Using cotton fabric, paraffin and bees wax, several dyes and wooden stamps, Dani and Rachel had created beautiful works that combined patience and creativity. A floral print, a mermaid, a woman carrying flowers on her head and two dupattas. No small feat for a delayed start to their ISP. They did a combination of block printing and batik for their ISP. Batik, a “wax-resist” dyeing technique used on cloth is a tradition that found its way to India from Indonesia. It entails creating a design and then covering sections of the design with wax, dipping the cloth into dye and repeating these steps again and again… and again!
The block printing part of their ISP was not as involved a process as batik because they did not actually carve the stamps used in block printing, but instead just used already made stamps. They still got a sneak peak into another art form in India. They got to visit a workshop where blocks were carved and see the process first hand.
They both spoke extensively about their teacher, Jasminder, who they really love. They said that while they learned batik from her, they also consider her a role model and a strong and smart Indian woman. It was so lovely to see how much Dani and Rachel had connected with Jasminder and how much they had learned from her.
As Sophie sat cross-legged with her flutes in front of her, (yes flutes, plural, that’s how much of a professional she is), we could tell how excited she was. Her teacher, Atul, was there for her presentation and told us how far she’d come in her musical journey and that she hadn’t even known how to blow into the flute in her first class.
Before she started playing, Sophie very sweetly told us not to expect too much but she did so well. She played three songs, one of which she had created a melody for herself! It was great to see how dedicated she was to her practice- she even brought her flutes with her to our retreat in Bodhgaya!
At the end of her presentation Sophie surprised us all by playing a popular Bollywood song that is both really catchy and really ridiculous called “Main Tera Boyfriend”, which literally translates to “I am Your Boyfriend”. Intellectual times for Bollywood. It made us giddily happy.
Sophie tells us that she plans to take her flutes home and continue her lessons on Skype!
At the conclusion of the presentations we were so proud of each of our students for being so committed to their ISPs. It was heartening to see how much they had learned and how they had embraced this special opportunity. We hope these experiences will be memories they always keep.
Dani and Rachel looking not at all dramatic.
Sophie the sweetest.