Saturday, February 08, 2014

Simple'y' superb

For a long time I've been trying to write a story for children. Whenever I sit to frame a theme for them, I am stumped for one. I have a mental framework about how the story should be, based on the in numerous Tinkles, Champaks, Jataka tales to Ambulimama, Balamitra and Ratna bala. All those stories will have a basic setup -be it village or city. A simpleton or a greedy person or a miser or a lazy bone or a good Samaritan (an extremely good person in current days world) would be the central character. Mostly they would be either dim-witted or brilliant and the entire story would revolve around them. Their life would be so peaceful. In a span of few boxes of cartoons an entire life span would've been explained. IMHO Tinkle is the most under rated of all books. The kind of morals and values it imparts in the form those simple stories are nothing short of phenomenal. I wish Anu club gets included in science syllabus for school kids. Till date I remember that story I read in that about curd not freezing when kept in fridge.

The trigger for this post were two events. First one was a book I bought in Chennai book fair. "Thuppariyum Saambu". I've been longing to own one for a really really long time. I love stories with 70's and 60's backdrop. The kind of humour, the kind of people, their life style, their quirks, their customs, morals, their beliefs, their concept of heroes, villains..the list is endless. Its a magical world which can only be viewed in black and white. I felt the same sense of innocent effect while reading through the book which was supposed to be a detective novel. But with a caricature of a hero and his bumbling methods solely based on dame luck, the novel is more on the humour side than being a thriller. Even those episodes which involves kidnapping and ambushing villains have been told with a strong undercurrent of humour. Its impossible to imagine such a character in present day's world. Even the dumbest of the lot are shrewder than Saambu. Can life be so simple?? hmmmmmmm

The second one was a cho chuveet moment :) I had gone to my friends house to invite them for the wedding. Right from the moment i entered their house, they were prompting their elder son who is in first standard to show something to me. He blushingly came in front of me with his notebook. It had a ten line paragraph in it. He shyly told me that it was his story that he had written as part of his assignment. It was a story of a fox and a goat. The goat while grazing on a park, hears a fox which had fallen in a pit. The fox lures the goat inside the pit with promise of lush grass inside the pit. While the goat jumps into the pit, the fox climbs on the goat and gets out of the pit. Moral of the story being, never to trust strangers. I was stunned!!! It was so simple, so true and had such a valuable lesson. All in span of ten lines. It made me realise the reason for my struggles to come up with a story for kids. Kids life is very simple. It doesn't deal into the logic of why fox should talk in a language recognisable by goat or carnivore-herbivore relationships or what if there was really grass inside the pit!!! Same applies to my life as well, where I overthink every single step all the way. Its a lesson I struggle to follow in real life, but something I will not forget in a hurry :)

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