A Child’s Approach to Storytelling

Happy Rain

Chintan Girish Modi shared a few lines from an interview with author Mohsin Hamid. They are too good not to share. When asked about rituals associated with his writing, Mohsin says …
This novel, I’ve written mostly in the mornings, when my daughter is off at pre-school, between 8.30 am and 12.30 pm. Nobody else is allowed in my room, but somehow she doesn’t accept that, so she’ll bang on my door, and I’ll open the door, and she’ll say, “Aap kaun ho?” and I’ll say, “Main aapka baba hoon. Kya matlab hai?” She says, “Nahin! Baba, I’m little fish. Are you jellyfish?” And then I recognise that there’s another fictional world that needs to assert itself and my fictional world has to go away, and we play. It’s wonderful. I really enjoy having her as a creator of fiction in my life. Every night she asks me to tell her a story, so I make something up, on demand. She’ll say, “Baba tell me a story about a dog, a cat, a mouse—and a fish!” Or she’ll say a very strange thing, she’ll say, “Tell me a story about a story.” Or, “Tell me a story about nobody.” It’s fantastic. The way a child approaches storytelling, I think, is innately meta. They’re not bound by our constraints. We think that formal experimentation is something willed. Actually, it’s the innate state of storytelling. Constriction inside an accepted form is [what’s artificial]. The natural position is just… let it rip!

Read the entire article on the OPEN Magazine site.

Image Source : Alberto+Cerriteño/ Alberto Cerriteño


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