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‘A student must be humble in order to seek wisdom’

On the occasion of Teachers Day, Apeejay School, Kharghar, student Salvia Siddharth put together a puppet show with a moral that teaches humility in order to attain learning



What sparked the idea of a puppet show on Teachers Day?

During this summer vacation, as a part of our Hindi homework, we had to complete an art integrated project  that involved a puppet show. I was thinking of good topics when all of a sudden the topic of ‘Guru Ka Mahatva’ (importance of a teacher) came to my mind. I felt it was a good theme and began working on it.   

Could you tell us about the story you have used in the puppet show?

The story is about a king who wanted to seek wisdom. He approached a very famous guru (teacher) and soon their classes began. A year passed by and the king felt that he had not learned anything new. He basically felt no change within himself.  So the king asked the guru about the same. The guru replied that it was so since the king was seeking wisdom from his throne, the exalted position of a king while the guru was teaching while sitting on the ground. A student must be humble in order to seek wisdom and be devoted. The teacher is a higher figure than the student. Thus the student must always respect the teacher.

How do you link the moral of this story with your day-to-day life? How do you connect this value with yourself?

Sometimes we are not able to share our queries with teachers. When a teacher is speaking we should not interrupt her in between. Sometimes I myself do this. We should let the teacher speak and explain first, thereby showing respect.

How did you learn the skill of puppetry?

I learnt it from Google and YouTube. My mother knew some tricks about puppetry. She also learnt more about it by watching the tutorial videos at Youtube. I learnt the craft from my mother. She helped me in this project and supported me in making all the puppets. At first I was nervous at the prospect of doing a puppet show. I thought of abandoning this project but my mother told me that I must keep trying, since only those who try can succeed.  So I kept at it.  Later, with practice, I learnt how to handle the puppets swiftly.  Gradually, the smoothness of hands came and I was able to present the puppet show.

What type of puppets did you use in the project?

There are many types of puppets such as finger puppets, string puppets etc. I used string puppets. These are hand-made dolls. It took my mother and me one week to prepare all the kathputlis (puppets). We did some research on their dress backgrounds and prepared the background setup accordingly. 

How did your school teachers encourage you in developing this talent?

My Hindi teacher, Ms Reeta Bhatt, encouraged all the students for their participation in this activity. She told us to learn from each other’s puppets, their designs, way of presentation etc. She keeps suggesting unique activities that give us a chance to learn something new and grow.

Arijit Roy is a young correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. He has done his masters in English literature from Delhi University and has a book of poems published by Writers Workshop India. He can be reached at [email protected].