I had some time to make sure I get some selfies with writers and friends I had met during Bookaroo and visiting the illustrator gallery. More on that in tomorrow’s post.
The afternoon session was a wildcard – it was about story shapes – but it was right after lunch. Would people listen? Would children fidget and want to run about?
I was scheduled to start at the Kahani Tree and there was already a big audience seated there. Then as I welcomed them, many opted to stay back, much to my joy (and relief?)
We did long stories, tall stories, never-ending stories and counting stories.As we began the story of the biggest liar, we tested the waters and found out how well the children can imagine.
They made up stories about themselves – being a princess, a fairy, a dragon, a superhero – even the littlest ones had a lie to tell. Then I told them the story of the biggest liar (A Tall Story).
We followed that with the never-ending story – the story about the twins Only and Again.
We talked about stories about going home, journeys and landscapes with Where is Gola’s Home? which was a big hit with all ages – they were busy trying to spot the various characteristics of riversides, beaches, deserts and jungles.
I like counting like every other 7-year old. So I told them the story of the 11 travellers. But we didn’t just tell the story – we played it out. We had 11 eager volunteers up front who were being counted. We had a wise girl solve their counting problems.
The crowd was hungry for more – so we did another counting story with Birbal and the crows in Delhi – an apt story for a Delhi Bookaroo!
That was my last session at 2014 Bookaroo and I hope to come back again and meet more readers and budding writers.