Today was another great day. We started off setting the day with Mr. Costa in room 1113. We had three activities to choose from which were
- Chenda Melam Drums
I was in the martial arts group which was Kalaripayattu. We got to know that this is a martial arts which the mother for all the others. It was really important to follow all the instructions we were told by our guru as otherwise we might not be respecting the religion.
I think we showed a good amount of respect and had tried our best Of our ability most of the time. I would also say that after taking that class we were great risk takers and most of us learned something new which before we were scared off. I think that these skills are really important in our daily life fore reasons like safety and keeping this form of art alive. The act of discipline is another important thing to be respectful and having a better performance at the end.
I really enjoyed the fact that I can dance and be strong at the same time. This also looks really good when we perform it thanks to the teachers because he was the one who made us perfect.
Next we went to the pool were we learned one act of design. Unfortunately Mithali and I could not participate as we were not that great swimmers. Though our coach told us we could participate tomorrow. Other than that we thought that the pool looked really pretty with all those amazing swimmers.
It was day-2 of Kalaripayattu and I woke up with aching legs from the day before! We obviously worked muscles that had been lying dormant for more than just a while! Still, I was looking forward to it because I really enjoyed the first day!
Our session began with a repeat of the steps we learnt yesterday. Sir thought we had improved a lot, so that made us feel proud. Then we practiced our individual steps with music. We were given a specific time in which we would enter and do our steps. Some of us were sore from yesterday and at times couldn't keep up with the beat of the music. If we didn't do the steps well enough, we would practice some more and then do the whole song as a group.We adjusted the length of our steps and even got rid of somelike the forward role for me and Raeesa (phew!)
Towards the end of the performance, five of us had to lie on our stomachs and push our self up and down in a wave like motion. Once Mr.Pradeep was satisfied, he gave us a challenge- we had to sit on our hands and try to walk. That was really hard and I had to do it a few times to actually get it!
Finally, it was time for swimming. The girls did the synchronized swimming while the boys played touch rugby. Although I didn't swim today, both the activities looked really fun and I am sure both girls and boys enjoyed it a lot. Overall this was a really fun day and I look forward to the final few CL days as well as our performances!
Students from 7th grade on-campus were split into three groups to do different activities.
Kalari (a form of martial arts mixed with dance), is the activity my group did. The students were given three days to learn their routines which would be performed on Friday for parents, teachers and students. The students at first weren't very respectful as they often laughed at the routines sir taught us.
Students started getting more interested the next day but faced muscle pains and cramps from the previous day. On the third day we rehearsed on the stage with music and lights. The students were excited and amazed by how the show has come together and were proud that they managed this within three days. Everyone did their finishing touches and perfected their dances.
While the students finished off their last bits that needed to be worked on, the teachers got out their costumes. The students weren't as excited as the pants were really big and it wasn't easy at first to put the top on but they got the hang of it. They practiced once with costumes and then went for lunch.
The overall practice today was much better than the previous days as we knew almost all our steps perfectly and listened to the teachers. Students loved this routine as it was new and different from most things they've done before.
The day started of by Journaling and Newsela, after that we had our practice then lunch then again practice and last we had swimming.
Today we continued our practice for 'YAKSHAGANA' preparing for a performance on Friday. We weren't able to co ordinate with each other and were getting confused with the steps, but Miss made us practice again and again, so that we dance with coordination. Even though dancing was repetitive, at the end of the day we were dancing in harmony.
Then came to the practice of dialogues. We weren't loud enough to be heard in the Odeum, so we did some vocal exercises. We also had a full run through of our play. It will be a 14 min performance!
Today we started of with our last project of CL - Chenda Melam drums. Chenda Melam means cylindrical percussion. It is played during occasions in Kerala. When we went to the Odeum, two guides were there who guided us in playing the instrument. One of the guide said that the basic rhythm for any type of religious song is tha-ki-ta.
We learned that if we know the basic rhythm, we can play any type of religious song at any festival in Kerala. He also explained that it takes at least 1 year to learn to play the drums, and a lot more years for learning advanced skills. Most of us learnt simple rhythms, which we are going to perform on Friday.
We all were surprised to see one of the guide playing the Chenda really fast. He obviously had learnt it for many years. He said that if we want to learn the skill of playing fast, we will need a lot training. It is not easy to perform unless you know the basics and get trained . And also, he explained to us that it isn't easy to perform because you will have to be standing in the sun at the temple, or a place where they would perform for about seven hours a day. When he was telling us about playing the Chenda Melam, I learnt a lot about the instrument and also realised that "PRACTICE MAKES A MAN PERFECT".
On the beat was my goal (mantra) .
Today we practiced 'Chenda Melam'. We were hitting the drums and most importantly rocking out. We practiced our whole routine and it went well. We only practiced few times since the drums were so loud that our ears would explode and our head hurt but we did a good job.
The easiest part was playing the whole song properly and the hardest part was playing as one group of 9. For me the hardest thing was speeding up and going the maximum speed in a beat.
The interesting thing is we learnt something new and that Chenda is mainly played in Hindu temple festivals and is a religious art form of Kerala.
My overall experience was fun and new and I am really happy for learning the culture. I am looking forward to playing the piece and finding out what people think about it.
