The thing about 'play' I love the most is how it's such a happy word. There's always such a positive reaction that comes from almost anybody upon hearing it. As a kid, I remember how eagerly I would wait for the bell to ring at lunch time, so I could run to the playground and play with my friends. It was the best part of my day.
I think Headstreams through the Tackle Caravan program is doing a wonderful thing. It sort of reminds me of how my mother would fill my lunch box with red chapattis and green chapattis and I'd be so stoked. This is a weird comparison, I know, but hear me out. Through Caravan, I feel like these children gain so much more than they're aware of. They've come out of their shells, work effortlessly in teams with people that weren't initially in 'their gang', learned to be patient and have learned how to share. I feel like play has been cathartic for many of them, and through their art I've seen a lot of expression. What have those chapattis got to do with this? It's simple. The red were actually beetroot, and the green were palak. While I was so excited by the colour I had no idea my mother was feeding me vegetables. I think that is the beauty of Caravan, the immense learning and growth that is happening within each child without them knowing, helps facilitate a much more authentic change.
As for me, and what I've gotten out of this entire experience; it's been several things. I truly believe that learning and growth have been running parallely, between the children- their personal journeys and me and mine. Before I signed up for this program, I was sure in my head, that this is the sort of work I want to do in the future. I wanted to work with children and help them figure themselves out. I'm happy to say that these past months haven't changed that notion, but only strengthened it. Through each Caravan session, I've also seen myself evolve. From being the awkward person who could barely move from side to side, I've now let loose completely and am so much more comfortable with my body. From sitting idle at home, to actually working on my interests more. This process has actually sort of rekindled a dying spark of enthusiasm in me, and has reminded me what my goals are and has motivated me to work towards them. What I'm most grateful to Headstreams for, is that 2 hours every week, where I leave everything else behind and I'm automatically childlike.
- Anisha Rego