Sunday, January 26, 2014

Little Indians on Republic day!

What does Republic day mean for kids today? Is it just another public holiday or a holiday lost (as Republic day happened to fall on a Sunday this year!) or a day to attend the Republic day celebrations at your locality or apartment complex or a day on which you are allowed unbridled TV time only to realize that its restricted to watching the Republic day parade on Doordarshan (India’s public television) and not the Republic day special movie running on other channels or a day to go shopping at the Republic day sales running in each and every mall in town?  Gone are those pre-cable TV days when we would eagerly wait for the Republic day parade and sit through the whole show all ready for a pop quiz on “Who was the chief guest at this year’s program” or “What was the running theme of this year’s tableau from Karnataka”? (My over-enthusiastic mom subjects me to the quiz even today!:-)  While we made it a point to have Abhay sit through the display of our country’s military prowess and cultural kaleidoscope at the Republic day parade this morning, we were a tad disappointed to notice that Abhay’s interest seem to wane off even before the cultural tableaux began! Regularly fed with the daily diet of “Ninja Hattori” and “Transformers’, I guess, our little Indians need a bit of prodding to appreciate and admire something that is indigenous and our own!

 Since Republic day is essentially a day to celebrate the rich cultural heritage and diversity of our country, what better book to read than Pika Nani’sLittle Indians” which presents interesting facts, figures and stories from across the different states of our country.  We had the honor of the author’s guest post on Onestoryaday last December.  Anyway, I had meant to feature this book on Independence Day last year, but could not do so. Expecting it to be a guidebook on different states of India for kids aged ten and above, I had bought a few copies for a few kids aged above ten, as return gifts at Abhay’s seventh birthday last year.  Little did I know…what a gem I was giving away….and thank God I had kept an extra copy of the book myself! Not only this could be likened to a “junior lonely planet” series on the different states of the country, but this book combines fact and fiction to produce some of the most endearing stories I have ever read to Abhay! Following a similar format for each of the fifteen states featured, the author highlights the unique landscape, life, people and the culture of each state, peeping into its history while also beautifully weaving a story around the various elements native to that state, with the young inhabitants being the protagonists. So while your little one learns about the many tiger reserves of Madhya Pradesh, he also learns about the secret behind the “The Ghost of Bhedaghat” a story set amidst the famous Marble gorge near Jabalpur or while being enlightened about one of the world’s highest cricketing pitches in Himachal Pradesh, the story of  discovery of “Apple Ganesha” at Kotgaarh, known as the Apple Heartland of Himachal Pradesh, is sure delight your little one! Here’s hoping that our very own little Indians learn the fascinating facts about our country through “Little Indians”! Happy Republic Day everyone!


  1. Dear Divya,
    I do agree with your sentiments about Republic Day...had to convince my daughter to watch the parade, thankfully she loved the tableaux.
    Thank you for the wonderful write-up about my book. You mention about 'Apple Ganesha', it was my first story for the book and based on a real life episode :-)

  2. Wow! Didnt know it was based out of a real-life episode. I found this book a great help while visiting some of these states. I remember how difficult it was to find something my son could relate to when we were visiting Gujarat or Maharashtra. The format of your book brings the reader closer to the State than any other it makes a great read to kids and adults alike:-)