Friday, September 30, 2016

Belated Onam celebrations at Shibumi

The kitchen is the heart of Shibumi and everyday the mothers create the most colourful, nutritious and delicious food. Some days they take the challenge further and cook, share stories, connect culture and food, decorate the place in simplicity and make food a festival!

Adding to the festive feeling...

A family that eats together stays together...

at your service...

So nice to have ex-students back in the space...

The elaborate menu


Saturday, September 17, 2016

A Day out: Malleshwaram Railway Station

All of us :)
The Ketaki's (Age 6 to 10) spent a day at the Malleshwaram Railway Station as part of their exploration of trains.

We started our morning with the most delicious idlis and vadas from a  small shop right outside the station.

" Can we please go on the train?"
We then walked into the railway station which is a great place and the setting is such that it looks as if it has been lifted directly from Malgudi Days of RK Narayan. The railway station had two entrances just like any other railway station, with two tracks separating the junctions on either side. The platform had some large rain trees that make this station beautiful. The benches were lined on the platforms for everyone to enjoy their wait for the trains. While many passengers waited for their trains, the children interviewed them. It was great fun! We asked them about where they were going, what their favorite food was on the train, how often they used the trains and the interactions filled the station with many smiles.

There is a sort of sidewalk from an overhanging bridge connecting the two sides of the station, and it was a perfect spot for the children to have a peek at the trains that whizz past the station during the day.

Interacting with passengers
Vibha helping keep the station clean :)

It's whizzing by under us!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Seeing connections between 'sharing' and the 'Cauvery Issue'

When the children were on the bus to Shibumi after the day off declared due the bandh in the city, there was much talk amongst the children about the bandh. There were conclusions being shared that made me pause , and I realized how much information about the violence had reached the children, how they felt part of a group and how fear was playing out in them.
It prompted a pause in Shibumi after lunch, where the Ketaki's (Age 6 to 10)with some children from across the other groups shared why they felt there was a Bandh....

Sharing what unfolded... It created a pause....

Why we felt a bandh was called in the city.....

So many things we happening in the city.....

How we feel when we have to share something we don't want to share...

What can we trust?

With the bandh in the city due to the underlying tone of unrest, a child was sharing what he went through before coming to Shibumi yesterday morning.... 

Sidh: Yesterday when I was sharing with my grandfather that I felt a bit hesitant to come to school , because it might not be safe. And with what my grandfather said I was convinced that I should not go.

And then my father said, that there was no reason not to go and with the reasons he gave me i was convinced that it is safe to go.

It is amazing how we can get convinced so fast. 

What can we trust?

Our parents' (the adults in our life) fears can become our fears so easily.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Jumping over puddles again :)

Amorphophallus Titanum's flowering is rare and unpredictable. (It inspired us to take an unpredictable trip!)

One Tuesday morning in July,it was the beginning of a great adventure. There was exciting news from the Gurukula botanical sanctuary in Wayanad about the flowering of one of the largest flowers in the world.

Thus began our amazing adventure.

All of us at Shibumi who wanted to see the flower, from the youngest to the oldest, got into the school bus and asked for a drop to Mysore road. The plan was to take a local bus from there, but as we were getting late the journey continued in the Shibumi bus.We thought we should take a drop up to Ramnagara, then we requested a drop up to Mysore, and then finally we stopped at HD Kote. From HD Kote we all piled into two jeeps with their happy drivers and made our way to see the gigantic flower.

It was almost 5:30pm by the time we reached GBS. We made our way walking into the beautiful stone steps and under the large trees to see the flower. It might not have been as big as some of us had imagined, but it was still the biggest that any of us had ever seen.

At GBS Sora and Abhishek shared with us all the information on Amorphophallus Titanum; like how the GBS had had the plant for 8 years before it flowered; that it was actually an inflorescence and not a flower, that it was not a carnivorous plant as some of us thought. The 'darshan' was over in about 15 mins and then we requested Abhishek to take us for a walk. After a squeamish walk, courtesy the imagined lethal impact of leeches on humans, we settled atop the beautiful tower for the evening quiet time and some stories.

It had been a long day, so after dinner  sleep was just around the corner, quite literally.

The morning came quickly, too quickly for some of us, as the drivers came leaving us all waiting. Somehow,  it didn't seem to matter as everyone was very excited about all the wildlife sighting the drivers had promised us during our ride back. And, they didn't let us down. There were, deer, giant squirrels, and wild ELEPHANTS.

We were touched by the wonders of nature.... from the enormous inflorescence to the silent elephants.