Monday, September 5, 2011

Little Vinayak's Tale!

One of the best things about returning to India the second half of the year is that we are just in time for the festive season! Boy!…aren’t we glad to be back! We can celebrate Janmashtami or Dassera just the way they are meant to be!! Over the last week, I got to attend the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in my dad’s ancestral home, after a gap of three years and it felt divine to get back to my roots! No more waiting for the weekends to observe your traditions, or being content with ‘make believe temples’ abroad (no offense meant to the Hindu temples of Portland) or racking your brains over what to dish out for the group potluck or feeling demotivated to wear Indian or flash your Indian accessories with the forecast of a snow storm! In India this season, every second day calls for an occasion to get dressed up for an event or a festival, meet up long lost cousins/relatives and relish the sinful sweets and savories you can only dream about, when abroad! 

I was looking for a picture book on Lord Ganesha and couldn’t  find one, of course felt a little lazy to look further. Instead I found “Little Vinayak” by Shobha Vishwanath and Shilpa Ranade, part of the Karadi Tales Series. This is a story of a baby elephant named Vinayak with a peculiar problem – he had a truck unlike any other elephant! It was so long that he tripped on it nearly hundred times a day! Worried about her son’s long trunk, Vinayak’s mother tried everything from to knotting it to twisting it to folding his super long trunk but nothing seemed to work. Each time Vinayak walked, he fell with a big thud and became a laughing stock in the elephant community. Even his best friend Mika’s idea didn’t yield lasting results. Finally, Vinayak meets Tembo the biggest elephant in the forest. Though Tempo was gigantic in size and weight, he had one thing in common with Vinayak – Tempo too had a loooong trunk! Vinayak couldn’t hide his excitement and found hope as he saw Tempo walk with grace despite his extra long trunk. Vinayak stumbled along his way up to Tempo and asked him the secret of his gait without having his trunk get in the way. Tempo was willing to demonstrate his technique before Vinayak and asked him watch him as he put his right foot forward, swung his truck to the left and then put his left foot forward and swung his trunk to the right – that’s how he did it! Vinayak was thrilled to find such an easy solution to his predicament and danced his way to the mango tree without tripping even once! From that day on, no elephant with a long trunk trips on its trunk as long as he learns little Vinayak’s special dance! A perfect little story for your little one during this festive season! Season’s greetings to everyone!

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