Shibumi is a study and learning centre for both adults and young people of school-going age.
For adults it offers a space where, through dialogue, one understands oneself and relationships in the light of Krishnamurti’s teachings.
For such interested adults only, Shibumi also offers an educational programme where resource persons and parents cooperate in creating a right learning environment for their children.
For more information, see http://shibumi.org.in
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On an excursion to Rajasthan last year , we lived in the family house of two of our students. We heard many stories about the family and decided to shoot one story we had heard.
It was one amazing day of borrowing clothes, dressing up, capturing the streets and the joy of telling a story together.
When news that the olive ridley turtles had started to nest
in the beaches of Chennai reached us, at the beginning of last week, we quickly
put together a plan for our visit. Tickets were booked and calls were made to
our friends at The School for a place to rest, Tholkappia Poonga for a visit
and to our friends at SSTCN (Chennai Students’ Sea Turtle Conservation Network)
for the overnight walk to watch the nesting. We set off on a Friday morning
reaching Chennai by noon. After a quick lunch, we visited the Tholkappia
Tholkappia Poonga is an ecological park in the Adyar estuary
area. It is an amazing example of restoration of freshwater eco-systems in the
heart of a city! We were introduced to the history, the restoration process and
the flora and fauna found in the park by Mrs.Gomati. Her energy, passion for
ecological restoration, and determination to carry forward the good work shone
through in her interactions with us. We recommend it as a must see place for
It always thrills me when I get a chance to work with poetry. As an avid fan of stories and prose, poetry came to me much later in life and since then I've been hooked. So, when Shibumi suggested I work with the children on poetry, I grabbed the chance.
My first task was to dispel all common notions that a poem has to rhyme. We attacked haiku with a vengeance in the Kiri and Thulir group. By giving them a simple formula, and some examples, they were soon spouting haikus about stones, puppies, mice, and even about people. Their young minds grabbed the chance to step out of the structures of a poem, and the imagery they captured in three simple lines was fantastic. As Sarayu said, "I love haiku because it's infinite. Anything is possible." Of course, we had to trim and tweak some of the 'poems' which irked our budding poets, but they eventually succumbed to some edits here and there in their masterpieces. We also sketched and doodled about existing poems and h…
The first week of July started off on a musical note with Ranjani Sivakumar, a Carnatic vocalist, spending four days at Shibumi conducting a music workshop.
The children huddled around Ranjini and enjoyed the sessions with her. She would bring our attention to listening by patiently tuning the tanpura at the start of the session. Asking the children to listen and participate by telling her if the notes of the string sounded lower or higher. This naturally lead to conversations and questions about the instrument, the tension in the string and sounds that are soothing.
For most part of the session we were learning the Sarali varisai, the fundamental sequences. This allowed us to get a feel for the melody and the rhythm. The sequences follow a logical order - ascending and descending, up to the 7th varisai. We learnt with her the first three patterns and sang them at different speeds.
She had a playful way with the younger children (Lalit and Todi groups), when understanding the ' ta…