Friday, 6 January 2017

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Russell, Ontario

With Kids and Parents

I landed at the Ottawa Airport and my eyes opened to a wonderland of white.  The ground, and each and every tree limb and branch were prettied by that soft, crystally’ snow.  After days of meltdown, and rain washing the pile-ups away, the snow now returned with a fresh layer.

I tell people I don’t mind the changes of seasons.  People are quick to condemn winter because driving, and even trekking, becomes somewhat restrictive.  My take on that is “reducing speed ain’t a bad thing.”

On the topic of speed, I was graciously hosted by Krishna Dulal and Vraja Bhumi, who run a school for Vaishnava children, and it being their holidays, a slew of fast-moving, fidgety kids were assembled in front of me.  It would have been good to know beforehand who my audience was, because when I saw the darlings before me, I knew I had to adjust my sails.

Krishna Dulal had expressed a desire for a mid-day ‘program’ and now I got to realize who the listeners would be.  Now, I love kids, and it’s a pleasure when parents are right behind them.  I’m tested by circumstance to see how much I can hold their attention, which could be not at all.  Story-telling, goofy and not so goofy moments, and helping them to follow along with chanting at different volumes and tones is what I occupied them with.  We implemented interactive-ness.

I know the Montessori method, which the school adheres to, encourages repetition of actions, and that we did. But I find introducing something fresh and new to a presentation also keeps everything lively and holds the interest.

Despite my methodology, I couldn’t succeed one hundred per cent in harnessing the senses of the little ones.  Essentially, they did have a good time hearing about Prince Dhruva, chanting with some frivolity, and acting out demonstrations of bhakti (devotional behaviour).

May the Source be with you!

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