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The Story Behind The Stories

Terrible twos? No. Terrific three? Yes!!!!! That is when the idea of this book emerged ...... and the best part was, it came from little Rishav.

At the time, Rishav was reading a book about places and it was his habit to start the day with this book. He thoroughly enjoyed reading it but what nobody realised was how he was getting inspired and intrinsically motivated to write his own story book, at this very young age. He read innumerable other books and started gathering ideas in his mind. All we knew was, reading was a daily ritual in our house and it was encouraged.

 

And who does not enjoy doodling and drawing? Like many of you, Rishav always expressed himself in drawings. One day he came to me with his drawings and, with a feeling of intent said, he wanted a ‘real’ book!

I clearly remember how happy and confused I was at the same time because I did not quite understand what he meant. After a conversation, Rishav made it clear that he actually wanted to be an author. It was a thrilling moment, both as a teacher and of course as a mother.

 

I took it very seriously to support him and nurture his passion. The first step I took was to make him responsible for his own initiative.

 

Rishav named the book ‘The Lion’s Walk’. Beautiful conversations followed. Each page focused on a place and some detail that he observed of that particular place. He narrated the story while I documented it. What was unique was how Rishav read books, made connections with his personal experiences and applied his knowledge in his writing. Soon I got the pages photocopied and stitched together. That was Rishav’s first book!

 

‘The Lion’s Walk’ made Rishav a mini author. Reading and writing continued. Soon he could write words and simple sentences. He had no fear while writing. One needs to express oneself the best he/she can and move on. Revisiting a piece of writing and editing it can only make the story more enjoyable to read. Spontaneous drawings always supported his stories. I started collecting these and with my teacher hat, I scaffolded his writing journey. (A few strategies have been shared in this book).

 

The next stage was finding ‘the’ publisher. I did not rush with this ‘dream’ as I always believed it had a unique purpose of inspiring young writers. Rishav wanted to be a role model for others. After four years of patient search, we found Kitaab, who had the same vision as us. It was indeed a very happy day.

In Rishav’s words:

 

“This is a big wish come true! You must dream and when the dream becomes bigger, bigger and bigger it comes true. I want to encourage everyone around the world to write because it helps people to communicate and you can express your heart full of stories. You need dreamagination to live.”

 

This is the story behind the stories and we hope it will inspire you to do what you like to do, follow your heart and chase your dream. Perhaps writing a story is one of them?

The Soft Launch

Some pictures from our soft launch event in Kolkata on 17th Dec 2016

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Rishav & Srinanda

Rishav is a 11 year old boy who is passionate about life! He has an extremely imaginative mind and a fantastic sense of humour. He enjoys cooking, playing Soccer, pottery and craft, dancing and acting, designing and reusing, conducting science experiments, playing guitar and drumming, but what he enjoys most is expressing himself through art. He can spend hours doodling, sketching or drawing. Rishav is an avid reader. Rishav is a Grade 6 student at Southbank International School (London) before which he studied in Chatsworth International School (Singapore). He is caring and balanced. Rishav feels he can inspire others to write or chase their dreams without fear with the book he has written and named 'Dreamagination'. Rishav has co-conducted workshops with his mother in several schools/bookstores and children's activity centres to excite young minds with his book. He has also won the Young Achiever's Award for the category of 'Volunteering and Community Services'. His latest was to inspire one of his friends to publish her own book.

 

“This is a big wish come true! You must dream and when the dream becomes bigger, bigger and bigger it comes true. I want to encourage everyone around the world to write because it helps people to communicate and you can express your heart full of stories. You need dreamagination to live.”

 

 

Srinanda is a dedicated mother and a passionate educator. She has taught in many international schools including Dhirubhai Ambani International School (India) and Chatsworth International School (Singapore) where she led the Early Years. She is now teaching in London. Her core beliefs about education are respecting the young minds and nurturing them to think beyond the obvious. In her past sixteen years of teaching experience, she has learned to build on their personal, social and cultural experiences, differentiate and allow them to make connections, construct meaning and apply themselves to have a deeper understanding. Having positive interactions gives her the opportunity to feedback and scaffold constructivist learning. 

 

"I encourage my son and all other children to be reflective in order to accept challenges and recognize mistakes as opportunities." 

 

Authentic documentation of children's work and inclusion are her areas of passion. She takes great pleasure in facilitating workshops for children, parents and teachers. Srinanda enjoys spending time with young children and listening to their stories. Having 'conversations' with children, taking the time out on a busy day to play tag, respecting their individual personalities and their work, showing them 'you care' are a few things she loves doing for her children. Srinanda never has Monday morning blues! 

 

As a mother-son duo, Rishav and Srinanda love watching movies, dancing, creating, reading, thinking 'out of the box', stomping and just being silly!

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