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A different perspective I learnt in an Art workshop…


in my home was super happy when they got to know that I would be travelling to Bangalore
to attend a training in the month of October. Unlike the first time that I had
to travel to Goa two years ago for a training, I had to seek permission from
everyone – my husband, my in-laws, my parents…and literally everyone, they had
so many questions but time and thoughts change so quickly. Now, everyone knows
that my jobs need me to travel sometimes to distant places and my family has
accepted it very well.

This was the third time that I was going to travel in a
flight, all three of which has been to attend trainings in different parts of the
country – Goa, Rajasthan and this time Karnataka. For this visit, I started very
early from my home and reached quite late in Bangalore. I was so tired that
after reaching the Wipro Guest house, I had no energy left in me but only to
awake in the morning and look around the beautiful and humongous campus. My
children were in awe when I made them a video call and they said, “mummy, you
always travel to such wonderful places”.

I too was also quite happy about my Bangalore visit but
there was one thing that I was feeling scared about – English.

Well, it was Day 01 and I entered the training hall and so
did my fear of English language enter with me. But I was taken by a bit of
surprise because very soon I started enjoying the activities. I suddenly
started enjoying oil pastels and ways to create patterns, shades using them and
thinking about art differently. 

Over the next few days, I witnessed so many
experiences and was so thrilled at using such differing materials in the form
of clay, collage, tempera paint and then understanding assessments and session

I learnt a lot in the 6 days of training, met a lot of wonderful people
from various parts of the country and got to know about them. My biggest fear,
of not knowing the language, was shattered down by the facilitators who tried
their best to convey in Hindi and other participants also helped me a lot. We
developed a strong bond and the best part was no one had any reflection of ‘ego’.

I really loved the facilitation style of Nisha, Anu and
Saagarika, the ArtSparks team members, who had also designed the sessions which
flowed so smoothly for me. I was looking at this ‘trio’ and was so astonished with
their co-ordinated approach. Looking at them, I was remembering my team back in
Bihar and this remembrance came each time when I saw them talk and laugh
together. I don’t know why but I have started to feel a bit left out and lonely
in my team, lately. Everyone seems to have a problem with my tone and my voice,
it may be that I am wrong. I have a higher pitch and may be that doesn’t go
well for all. Sometimes I feel that I should not speak out but this is just not
in my personality and I cannot resist speaking out. Even though I sometimes
commit to myself that I won’t be speaking out in team but then I am asked to share
my voices, concerns, experiences etc. I feel a bit confused as this has made me
look problematic for my colleagues or may be that I am not understood well. I
feel to have friendly relations with my colleagues, I still remember when I was
in Bhopal railway station a couple of months ago while returning from a
training and I was in tears knowing that it was the last day of one of my colleagues,
back in Gopalganj, and cried and spoke to him.

The ArtSparks training, apart from shaping my understanding
on art work, gave me a lot of insights for me as a person to think and grow. I
also realized how crucial it is to have a strong bond with my team members. I need
to work a lot on myself, especially the ways I could put up my words and
thoughts with all, without hurting anyone.

                                                                                                    – Ragini, Library Educator at Prayog



Ragini is a library educator in Prayog and has been a champion of engagement with children through books in Govt schools and community library sites in Gopalganj, Bihar. This blog is her reflection on a different experience of emotions that she went through and thought about during the 6 days EdSparks Collective training conducted by ArtSparks Foundation. She had a very enriching experience during the time she spent in Wipro Campus, Bangalore and had some very critical insights after observing the facilitators of this workshop. It is not easy to reflect and share about oneself in a way that she has reflected and kudos to her and also to the facilitation team at ArtSparks Foundation for inspiring her. The reflection note has been translated from Hindi by one of her colleagues at Prayog. The views are personal and while Prayog does promote a very health organizational culture, this has also raised a point of discussion within the organization on the needs to continuously engage with its members on working environment and issues that they face in inter-personal communication. 


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