After successfully completing our last show on 13th March now we had to prepare for our new adventure to Bhopal. We had only half day and half night left because at midnight we had a train to Delhi. So after the performance we had a small break for food and a small round together with the German group (it was the last round in Bodhgaya together for this year ). After that, we directly started packing all the stuff that we had to take with us for the trip to Bhopal. After packing, we took some rest and spent the last moment together, then at midnight we left to the railway station. The weather was so bad, it was very heavy raining with wind. On the way to the railway station we also lost one package from Wolfgang. But anyhow, we took our train in very short time. We were a big group with so much luggage, but anyhow we managed. We didn’t have seats in the same compartment of the train, so it was hard, but we also managed this. After traveling 15 hours we reached Delhi at night and we directly went to our hotel because everyone was tired. The next day we had a flight to Bhopal in the evening, everyone was excited, especially the Dreamcatchers, because for some of them it was the first time to be inside an airplane. With all our luggage we went to the airport. And the best thing that happened there was that the airline counter girl and one guy who was attending us asked about our group and after we told them about us they asked for a group picture with us. We are Dreamcatchers, we never say no to anyone’s dream, so we took the picture.
We started to Bhopal and everyone enjoyed the flight a lot and we reached Bhopal. We booked a taxi and started to our destination “Muskan foundation” (Mitti ka ghar). At Muskan the lady herself was waiting for us at night with the children.
That was the first interaction with her and it was really nice to see the glow of her face. She appears like a woman full of emotion inside who thinks always about the needy ones. It was nice meeting with her, and after dinner we went to bed. The boys had their own room and the girls had their own. So everything was already prepared. The next day started with meeting the children and the team members. Actually we arrived there when all schools were closed by governement guideline due to corona. So it was 3 days school off. But somehow we met hostel kids and the team members with Muskan. We made a big round with everyone and started the introduction round throwing the Indiaca ball between us. It was hard to remember all names, but after hearing their stories impossible to forget. They all belong to padri,gond,………….. Samaj., All were slum children.
Some children told that they were doing pocket snatching at the railway station and then they were caught and threatened by the police and they were told that they had to pay a fine so they had to do pocket snatching again to pay that fine. So all in all it was a circle for them. But it was hard to hear this , some told that nobody gives them jobs after knowing their caste. Sometimes I don’t believe in which world we are living where people are judged not by their talent but by their caste and colour. That was the first day meeting but somehow I was so connected with them, not only our team but everyone was so much shocked, it was not a normal situation for the Dreamcatchers. But then I thought in that moment that I was not able to change the situation but what I was able to do was dance and I would do that. So in the evening we planned and performed our show “The Magic Mirror” for them. It was a very nice energy we had because it was also coming from the spectators who had big dreams in their eyes. We got a very good feedback with very long clapping and then we got very beautiful questions from them and we gave answers also in a beautiful way to make them understand. There was one funny question from one small kid about my Shiva character. He asked how Lord Shiva had a cellphone and also other gods. So I told him in a fantasy way so he understood. After that we had a dinner and made a plan for the whole week.
Me and Vinod started next day along with Wolfgang and Christian together to look for a spot. Actually we went through all the slum to see the areas where we would perform and also to organise the workshops for them. For this, one of the active members of the Muskan foundation, Ravi, was helping us with his team Abhishek, Tasveer, Brajesh, Jeenu, Pushpa and Monu, So it was easy to communicate with them. After seeing their life and the way of their living I was touched and Wolfgang also said that he had wanted to work for this type of people or children from long time and I had also the same feelings from long time.
We visited several spots and when we came back the main thing for us now was to make the group understand that where we were going to perform that place was not so supportive for audience. But the group supported us and said that we all will manage this together. The main part was that Ravi and his team were handling all the things so it was not so hard and after all it went very smoothly. So me and Vinod gave workshops in the morning and afternoon and for this Rahul, Prince, Shashi, Wolfgang , Christian and Sarah supported us.
After the workshops we relaxed and then the team came to us with all the things of the show. We started making our hand made stage with our own equipment. And while we were busy in that work Frieder was playing and entertaining the audience with his crazy moves.
And than we did our first performance in slum areas. It was a really different type of feeling for me because I was living that life for two years with them before in Jharkhand. They enjoyed a lot and after spending the whole day with them we came back and we heard that Christian and Frieder had to leave us because they had to reach Delhi as their flight was cancelled because Corona had reached our country, so the government cancelled all the international flights from India. So they went back and then we were left there with Wolfgang and the girls ( interns ). They could stay because they had tickets of Emirates, which was still working. So the second day we did only the performance because Christian told us to do this at least for the day.
Next day we would do the workshop again.
In the evening after the performance we heard that we all had to leave because the government cancelled many trains. So we said bye to all the beautiful faces for this year.
we booked a flight and came back to Delhi in on 21st March and then Wolfgang arranged a train for the same day to Gaya. I decided to stay with them there because I thought one local guy had to be with them in this hard time. The children arrived early morning on 22nd March (3 am), so they reached their home safely. Then on 22nd after 7am there was a lock-down. I was with the whole group in Delhi during the lock-down and also we clapped for the corona fighters in the evenings together. Then the next day we got a call from german consulate that they will pick us up and bring us to Marriott hotel near Delhi airport and somehow Wolfgang organised for me also to move there. The Next day at 1:30pm I heard that from 25th March there would be a country wide lock- down. I was so shocked because I had a flight for Patna on 25th. So at last I decided to fly on the same day and somehow I arranged a flight for me at 4:30pm. It was good that I was so close to airport so I managed everything and reached Patna safely. Then I put myself in home quarantine for the whole lockdown. And also our German team after some struggle got a Lufthansa flight to get back to their country. So overall we did good in Bhopal and hopefully we will do the rest on our next trip to Bhopal very soon. So guys, stay tuned with us.