A celebration event was held in Bengaluru on Sunday,March 22. The celebration this year was unusual in more than one way. To start with, BLT had the National Gallery of Modern Art join the celebration by holding the event in their premises. Second, NGMA happened to open a prestigious exhibition at that time. It was the work of Jamini Roy, hailed as among the first of India’s painters in the modern-contemporary mould. The connection to Tagore and Santiniketan could not be missed. That led to the next important feature of this year’s celebration. With the kind permission of the curator Ms. Ella Datta (and enthusiastic support), we had groups of children doing unrehearsed storytelling before select paintings of Jamini Roy. The animated storytelling was right there in the gallery.
We had over a hundred children attending (another special feature of the 2015 celebration), along with parents or teachers. They listened to the highly imaginative tales in awe and with rapt attention. In two of the stories, the children created a tale from two adjacent paintings, as if they were part of the same story in the painter’s mind!
In addition to this there were songs, games, some storytelling and a film screening. The most pleasant surprise was the appearance of over a hundred children at NGMA in spite of the exam season! Something right happening!