Exercise 1 consisted, quite simply, of asking children to relate an incident they felt happy/angry/sad/afraid/lonely/disappointed/etc. Here is a small sampling of their responses, the good, the bad, and the just plain funny. Interestingly, I’m having an issue with children copying each other! I’m going to have to give a small lecture on the Evils Of Plagiarism (i:e: tell them I only give treats to highly creative individuals). Another interesting problem is that I appear to have confused some children, who wrote a sentence each about different kinds of emotions, instead of one story about one emotion. I need to make myself clearer next time. Interestingly, some of the longest and most vivid responses are from the boys, who I didn’t expect to warm to the writing exercise as much. I’m definitely reading out the one about the bear next session. Thanks so much to Abhi for translating these!
Fasil, on fear: My friend and I were living in a village. During school holidays we usually go to into the jungle. Mother asked us daily not to go to the jungle. On the day of our vacation, the two of us went to the jungle. We lost our way in the jungle. Then we became very afraid. We then rested under a Banyan tree. Then we heard a roaring sound. Our heart beat loudly (‘pada pada’). For a while the two of us were watching out. Just then, when my friend saw a bear coming, he climbed to the top of a big tree and perched there. I did not know to climb trees. At that time, an old man came there. He had come to cut firewood, so he had an axe and a knife in his hands. He then hid in a bush close by and as the bear passed him by, he immediately cut the neck of the bear. As soon as I saw blood I was very afraid. I said that I would never return to this jungle.
Sabiba, on amazement: When I performed the snake dance in our school, I was ten years old. We went to Jaffna to perform the snake dance. When our school won first place in it, we were surprised. They asked us to come on stage and awarded us. When our school too gave us prizes we were surprised. Our neighbours also congratulated us and then we stopped being surprised.
Aazir, on fear: I was living in a beautiful village. My family was suffering from poverty, so I went to the jungle to cut firewood and sell it so I could support my family. Days rolled away like this. One day when I went to the jungle to cut firewood as usual, I heard a noise. When I looked down, I saw a cobra crawling and I trembled with fear. I was ran because I was afraid and the cobra pursued me, so I climbed a tree. The cobra looked for me for a while; I was perched on top of the tree, motionless and trembling in fear. Then I climbed down the tree in silence and returned home. I told my story to Amma and then I stopped going to the jungle.
Aska, on anger: I told my Amma that I was hungry but she did not serve me rice. I became very angry, then Amma gave me rice. I ate rice. This was the incident that made me angry.
Siyana, on fear: When my friend and I were walking on the road, we saw a snake and were very afraid, so we shrieked and screamed. Then when we saw a ghost, we fainted.
Jazra, on fear (one of those who misunderstood my instructions): 1. I saw a centipede and was very afraid. 2. I saw a snake and was afraid. 3. While on the road I was afraid. 4.I am afraid of teachers.
Fathima, on fear: When I was in my aunt’s house, I went to the shop with a friend. A dog began chasing me, so I screamed and rushed to my aunt’s house. My aunt asked me not to be afraid. Thereafter I never went to the shop with my friends or younger siblings. I only go out with my aunt, big sister and big brother. This was an unforgettable day in my life.