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Bubble and Drop — The Rain Story, Rs. 125

IT IS a very special production, and for more than one reason. An audio script (Diana Tholoor's adaptation of Chitra Baitmangalkar's story) that has rich potential, a warm tale that awakens one to a long-forgotten fact that we co-exist in this cosmic whole with others, who for us are non-entities. More importantly, this cassette is a venture involving young members of the specially abled neighbourhood.

Bubble and Drop — The 'Rain Story, is one of the albums in the audio storybook series by Chrysallis Performance Arts Centre. For the first time, the production team is made up of a balance of normal as well as physically and intellectually challenged artistes.

This project, under two broad categories The Magic Painter Creation series (on geography, science, and so on) and The Sky Masters (general education series), entails a series of 22-minute tapes.

Bubble and Drop is the story of cloud formation and rain. The manner in which Bubble and Drop, two little drops of water in a mighty ocean that has so many other `water drop families' in it, are rendered human is interesting. One morning, fascinated by the enormity of an ocean liner, Bubble and Drop venture out on an exploration and get lost. All along, these tiny drops sob for their mother. Nevertheless, they discover that they have it in them to become a part of the cloud and finally come down to the earth as rain. A nice story no doubt, but one wished that it wouldn't suggest that implications of disobedience would be so severe as getting lost! Even so, what is impressive is the garb of fiction that science wears. The narrative successfully takes away the tedium of a science theory.

The album, one must say, fails to bring out the dramatic strengths in the script. Of course, one has to grant it to its creators, because it involves special children. But one can't help comparing it with Karadi tales by Times Music, and albums of the same genre that are similarly priced (Rs. 125). The music fails to impress, and is sometimes non-evocative. The children who play Bubble and Drop fail to build up the drama. The album comes with a neatly produced read-and-colour book. Incidentally, the sketch for the album cover, the illustrations, and the packaging have all been done by special children.

It is only because that this production is part of an income generation plan and that it is part of a well-meaning endeavour, one feels that it should have been more competitive. It seems like there weren't sufficient rehearsals to gear the children for such a production.

DEEPA GANESH

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