He’s every mom’s dream come true — an uncle who holds kids’ attention, and gets them addicted to art, craft and everything nice. Well, that’s what Uncle Rob does to adults too. For four years, and six seasons, on POGO’s M.A.D., he has introduced children to the joys of art and craft, letting them know the process can be as enjoyable as the end product. Now, the much-celebrated show enters its seventh season, and Rob aka Harun Robert is all set to enthral his young viewers yet again. And, there’s a new co-host too — Rumana, who complements Rob’s art with his dance.
So, what’s going to be new this time around? “Well, over the past months, I’ve interacted with children in workshops, I’ve been meeting kids, and then, there’s the fan mail — all to know what kids love. We’ve zeroed in on easy-to-do things using easily available materials because that’s what they love. Things that are really simple but can be morphed into works of art. For instance, so much can be made out of boxes, the most basic 3D form. All it needs is a fresh look.”
And, yes, a fresh look is what he’s been helping kids achieve over the years, making them see animal forms in crushed paper, a friendly crocodile in a coloured piece of paper, and greeting cards out of seemingly useless things. “Well, recycling is very important. And, art is everywhere; you don’t have to go to the nearest stationery shop to find things you need to create it. When looking for things such as plastic bottles, children learn to head outdoors; it is vital that they move away from TV and see Nature,” says Rob.
Did Rob ever expect this kind of adulation from kids? What drives it? “Probably, my good looks!” he laughs. “But seriously, it’s a great feeling and makes me smile. It helps that kids don’t treat me like an adult; I am like a friend.”
After all these years, Rob displays the same enthusiasm for creating things. How is that possible? “You never get bored with art. I feel as excited as I did when I created my first work of art. And, it’s great that I reach out to kids in the process. Art is everywhere around you, and all we did was introduce the child to the joy of making something,” he says, modestly.
And, the most endearing thing someone ever said to him? “Well, there are so many, but this one moved me. A child walked up to me and told me, ‘Uncle, you paint better than God’.” Most of us will tend to agree with her!
(The new season starts on October 11 at 9 a.m.)