Creativity Adda December 2020 Newsletter

Manish Jain
Creativity Adda Newsletters
10 min readJan 23, 2021


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!!

Our Mast Malang Band getting ready to perform online at the Brazil Art, Food & Music Festival.

Top Headlines of the month

· Entrepreneurial approach for projects

· Exposure to the Real world — through Markets, Video shoots, International Music fest, Customer interaction

· Creative collaborations between hubs

· Self-design learning by taking initiatives in learning, integrating new diverse skills

Community Media Lab

With a more entrepreneurial approach for this month at the Adda, Media Hub had a lot of projects. They took up 3 weddings projects involving paid Photography and Shoot work. All of them were largely self-led. They divided themselves in smaller teams based on their individual expertise, need of the project and their time availability across the 3 projects. They planned the projects effectively to use the limited equipment available. One example was managing the shoot of the Music Hub’s music video and capturing a Haldi ceremony at one wedding at two distant locations simultaneously. Professional shoots like these gave them an opportunity to explore project planning before execution. They realized the importance of Team Support during the first-hand experience of shooting long hours during the weddings.

(Left) Jatin Sahu (18 years old) got an animated GIF project from the owner of Shaan-e-Awadh restaurant. He successfully completed a Happy New Year wishing Graphic Interface. (Right) Abhishek Gupta (18 years) design visiting card for “Golden Bakery”. Follow Abhishek’s work on:

The advanced students approached the local vendors in the neighborhood market for product shoots and offer digital marketing services on pro bono basis. The intention was to step out of their comfort zone, explore livelihood opportunities through their passion and build their portfolio to get work. A few of the precious 1st-time experiences were — Initiating a conversation with a potential customer, facing rejection, communicating an idea or services offered, iterations during execution based on client’s inputs.

Ritesh (18 years) designed 2 food menu cards for a pure vegetarian restaurant called “Taste of Capital” as a project. Follow Ritesh’s work on: .
Satyam and Shubham (both 18 years of age) in a team of two worked on a video shoot for a sports wear shop in Mukherjee Nagar. Owner needed this video to establish his shop on digital platform. Follow Satyam’s work on:


Meet our Learners

Akash Sharma ‘Akki’ (19 years old, his mother is a housewife and they’re supported by his uncle’s since his father passed away) began his journey with Photography & multimedia in 2017 at the Adda. Learning at the Media Hub sparked his interest in the field and soon his desire to learn more led him to keenly experimenting & exploring. A great example of self-designed learning as he continued being mentored through facilitators at the Adda and fine tuning his skills through different opportunities he received. He remains a part of the Adda as he continues to come to Adda now and then to learn, share and make use of the resources.

Wedding Video and Photography by Akki

He’s been running his own studio and currently works with Swiggy & Zomato and also does products shoots for digital marketing for other companies. He’s been building his own network as he approaches people for work on his own while sometimes getting leads from his mentors. Every now and then when in need for a team or with overlapping projects, he collaborates with his friends at the Media Hub. Akki recently recommended Shiva (17 years old) from the hub for a apprenticeship with a filmmaker, learning ‘Lighting for shoots’. Follow Akki’s work on:

Slow Food Junior Chef’s Academy

Making Cookies

The 1st week of the month was spent with our Chefs revisiting and reviving their ways in the kitchen. It was more like a revision process, going over various skills right from chopping to baking. They ended up experimenting with some Italian recipes like Pesto Pasta, Pizza Margherita, Bruschetta, Biscotti in the process.

Trying to experiment with entrepreneurship, from 2nd week onwards they planned on doing a special Christmas-New Year Sale. They practiced Wheat, Bajra and Oat cookies, Chocolate & Oreo cakes for the Sale over the next two weeks. They brainstormed on eco-friendly packaging ideas and touched upon sourcing raw materials and budgeting. However, they couldn’t go into the production stage as the Hub closed in the fourth week due to the extremely low attendance. Most of the students in this hub are under 15 years of age and so their parents were worried due to the Covid- 19 circumstances, extreme cold and weddings.

Akash (13 years) and Sourabh Taneja (12 years) visited the houses of other students of the hub to motivate them when there was low energy. Kartik Madan (13 years) was ill and couldn’t come to Adda but shared videos of Gajar halwa and Pizza he made at home. Being inspired by this, Chirag Khanna (18 years who learns differently) also made Gajar halwa and French fries at home.

Design studio and Maker Space

Design Thinking Workshop

Ashish conducted a Design Thinking session with the hub focusing on identifying the need of a product, its need/utility, design aesthetics, costing, lifecycle and the viability of its sale. These concepts were used as the basis for most of their new projects and experiments this month. Their focus was also on how to easily source material from around and creatively use damaged or old or refurbished materials for which they repeatedly approached a Kabaadi. The Kabaadi gave away a few things to them at no cost when he felt inspired hearing about their work, ideas and stories. Students were bubbling with excitement as their ideas like making a tata sky setup-box kept popping.

Decorative Lamp

They made decorative Christmas lamps for which they received an order of 5 pieces. A power bank, mobile charger and 3 other solar powered products were made. Prince (14 years old) out of his curiosity, made a projector out of cardboard box. Using a convex lens to give objects a 3D effect was used to make a VR Box.

Kids started repairing objects in their houses. This led to them getting two broken heaters from a Kabadi which they repaired and are now being used to keep the Adda warm in this weather. The neighborhood has many students living around and the idea came up to design PVC furniture for them which could be multipurpose and easy to dismantle when there’s a need to move.

