5)Play.. Note by Senthil

It is time for a return to childhood, to simplicity, to running and climbing and laughing in the sunshine, to experiencing happiness instead of being trained for a lifetime of pursuing happiness. It is time to let children be children again.” 

Once again we decided to assemble to explore the word while horizons through the theme of ‘Play’, as L.R. Knost mentioned we geared to meet again for Uyyale meet to explore the literature and role of play. When we mazed through our way to Reena’s home, we were welcomed with initiation of the elastic jump through. Then there was the miniature kitchen which amazed me, brought back my memories of Kokni café in Goa, where the décor has miniatures in glory. Then, Padma unveiled Chowka Bara- a traditional pawn game of Karnataka, and few teamed to teamed up to play Ali guli mane. While another team was exploring the Suspend, a metallic puzzle game, eventually to balance and everyone lost to Roshan. Vinitha brought in Dreidel, a Hebrew alphabet etched dice like rolled to give out score. Then Frisbee flew to the outdoors, which was fun as luckily we had empty ground nearby. Stones covered with newspaper, got the jugglers juggling, the ohooo, whoooos, Anil was at his best here and a few of us attempted to juggle. Roshan, strolled and got a collection of natural material and quickly came the Mobile, ( a type of kinetic sculpture constructed to take advantage of the principle of equilibrium) a game of balance and construction forms an instillation. 

We had lots of play things, spinning tops, marbles, skipping ropes, four corners, strings of wool for bridges and cats cradle, five stones, rummikub, pickup sticks and more. Jane had got a big box full of wooden piece- game of Kapla , this challenged us to make forms and shapes, wider or taller, a thing which took time to make, could came down in a jiffy.  

After all games and fun, we sat down and shared the explorations. Jane started with quote from Joan Eriksons’  from Wisdom of Senses about children and play while individually everyone shared their thoughts about Play, Reena and Suja shared their views on how play has helped them, in growing and exploration- more importantly in education, also shared personal experiences how as a parent they had come close to their children and how random play at any situation brought down the screened generation factors with current generation.

A few thoughts were on how play and games can be different. Games and competition, numbers and fears can stir a different response to participate in board games.

Then, on quite an unexpected note the game escalated to psychology of ‘child’ making choices, and artificial intelligence dominating and winning games, and many had questioning and reflecting thoughts, moreover me as an individual dealing with technology of AI and Machine learning, we know that machines can learn and research and produce efficient results over a time, and it analyses the pattern and tend to keep up to it, but where machine fails is in the area of invention. Machines discover with available data, Human invent the new data- here comes the human touch, a machine that discovers the existing research data, wouldn’t be equivalent to a fun game as children invent for themselves.

Anil took us though Sally and Anne experiment by Allison Gopnik and lead us to think on theory of mind. His book also talks about this. Am sure we would enjoy reading. 

The machine learning and Humans striving – tug of brilliance and innocence is highly debatable. Cognition and need intertwine together for invention. Sometimes its play which takes a drastic untraditional way for inventions. From Archimedes, cheer of Eureka of displacement of water while he was calculation for displaced water for a Luxurious Cruise for Emperor Heiron, He discovered the principle while he bathed, eventually he bathed same way all his life, but that day it was the playful perception or else, we would have missed the cheerful note of ‘eureka’.

So following all our playful notes, we had an elaborate potluck, lovely bread, drumstick huli, puri, boiled corn, lemon rice, sweets, dall rice, fruits, pulavo and more filled the table and we decided to meet once in 2.5 months.

Written by Roshni

A few resources we had put together for Play for your reference

  1. Impro for Storytellers (Theatre Arts (Routledge Paperback))
  2. Deep Fun: the virtual library of fun-provoking articles by Blue DeKoven
  3. Playfulness is a gift
  4. Suzy & Friends – Elastics… The Next Level (Video attached)
  5. Children need art and stories and poems and music as much as they need love and food and fresh air and play
  6. The Urgency of Playfulness
  7. The Kiss Of The Frog: A Performance Game By Blue
  8. Green Humour

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