International Children’s Book Day

By Asmita Javdekar in Experiences
Updated 12:46 IST Apr 15, 2019

Views » 853 | 3 min read

When Salonie asked me to write something for the International Children’s Book Day on Kalamwali (www.kalamwali.com) as their featured author of the month, instinctively I knew, to whom this write up would be dedicated to.

To my introduction to the world of stories, 
to the creator of my imaginary wonderland, to the woman who nourished my curiosity and harnessed my emotions, Maa Aji (my grandma)

My earliest childhood memory of having all my senses woven into intense focus was when our bedtime story telling session with Maa Aji unfolded.

Maa Aji possessed the power to bring her characters to life.
Be it the humongous Ghatotkacha with an unsatiable appetite or mischievous Krishna who revealed the entire universe in his gaping mouth to his mother, Yashodha. Her soulful recital of Shravan Baal never failed to trigger sobs, amongst us, children.

Our unanimous favourite genre, however was “Bootachya gosthi"(Ghost stories)
My cousins and I would huddle together, 
fight for the coveted place beside Maa Aji, draw the curtains, switch off the lights and create the perfect ambience with pin drop silence. These riveting stories would often entail holding each other’s hands tightly and of course, needing an escort, incase anyone of us had to use the bathroom.

Fast forward to many later when Maa Aji was visiting us for a couple of days. My daughters’ Mahika and Mihira must have been 7 and 2 years old, at that time.

One day post lunch, the girls led Maa aji to their bed room, drew the curtains to make the room dark, switched the fan on, pulled out a soft quilt and jumped into bed, to curl up on either side of their great grandmother. 
“Maa aaji, please ek gostha sangtes?"
(Please tell us a story)

Their engrossed faces, heady with a concoction of awe, drew me into the coterie. I slid underneath the quilt and took a deep breath. 
In the evening, I found myself, looking into the mirror with my mouth wide open.
A little voice besides me mumbled, “Mumma, even I think I saw the universe inside me. Do you see it?”

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