Friday, December 27, 2013

Arts Tales- Down memory lane

I won an early reader version of Sleeping Beauty in my first standard for recitation. That and a Krishna Sudama story from CBT or NBT are the earliest recollection I have of books.

ACKs were for lolling on the sofa post homework ( those were pre TV days) and Champak's Chacha Chaudary helped me overcome my fear of Hindi.

Frankly , I grew up on an unbalanced diet -  an overdose of Enid Blyton peppered occasionally with some classics ranging from Alice in Wonderland to Coral Island, from Little Women to Children of the New Forest. I would read Black Beauty and imagine I owned a horse. I would read the Dairy of Anne Frank and wish I could have helped in some way. Along the line I also read some Nehru and a lot of RK Narayan.

But mostly I read Enid Blytons and would dream of lacrosse and hostels,  scones and ginger ale and sea sides and cliffs and being a clever tomboy.

The monthly copy of Target was devoured with gusto. It was the only contemporary Indian fiction that I had access to then. I frowned at Tinkle and was proud to be a Target and Children's World consumer.

My uncle was kind enough to get his only niece a National Geographic Subscription and Sportstar from my father kept the reading bug alive and my room decor transformed as well.

But looking back, if I had to pick a childhood favourite- they would be The Little Prince,  Jonathan Livingstone Seagull and Robin Cook's Fever - yes I read them all before I was twelve !!

I did not have access to as many picture books as my daughters do. And now I am making up for lost time. I love the simple tutorials offered by Eric Carle and Karadi rhymes, the lovely lilt of Julia Donaldson's stories and the Tulika stories in verse. I am moved by the multi cultural stories I read- from Biblioburro to Handa, from Babushkas in snowy lands and story blankets in African villages. I enjoy the Indianness of Tulika and Tara, Karadi and Katha. We read old picture books from the west- Mike Mulligan and Dr Seuss, which are more easily available here. We read new ones too. And may I add, I still have my first Sleeping Beauty book for my girls!

As for our current favourite-  tell me can you choose between carrot halwa and tiramisu?
Or a lovely biryani and a lovingly made pasta ?
Well, I cannot.

But does one need to choose? Just let the stories flow...enjoy the ride.

Arthi Anand is the author of the two Tulika titles- Have you seen this? and Ranganna. She created Mister Muthu for Chandamam, is  a reviewer at Saffron Tree and dabbles in story telling on weekends with Art's Tales, Catch her on Facebook or at the  blog .


  1. Thanks for taking us down memory lane! It is a privilege to have you contribute to Onestoryaday! I too share your fascination with the world of Enid favorite being the Malory towers series!:-) Of course I remember Target being a "cool" kind of magazine for tweens and teens and loved it until it transitioned into its more frivolous version Teens Today. Its wonderful to read books from one's childhood and I can imagine how you felt saving "The Sleeping Beauty" for your daughters! :-)
    Yes.....favorites too evolve as they grow up....and its best to enjoy them all! Thanks for taking time off to write for Onestoryaday!

  2. Thanks Divya for the opportunity
    Always enjoy trips and if nostalgia filled- even better!

  3. Hi dear wish u a very very happy new year and my luv to ur kid. I am Chetana and I was a journalist for 12 years now. I then had to quit my job to take care of my two lil naughty toddlers. I am now associated with this company called ETL they are into total development program for kids of age group 8 months to 7 years. We have a package of various interactive books, cd roms and I pad kind of a thing. Can u pls give me ur number so that I can call u and fix up an appt with u to give a demo. My number is 9916745431. Even otherwise I would love to meet and make friends with new people. Our kids can b friends too. Luv