Children’s Day 2022: Bachpan ka pyaar with fables of the past

Updated on Nov 14, 2022 03:23 PM IST

Popular personalities such as singer Harshdeep Kaur, Sarod player Ayaan Ali Bangash, actor Danish Husain tell us their children’s favourite tales.

On Children’s Day, today, some popular personalities reminisce the tales from their childhood, that left an indelible mark.
On Children’s Day, today, some popular personalities reminisce the tales from their childhood, that left an indelible mark.
By, New Delhi

Reading or listening to stories while growing up has been a part of everyone’s childhood. Some of these tales stay with us for the rest of our lives. On Children’s Day, today, some popular personalities narrate tales from their childhood, that left an indelible mark. Now, they narrate the same tales to their children or grandchildren, while reliving those kisse kahaniyan.

Ayaan Ali Bangash with kids Zohaan Ali Bangash and Abeer Ali Bangash.
Ayaan Ali Bangash with kids Zohaan Ali Bangash and Abeer Ali Bangash.

‘Have read The Gruffalo to my kids’

For sarod player Ayaan Ali Bangash, childhood is “perhaps the most beautiful aspect of a human being’s journey”. He says, “All the memories and happenings make us who we eventually turn into as adults. I am a true believer of the fact that we should always keep the child in us alive. Children are the purest and perhaps, the most honest souls. They are our future. As a parent today, my compassion and sensitivity towards children is more intense. In fact it led me to release my EP for Kailash Satyarthi Justice for Every Child Foundation. This national campaign is working to ensure victims of child sexual abuse and rape get timely justice and mental health support to enable them to heal and continue their lives with dignity and freedom. So on Children’s Day, I’d like to say that appeal of socially conscious music is widespread and we are happy to contribute to this revolution time and again.. I didn’t read much to the kids, who are ten now. But, whenever I could, I read Ramayana to them — that has such amazing metaphors to life — and The Gruffalo by author Julia Donaldson.”

Bharatanatyam exponent, Padma Shri Geeta Chandran with grandson Akshar.
Bharatanatyam exponent, Padma Shri Geeta Chandran with grandson Akshar.

‘Ramayana remains my grandson’s favourite’

“Every time Hanuman crosses the ocean to search for Sita in the story, Akshar gets excited! After all, the Ramayana is my four-year-old grandson’s favourite tale,” shares Bharatanatyam exponent, Padma Shri Geeta Chandran, adding, “Akshar loves Hanuman. I read the Ramayana to him, interspersed with songs and rhythm. A tale from my childhood that I narrate to him is, the story of when I got lost in the vast Suchindram Temple (Tamil Nadu), and the temple was crowded beyond imagination due to a festival. I got separated from my parents, who panicked and searched for me high and low. Meanwhile, I returned to the only safe place I knew in that place — our car. When my parents arrived there, highly agitated and with a decision to lodge a missing complaint at the police station, they found me smiling securely in the car. I tell this story to my grandson, as an example of common sense.”

‘My father used to tell me the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears’

Playback singer Harshdeep Kaur says, like herself, her 20-month-old son Hunar Singh, is quite fond of jokes and stories. “My father used to tell me the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It’s about a bear trio, comprising of Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear. He would change the characters of the story every day, kyunki roz naye instances kahan se laate. We try to do the same with Hunar. I also play a lot of songs to him such as Do-Re-Mi, and traditional filmy bachhon wale gaane like Lakdi Ki Kathi,” shares Kaur, adding, “I was a person who used to love jokes, and would often ask my father, ‘Papa joke sunao’. Roz raat ko sone se pehle ek joke sunate the. He has a great sense of humour. We are trying to pass on the same to Hunar, because that’s what is needed in today’s times. He understands our jokes and finds them funny.”

Danish Husain with daughter Zahra Husain.
Danish Husain with daughter Zahra Husain.

‘Zahra grew up on Harry Potter’

“I guess we live in a haze perpetually. Our stories morphing with our contemporary experiences and feelings, with only a ghostly trail of fragmented phrases, laughing faces and intriguing feelings left with us at best,” opines actor Danish Husain, speaking about his 25-year-old daughter Zahra. He adds, “My daughter and I grew up in different worlds. I grew up in the bylanes of North Campus, at Delhi University, while she grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan (USA). I was the one who grew up on tales of great poets of Urdu literature such as Ghalib, Faiz, Mir, Anees or Islamic tales; Champak, Ramayana and Mahabharata. She grew up on Harry Potter and Vampire Diaries. But sometimes, our worlds collide, as she would attend Dastangoi performances of mine and enter the world of Amar Aiyaar or Afrasiab; or find herself regaled by accounts of my father, grandfather, grandmother or her parents’ youthful exploits.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Naina Arora writes on City, Art and Culture of Gurugram, for the daily Entertainment & Lifestyle supplement, HT City

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