It was a day of new experiences for the No TV Weekend’s littlest revellers, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj museum.
Children indulged in an afternoon of book-bartering, meditated over the ancient Mexican art form of Ojos de Dios, carefully crafted bookmarks, and concluded the day with a high-energy zumba session conducted by Sucheta Pal.
The events — free, open to all, and organised by Hindustan Times in association with the Kala Ghoda Association — drew participants from as far away as Vashi and Kandivli.
“After much pondering, my son Jiash decided to exchange his Geronimo comic book for, well, another Geronimo book,” said Kandivli resident Mita Parikh, laughing. “We both love reading, and at this book swap event, I feel like a kid again. It’s also so good to see him having fun away from a screen.”
In seven-year-old Jiash’s words, it was “very exciting”. “There are so many books to choose from. I wish I had brought more,” he said.
Vashi homemaker Ruchi Sood’s daughters Mehek, 10, and Rina, 7, meanwhile, picked up a few Ruskin Bond works and made some bookmarks using colourful pieces of felt.
“This not only challenges children creatively, it also makes them appreciate their books more,” said Ruchi.
In the afternoon, Amisha Shroff explained to a riveted audience the ancient Mexican practice Ojos de Dios or Eyes of God, by which tribes wove colourful yarn on to sticks to forming geometric frames called mandalas. “This activity is creative but also meditative in nature,” said Shroff. “As the participants patiently create the patterns, they enter a state of active meditation that is therapeutic.”
Jayanti Parish, 9, a Class 4 student from Andheri, said she found the experience unique. “I have never done anything like this before. I am really enjoying it,” she said.
The tempo then rose considerably as children gathered for a session of zumba, a high-octane dance workout that soon had the museum hall echoing with squeals.
“It was a dance-fitness party,” said trainer Sucheta Pal, laughing. “These sessions are always a big hit with kids. Not all children are perfect dancers, but they all invariably love to dance and enjoy music. That’s the whole idea of introducing them to this fitness form.”
The wide variety of activities has made this a day well spent, added Jalpa Gopani, who came to the museum from Kandivli with her daughter Siya, a nursery school student.