Jail Diary

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Excitement and happiness on the faces of Inmates!

The big crowed, which had entered like a storm, suddenly got disappeared within no time. But, some of them stayed back. They were asked whether they would like to be here. They nodded. Now, the crowd was of around thirty odd people. Subodh asked jail personnel, “Can we start now?”

As I said earlier, it was a huge open hall. Approximately five to six hundred people can sit at a time. Up to human waist height, walls of hall were cemented. After that the entire hall was covered with iron grill up to ceiling. Sunlight was coming in the hall. My theatre instinct told me, how good this hall would be, if it would have been a covered hall. Later on, I express my thought to Mr. Dhamne. He laughed- “You civilians! Nothing could be closed in jail. What time one will take what kind of step, who knows?”

One stage or dais was there to conduct the programs. One gate was near the dais and one was just opposite of dais, where length of hall was ending. It was clear that entrance near the dais is for the entry and exit of dignitaries and other one was for the entry and exit of inmates.

One table with a table cloth and a vase with fresh flowers, plucked from the jail garden only was already on the dais. Four to five chairs were also kept. Mike was ready. Assistant jail superintendant asked us, whether we would like to speak before starting the workshop. I found, no one was willing to speak anything. Subodh wanted to start workshop as early as possible. Design of the workshop was in his mind and thus he had an idea of time, for taking the workshop. Incomplete workshop would not give any result. The official welcomed us and spoken about the program.

We all came down from the dais to the floor of the hall. All participants were given a white sheet along with sharpened pencils. Subodh asked for an additional table, which was not there. So we shifted the table down from the dais. On a big cardboard, he pasted a white sheet and scribbled it from one corner to another with the pencil and said to participant to follow the same. Initially, they did not understand. We all helped them. Within no time, their pencils started dancing on their sheets. Some were very fast, some were slow. But everyone scribbled his pencil from one corner to another.

After completion of rolling pencils up and down, Subodh gave scissors to them. It was basically a frame, which was made of black paper. Subodh explained to map out a figure from the white sheet, which were now turned out grey, due to scribbling, with the help of the frame. He showed his scribbled paper. He started fixing frame here and there on his paper. Soon, he figured out a fish. He said to do the same to the participants. Again, initially, all found it very difficult. They were thinking that since Subodh is an artiste, it is very easy to figure out the drawing from him. But how can they? But this illusion was lasted just for some moments. One participant screamed, “Aai ga! (Oh my mother!) I god one Deepak (Lamp)!” These words had instantly triggered others. Everyone started trying to find out some pictures, lines etc. No sooner voices started coming from all corners, “I got fish.” “I have dolphin.” “I got my house.” Excitement and happiness started blooming on the faces of participants.  They were not artists, but they were shining with the feel to get a pot of joy. Eureka! (Contd.) 

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