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To the one who surprised me!

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The best mistake I made was to conceive a second time. 'Too soon' is what I said as I sat shedding tears of self pity in front of the gynae. ‘Hmm, better now than never’ said my Gynae quite unsympathetically. So he was born in August 2003. Apparently on the delivery table, in a daze of pain I shouted out I wanted to name him after Krishna the divine soul...how clich├ęd is all I have to say now, yet a perfect fit for my dear sonny boy Keshav. His father saw him after 5 months (he did manage to come for the delivery but couldn’t stay too long). By which time the puny boy of 3.3 kgs had bloated into a 5kg boxer. Adventures abound in Jorhat, having swallowed a cockroach egg while crawling about and drank powdered milk that tore his insides; we made a super stay over at the Airforce Hospital with dysentery! The doctors then proclaimed he had an enlarged head and I worried and fretted over that too, till my husband put a stop to that nonsense and reassured me every male in his fam

Storytelling the Future

My first storytelling session was in a Multi Ability classroom of a Special School ( Vidya Sagar) in Chennai. Year 1996.  I took the children to the garden, we sat around and we had a bucket of water in the middle. E ach child had a puppet in their hand – made with simple newspaper; a lion, a rabbit and a few more animals.  As we peered into it, we saw our reflection.  So by now you may know what story I went on to tell. The Panchatantra tale of the Lion and the Rabbit and how the rabbit outwits the lion. This experience triggered a series of reactions. The children (a few of them) started noticing and looking at themselves on reflecting surfaces - as that is what they took back from that story experience. It is mind blowing...to think of this cause and effect in retrospect...   It was an experience for the children. That story allowed children to experience an idea, a concept, abstract or literal notions within the space of a narrative arc. As a storyteller I create a safe s

Perspective - The Rose Bush and the Snail (HCAnderson)

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The Rose Bush & the Snail - by Hans Christian Anderson A hedge of hazel-nut bushes encircled the garden;  but in the centre of the garden stood a rose-tree, and under it sat a snail--she had much within her, she had herself. "Wait, until my time comes," said she, "I shall accomplish something more than putting forth roses, bearing nuts, or giving milk, like the cows and sheep!" "I expect something fearfully grand," said the rose-tree, "may I ask when it will take place?" "I shall take my time," said the snail, "you are in too great a hurry, and when that is the case, how can one's expectations be fulfilled?" The next year the snail lay in about the same spot under the rose-tree, which put forth buds and developed roses, ever fresh, ever new. The snail half crept forth, stretched out its feelers and drew itself in again. "Everything looks as it did a year ago! No progress has been made; the r

Integrity - The 3 Diamonds - Tamil folktale

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Integrity - Is being true to ourselves. Only if we are true with ourselves can we aim to be true to others. So there is  a big element of Self Awareness and Self Respect involved in this. Only if we have this character strength will others trust us. Integrity is about walking the talk! http://www.wisdomcommons.org/virtue/76-integrity/parables Folktales have handled Integrity in many ways - cautionary tales that tell you what happens when Integrity is lost. Some tales use sacrifice to illustrate Integrity, where the Hero/ Heroine have to give up something in order to keep their word. Some wonderful tales such as Punyakoti the Cow and Arputha the Tiger. Though the original version tells us that the tiger jumped off a cliff and sacrificed himself, in order to atone for his sin of desiring such a  virtuous cow as Punyakoti, others have adapted this tale (called as disordered narrative), to have the tiger let go of the cow, in peace. Another tale is the Boiled Seeds ( Empty Pot stor

Prudence & Good Judgement - Folktale from Kashmir - Secret of Traamkhazaan (Tulika Publishers)

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Prudence or discretion: A character strength that enables you to do and say things that is well thought out and not hasty. This strength allows you to make choices that you will not regret later. It falls under the strength of Temperance and allows us practice the ability to monitor and manage our feelings, motivations and behaviour, and protects us from excess. Cautious wisdom, practical wisdom and practical reason. http://www.viacharacter.org/www/Character-Strengths/Prudence Vocabulary to Use good judgement judicious cautious common sense This folktale lends easily to the concept of practicing prudence. Here I have adapted it for telling without taking away the essence of the story. One can always read out the original story from the book as well. Secret of Traamkhazaan- Folktale from Kashmir – Taken from the book:  The Enchanted Saarang   Tulika Publishers (Asha Hanley & Proiti Roy) Adapted for telling here: Traamkhazaan, Tra