‘To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety,ideas,shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.’….. lofty thought , idealistic views but at the same time strikingly true. Despite of the gigantic inventions in the field of science and technology which in a way has tried to seep into the world of the new age child and gradually tried to wean him off the habit of reading , one cannot deny the manifold benefits of reading in the life of an individual. The simple task of reading not only acts as a pacifier during testing times giving the much needed relaxation to the mind and the soul but also broadens the vision of a human being and makes him a progressive individual and a better conversationalist.
Acknowledging the myriad benefits of reading, Udgam celebrates reading week every year.
The students of class tenth chose the quintessential soliloquy and speech of Antony from Julius Caesar. Rendering them in the class, the students were enraptured by the soul stirring soliloquy of Antony whose eloquence marvelled them all. The subdued tone in the beginning followed by the rise in the tone and ultimately his words and imagery becoming more intense, more complex and more powerful made the children envision the heraldic fury that engulfed Rome. History is testimony to that. The prophetic outburst of Antony hitting a crescendo with the word ‘havoc’ left many mourn with Antony over the death of Caesar .
Calling the conspirators ‘butchers ‘and calling him. ‘meek and gentle ‘stirred the hornets’ nest. The conspirators as butchers were acceptable but how could Antony be meek? Meek which according to the Dictionary means submissive, mild did not appear fitting for the great warrior. A long, drawn out discussion on meek being one of the fruits of the spirit and hence one of the characteristics of Christ was gradually able to appease them. They were quick to understand that meek in the given context refers to one who is humble and patient and able to control his emotions during perilous affliction, hence strength not a weakness. The next task was the rendition of the speech of Antony.
Beginning with an asyndeton, “Friends, Romans, countrymen ….”the first line itself was a treat to the students. The rhetorical questions, the anastrophe, the insinuating irony, the antithesis, the tautology, the hyperbolic metaphor as well as the brilliant employment of pathos, logos and ethos astounded the students and made them appreciate the essence, the beauty and the effectiveness of the speech. The end with an aposiopesis left many gasping for more, just like the citizens of Rome.
Students of class ninth had a creative time writing stories with the newly taught vocabulary. The variety of themes, the newness in the activity made it an enjoyable exercise. It became all the more appreciable when each one shared his story with the other. It was great to see my inbox filled with the scripts of these amateur but eager writers. The week culminated with a book fair held in the premises of the school.
– Sharmistha Sinha, Teacher – Secondary School