Madhuri Purandare on Writing for Children

One of our authors, Madhuri Purandare, was the recipient of this year’s Bal Sahitya Puraskar. At an event held in Bengaluru on 15th November, all Bal Sahitya Puraskar winners expressed their thoughts on their own writing/ children’s literature. The following is Madhuri’s speech :
Madhuri accepting the Bal Sahitya Puraskar
All of you have been writing for children with integrity and persistence. I don’t have anything new or extraordinary to tell you. I have made some rules for myself when writing for children; I am going to try telling you something about these.
  • Whether it is writing, illustrating, or doing something else; anything for children must be done with care, seriousness as well as with joy. I must always be mindful that instead of doing something for children with just a sense of responsibility, or duty, or out of a sense of charity that by expending my time and efforts for children despite being an adult is something extraordinary, it is better not to do it at all.
  • I have long realized that it is no longer possible for me to create something as impromptu, free and refreshing as children can. I should not forget that I ought to create something for children, but in my own way.
  • I should never take children for granted by saying ‘Oh, what do they know!’
  • Although I am creating something for children, I should not make the mistake of leaving adults out of it. By this, I mean: whatever I create for children should have the capacity to attract and to involve adults as well. If I can achieve this, then it presents them with an opportunity and a good way to gain entry into the world of children.
  • As a famous author has said: Every time a child says, ‘I don’t believe in fairies,’ there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead. Don’t you think this is unfortunate? I must keep seeking how to tell fairy tales to children in today’s world whose childhood meets an early end.
  • I cannot bring those values to my work that I do not believe in myself. When I create for children, I should at least not be dishonest with myself.
  • A newspaper gets delivered to me every morning. A lot of my energy goes towards getting myself out of the depressed state that reading a newspaper leaves me in, and getting hold of enough energy to face the day. And yet, I should not lose faith in something – that the world is a beautiful place and that life is worth living.
This is all I have to say.
Thank you.

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