I used to wait for my summer vacations,just like every other kid in the town.I will be traveling to my mama’s home.A place so far away from cities and deep in the forest.And there,my grandma will be waiting for all us,me ,my brother,our cousins .It was the big-fat-get-together.It was a kind of ritual , late in the evening, after we light our lamps,we all kids sat around our dear”ammama” while she recites the stories of Mighty Kings,their wars with cruel Rakshasas.The wild chases,war,divine interventions from Gods and finally the always happy endings.The tales of her wild imagination combined with the mythical stories .Some tales took days to complete as they had sub-stories.I used to remember every single word she used to say,every single emotion she used to explain the situations.And then,after vacations,I used to tell these stories without any loss of expression to all my friends at school and in my colony.That part of a storyteller in me, made me a star among all my friends.
Then,”TV” came to our ancestral home and the story telling became a thing of past as vivid cartoons replaced my grandma’s stories.Even she became more interested in those stupid-never-ending serials.And eventually,the art of storytelling was lost as we all grew up.
Some form of storytelling appeared in those hostel days when someone would be able to watch a movie or two and describe the same to us,the unfortunate hostellers in the room and of course,stories of imaginations stretched only to the that of the movie maker.
Storytelling was totally forgotten until I became a mother.The excitement of telling my girl stories that I heard,collected and absorbed in myself was very high.I wanted my girl to enjoy stories as much as I did and I didn’t want to force her onto it.With a lot of expectations and eagerness I had bought her those colorful books with a lot of pictures and minimal words,but then she quite didn’t like it or rather didn’t show much of an interest.And I understood,it was me to be blamed!!.Which kid would like to read or go through books when they have immediate access to growing animations,youtube videos. ? I was saddened and felt she might almost forget to use her imagination according to her will and then create stories.I used to console myself saying,she is only 2.5 years old and with growing years her preferences will(must) change.
It was then, I got the Colgate Magical Stories hamper.I was excited that I can somehow make my girl involve in this activity.As soon as I sat with her to cut out the pieces,she asked me to throw them away.She said,”Amma,no no,this is not nice“.Should I tell you,my heart sank!!Yet,I went ahead and cut them all,thinking somehow I can make her participate.Seeing me cut out pictures of starfish, whale, puffer fish,octopus etc which she was very fond off,she came running to me and then slowly began to show some interest in the stuff.And voila,I started my storytelling episodes and she also contributed,saying “Pufferfishes comes to us with puff puff “.I was on cloud nine,totally happy.
Thank you, Colgate, for making me remind of my childhood and helping my little one show some interest towards stories from her amma 🙂
*ammama – grandma