We aren’t very religious. But we adore our Gods; especially Krishna and Ganesha.
Why? “Because they are fun and cute.” We love the tv series Krishna’s Roll Number 21 and O My Friend Ganesha, the Amar Chitra Katha comics detailing their adventures, and are happiest when colouring their pictures.
Not surprisingly, when I had two packs of Shilpkar clay and hyperactive kids at home on a mid-term break, “God-making” (What??) was voted Day 1’s activity of choice.
“Krishna needs more clay” declared my six year old, “ummm, so Ganesha it is.” I could smell an ambitious venture brewing and wondered when I’d be called for expert tips. The call never came but I got to watch the girls at work.
They’d never used clay before but you wouldn’t guess it if you saw how they mixed the clay and hardener using talcum powder at intervals to keep the mixture smooth. I marvelled at how my six year old dubbed “cleanliness freak” by an erstwhile playgroup teacher had transformed over the past hour into one who did not mind the stickiness or smell of clay! And then, I switched to my four year old furiously making three differently-sized clay balls. “Why make those?” I asked. “Tch! Isn’t Ganesha fat and round, amma?” Of course! With her balls ready, she put the biggest one down as the belly, above it, the slightly smaller one as the head and the final ball was now divided into eight tinier balls. Two of these were flattened for the ears. One was lengthened for the trunk and two others became podgy hands. Left with three small bits of clay, she created a small mooshik, a crown and the modak.
Hmmm…I’d expected a request for more clay. I was wrong. My imaginative six year old was adding finishing touches to her Ganesha with a dholak and a mooshik perched on top of it. “Something different” she said as I gaped at her work.
Was I bursting with pride? Yes. Would I take credit for their creativity? No.
But I shall share what “God-making” taught me:
Don’t getthrown off by the unfamiliar. Experiment with it. [Read: The girls had never handled clay (not play dough) before but they did not get stumped by it. They did stump me with their subjects though!]
Chalk out a game plan. You have ten minutes before clay hardens. [Read: If there is something you want to do, strategise and time it well. That way, you get something constructive with fewer accidents.]
Ration your clay. Amma gives you only one packet. [Read: Economise use of finite resources. This one’s definitely for all the environmentally-conscious so
uls out there.]
Stand out in a crowd: At times it pays to be different. [Read: Think out of the box and you will be noticed.]