Participants learn the importance of trying things we hate to love them

For SaMvitti ‘Sharing Story’, SahityaMitra Jesal Jethwa shared the story of an animated short film about literacy based on the book by Manjusha Pawagi ‘The Girl Who Hated Books’, directed and animated by Jo Meuris with young girls of Kubereshwar Prathmik Kanya Shala Vadodara.

The session started with the conversation about the stories participants have listened to so far and what if all those characters came in the room. The instructions to draw the scenes of the story and its characters were given before the story began so that the participants can visualize what to draw.

Jesal started the story with the introduction of the main characters – a young girl named Meena, her parents and her cat, Max. Meena’s parents love to read, so they have hundreds of books everywhere in their house, in cupboards, drawers and even in the sink where Meena brushes her teeth.

So, Meena has to first take those books out before brushing her teeth. Her parents put emphasis on Meena to read but Meena hated books. The tallest stack in the house contained all the unopened books that Meena’s parents had bought for her. One day Max gets stuck on top of that stack and as she tries to save him, the stack of books comes collapsing down on her. The books fly open as they fall, releasing animal and human characters like Humpty Dumpty, Mother Goose and a whole assortment of rabbits. Soon the room is filled with noise, chaos and confusion.

Meena asks the characters which books they belong in, but some of them don’t know – and because she has never read any of the stories, Meena doesn’t know either. The only solution is to read each book aloud. As Meena reads, the lost characters recognize their own stories and slip back inside them.

During the story all the participants were curious and assuming, what the next move would be in the story. They were given two breaks to draw about the story. The first pause was given when Meena was searching for her cat and then found it on the tallest stack of books on the cupboard. Very enthusiastically all the participants sketched their drawing based on the story. They had also worn the hand-puppets when the characters started coming-out from the books in the story. They shared that anything can become our favourite choice if we give it a try just like Meena who did not like reading books but as a situation came where to read books was mandatory for her, she fell in love with those stories.

One of the participant Ranjan Tadvi shared her experience and said, “I liked the story a lot as it was so joyful with many different characters were around us. I enjoyed the drawing part too. From the story, I feel we must try the things which we hate in our live and it is possible that we will start loving those things.”

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