This post was sent by Janhavi Lakshminarayanan. Janhavi is an editor, author and reviewer living in Bangalore. She has translated stories from English to Kannada for Pratham Books such as “August na ondu dina” and others. She loves children and stories, and runs MyMitra Childrens Library. Founded Vimarsha Charitable Trust, for people with special needs. She teaches creative writing in Kannada and English.
even after listening to numerous stories. Tired and sleepy, she would tell me
one last story. There were five princesses. Their names were Ka, The, Mu, Gi, Yi,
and Thu. ‘Kathemugiyithu’ in Kannada means, ‘End of story’. Only then would
we sleep! I grew up in a large and closely knit family, with few close friends.
Most of the stories I heard were from grandfathers, my own, as well as others’!
became an avid reader. Basically a quiet person, I buried myself in the fairy
lands, and joined the Famous Five on their adventures. I used to also read the
few Kannada books that were published in those days. I even learnt to read and
write Tamil since my paternal family live in Tamil Nadu. Telugu came naturally
as my closest buddies were Telugu speaking. Thanks to the television and
Bollywood movies, I learnt Hindi too. But just like most of us, I had to
concentrate on studies when I came to high school.
history repeating itself, except that they wanted to read and listen to stories in
English. We lived in the US for several years. My children were born there. As I
read stories for them, I too became a child. I was amazed to see the ocean of
books and authors in those massive libraries! That’s when I reconnected with
children’s books with a greater passion. The array of stories was mind boggling!
my dream to start a library for children. So, MyMitra Children’s Library was
born. I also wanted to introduce my children to Kannada books and stories. We
scouted every book store in Bangalore. But it always left me feeling
disappointed. I only found stories that I used to read as a child. Not the ones my
children could relate with. I could not find attractive books for toddlers and
beginning readers in Kannada. My children were not fortunate to have
grandparents or any other relative who would narrate stories to them in
Kannada. Although they learnt Kannada at school, there was a lack of love for
the language. Schools insisted on English so much that my Kannada speaking
daughter changed completely in a year!
spread and share the beautiful language, but didn’t know how. The universe
probably heard my wish. In August 2012, I was introduced to Pratham Books by
one of my dear friends. I jumped at the opportunity to review Kannada books
for children! I loved the contemporary stories and the style. Ever since I have
been hooked! I even worked on a few Kannada translations. It’s a reunion with
my mother language for me.
Kannada for young children, even toddlers and to bring back the love and pride
of Kannada in children, our future. Parents and educators, let us unite and