I have been thinking a lot about this is past few days and so its best that I sort my thoughts out here.
Last week Aryan got a book from school library which started like ..there was a girl (forgot the name) whose mother had died and she had a step mom who was very cruel. After reading those 2 lines I kept the book back in his bag and brought a Tulika for him to read. Why not the new library book , he asked and I said , I dont like it.
Why did I not like it I asked myself. For 2 reasons :
1. Why does the kid has to read a story that starts on a sad account of dead mother. It may intiate a thought process of sad and unforseen events in his mind. Ofcourse we read books as food for thought but I sincerely dont think that he can handle thoughts of death , especially of mother’s death. Nor I think I am mature enough to anwer the questions that will be born from these thoughts.
2. Why are step mothers always cruel. I am sure this world has many step mothers who are not cruel. Why don’t someone write a story on those mothers.
I also thought , if at all I would want my son to think about my death , I would want him to think that he will be able to move on and will have nice people around him and not a cruel step mom.
And then this weekend Aryan was watching Chota bheem on TV while I was lying next to him and happened to see what was coming. I know much had been said about TV shows for kids not been good. But then also I don’t believe in banning TV for kids (the why ..is for another post). So we have an agreement that he will choose 1-2 shows with agreement with Mumma.
Chota bheem was one such show that I allowed , thinking that it is about a well behaved nice kid , sorts of a super hero , set up in indian back drop. Not too harmful at a glance. However when I watched it closely that day , I saw that girls in the show dont fight wars and dont do kung fu. They are supoosed to sit and take care of injured or cheer for the fighting men. Why ?
Gender stereotyping is already hard to fight and a TV show that encourages that ?
My son loves to help me with household stuff. I helps me with every single work that I do. Sometimes thats a pain too , uninterrupted , the work can be done faster. Sometimes thats a scare too ,especially when he helps me in kitchen , what if he touches a hot pot. But I have never ever discouraged him to help me. However some people sometimes do tell him not to tag along with mumma for its ladies work. I feel a strong itch inside me when that statement is made. I do tell my son later that he can ofcourse do that work some other time.
I sincerely hope atleast the next generation doesnot grow up with gender stereo types like these. Why is it a girls work to cook and wash ? Men also eat , can they not cook ? I would like my son to do all house hold work as I would want my daughter. I don’t mean to teach him all this now , but I am happy that he feels the need to help mumma in daily chores and does it with a full heart.
I would want my daughter to play foot ball / basket ball / judo or whatever else she would want , if she enjoys that. I would not mind if she doesnot enjoy cooking and if house hold stuff does not come so naturally to her. It still doesnot come naturally to me 😛 However I would love if she learns to cook well and learns to take care of home well too , but thats a wish list and not a mandate.
Chota Bheem is a craze for now and cannot be banned so easily , however I just wish that he gets some good things from it and not the bad ones.
About the book , I was so pissed off that I wanted to write to school to check if these books are apt for kids.
But then there are lot of fairy tales , indian and non indian and lot of anctient tales which talk about harsh realities amd stereotypes. Somehow we avoid such books. Which is why Aryan doesnot know about Cindrella and snowwhite.
Not sure if this is the right thing to do though.
Any thoughts ?
P.S : Second post in a day ..not bad !
I am just writing to tell you how much I loved it. Its was an awesome read. I felt so much for Ankita , as if I was one of her friend. I could not stop thinking about her while I was not reading. And I just could not stop reading when I was reading.
Great job Preeti !!
I got a mail yesterday asking me about how I introduced books to my son and how I plan his book reading. I realized that I just never gave it too much of thought. It happened quite naturally for me. Though I do not know if I did right or wrong , let me put up my reply to her here :
I never planned my kid’s book reading much. I just did simple things. I went to landmark and bought 4-8 books at a time , every 6 months or so. I provided variety , with simple story books which he reads with me , sticker books , colouring books , magic scratch pads.
About his first books , I remember buying a Pooh board book , because pooh has been his favourite character , a Animal picture board book (Navneet) because Animals fascinate kids and a sticker book. The sticker book was done in a day. The animal book was a daily routine , where he would point at a animal and ask what it was and I would tell him and it slowly went vice versa. The Pooh bear book was again a bed time reading book where I started not by reading but showing the pictures and slowly started reading.
My son is not a bookworm but he likes books. We usually read daily at bedtime but there have been phases when he doesnot want to touch books for a month or so. Then I realize that its time for new ones 🙂
Thats all I have been doing.
Recently though we bought some books from the book fair. We got a lot of variety there and Aryan enjoyed those books a LOT , especially the CBT and Pratham books.
Also I have enrolled to a library for myself and they have quite a many kids books too , so I am planning to introduce the concept of library books to him as well from this month.
Plus I have to see some Tulika books asap. Have been wanting to grab some for long time after reading so much about them.
Also , I would like to mention , buying books for kids doesnot means investing lots of money. I realized that only when I started buying. There are a lot of thin , nice and economical books available for kids. Navneet, Vikas , CBT , Dreamland , Sterling, Pratham and Tulika (I dont have any Tulika 😦 though) are some of the names.
What are your thoughts ?
..but I am disappointed. I read your first book about 5 years back and recommended it to every possible person. I really really loved Many Lives Many Masters for several reasons. But recently I picked up your third book. And I am sorry to say that I loved nothing about it except the title, Only love is real. The title was great and the thought was great too but the book isn’t. Its repeatative. In most of your book you talk about Many Lives Many Masters , about your son and about Catherine. We had already read all of that in previous books. You had a new story to tell but you failed to concentrate on that. Perhaps you did not have enough words for the new story to shape it in a book and hence you said all that you said earlier as well. Also right when the new story is on full bloom I realized that its already over. You ended it so abruptly. In the entire book you kept mentioning that Pedro and Elizabeth knew each other as souls but you failed to portray that connection in an impactful way.
Now you may say that you are not a story teller and that your books are based of your experiences. But then no one wants to read the same experiences twice in 2 different books.
I do not recommend “Only Love is real” to people who have read “Many Lives Many Masters” since there is nothing new to read here.
And I do not recommend “Only Love is real” to people who have NOT read “Many Lives Many Masters” because its better you read MLMM and be done. MLMM was a better read any day.