My Tryst with Children’s Writing

(Ramendra Kumar is the author of our upcoming book ‘Paplu the Giant’ . Ramendra agreed to write a guest post for our blog about how he started writing for children. You can read more about him at www.ramendra.com)

I started my avocation by dabbling in satire, poems and short stories when I was in college. This continued with a modest degree of success for quite a few years.

When my daughter Ankita, was five, I was invited to her school to address the students. I thought instead of giving a speech let me tell a story. I didn’t want to tell a tale, borrowed from somewhere, just for the heck of it. I wanted to tell a tale with a value. I thought about it quite a bit and wrote a story called ‘Just A Second’. It was about seven brothers, the youngest named Second and the eldest Year. It stressed upon the value of time.

I told the story in the school assembly. The response from the kids was just fantastic. They simply loved it. In fact when my wife and I went to Ankita’s teacher’s house, six months later, she told us something which left a deep impression on me.

“Mr. Kumar, the story you told in the school assembly had a great impact on the kids. Just the other day I was telling my students how important hygiene was. ‘Is it as important as the second, ma’am?’ asked one of my students? I looked at him with a puzzled expression on my face, not comprehending.

‘That day an Uncle had come and talked about the importance of Second’, he explained and only then I understood. I had forgotten, but your story seems to have left an indelible impression on the young minds.”

Needless to say, I was thrilled.

Part of my responsibility, as a parent, was to put my daughter to sleep by telling her stories. I used to tell her fairy tales, Aesop’s fables and stories from the Panchantantra. Then I thought, why don’t I tell her stories of my own. And so I started creating little tales for her. I found she lapped them all up. I started writing them down and sending them to children’s magazines. The stories started getting published and thus began my journey into the idyllic world of children.

Now I find writing for children far more satisfying. Their response is straight from the heart and far, far more honest and encouraging.

I have tried not to get straight jacketed into a specific genre or style. I have written stories for the children from six to fifteen years. I have written animal stories, fairy tales, fables, mysteries, adventure stories, fantasies. I have written stories about the ‘long, long ago’ as well as the ‘here and now’. In every story of mine I have made an attempt to tell a tale which is simple, yet racy and yet does not offer mindless entertainment. I feel if through my stories I can introduce the children to the right kind of values, I would be doing justice to my role as a writer.

My attempt has been to achieve a blend of fun and values. Whether I have succeeded or not only the readers can tell.

Image Source : TMAB2003


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

DISCLAIMER :Everything here is the personal opinions of the authors and is not read or approved by pratham books before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else offered here