At the end of the day we played rugby in the pool and some students did synchronized swimming. Overall it was a rhythmic and synchronized day.
The sunny sky with glazing glasses made our day walk. We were made to walk in narrow roads which led us to many historic places I never visited before. All those places were part of a pettah, which means a village inside a fort. The pettah was occupied by people of different trades, one of which was and still is silk weaving.
The journey of our tour began with the walk to the Dargah. It looked like a mosque, but it wasn't. the guide told us the difference between a Dargah and a mosque. I was interested in it because there was a sufi saint buried there. We learnt that buried sufi's head always faces Mecca. The guide also told us more about Islam and sufism. "Terrorism has no religion" - said our tour guide. I will always remember that.
Then we walked to the temple. It was based on the story of Mahabharata. It was a story of some Pandavas who fought against 100 people and they won. So the temple was spiritual and meaningful. We also saw a basil plant also called tulsi. People eat that when they cannot have kids. So they go and pray there and eat it. Then the fertilization begins. I was surprised that a small leaf could make a difference. It was an amazing experience to be there.
The last place we walked to was to see silk weavers. We saw how people make silk and give it colour. The health consequence for this it that it's so loud, so people may get deaf. Then we went to the place where they dye silk. They dip it in the benzidine-based dyes. They don't use gloves, or masks, or coats to prevent injuries and health problems.
I enjoyed this day as I learned a lot of new things and experienced them, instead of just reading about it.
On Wednesday the 31st of May, students from grade seven OnCampus went on a field trip to three locations, the main one being Tipu Sultan palace. Whilst the students were there on a tour, they had a workbook to complete for these three locations. This palace was built in 1799. The students were excited to see the historical site. There you could see what remained of the palace after the British had attacked it.
The next location was a jail where the British where prisoners of war. The same tour guide showed us around and we even went into some of the jail cells. In the jail cell, the tour guide showed a poem that one imprisoned Britisher wrote while staying there. Then, the students attempted to write a poem as well.
There was a temple there as well. The tour guide talked about the temple for a while, but students were curious as to why there where spikes on the doors of the jail. Everyone was surprised to hear that it was to keep elephants from head butting and breaking the doors.
The last location was the armory. There wasn't much there other than the fact that gun powder used to be stored there. Overall this Day of travelling to historical places was a new experience for everyone and all students got to learn something new about Bangalore's history.
We started this exciting day with Mr. Costa. We stayed here until 9:30. This is a great time for us to journal and Reflect at the same time hear and discuss the others opinion. Here onwards our whole day was about street theatre. We started off with a practice session. I personally felt that this was really important as we were not as prepared as we should have been. I think the idea of problem solving really needed to be idealised in our rehearsal.
We finally took off to the road. We started walking and reached a destination which was not really the best place for us to perform. Most of us had this idea because no one stood but and watch as this
place was a place where everyone was on a vehicle.
Our next stop was right next to Starbucks. Our teachers decided to take the decision to only perform the rap instead of the whole play. They did this as we were not loud enough at our first public performance. Right after the performance we rushed inside Starbucks. I think we were not the best holders of the CIS shirt as we were running around and not co operating. The Starbucks part was my favourite because we got to drink some fabulous drinks and snacks. The total sum of our money was close to ten thousand. We thought that Starbucks was really costly for this one trip. After everyone got their drinks and snacks we headed back to school.
Next, we had our next performance which was right opposite CCD in our school. This was our favourite performance because we were loud and were putting a lot of effort. We felt really happy as people started to come and watch us because otherwise we were invisible to the others. That's it for the day and thank you CIS for those yummy drinks from Starbucks.
Today we visited the Holy Trinity Church, Ulsoor Market, Metro, and the Vidhana Soudha. Our goal was to learn more about Bangalore through its infrastructure.
In the large Holy Trinity Church, we hunted for plaques that honores people who passed away doing their duties. As we walked around the beautiful Church, we saw many different things, like a mural made from stained glass. Later, we climbed up to the roof, where we learned why people used to use Church bells. The view from the top was beautiful, but also frightening. We also had a booklet which asked us questions of the items around us. One question was: "How many plaques are present?" We counted a total of 31. One that I found interesting was of this man who was killed by a tiger.
We, then walked to the Ulsoor Markets, where we saw a variety of shops. They few that we saw were Convenience Stores, Fancy Shops, Temple Shops, etc. Though we enjoyed the place very much, we also had the hardship of dirt and stink. As we walked we saw many cows and dogs. We also walked and found a lake, which was once a landfill. The lake is contaminated, but the government tries to clean it everyday.
We then continued on our journey to the Metro. First, we had to wait for a long time to get on the Metro, and then we had to stand for the whole time since the seats were occupied. It was fun, though it made rough stops and harsh accelerations. It seemed as though people kept coming and didn't get off.
After the Metro, we went to the Vidhana Soudha, which has a very interesting history. It stands right across from the Karnataka High Court which was built by the British. The Vidhana Soudha is taller which symbolises power and prosperity against the British. They are also built differently. The High Court is built in a Greko-Roman way, and the Vidhana Soudha is built in a Indian theme. Right next to the Vidhana Soudha is an identical building. There are rumours that it is haunted. This is because people in the olden days used to think that making an identical of something is cursed.
Though it was really fun, some of the times were boring.