Many wonder how can a kid write a book for other kids: Vivan Ramdeo
One often sees children of his age visiting amusement parks, but Vivan Ramdeo would rather be found at some historical monument, trying to unearth the story behind it. “I would have been nine when I visited the Taj Mahal, which was the first historical monument that I remember visiting. After that I’ve been to various monuments when I was younger,” says Ramdeo, a 12-year-old who recently shifted base from Delhi to Hyderabad, with his parents, and has come up with his debut book titled Escapades of Vivan – The Treasure of Moth Ki Masjid.
Based on his-story of Moth ki Masjid (which means Lentil Mosque) in Delhi’s South Extension, this young lad stresses on the fact that millennials and Gen Z need to together preserve our historical heritage and protect our monuments, by taking interest in them. “Like most young, I too used to think what’s there in old monuments. But this changed when once my father took me along to see tomb of Birji Khan in RK Puram. That’s when I remember asking my father, ‘What’s there in this old rusty building?’. He then replied that ‘There’s pleasure everywhere, it’s how you try to find it’. His reply made me think, and it was hard to imagine how this building would have been made by hands without using any machinery in those days. Then I started looking at the old monuments with a different view, and enjoyed their structure, art, and architecture... I feel we as Gen Z are fascinated about history but only from the starting of the page to the end, in our course books, and don’t indulge in practically experiencing it at places that are important to us. We are mostly engrossed in our phones, computers and other devices, and it’s high time we start taking interest in these monuments as well. Like Moth ki Masjid was in my syllabus, too. But how many from my class visited the actual place, I wonder. Sooner or later all these monuments would go extinct...”
Ask what was the reaction of his peers when they got to know that he’s writing a book, and the young land confesses, “I was in class IV then, and didn’t share with most of my friends that I was writing a book. I thought they would find it ridiculous, and thought they won’t support my idea. But when I completed the book and showed the first draft to a few of my friends, they were surprised initially. After that they also suggested me a few places where I could get it published, since the main hurdle I faced after writing the book was that I was unable to get it published. I guess that was because many believe that only grown-ups can write, and wonder how can a kid write a book for other kids!”
Having visited several cities across the world, his inquisitive mind is adept at asking questions and leaving the other speechless. “Do you know about Jean-Dominique Bauby?” he asks the interviewer, and then goes on to add, “He was a French journalist who suffered a major stroke, and could only blink his left eyelid. But even in that state, he wrote a book! I want to write about such people, whose stories could encourage youngsters,” says Ramdeo, as he works out his plan to visit Dwarka in Gujarat, for his next story: “When I was telling my grandma the story of Atlantis, she told me about Dwarka. That’s when I got the idea for my next book in the Escapades series. It will be on the sunken city of Dwarka, which will link the curse of Gandhari to Krishna’s city.”
Author tweets @HennaRakheja