Monday 11 September 2017

Pratham Books Champion : Shyamala Shanmugasundaram/ Kahani Takbak

Shyamala Shanmugasundaram from Kahani Takbak shares her story of celebrating International Literacy Day. Shyamala is a Navi Mumbai based children’s author. Home, Sweet Home; It’s all
about leaves and The wandering cloud are the Pratham Books written by her. Learn more about her work on www.shyamala.in) :

It was a wonderful enriching experience to narrate the story of Kottavi Raja and his Sleepy Kingdom on the occasion of International Literacy day. The two sessions were held at Mumbai Mobile Crèche (MMC), Raheja Labour camp, Airoli.

The MMC serves as a day care centre for kids of construction workers. My biggest challenge was to avoid ruckus that would wake up sleeping babies. (It was heartening to see babies as young as 8 weeks old lying in the cribs while their mothers worked in the nearby construction site.)

Since the older kids in the age group of 6+ had to attend school at 12 noon, I conducted my first session for them. Around a dozen kids turned up in their school uniforms. After initiating a discussion on the importance of sleep, I narrated Kottavi Raja in Hindi adding bits of music and movement. Since I didn’t know Niladri raag sung by the court singer, I introduced bits of ‘Palta’, which is practised by Hindustani Classical singers to strengthen their voice. I also eliminated the characters of Sujata and the court jester. The king’s mom and dad were introduced instead.

Even before the session ended, some of the younger kids from the Balwadi arrived in the study room asking me to come quickly as they were eager to colour, sing and hear the story. I asked the senior kids to draw a dinner menu for Kottavi Raja and hurried to the balwadi where over 30 kids sat in a circle.

The balwadi teachers drew a moustache on the index finger of every child. As I finished narrating the story, I noticed a few of the kids were already a bit sleepy. It was nearing lunchtime. The session concluded with some of the kids performing a bedtime song for Kottavi Raja.

List of songs created for Kottavi Raja

1) Song sung by Kottavi Raja everytime he wants to call the cook, musician and his parents

(Tune: Mujhe neend na aaye from the movie Dil)
To watch on Youtube : click here

Neend na aaye
Neend na aaaye …Ho-- -- ooo-- -ooo
Neend na aaye
Mujhe chain naaa aaye
Koi jaaye (cook/singer/daddy/mummy) ko bulaake laaye
Na jaane kahaan meri neend kho gayeeeeeee
Na jaane kahaan meri neend kho gayee

2) Song sung by Kottavi Raja’s court singer
To watch on Youtube : click here
Saaaaaaa(cough! cough! cough!)
Sa-re- sa
Sa-re- ga-re- sa
Sa-re- ga-ma, ga-re- sa
Sa-re- ga-ma- pa-ma- ga-re- sa
Sa-ni- sa
Sa-ni- dha-ni- sa
Sa-ni- dha- pa- dha- ni- sa
Sa-ni- dha-pa- ma-ga- re-sa

3) Song sung by Kottavi Raja’s strict dad
(Tune from the movie Sanam Re. Only the last line is changed)

Akkad Bakkad bambai bow
Assi nabbey pooorey sau
Raat keu baj gaye pauney do
Jao Raja jaldi sow

4) Bedtime Song sung by Kottavi Raja’s mom
(Tune :Chanda Hai Tu from the movie Aradhana)
To watch on Youtube :  click here

Chanda Hai Tu
Mera Suraj Hai Tu
O meri aankon ka taara hai tu
Chanda Hai Tu
Mera Suraj Hai Tu

5) Song: So Gaya sung by all the characters when Kottavi Raja goes to sleep.
(Tune: So Gaya Yeh Jehaan from Hindi movie Tezaab)
To watch on Youtube :  click here
So gaya Kottavi Raja
So gaya aasmaan
So gayi hai saari titliyaan,
Hai saari machliyaan/bakriyaan.
So gayaa hai raja!
So gaya Kottavi Raja (2)

In its sixth edition of the 'One Day - One Story' campaign, Pratham Books was joined by 5700+ storytellers who conducted 6300+ storytelling sessions. Many, many steps towards a 'Reading India'! 

What started as a small step by Pratham Books to spread the joy of reading has become a movement. In 2012, Pratham Books initiated the One Day-One Story initiative on the occasion of International Literacy Day. 

Note : If you want to be a Pratham Books Champion and join us on our journey of getting 'a book in every child's hand', write to us at champions(at)prathambooks(dot)org.

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