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A Political Love Letter to My Son


This is post done on March 4th, 2016 on my Facebook page (Here) . Kind of emotional !
Dear Rimil Peter, my son..
Thanks for watching Kanhaiya speech in JNU ..with me for 45 minutes. I have explained how a colonial law ..which was used on Bhagat Singh ..is being used to define our patriotism and allegiance to our country.
You enjoyed the style of his speech delivery (and also of Ravish).. how we need to argue out our differences of opinion ..with ABVP, the saffron brigade ..who are not ‘enemies’ but the opposition group / ideology.
My son, though you are yet to witness ..what a university is like ..my narratives of my days in Jamia Millia Islamia ..and cultural youth activism with friends like Kapil Sharma whom you have met ..and will do more.. will surely help you to understand and visualise or dream of spaces ..which allow free discussion on democracy, diverse perspectives on autonomy, culture, sexuality etc.
What you saw as a movie in Rang De Basanti ..is happening with a different script ..in present JNU times. The young voices are being crushed ..forced to suicide (Rohit in Hyderabad University), or being put in jail. Kashmir and Bastar (Chhatisgarh) cannot be discussed publicly by citizens.. as these are issues of national security !
My son (and all young ones).. Do not allow your questions / enquiry to end. Keep the child in you alive ..and question your teachers the most absurd questions you have. As change comes when you are unsatisfied.. A radical change brought by a collective effort is what a Revolution or Inquilab is about. इंकलाब ज़िंदाबाद means Long live the Revolution.

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Cultural Workshop for Children


Rimil was in Pakur, spending his summer holidays, when his Daddy saw an announcement in the newspaper calling children of 8 to 16 years for a cultural workshop on behalf of Deptt of Arts, Culture and Youth of Jharkhand. Dad ordered the whole team of his family to pack up for Ranchi, for the 20 days workshop.

So the workshop started and as advised by Dad, Rimil opted for Theatre, and left out the other options Classical Singing, Classical Dance and Arts& Crafts, as the children had to choose only one subject. I advised him, .. Listen you can learn Singing from me, Dance you are doing in a Saturday Christian youth meet, and hence take Theatre as it is a conglomeration of various art forms, and is a group activity.

In the Theatre workshop he did the play by Russian writer, Chekhov, ‘The Chameleon’ named Girgit in Hindi. When I went through the original script few minutes ago.. realised that there have been some minor adaptations.. but the idea remains the same.. that of treating a High Official’s son or dog differently than what a treatment a common man or dog gets.

So what did Rimil gained.. skills of how a theatre dialogues and physical movement done to create a scene, a story.. and besides that the joy and experience of working in a group. Yes, theatre helps one to gain the confidence of working in a group.. this is what I have learnt during my engagement in my college years. It has helped me delving deep into the roles that I play.. an impact that an actor has to make to fulfill the role fully, he or she plays.. Remembering Shakespeare, All the World’s a Stage, and each of us play a role.. So let’s do it, at its best.

Parents need to play an immense role in helping their children to flower their talents and interests. Linking it up with Aamir Khan, the young filmi revolutionary.. who is known for his social commitment films/ events.. parents need to invest a lot of their time and money into building .. these Taare Zameen Par (the stars who live with us on ground).

Deepti used to take both the children to the Morhabadi Hockey Stadium ..getting up at 5am, preparing breakfast/ tiffin.. stay over the workshop from 7am to 1030am.. and then return back in auto. On weekends they got my assistance on the bike.. this went on for 20 days.. to end at the final show at Dr Ram Dayal Munda Cultural Centre.. near Hotwar Stadium in Ranchi. An experience for children and their parents !

In my college days I did a play Tota Kahani (The Parrot Story), based on story by Rabindranath Tagore. It was about how the formal schooling system is so boring / non-creative.. that it kills (the thought process). And hence there is a need to take up creative arts ..with children.. so that they can play, enjoy, create, and develop in this process of enhancing their skills.

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