The Write Zone

The Write in the Park workshop saw teenagers give up their inhibitions to write freely in open spaces

Pragati Raskar, a 12-year-old in the city has found circuses to be dirty and scary both at the same time. In a short piece written by her, she remembers an imaginary elephant stamping on her foot and trumpeting loudly. The recurring tale has found a way out through her writing. Something she had not done before. Pragati was one of the 24 school-goers who attended the Write in the Park workshop on Saturday. The workshop was conducted by author Sudha Menon at the Empress Gardens with an aim to get children to connect with their surroundings and write uninhibited.

Pragati, a student of the Vidya Niketan School says, "Our school teacher told us about the workshop. I like writing about people around me but school and homework keeps me busy. Here we were given a sentence and also a setting where we had to write a story. Also, we were told to write it in one go without lifting our pens. We were told by didi (Menon) to just put down whatever came to our mind. I also wrote a story about how my friend and I would always laugh whenever we saw a mosquito because she had slapped herself once to kill one sitting on her cheek."

In addition to writing stories, the children also had to come up front and read their works thereby sharing it with all. Menon mentions that it also doubles up as an exercise in public speaking, where they get over their inhibitions. Viraj Nerurkar, another 12-year-old from Symbiosis School, says, "Writing in a park is something I have not done before. I wrote about my experience of going to the doctor to get an injection. It was painful and I don't like them." There are other instances too. One of the participants compared a bamboo plantation to her grandfather and said that he cared for them just like the plantation provided a shade to all of them assembled there.

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