It was a novel experience, filled with light, laughter and learning.
– A Toybank volunteer
All of us, working professionals would perhaps admit to missing our childhood, school and college days. There are multiple reasons for this – but I’m sure it all boils down to the ‘FUN’ element that was predominant in almost every aspect, every activity of those formative years.
I am grateful to Toybank, for taking me back in time and experience the fun and excitement on 24th and 25th of November at their power-packed Fiesta. The venue was lovely, the arrangements – exquisite and the event- let’s just say it was the most fun I’d had in a long, long time.
Day 1 was a charmer. Luke Kenny, the kind and funny human that he is, welcomed the guests and kick-started the event. I was surprised to see young school bands, Amplitude and Poptastic Rockers, singing rock, indie and pop songs for the opening act. They truly rocked the arena with their music and energy. It was a delight to see the kids grooving to music from the 90’s; I stood there, swaying, reliving my childhood through their performance.
The electrifying music performances were followed by a thought provoking conversation between actor Parvin Dabas and filmmaker/activist Nandita Das. They spoke about the role of play in a child’s life, and Das being a mother herself, had some really insightful thoughts to share.
The closing act for the evening was none other than Elvis Presley himself! Siddharth Meghani, India’s only
Elvis Presley impersonator got us all foot-tapping and rock n’ rolling with his melodious Elvis-y voice.
The next day was a spectacle! It began with 2 high school bands, No Feedback and The Sunday Evening Collective playing the blues and some other 90’s hits, and moved on to the long awaited conversation about childhood resilience that was moderated by award-winning author Meghna Pant, with NBA India’s Director Scott Fleming and actor/activist Rahul Bose. Their discussion on the impact of play led to a good understanding of the roles of gender that children are exposed to at an early age. The speakers spoke of equal opportunity, the importance of games and, the seriousness of living a fun childhood.
There was also a Toybank pop – up bazaar on both the days which displayed an array of products one could purchase to support the organisation. These products ranging from mugs, bags, notepads, postcards, accessories, diaries, etc. were creative, spunky and the audience could not get enough of it.
Founder and CEO Shweta Chari, giggled on stage as she expressed her gratitude as well as invited the guests
to join in on Toybank’s mission- to create a safe, playful childhood for all kids, and help them grow and learn
through the medium of fun and play. Toybank’s work is truly inspiring and impactful.
The final act, by Luke Kenny and Band got all of ABACA and its guests onto their feet, singing, sweating and
shouting, “Rock On!”
The event was definitely the best way for me to spend my weekend (Special shout-out to the hospitality and
food partners for their mouth watering food). It was a novel experience, filled with light, laughter and learning.
I look forward to volunteering with Toybank and lending my help to Toybank’s cause in whatever way I can.