(Left) Solar panel operated power bank, small invertor and mobile charger. (Right) A Bluetooth speaker made with PVC pipe
At the repair Cafe, students were doing electrical repairs which also inspired them to repair objects at home. If you have stuff lying around, you could donate it at the Repair Cafe for students to work on.
Anuj (12 years old) with his self made skates

Anuj (12 years old), a Maker Space student, who’d gone to get some stuff from Kabadiwala found himself a pair of old skates. Seeing the sports hub kids skating, his curiosity got him to repair these skates and attach his own shoes on them. He now uses this functional pair himself for skating. He recently also started learning dance.

Dance Hub

Prakash, our dance-hub facilitator, suggested making dance videos to pump up the students after the long lockdown break and also they could share it with their friends ad family. ‘Tera Mera Vyah’ being the first song with freestyle dance choreography. Even though they’ve shot videos in the past but they were never as focused as this time. This video was shot by our media lab students.

The Dance Hub wanted to wish the supporters of Adda and their dear ones through a Christmas special dance video. So that became the 2nd video they shot with proper Hip-Hop on the remix of ‘Here comes Santa Claus’.

The dancers wanted to release a dance video on the New Years’ for which came another Hip-Hop & Freestyle dance choreographed on ‘Waalian’. Shoot location was Khan Market. Shoot was early in the morning, to be completed in a limited time before the market opened and got crowded.

Himanshu and Deepak (both 17 years old) showed their leadership skills when they took responsibility of gathering everyone and reaching the location on their own which was impressive as they also reached 15mins before time. Some students were a bit camera conscious and it took them a few retakes to get comfortable for the shoot which was their first one. A phone gimbal was used for the shoot along with proper costumes and pre-shoot preparation which was a new experience for them.

There was a 30 seconds dance video on ‘Kinna Sona Tu Sona’ with Nitesh & Himanshu which was a social media hit for the hub. It’s been liked by the actress Zoya Morani of the original video and reposted by the singer himself which has been a big boost for the Hub. They’ve had around 3K views of it. Parents who didn’t appreciate their kids earlier for learning dance here were left impressed & supportive after watching these videos.

Prakash gave the hub students a task to choreograph one dance together as a team. They faced many problems in the beginning, no one listening to the other or understanding. Interestingly, one of the younger students Suraj (14 years old) took the lead and got the team to work together and even the older ones to listen to him. What is really impressive is that until lockdown Suraj was one of the shy kids who barely said a few words during class. His transformation could be witnessed on multiple occasions. He connected well with the junior dance group of the hub and has taken classes for them, demonstrating his interpersonal skills.

Music Hub

Mast Malang band formed in 2019 performed virtually on an international level this month for the Brazil Music, Art & Food Festival. They had to pre-record a video to be approved by the organisers beforehand. They performed a fresh genre of Kabir-Sufi music & Regional Folk in the festival.

Ansh (18 years old), lead vocalist, introduced the band to an English speaking audience and from there on they rocked through the 15min slot with the hosts cheering on for more songs towards the end. Performing their own composition ‘Chadariya Jheeni Re Jheeni’ was one of the thrilling factors for them apart from their many other firsts here. A 5am online performance with a different set of equipment than the regular stage setup and playing without microphones so as to not wake the neighbors up at that hour are a few of them. This event required a lot of improvisation and creative thinking to overcome issues while performing.

The cherry on top of the whole event was the Media Hub capturing this event and fully supporting the band on the technical side. The pre-recording video was also shot by the Media Hub team. It was a beautiful example of creative collaboration.

Besides practicing for the festival, much of December witnessed their daily riyaaz (music practice), working on new compositions and preparing for events in January. A few of the Music hub students have been juggling a daily job or working with parents to support their families financially alongside their music practice.

Sports and Fitness Hub

Since the temporary Adda space is a 3BHK house, there isn’t space for Skating indoors. The students’ enthusiasm kept them looking for a suitable place for 7–10 days along with facilitators. They traveled 2–3 kms for a few days to a park until it got shut due to some political unrest. In each of these places their classes kept running. For now, they’ve settled for an area where they’ve to skate on a Tarmac road. It is an extremely challenging terrain to skate on and Kamran, our skating facilitator, was rather concerned and skeptical about the place as he’d only trained on a smooth floor until now. But the kids were too eager and excited to not try out the available option.

When skating wasn’t feasible, students started focusing on Stretching and playing Frisbee keeping in mind overall fitness and also showing resilience and creative thinking. Soon they began Skating on the road and gradually even adding Moon-Walk and Twisting and Stretching while skating.


Meet our Learners

Sakib (17 years old) utilised his lockdown time to learn gymnastics, involving two other friends from the hub. Now they’ve all added some gymnastics moves to their Skating routine. Sakib bagged an opportunity to work as an assistant to the Coach at DDA Sports Club, Pritampura and wanted to take it up through the Adda. However, facilitators convinced him to postpone it a little because of the distance and parents being worried due to the Covid situation. He is a role model for other kids of the hub. He has an active Instagram page where he frequently shares new stunts, showcasing his skills and the direction in which he’s moving.

We need your help!!!

We are looking for more advanced learning opportunities and mentors for our students in the Media Hub, Music Hub and the Dance Hub.

Thanks to Kuldeep Singh ji, Principal of Mukherjee Nagar Boys School and Pankaj Pushkar, ex-MLA, for their continued support. Creativity Adda is a project of Shikshantar Sansthan and is supported by the DS Group.

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