by Utkrishta Mulmi and Susmita Gongba
27 February 2017. Yesterday we went to PIN Nepal for a workshop. We had recently learned that we were again going to be involved with the Genius Week program with 92Y. I was very excited and shared what was going to happen with my mother. Last year, I had made a lengthy presentation and Kusma had just joined so she helped a lot but could not be extensively involved.
We had an early lunch and went off on the van, after dropping us off, Kusma and Pallav sir had to go to another meeting and would join us again later. We went down the narrow alley and through the gate of PIN Nepal which is a home for girls with need. We said namaste to everyone and we went into a long room and there was an introduction. Since there were about 30 of us, I did not get all the names but I got it that we were happy to see each other.
Spiny Babbler has been working with PIN Nepal for over 20 years now, I have learned. So as an organization, we have been here many times in the past as well. After the introductions, Bhagwati maam told us that everybody would do some art. The artwork would be on different topics related to Genius and how we could make change using our creativity.
We formed a mixed team. Some of us from Spiny Babbler Evolution and some from PIN Nepal. Utu’s team had Neeva, Pukar and me in it. Susmita’s team had Nitya, Anita, and Shaswat. We had a big discussion on the topics for our art. We had to draw something big on paper and within that main shape, there would be smaller drawings inside. Little Vidheha and Prathamesh, our three year olds, also made drawings. We talked a lot while making the drawings so the art session so it was easier to make friends!
Nitya is working on a different blog covering the different topics and what we made so this blog is going to be about what we did and enjoyed and learned overall rather than the details of the topics and the artwork. After conversing about the topics, learning how to present them, and putting in actions and solutions and issues into our artwork, we were more aware of the problems, the opportunities, and how creativity could be used.
After we finished drawing we colored them. The girls from PIN Nepal gave us biscuits and tea to eat so we put the artwork down and ate our snacks. Then we continued our worked and looked at everybody else’s work. One team had made Spiny Babbler bird, the other a rabbit, one team had made balloons and another made a tree as their center piece work. However, inside the centerpiece were many issues and solutions and ideas that taught us much about what we could do to bring change to our world and create for good.
Then Bhagwati maam gave us candies and then we had a lot of fun with music, dancing, singing, talking, and jokes. We played our flutes and once Pallav sir came, the songs and the music became more loud and those of us who were feeling shy got up to dance and enjoy what was happening. Niva, Sushmita and Vidheha danced to Resham Firiri, the girls from PIN Nepal sang some really really beautiful songs and their movements were graceful when they danced and they told some great jokes that really had everyone laughing including all the adults.
They sang Manjuli, the second group shared a joke about a Nepali dog, an Indian dog and a Chinese dog. The dogs were naughty. Some danced to Chaubandi Ma and others to Hindi song Sun Sathia. The dance was really beautiful. Nitya and Pukar told very funny jokes and after we did all this, while eating and learning about how we could make a contribution to the community with art, we went outside to take a group photo. Then we played football with the students of PIN Nepal slid down the slide until it was time to go back to Spiny Babbler.
Well, it was a great day. Mondays at Spiny Babbler Evolution are for the outdoors and this time, instead of hiking, we went to PIN Nepal and prepared for the Genius Week while making new friends. I really liked the day.