Anju Kishinchandani’s play Growing Up is a story of three teens on their exciting journey through adolescence. “They are going through various physical and emotional changes and are confused. A ‘Growing Up Book’ that features in the play can help ease their confusion,” says Kishinchandani. Far from pedantic, the play features an evil frog, Kuku the Clown, cool Dadi and psycho Didi, with a script by Trishla Patel. Not what you quite expected in a play on puberty, right?
A scene from an earlier staging of Growing Up
But what do parents and children feel when they watch a play on coming of age, all out in the open? “There are a few gasps and embarrassed smiles when we talk about gender specific issues, but they soon get over it and there is fabulous audience participation and laughter all along,” says Kishinchandani.
Rakhee Gupta, an etiquette trainer who has watched Growing Up, couldn’t agree better. “We always talk about menstruation with embarrassment and, as young girls, we are taught to do everything regarding it on the sly. We think it’s dirty to discuss periods or sanitary napkins. Growing Up treats the subject differently,” she says, adding that her son, now 16, had attended Kishinchandani’s workshops, also on puberty.
These, held throughout the year, focus on specific concerns, such as positive puberty for 9 to 13 year olds, beyond puberty for 13-15 year olds and a complete sex-ed session is tailored for 16-18 year olds.
Another workshop, Changes at Adolescence — Puberty, will be held by Niyatii Shah, a trained sexual trainer, therapist and counsellor in June. “The new generation is bombarded with sexual messages, and they are attaining maturity faster than kids of previous generations. Due to this, their emotional maturity don’t match their physical changes. Every generation sees a change, but this one is faster and advanced,” explains Shah who will conduct the workshop for children aged nine to 12, and their parents.
The exercises are interactive and involve sharing experiences. “We will teach the children about hormones, peer pressure and stress on the importance of opening up to a family member, using PPTs, videos, worksheets and role plays,” says Shah.
Sessions with Niyatii Shah
WHEN: June 18, 9 AM - 6 PM
COST: Rs 3,600
Workshop with Anju Kishinchandani
WHEN: May 14, 11 AM - 2 PM
WHERE: C13, Ruia Park, Juhu
COST: Rs 2,250
Growing Up (play)
WHEN:May 5, 12 PM and 4 PM
WHERE: Prithvi Theatre, Juhu Church Road, Juhu
COST: Rs 300