If kids are involved, preparation always takes a toss-up.
With anticipation, apprehension and a siren for a heartbeat, I set out on July 24th 2010 for my first ever MAD class a la ice breaker.
My center, St. Francis Orphanage was a class of ONLY boys aged eleven and that sure got me on pins and needles. Stereotypically, boys are very notorious. Realistically, boys are very notorious.
So I was very pleasantly surprised when on just 10 repeated instructions the boys actually settled down in the assigned seating order. During preparation I had to smoke my brains thinking what activity would help me bond with the kids and not make me go down like a lead balloon.
But once the session started, the pandemoniac transition from one introduction to another made interactions, though noisy, way easier and a lot of fun! Although I did feel for my fellow volunteer, who being the only guy in the Sunday batch, was “mistakenly” called ‘didi’ lot more than once!
What followed left me awestruck! If the media were to turn out statistics regarding the maximum Justin Bieber fans in one location, there’s absolutely no doubt that St. Francis would be scoring somewhere in the top five.
From having written the songs down, to perfecting the accent, everything was top notch. The boys may not be aces at what they do or what hobbies they pursue, but that do not shy away from demonstrating their ever-developing talents. Each one of them wanted to sing, dance and perform skits and even do stunts.
Stage-fright is such an alien concept with these boys.
The end of the session was rather a tad bit depressing for the boys as they did not get to perform for the nth time.
This brings me to my first ever official MAD class. With springs under their soles, it compulsorily always takes about 10 long minutes to get the boys to sit down.
After achieving what seems like a herculean task, eventually the learning session begins which also brings me to reminisce how the boys possess a never ending eagerness to learn. As we began with the session, we reached upon one unit which spoke about different countries around the world.
On questioning the kids about their knowledge regarding the names of countries, pat came to me a series of names. “England, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Brazil…” and… “Manchester United”. Being football fanatics that these kids are, they were actually just taking names of football teams and had no idea that Manchester United is not the name of a country.
Towards the end of the class, a tiny caterpillar happened to crawl on the floor. The kids, yes the same ones who perform stunts, gathered up in one corner seating themselves far away from the insect.
On intervening, they pointed at the caterpillar and one boy squeaked “Keeda!” To get their attention back into the ongoing session, I picked it up with a piece of paper and released it back into its rightful wilderness. To this Thirumurgan, the squeaking kid, exclaimed “didi, kya daring hai!” Talk about making good impressions!
It sometime occurs to me; just one step wouldn’t make a big difference in the big picture. But predictions never cloned themselves to real life. They sometimes come true and sometimes not. Maybe nailing a jelly to wall is inconceivable. Maybe not.