Catch them young

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Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A December morning in 1988, a mother holding the hands of her little girl of two and half years walked into a local book stall in Kannur, Kerala with the intention of buying some magazines. Half way through her search she felt a tug on her saree pallu. She looked down and said, “Wait Ammu, it’s almost over.” She continued her purchase. Again a tug. The mother thought, “She is restless.”

“It’s over dear,” she said. She opened her purse to pay the bill. Again a tug at the pallu.

“What Baby, are you hungry. Wait let me pay the cash then I’ll get you something to eat.” The girl looked at her mother and lisped in Malayalam, “Ammae, ammayude aduthu paisa undo” (“Mom do you have money”)

“Yes, I have. Why did you ask so?”

“Then can I have that book,” she asked pointing to a colourful magazine. It was ‘Amar Chitra Katha.’

The mother knew the child was not old enough to be able to read that book on her own. Yet she bought it and gave it to the child. On reaching home the child started ‘reading’ the magazine aloud. The mother was wonder struck. Here was a story taking shape. The child’s very own interpretation of the picture she saw.

Then week after week the mother made it a point to buy the ‘Amar Chitra Katha’ and other kids magazines slowly adding books in the line. The mother read out the stories there till the child was big enough to read on her own but what intrigued and pleased the parents and neighbouring elders was the child’s interpretation of the pictures she saw. She weaved stories on her own. She dished out some really wonderful stuff.

As time went by her hunger for books and magazines increased. The first thing the mother did while planning a trip to a far off place was to buy and stack sufficient books and magazines for the child. She knew that was the only way to keep the restless kid in bounds or else the whole journey would see the kid lamenting, “I am feeling bored.”

The kid never asked for a toy. She was happy with the toys her mother had played with as a kid. She just wanted books and books and books.

The kid mentioned here is none other than my daughter. I still have her complete set of ‘Amar Chitra Katha’ magazines stacked away safely in a loft. Maybe one day I will pass it on to her kids.

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Inspired by the theme ‘Books’

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013 at Write Tribe

Inviting you to also visit my other blog i.e. CANVAS

By the way don’t forget to leave your footprints in the form of comments and suggestions. Your words mean a lot to me.

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27 responses »

  1. A beautiful and thoughtful share Geeta! I must say it was the most honest and touching article I read ,for when it comes to kids,their innocence reflects even in their actions and stories.

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  2. I love that you bought the magazines knowing that your daughter couldn’t actually read the words! In that single moment you were able to increase your daughters love of reading!

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  3. Loved the story. My daughter too would leaf through books making up her own story and pretending to read when she was smaller. It’s the cutest sight ever.

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  4. Parents do have a huge influence in placing the seed of interest in books, in children.
    Amar Chithra Katha – Ah ! I used to look forward to our vacations in India to get them, since they weren’t available where we lived.

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  5. Pingback: Dreams « Fabric of Life

  6. A good idea. My daughter is 2 and I read out book to her and she loves them . I hope she gets hooked on to.books, like me 😉 a lovely post 🙂

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