Reflections on the Aagaaz Drama Jams by Amaira Srivastava
Yes, I am turning 10 in 6 days and yes, I am a part of extraordinary online jam sessions on Saturday nights America time for me and Sunday mornings India time- with participants from all walks of life! So this is how it started…and is still going on!
Week One: My mom asked me to join an online ‘jam session’ just when I was about to go to bed. Strange! Normally she forces me to sleep early but that day she was extra nice and extra polite and asked me to check out ‘Aagaaz’. It was my first time and I was pretty confused and clueless. I joined the Zoom meeting and introduced myself to Akhila and the others -they were all very welcoming. I was yawning initially as it was past 11 pm, Arizona time; however, I felt a positive vibe in all this! Then, I was wide awake! That night, the first game we played was ‘Fortunately-Unfortunately in 2020’. It took a while but I got the hang of it very fast! This was fun. We did dialogues, gestures, dance etc. Everyone welcomed me with open arms and helped me adjust to this concept. I loved that we ended the class with music and dance like no one was watching! Now, I was looking forward to the class next week.
Week Two: This week, I was more enthusiastic than sleepy! I proposed a game and named it “Do” which in Hindi means ‘two’. The game was supposed to be played in pairs-hence the name ‘Do’. This game was to be played by two people-focusing on facial expressions where two people would talk using one word and emphasized it repeatedly to start a conversation and continue the conversation with the same word. It was all about voice modulation and facial expressions. It felt great to introduce YOUR GAME to the others. Now I was getting used to interacting with familiar faces and voices. I now understood completely how these jam sessions worked. I was really happy to contribute my bit that day.
Week Three: This was by far the most fun jam of all. We took a lemon and massaged it on our bodies then dipped it in paint. We rolled the lemon on a piece of paper and it made a very messy picture. Next, we took that picture and made gestures and observations about it! Everyone had a different and unique story to tell.
Week Four: This week, we thought of a title for a book and we asked other people to give the first line of the beginning, middle and end. Next, we asked people to act out what the story was all about. Then, we did an activity called the Human Library. In this game, we asked people questions and learnt as much as we could about their book.
I am enjoying these sessions and let’s see how it works out in future- Thank you Team Aagaaz for these interactive fun-filled online sessions-especially in these tough times- where almost 10 years olds like me are looking for that bond and re- connection…once more.
Amaira who just celebrated her first double-digit birthday — is a student of Grade 4-currently living in Phoenix, Arizona. She is open to new ideas and likes to connect with people from different walks of life to understand their POV regarding current affairs. She is passionate about climate change and has also organized a successful campaign in her school for the protection of Sea Turtles (eventually saving more than 600 hatchlings). She is part of her school’s ‘Production Club’ and loves to paint, experiment and explore unchartered territories. She is currently fascinated by Theatre at School and Aagaaz, public speaking forums and trekking in the desert.
Illustrations by Devika