They say one of the most beautiful moments in life is when someone’s face lights up with a smile because of you. In our daily lives, we do encounter this moment with our near and dear ones. However, opportunities to create a smile on the face of someone you don’t know are not easy to come by. This is what team Prayaas hopes to do.
When thinking of the second activity for the year, team Prayaas got in touch with Anthill Creations. Cofounded by Pooja Rai and Nancy, and currently incubating at the NSRCEL at IIM Bangalore, Anthill Creations has a Mission to create ‘interactive learning environments in public spaces with a primary focus on sustainability’.
Anthill Creations had just completed constructing a playground for the Government Higher Primary School at Arakere, which is close to IIM Bangalore. They were looking for volunteers to help them paint a wall bordering the playground. Team Prayaas decided to take on this task, and I signed up to assist them.
On 20th July 2018, a group of about 15 of us reached the school in the afternoon at 3 pm. Classes were still ongoing, and some students were on the playground. They got curious with our presence and negotiating their questions was a tough task, the language barrier only adding to the confusion. Getting the camera out caused a distraction, and as they posed for pictures, we looked at the task in front of us. A blank whitewashed wall about 50 feet long, which we hoped to convert into something colourful and beautiful. Themes were discussed, and we finally decided on an underwater scene surrounded by a lattice of triangles.
Most of us were holding a paintbrush for the first time since school. Evenly spreading the paint without allowing it to drip was a challenge. We did begin to get it right after a few attempts. While most of us focussed on colouring the triangles, the artists amongst us were detailing out the underwater scene. An hour into painting, and our arms began to hurt. This is when school ended for the day. As the children strolled out of their classrooms, the half-painted wall with an octopus and dolphin caught their eye. The littlest ones had a look of wonder and amazement on their faces. Some even came over to us and said “Woooowwww!” This reaction gave us a new burst of energy to continue our task.
Another hour passed, and we were close to completing painting the entire wall. With no school kids on the premises, some magic seemed to have taken over as the child in us began to come out. A couple of us agreed to have our clothes imprinted with the painted hands of all the volunteers. These fun moments only added to the memories of the day. As we stood back having completed the wall, we felt a sense of satisfaction and happiness.