So, Aarti Srinivasan signed up to be a #PBChamp. She conducted her first storytelling session last year (
In Aarti’s own words….
The first time I entered BJ home( an NGO in Mumbai) on International Literacy Day last year and saw some hundred odd kids waiting to listen to a story I was going to narrate, I was both thrilled and anxious. But the moment I opened the book( Paplu, the Giant) I didn’t have much to worry about. Little Paplu took over and he was enthralling the kids with all the fascinating things he did. I walked into the place as someone who was just ‘giving it a shot’ at storytelling but walked out quite amazed with myself. The experience made me realize that there’s a storyteller hidden in each one of us. All one needs is an engaging story and a group of kids the story can engage with. Because, quite honestly, we’re just the medium to bring the two together. Nothing more than that.
The first ‘PB Champs’ experience I had was so fulfilling, that I became greedy for more and started going there every Sunday with a new story. Marathi, Hindi,English, I read out many books and many stories and became their Didi who got ‘Wahi’ they simply loved (‘Wahi’ means books in marathi)
The imaginative questions they ask, the undivided attention they can give you, their reassuring nods, their sweet impatience in knowing the ending of every story, the honesty in which they accept their goof-ups, their love for pictures more than words- every behaviour of theirs only goes to say that the way kids can absorb a story, an adult would never be able to. When I read the story through their eyes, it always seems more endearing and more enjoyable.
This got me thinking how fantastic it would be if each of us could take some time out and spend an hour or so in the company of children and books. That would mean so many beautiful stories enjoyed by so many more children. Wouldn’t that be great? Well, at the risk of sounding sermonizing, I would like to urge many more of you to become #PBChamps and be part of the fantastic ‘Tentastic’ initiative
. Rest assured, you’ll get a lot more than you will give.
Thank you Aarti for sharing this story and more importantly for sharing so many stories with the kids at BJ Home. We can’t wait to hear more of your stories from this year’s TENTASTIC campaign. More power to you and all the #PBChamps we know!
If you want to become a TENTASTIC Champion, register here.