It was a week of festivals at Aarohi. We began with planning (planning seems to be our trademark). Planning gave us a clear idea of what all we can do, what all we want to do, what each individual want… it was very noisy meeting, the noise level is directly proportional to our excitement 🙂

Holi was the first in list. Colour making made many of us involved in different task – some climbed tree and pluck leaves to grind, some collected different leaves and flowers and grinded them and sieved and…. some bought flowers, boiled them and extracted color, some dried mashed flowers to make dry color.

It took us 5 hours to experiment with different ways to make natural colors. Meanwhile two kids experimented with making of water guns to play Holi. Two of them in the midst of all this experimentation were making some snacks for Holi and realized that cooking can be a tiring job.

Next was to play Holi… hmm this does not come so easily to us at campus, we go through our own learning process. Different teams took different roles – arranging water, water balloon blowing without running tap, preparing colors, arranging for food, preparing mud pit for mud play and arrangements for bath after Holi.

It took an hour for water team to solve problem with bending pipe to get water down the slope. Blowing water balloon without any tap was another challenge – air pump was used as an alternate tool to give pressure to blow and fill water. We were in th emiddle of our mud play when we saw forest fire behind campus and the day turned onto other events.

Wednesday was Baking day and b’day celebration of a child at the campus. Different children choose different task – one wanted to make pizza, one wanted to understand the process, one wanted to experiment with different ingredients, two wanted to bake cookies without eggs, one decided to continue with his other work and came only to eat pizza, one was asked to bake without talking much or asking for help or interfering in other’s work. Few dug the ground and put cold drinks to cool in wet mud.

Next was celebrating Pongal, Christmas and New year. Three parents joined to organize and celebrate at campus. We began with singing x’mas carols in the night, playing buckets to create rhythm from day to day life, decorated for Pongal and offered to sun, and cooked food for the celebration. We made ‘old man’, called ‘Mr past’ to burn out past with crackers and hay. The celebration ended with enacting ‘birth of Jesus’ in mud hut in moon light. Thank you Shaji, Shyana and Leela for adding joy to our celebrations.

It was just not simple celebrating, every event was an learning experience while we live. Making Hoki colours, collecting them and understanding how to pound them. How to extract color from water – by cooking or by grinding or soaking….the learning continued when most of our fruit color went bad next day (orange from WaterMelon, green from spinach and grey from banana peels).

We did not get water in running taps to play Holi – this brought an opportunity to understand slopes and working of water and pipes too :). Pizza baking did not come to use with all prepared ingredients – kids worked from making list of ingredients to quantities to managing burning cookies. The joy was in eating each half cooked pizza slices and cold drink cooled in our Mutti-cool system.

We wanted cool cold drinks, they did not come directly from fridge….we made our own Mutti cool system to keep our drink cool. Some dug the ground and tried putting a mud pot which broke, then tried with plastic buckets with holes around….and got ‘okay cool’ drinks.

Water guns did not come from market – two kids made them with empty water bottles and made many version of them with hole, with many hole, with tap without tap, far range, near ran1ge…. To decorate for Pongal flowers did not come directly from market, some kids went around collecting wild flowers, leaves and twines to decorate.

Two kids pounded stones and tried making mud color to play Holi. We had heard that rocks are made out of sand, we pounded to see If we can get sand to make colur.

The much awaited kite flying could not happen because we wanted to give more time to music and Rhythm activity planned by our guest parent who came especially for us o-campus. Each activity was different while the spirit of festivity was alive all the time.

We lived each moment while we celebrated a week of festivity at the campus.