The School’s birthday celebration on 23 April was like a shot of adrenaline. The abundance of energy, enthusiasm and positivity in the environment was infectious. All of us, who had the good fortune to be part of the celebrations, felt the warmth of The Mother and the blessings of Sri Aurobindo showered generously on their children.
The highlight of this year’s birthday festivities was the fun-filled talent fiesta. The fiesta was a showcase for the multi-faceted talents of the young students along with exposure to various other life skills such as planning, time management, sharing, sacrifice, leadership, discipline and perseverance.
The fiesta was a treat for all participants. Students of all age groups had teamed up to plan, practice and put up special performances for the day. To make it more exciting, the performances were judged by ex-students who were able to share their views, experiences and tips to their juniors through the interactions that followed the performances. This created another opportunity for learning and sharing from those, who, few years ago, had embarked on the same challenging journey, stepping into the real world without the protective shield of parents, teachers, elder siblings and friends.
A diverse and interesting menu of performances were planned to choose from. Options ranged from dance choreography, street theatre, salad making, bulletin board display, greeting card making, creating wealth from waste, mono acting, fun with computing, tile making etc.
All primary and secondary students had to select one of the options and form themselves into teams and put up the show. The planning had started months back so that the students got sufficient time to bond together into teams. This was important as a lot of them were working or sharing a platform together for the first time. As some of the senior students said in their post-performance interactions — through this exercise, they had realised that for the success of a project or performance, it is very important to gel as a team — whatever be the diversity of the individuals – as on stage even the minor discrepancies are magnified and will spoil the show.
The preparatory time was also important as the practice sessions and build up for the performance provided hands on experience in planning, time management, negotiation with parents, teachers, friends; practicing for perfection; seeking and receiving help from teachers and mentors; all essential requisites to put up a successful performance. They learnt the importance of concentration, sweat and hard work for success, value of time through the juggling of critical, important, priority and fun activities to make time for the practice sessions and the value of energy and enthusiasm which comes from good and healthy lifestyle and great association of friends and team mates.
The skills and performances were equally important as this challenged each person to give their best to their chosen act. These also helped students in seeking and exploring their forte beyond and creativity beyond the realm of knowledge and sports.
Apart from exploration of their talents, the exercise was also about taking ownership of the events they had signed up for and feeling and sharing the responsibility with their team mates.
All ex-students who were judging the performances were collectively awed by the sheer maturity and depth of understanding demonstrated by their juniors through the selection and handling of various sensitive and so called ‘adult’ issues and concerns. The performances and productions highlighting burning societal issues like ‘honour killing’, global environmental concerns and importance of healthy eating and lifestyle; their views and opinions on how their parents and elders should conduct themselves to improve their chance to inherit a better world, were an eye opener. I am proud to have witnessed this demonstration and in the realisation of how observant, sensitive and clued-in our next generations actually are.The talent fiesta highlights the importance of schools organising such interesting and interactive events for mass participation. Such events expose the young minds to the need for learning and development of basic life skills, along with subject knowledge and specific talents, for leading a fulfilling and successful life and being a useful and responsible member of the society.