Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Child critic

Remember what you read when you were a child?Or do you remember thinking about that wonderful word of words when your sibling could read and you couldn't yet connect 'abcd' to the strings and strings of words in the world?I remember when I was four, I could just about read "tinkle' comics and I felt so proud.I had entered the domain of an older person.Ofcourse reading is not such a cool thing anymore among kids...not like I am a grandmom. Ten years ago , I was still in the peak of childhood.
My favourite stories were the 'Undir' stories in 'Gokulam' which were about a family of mice. Now the word is associated with 'plague', 'that disgusting creature we had to cut up in biology' and other such unpleasing associations.
At seven, the mice part of the 'Undir' family were a world of wonder. While they were still mice at heart, they still faced the essential Indian middle class situtaions that made it relatable and yet fantastic.

The mother(mouse) gets transferred and it's all seen through the eyes of children who are often ever excited about change.(Maybe we are born following Darwin's rules of adapations but grow up to forget them).They eat chapati , aloo , rice and dal for dinner. There is an American cousin who comes and is thinks the world has ended when there is a power cut.They go out for movies and are excited about eating pizza. Essentially , an Indian child could relate these events to her life more than what was served on 'cable tv' then . This was before the American epidemic and before McDonalds was a household name . Before dream purchasing powers .
Actually If I am supposedly reviewing these stories dug up from the recesses of childhood, I should comment on how it was written , by whom....i have no memory of the former and the latter..anuradha something. Besides I didn't then have the mercilessly critical eye that I have today. Thank God for that.

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