Stories pamper the escapist me. Provide shelter away from the real world.It all started as a kid when I used to sleep over my father’s tummy, listening the varied versions of “ek tha raaja aur ek thi rani”.
Stroies grew along with me. They started conveying meanings and morals, hiding in my school bag. They became much mature before I entered my teens.
Me and father always bonded over stories. Some from real life with embedded jokes and some from the pages of fiction making sense to daily chaos.
We cherished that magic bridge of communication, of fairy tales, animals farms, heroes, happy endings and hope.
He still tells stories, over tea. Mostly repeating himself. To hide his old age from him, I pretend to listen the same story with a new zeal everytime he shares.
I had to start paying back. Making up run-time stories to my about to sleep toddler.
Sometimes.. “Hula” met a dog and promised to gift him a kite, years later the dog died and Hula grew up to be a kite maker, gifting kites to all stray dogs.
While some other days.. Cat and dog went to school and, on thier way dog was hit badly by a stone. Cat nursed him and when dog was recovered, he helped the cat teaching him how to ride a bicycle.
She understands only the characters or object names. Sometimes barely getting a sense of the situation. But in the process we try build a communication, few hugs and kisses.
I have kept few of my father’s stories safely. I will fetch them as she grows.
Sukumar Ray , Leo tolstoy, Premchand and their tailored versions. Amar chitrakatha , Panchatantra, Holmes and the self cooked ones.
Stories will be passed as a tradition. Moments build over stories will be passed as a stencil to create the similar ones.
She needs to know the art of escaping, playing hide and seek between the characters of stories.
She has to cheat me, hiding story books in between the pages of study material.
She needs to learn how to make up false stories, to hide her sadness and explain her happiness.
We have to walk the same magic bridge, holding hands and telling stories.