On Friday, July 14, Class 8 students of the New Baldwin International School (NBIS) visited the Visthar campus. David Selvaraj, Founder and Executive Trustee, welcomed the excited bunch of 90-odd boys and girls. When the students were asked why they were visiting the campus, their answers captured the spirit of the venue. The collective answers can be summed up in one response: “To get away from material life and spend time with nature.” David asked them to make the most of their time outside the four walls of the school and home listening to what nature has to say to them.
After the welcome meet and greet, the students headed to Aala, an outdoor auditorium. There they were served biscuits and lime tea. The kids had carried a cake with them as it was the birthday of one of their teachers. After cutting the cake and having snacks the children looked around a bit on their own. There were exclamations of delight as the children came in contact with nature. “Look a centipede, again! I have seen four of them,” said one child. They were also fascinated by the pristine beauty of the campus. “There is no noise here. No sounds of vehicles. We can hear the birds,” exclaimed another.
Visthar’s campus is situated on six acres of a well-preserved eco-sanctuary. It has a large number of flowering and fruit-bearing trees and spaces for agro-ecological farming. The campus is a place for learning about nature and being one with it.
After snacks, the students headed to the Visthar Academy of Culture and Contemporary Arts to explore the world of art. Before they went started out, Mahesh Puttar, Principal of the academy asked them to get in a “state of mindfulness.” Then they trooped off on a guided tour to see works of art like paintings, sketches and sculptures.
Some enthusiastic reactions from them: “This sculpture expresses emotions in its pose,” said one. Followed by an analysis of a painting by another: “The swing is partly concealed by the trees and that looks so mysterious.”
After the art school, the students went to the papermaking unit. There they learnt what goes into making recycled paper. The students were enamoured with the products of the workshop and purchased handmade paper books and paper jewellery.
The last stop of the trip was Mandala, the meditation centre. The students removed their shoes and entered reverentially inside. After looking around, they sat around to contemplate and meditate. They closed their eyes to enjoy the sounds of nature. Many of them went into deep meditation in the classic yoga pose. Some started to chant. They were amazed at how refreshed they felt after the spell of meditation.
After that, they dispersed to play around the raintree and explore the vast open land. And later enjoyed their lunch in the open air.
Visthar was pleased to have hosted a happy bunch of frolicking children on its green and serene grounds.