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Friends with puppets

She travels round the world to spread social awareness with the help of puppets. Delhi-based puppeteer Anurupa Roy conducted her first workshop for younger children (6-8 years) in the city at Mace recently.

The three-day workshop focused on shadow puppetry. “I have often worked with young adults. Working with children proved quite a challenge. I am still trying to find out what stimulates them the most. Maybe, it’s drawing,” said Roy, the founder of Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust, in between organising the kids in groups and teaching them how to draw their stories and cut coloured cellophane paper.

Class I student Vidhi Rathi was there because she “loves drawing and painting”.

The kids proved to be eager learners. “I am learning so many interesting things here. I realised that in the shadow of a tree you can get a shape of a fish,” said an excited Jiah Karmakar, a Class II student of Modern High School.

The first day of the workshop was all about games that tested the children’s coordination skills. The children were taken outdoors to “catch shadows” on paper and draw them. “This is how they learnt the concept of light and shade. Dragons, houses, trees, animals, it soon became a riot of imagination on paper,” said Roy. “The idea is to introduce elements of puppet theatre to kids. I wanted them to work in groups and come up with their own narrative.”

On Day 2, the kids were divided into five groups and each came up with a story. While one group opted for the eternal favourite Red Riding Hood, others made up their own stories. Every child drew a part of the tale on a slide. The final day saw the kids using these slides to narrate their stories.

“The stories were so creative. One of them was about a girl who loved to suck her thumb. Then through a magic spell her thumb turned into chocolate and it was rendered useless. I interfere the least and enjoy seeing my students display their best mind,” Roy smiled.

Roy’s other workshop in the city was a five-day affair with children aged 10 to 15 creating their own miniature theatre in cardboard boxes using paper puppets, lights and a script.