Thursday, March 22, 2007

To Read & Being Read To

I saw this contest hosted by CHBM and Kane/Miller Publishing Company through Orchid's Blog. The idea is to blog about a favorite memory of being read to as a child or a favorite memory of reading to your child.

I really do not have many memories of being read to during my childhood except for the famous Molly & Bobban cartoons by V.T.Thomas, the cartoonist, from malayalam magazines. My father & mother were both avid readers and probably that is how I was bit by the reading bug. Though I haven't been read to, my mother was a great story teller and she used to tell us stories of appupan & ammumas (old man & lady), about animals, mostly all folk tales. The one I loved was of that of the old couple who lived in the forest. Since I have no pics and links here goes the story...

Long long ago there was a appupan & ammuma who lived in the forest. One day the appupan wanted to have dosas(what else do you expect a mallu to think of) and he expressed his desire to ammuma. Ammuma was all game and asked appupan to go collect firewood from the forest while ammuma prepared the batter. Appupan returned from the forest with the firewoods and ammuma was ready with the batter. Both were pretty excited about having dosas after a long time. Ammuma started preparing dosas. When the batter was done, they had 11 dosas. Appupan insisted on having six but ammuma wouldn't give in. So they came up with a plan to choose the lucky one who can have 6 dosas. They decided to sit quietly. The one who spoke first would get just 5 dosas and the other 6. So both of them sat in the house waiting for the other to speak. Meanwhile a wild cat entered the kitchen and ate the dosas. Ammuma saw the cat and ran behind it shouting "puch pucha" (cat cat) .... and appupan ran behind happily, you get only 5 and I get 6.

For some very strange reason, the house the old couple has in the jungle, in my imagination, was the house where my granny lived. Its funny when I think of it now, but it just seemed the right kind of house for the story since the kitchen had a wood burner, had a place for firewoods and also probably because my granny was forever scared the cat might eat everything she cooks for us.

About reading to my daughter, I haven't yet started seriously by all means. I got her a board book, so that she keeps away from all my books :)...crafty mom ... he he .... I read it to her, she seems to enjoy, but its just a daily activity book than a story book. I am hunting for board books and am yet to find something suitable for story telling. If genes are anything to go by, reading is in there and I need not worry. My grandfather had a library in our ancestral house in chenitala. Dad used to tell me that people from the church have begged him to donate the books and he wouldn't. It was only after he passed away couple of years back that the church was given away his collection. He did authored a lot of books too. Our whole family(both sides) reads, some crazy, some relaxed and in the family we have readers of travelogues to gospel weekly mags to malayalam mags to fiction, science, economics, geography etc etc. I didn't mean to boast but I am proud to be amidst all.


Risha said...

thanks to you or should I thank your genes, to get me into reading books :-)
Will never forget that
reading stories, well..I was never read to or told a story as far as i remember, but i read books to my nephew whenever i meet him, on 2nd thoughts dunno if i read to him or he to me...all his books are by hearted by him..he's merely 4 cant read at all but he knows each word on that page :-)

Orchid said...

Nice! I am starting to wonder if all bloggers were all readers at some point.I wonder if the tow interests are read and then to write :)

Usha said...

Loved the ammamma story. Never heard that one before.

Sarah said...

I had forgotten all the stories my maternal grandmother told me when I was little..there was a story of the Swarna chekkan'golden boy' who fell in to a well of gold and his skin became gold..try as I could..I just can;t remember the story..

Sunita said...

@risha: Thanks & kids really are fast.
@orchid: Interesting observation. I think after reading quite a variety, probably inspires one to try writing
@usha: :)
@Sarah: I am honoured to have you here. Thanks for dropping by. I can't recollect the story you mention.

Sarah said...

shoo... honoured?? Aiyyah..don't make me feel soooo shy!!

There are so many blogs that I love to yours.. It is just that I never get enough time..

Hip Grandma said...

sweet story.But after the cat ran away with a dosa did they not have only 10 left?It was finally a nice that a cat prevented a show down.