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Since 1st March, 1999
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Set to scale a holiday high

Exams are over and schools are shut, but it’s too hot to venture outdoors. Don’t despair, for there are plenty of indoor activities, workshops, camps and classes on offer to keep busy and learn something new this summer. From mask-making to music, dance to drama, for two-year-olds, tweens, teenagers and above, there’s something for almost everyone. So, sign up and get set to show off your new skills. Here’s a sneak peek at some of what’s on the summer holiday list…

Clown Town

On offer: Ice skating, go-karting, horse riding, rifle shooting, gymnastics, western dance, computers and aero-modelling

Age group: 4 to 20

Dates: The weeklong workshops start every Monday from May 12, till June 15

(There are bus pick-ups and drops from Salt Lake, Southern Avenue and Park Circus.)

Timings: 9 am to 5 pm. With a variety lunch

Ending in: Two-day fun carnival

Where: Gargacha (off the EM Bypass), Patuli, Garia

Contact: 2436 9322/8843

Birla Academy of Art and Culture

On offer: Pata chitra, papier mache, terracotta, vegetable dye, block printing and theatre workshops

Age group: 5 to 20

Dates: May 16 to June 2. Theatre workshop on till June 8. Mondays off

Timings: 10.30 am to 12 noon and 4 pm to 6 pm. Theatre workshop from 3 pm to 7 pm

Ending in: A stage performance and exhibition

Where: 108, Southern Avenue

Contact: 2466 6802/2843

Padatik Dance & Theatre Centre

On offer: Dance workshop by Kathak guru Birju Maharaj, children’s theatre workshop, creative writing, elocution, contemporary dance, arts and crafts and design workshop -- ‘making something out of nothing’

Age group: From toddlers to teenagers and above

Dates: Birju Maharaj workshop from May 12 to 17. The rest from May 18 to June 15

Timings: Varying times for different groups, from morning till night

Ending in: Gala carnival with a theatre and dance performance

Where: 6/7, AJC Bose Road

Contact: 2247 6087

Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre

On offer: Odissi and chhau dance classes, folk painting with a selection of phad from Rajasthan, gond from Madhya Pradesh and kalamkari from Andhra Pradesh, traditional mask-making from Assam and Orissa, soft stone carving by experts from Orissa, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, theatre

Age group: Children from Classes V to XII

Dates: Five-day workshops starting on different dates, from May 5 to June 21

Timings: 10 am to 5 pm

Ending in: Each workshop will finish off with a performance or exhibition

Where: Aikatan Complex, IA 290, Salt Lake, Sector III

Contact: 2335 6796

Flying High Camp

On offer: The theme this year is vegetables and fruits with activities like art and craft, story-telling, yoga and aerobics, music, cooking, field trips and drama.

Age group: Two-plus to 10

Dates: May 19 to 29

Timings: 10 am to 1 pm. Lunch included

Ending in: A dance drama on the benefits of fruits and vegetables

Where: 4A, Auckland Square, Jassal House, 1st floor

Contact: 98300-23349


Lines of peace

We want peace, not pieces

We’re high in spirit

Not on spirits.

Let’s rock, not be a rock

No drugs, no drinks

Let’s just jive and sing…

That was the message from Ravi Shankar to all youth at the Fusion Concert for Peace organised by Art of Living on April 19 at The Legacy (at the HSBC building on Shakespeare Sarani) and at the Dublin, ITC Sonar Bangla, the following day. This “fun attempt to introduce spirituality to the youth” was part of a cross-country series of concerts organised in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Cochin, Bhopal and Pune. Similar sessions were also held at universities abroad like Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard.

For the Calcutta leg, young teachers from the Art of Living Foundation, Mumbai, Saket Kakker and Sahil Jagtiani, were the lead singers for the ‘Art of Living Satsang band’. Bhajans set to western styles, not dance music, was what got the crowd going for a change.

“Through shows like this, we want the youth to realise that partying and having fun need not be restricted to nights out with friends at discos and pubs. Every moment in life is a celebration,” said international youth co-ordinator Sharmila Murarka.

