Canadian clinical psychologist and professor Paul TP Wong said, “Adversity is an opportunity for creativity, because it forces one to dig deeper and discover something new about oneself”.
It is obvious that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and resultant social distancing phenomenon is a kind of adversity that can push individuals to come up with novel ideas and ingenuity.
Anjali Anil is a Doha-based girl, who is currently studying in India away from her parents. An alumna of MES Indian School, Doha, she along with a friend has come out with an interesting Instagram story for children on the pandemic.
Currently a final year architecture student at Holy Crescent College of Architecture in Kerala, Anjali recently communicated with Community via e-mail sharing how she and her friend came across the idea and converted it into an interesting story.
Talking about herself, she said: “I’ve always been an avid reader since the time I can remember, and of late, I have been trying my luck at content creation and creative writing. Recently, one such trial with short story writing along with my friend Arjun Sankar led to the creation of character Little Diya and her battle against a pack of deadly monsters she calls Kovynintee.”
Regarding the story-line, Anjali said: “A very confused Little Diya is suddenly confined to the bounds of her home along with her parents, who are unusually not going for work, and are constantly nagging her to wash her hands. Diya’s mother finally sits down to tell her the story of a gang of monsters running around scaring people and how she can fight them by staying indoors and protecting herself using a potion called ‘sanitiser’ and a special mask that repels these villains.”
When asked how they developed the story idea, she said: “This story was a joint venture spurred forth by Arjun, who created the vibrant illustrations for the short. Arjun, a fellow Holy Crescent graduate, is a practicing architect. Parallelly, he has been honing his artistic skills since his school days and is currently focused on character design and storytelling.
“The story of Little Diya came up when Arjun sent me a video of his kid niece passionately expressing her views on the coronavirus and about how it must be chased away as soon as possible. We found it hilarious at first but then thought of it as an opportunity to view the whole situation from a child’s perspective. While the news today is practically overflowing with all things Covid-19, children may seem lost and confused by the sudden change in their daily lives.”
She further said: “This brought us to visualise the exchange between a mother and her little one explaining how and why it is important to chase away these naughty monsters that are rampaging the streets lately. The virus has been visualised as brightly coloured monsters to easily capture the attention of children. Most kids wouldn’t know what a virus is, whereas they may be familiar with the idea of monsters through stories and films. The heroine of the story, Little Diya, was modeled on Vibha, Arjun’s little niece, with her dress, hairstyle, and actions being the primary inspiration for the illustrations. Building on the idea, Arjun first came up with the initial sketches and worked on the illustrations while I developed the script for the story.”
Discussing the nature of response their story has been amassing, Anjali said: “Wanting to keep our creative muscles working while on a nation-wide lockdown, the story was initially just an experimental piece to test out our individual skills in character illustration and writing while drawing inspiration from recent events. It was kept to the confines of being just a 10 slide short story with the idea of simply putting it up on social media for our close friends and family to see, and was met with gracious reviews. The story somehow hit off and was shared numerous times, which led to it being covered by local media in Kerala.”
Speaking about the message of the story, she said: “Seeking inspiration from these trying times, the story of Little Diya was created to convey a very simple message aimed at the younger audience. Diya was brought to life to show that even while being cooped up inside, one must be ready to fight against the coronavirus in the ways that we have been instructed to and to remain strong, as this too shall pass. You can find Kovynintee- Diya Gets Battle Ready on Instagram by visiting the page @arjunsankarps.
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