Ramendra Kumar at the Chandigarh Children’s Literature Festival

Ramendra Kumar was busy entertaining kids at the Chandigarh Children’s Literature Festival last month. He tells us more about his dhamakedaar sessions.


‘Sir, you mentioned that you were inspired by your father, did you get your humorous genes also from him?’
‘I begin writing a story but am not able to complete it? What should I do?’

‘How important is good vocabulary to writing stories?’ 

‘When do you get ideas for your stories?’ 
This was the friendly inquisition I faced during the story telling session at the Chandigarh Children’s Literature Festival held from 29th to 31st January. My quizzers were the participants , some as young as seven! The session commenced with yours truly narrating a rib tickling tale ‘By a Whisker’ about a tigress obsessed with her husband’s magnificent whiskers which leads to the latter falling in love with a donkey! By the time the yarn was spun I had the kids singing and dancing with me.

The story of ‘Paplu the Giant’ was next on the cards. Paplu is a strange giant who does not like to fight with anyone, nor does he like scaring people. But when his beloved villagers are in danger, he rises to great heights to solve the problem. He displays the unique art of fighting without fighting. 
A magic mantra, some insane mimicry and loads of irreverence had the kids rooting for more.

 My day at CCLF commenced with a Creative Writing Workshop. Around 60 youngsters participated in the session. I discussed the various elements in a story and narrated a tale. I also discussed my latest book ‘The Perfect Match’ (published by Pratham Books) and what makes it so special to me.

The kids were then divided into groups of five. They were asked to write a story on any of the two topics given to them. After the writing session, different groups presented their stories. 
The yarns were amazing both in terms of imagination as well as language and structure. 
I found the kids at CCLF truly outstanding with their irrepressible energy, infectious enthusiasm and sparkling creativity. After each of the sessions I was besieged by autograph hunters with their slam books, copies, note pads and even copies of my books. 
Half a dozen scribes were seeking an audience with me, but I did what is considered unthinkable for a PR professional – I made them wait while I kept my tryst with Innocence. 
A little one pinned my ‘autograph’ to her chest and proudly displayed it.

A six year old came up and looking at me rather archly said, ‘Sir, you have become famous!’ 
The scribes, despite my peccadillo, published glowing reports on my sessions. 
Hindustan Times wrote : “Author Ramendra Kumar enthralled the children with his story telling skills .” 
The Indian Express was equally appreciative : “National award-winning writer Ramendra Kumar, who has 30 books to his credit, had the children dance, sing and listen to his experiences as a writer. The session was replete with humour and wit, as Kumar connected with the children on various aspects of writing and story-telling, and livened up the afternoon with anecdotes and excerpts from his books, one being ‘Paplu The Giant’….. 
The other newspapers including Times of India, The Tribune, Daily Post, Dainik Bhaskar et al also were generous in their praise. 
I am on ‘Cloud 99’ and counting…..


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