Actress June Maliah was the ‘youth’ guest of honour, singing with the band. A 10-minute meditation session conducted by the band concluded the “rejuvenating” evening.

— Sangeet Shirodkar,

Apeejay School


Poetic fiesta

Srijan, a cultural organisation, invites budding poets under the age of 25 to send in entries in English, Bengali, Hindi or Urdu for the Youth Poetry Forum to be held on April 24 at 176, Sarat Bose Road, where poets will be invited to read out their work. Send in at least five poems (typed or written clearly) on A4 paper with your name, date of birth, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and name of your school, college or university. English entries to be sent to Trina Nileena Banerjee (2464-0036), Hindi and Urdu to Awadhesh Mohan Gupta (2439-7110) and Bengali to Ananya Banerjee (98302 78041). Or write to Srijan, c/o Basant Rungta, 20, Ballygunge Circular Road, Calcutta 700019. Call 2474-9126/9659 or email: [email protected]


On a fun pitch

I had the opportunity to live my dream last Friday at the ‘mini world cup’. On April 18 at a Summer Fun Camp organised for children, the 10 teams of eight players each could almost believe they were padding up at Jo’burg instead of at The Space Circle. We arrived bright and early at 7.30 in the morning, when we were given an idli-samosa breakfast to pep us up. Then, all the action was on the indoor cricket pitches.

The teams were from different coaching centres and buildings. I, as captain, had dubbed our team ‘Super 8’. Others chose names like ‘Lagaan’, ‘Josh’ and ‘Manchester United’.

The rules were many and mind-boggling. Two runs for wides and no balls. If a batsman hit a boundary he could add to his score by running while the ball was being retrieved. A dismissal meant three runs knocked off. I was thrilled when I didn’t get out once in the three matches we played. The tournament, organised by Bhavna Himani and Jolly Shah, had fair, alert umpires. The most memorable moment for me was when I hit a six, because it was the only one of the nine-match tourney.

A team from Milan Samity coaching centre won the Cup while a Bhowanipore school was runner-up. The Super 8 made it to the semi-finals of the knockout tournament, after which our luck ran dry. Though we may not have won the tournament (we came third), my friends and I had a ball. We made new friends and learnt a lot about teamwork and coordination. It was a lovely day of cricket and a wonderful experience.

— Nishil Gorsia,

Class X, St James’ School


An Inspector Calls, a play by J.B.Priestly directed by Sheo Kumar Jhunjhunwala, at Gyan Manch on Sunday. Picture by Amit Dutta

Beyond barriers

The All Faith Forum and St John’s Diocesan School celebrated the Sanghati Utsav on April 20 at the school grounds. The annual event commemorates festivals of all communities — Id-uz-Zoha, Poila Vaishakh, the Parsi New Year — all packed into one day. In its fourth year, the theme was ‘Peace and Unity’.

The evening commenced with a Unison Prayer for all religions led by Bishop Raju and other religious heads. In his address the Bishop stressed the need to “celebrate India” in its vastness and complexity.

Apart from performances from Shrutinatak and pop singer Shayne Hyrapiet, the teachers and even a few students of St John’s Diocesan provided most of the entertainment. The audience of students and parents also included politician Ajit Panja, actors Arjun Chakraborty and Abhishek Chatterjee, artist Wasim Kapoor and chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission Justice Mukul Gopal Mukherjee.


Question time

The Sreeleathers Bestfriends Battle of Brains Quiz Contest was held on Monday at the Science City auditorium. The winner among the 207 teams was St Xavier’s Collegiate School, which walked away with Rs 25,000. Bidhannagar Municipal School was second and South Point followed in third place.

- Coming up: A Shakespeare quiz to commemorate the Bard’s birth anniversary will be organised by the Shakespeare Society of Eastern India on April 23 at Deshbandhu Girls’ College, 5 pm. Contact Professor Annapurna Palit at 2464-0349 for registration.

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