- Spot-fixing: Chandila was in touch with four sets of bookies, says Delhi Police
- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives, to hold talks with PM on boundary, water issues
- IPL 2013: Delhi Daredevils crash to defeat, finish last
- Jaganmohan's wife attacks CBI, accuses it of working at Congress behest
- Blast accused death: UP govt seeks CBI probe, FIR against 42 persons
She was drawn to the stage and started participating in plays at the age of 16 and did well. Her potential theatre career was cut short at the age of 20 after family constraints forced her to give up the stage. Never one to give up easily, Meena Naik directed her creativity into another field, puppetry.
Her work space is filled with art and craft supplies of all sorts. Paints and paint brushes, various kinds of paper, buttons, sequins, cloth, all bright and colourful.
What sets this space apart is the laughter and chatter of 35-odd school children. She has been encouraging children, who she says are full of creativity and imagination, to make puppets and learn puppetry. On the floor of a hall at the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Municipal School in Worli, the children can be see happily making puppets, drawing inspiration from their role models or relying entirely on their imagination.
Despite being a known name owing to her theatre background, she finds it difficult to convince parents. "Parents are often skeptical of sending children to learn puppetry. Once they see their children performing and having a good time, they automatically become supportive. The wonderful part is, children don't really need to be taught. They all have creativity, imagination and talent. This is only a medium for them to express it," Naik says.
For over 20 years now, Naik has been using puppetry to interact with and teach children, besides using it as a tool to spread social messages.
The JJ School of Arts graduate recalls how she had taken up this art form after her theatre dream was cut short.
"Senior theatre colleagues urged me to take up puppetry as a career option. As a child, I would watch puppet skits performed by European artists which remained an inspiration. The big, lifelike replicas attracted me more than the traditional figures on stick usually is associated with puppetry in India," Naik says.
- Former Ranji player among 3 more held
- Rajasthan Royals to file FIR against tainted trio
- If found guilty, BCCI to ask ICC to erase Sreesanth records
- Top cops among 42 named in death of blast accused
- PM takes tough line on incursion issue
- Security forces blame Maoists, villagers say CoBRA man was killed in 'friendly fire'