Reality and Fiction: Why We Need Children’s Story Books

On October 2, 2021, a discussion about why we need children’s story books took place at Times Litfest. The event saw author and entrepreneur Archana Garodia Gupta, and writer and professional voiceover Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan in conversation with journalist and author Nandini Sengupta. The three women came together to talk about history as a stereotypical ‘boring’ discipline that needs more innovative formats in order to appeal to children. Although considered complex and exhaustive, the story can be reduced to a series of stories which, when told in a relatable way, can intrigue young minds and develop an interest in it from an early age. . Moderator Nandini Sengupta recalled how while writing her own book she had to make Kalidasa, a classical Sanskrit author, look “cool” in order to improve relativity and therefore engagement.

Author Archana Garodia Gupta added that instead of being represented in the form of raw facts and dates, stories should take center stage and engage children intellectually. “We should see the child as a thoughtful person, not someone you just said something to and expect them to believe. This highlights how essential it is to take the liberty of creation in order to improve relativity, but the accuracy of the facts is just as important for a historical narrative. History, inevitably, is a collection of facts that arrive at a singular truth through multiple perspectives, she further explains. “We also believe that the truth always lies somewhere in the middle of two points of view. So we say that History is always written by the victors but then you have subordinate stories. It is also important to see the perspectives of travelers who have no skin in the game, who have no reason to put a particular point of view, except that they especially want to make their books exciting ”, a declared Archana.

The multiple perspectives that are taken into consideration when writing history allow the reader to understand other lives from their own, thus instilling values ​​of empathy and consideration. On top of that, reading the story improves decision-making and judgment, believes author Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan, who also added that a sense of identity is shaped by discipline.

Nandini used the phrase “Treasure Troves of the past” for our scriptures, cultural tales and folklore such as the tales of Jataka, the Panchatantra and the Mahabharata, which she believes should be related with little stories and stories. tales that “have been documented but have been picked up by mainstream historical narratives. They have been relegated and forgotten. They have become footnotes, ”concluded a disappointed but hopeful Nandini who then closed the session.

(By: Bhavya Sharma)

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