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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Making stories, making magic

Nanki Singh, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, March 30, 2014
First Published: 09:41 IST(30/3/2014) | Last Updated: 09:49 IST(30/3/2014)

Giving children a glimpse into her writing, Natasha said, "During school days, I wasn't interested in history or geography. But later, when I explored amazing biographies, had encounters with gorgeous coffee table tomes, visited monuments, heard about their past, read historical fiction, read about civilizations and monks, wars fought to spread empires etc; I was hooked.

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Rulers are interesting people, and while writing stories about them, one can add humour to them. That's what is required and important when you write for children."

Her book History Mystery happened similarly. After her dreaded encounters with history as a child, she wanted to introduce children to the country's past, while being hysterically historical.

"To have them read it like a mystery with spies, investigators and traitors, all the while slipping in various facts about the rulers and the time," she adds.

The third session of Chatura Rao on, 'Making stories, making magic', gave a glance into the magical process of story-making. She explained how to see magic even in ordinary things, and bring it to life with words and pictures, along with introducing them to books such as Amie and the Chawl of Color, Growing up in Pandhupur and Nabiya.

Award winning children's writer Devika Rangachari held a book-reading session on her book, ‘The Wit of Tenali Raman.’ This collection of 18 stories described how Tenali Raman was clever and exasperated people with his mischief as much as he impressed them with his intelligence.

This led to a session by Ranjit Lal on, 'The Beastly World of Ranjit Lal', moving to illustrator Srivi Kalyan's session on, 'Jugnu The Baiga Princess', for which she took children outside the Tagore Theatre in the open area letting them explore nature.

Children were told to let their imagination go wild and draw illustrations accordingly. Post this, the concluding session of Sampurna Chatterjee on, 'The trouble within the truth….is that it hurts', was held, where she read extracts from her book, ‘Ela’.

She interacted with students in a discussion about growing up, the trickiness of adolescence, the traumas of truth and lies, and the healing power of fiction and fantasy.

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