Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Once upon a time there was a girl called Tarakshi and a crow called Kaa...

Once upon a time in Mumbai lived a 7 year old girl called Tarakshi. She lived in a small apartment on the third floor of a building close to the beach. Her bedroom window opened to the lush green of a tamarind tree full of crows. One day while she was playing with her friends in the narrow space between the building and the moss covered compound wall she spied upon a small frail baby crow who has fallen off from his nest in the Tamarind tree. The baby crow was hurt badly. Tarakshi took him home and then she made her mother take the crow to a veterinarian. That night she kept him warm and cuddled in a shoe box under her bed and soon he was hopping around the flat behind her. She named him Kaa. He was a smart crow - and liked to sleep on the bed post right above Tarakshi's head every night with his beak tucked into his right wing. In the morning he would wake Tarakshi up with loud kaaa kaaa and flutter around Tarakshi's head all the while till she went off to school in her big yellow bus. He would be there waiting for her perched on the topmost branch of the tamarind tree when she returned from school. He made friends with the people who lived in the tamarind tree - the squirrels names Sniffy and Hoppy, the ant family - Bunty, Mungi and their daughter Chinti, Kooie the koel and Mignon the sparrow who had four daughters - Crystal, ChiChi, Tara and Maana. He also taught Tarakshi the language of these animal people. And what fun they had!

The story above is the template that I have used for the last 5 and 1/2 years to keep my (now 7.5 years) daughter entertained. Every night at bed time she would hear me narrate an adventure. To begin with the stories were simple - about brushing the teeth every morning and night and eating healthy fruits and picking up things after play time and so on. Eventually as she grew up Tarakshi became a role model. Tamara, my daughter would do things only if Tarakshi did the same in a story.  Tarakshi has grown up too. She is now almost 11 and has a cat called Kylie who used to belong to a witch queen and a dog called Tipsy - she and Kaa found him running behind cars on the road near Tarakshi's building.

I have wanted to create a blog for parents of little boys and girls to help them navigate through the years 2 to 10 when the kids we have hopefully listen to us and are fascinated with their fathers and their mothers. Afterall what we give them in those 8 years defines what they will be when they are older.  The 20-30 minutes everyday I spend with my daughter are the best relaxant that anyone can prescribe. The wide eyed wonder in the initial years has given way to questions about morals and rights and wrongs. It has helped make me a better man - taught me patience and discipline to be able to think up imaginative stories. I have had to wake up sometimes to her requests on a Sunday morning of wanting me to tell her that story about Ribbit the frog and how he sailed a paper boat to rescue a dragon fly who did not listen to his friends and went far away into the trees to play with the evil grasshoppers! Its been worth the effort. It has been an investment which I hope will be far more rewarding than letting Barbie stories and Shinchan hours be imposed on kids just to keep them out of the way.

I have often wondered if this series of stories could be turned into an illustrated set of books. I have day dreamed that one day there would be t-shirts and compass boxes with little anecdotes of the two. I even went to the extent of trying to convince myself that someday the creators of Chota Bheem ( ugh!) would hunt me down and buy the rights to the series and make me rich within the next quarter.

Until then...


Missed out posting last week. Was too busy trying to create a business model using excels and word files. Something interesting is brewing. 


junoesque said...

there are lots of folk who do comics now :)so you never know. my jia only wanted to listen to stories about mulder and scully.

sunil r nair said...

Not a comic. More like an enid blyton story book. Am sure Jia enjoyed the stories.

nitasha said...

lovely post