Paying Homage to Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Tanvi P.S. interned with Karadi Tales in the month of December 2017.
It was on a bright, cozy December morning that I stepped into a quaint building to see a big cut-out of a brown, cheerful bear smiling at me, pointing towards glass doors that held behind them an array of books. From all these books, the same kind-natured Karadi beamed at me. It was as if I had stepped into a new tale, with an old friend.
Picture a young child holding a book in her hand, waiting to read along with a bear that told her stories through a cassette. I was this child when I was around 7 years old. I loved Karadi Tales’ audio books. Sometimes, I even had an itinerary ready for when I came back from school: first I would read The Blue Jackal, then The Four Friends, and then save my favourite for the last, The Monkey and the Crocodile. As you can surmise, my childhood was built on a steady diet of fables and fantastic music, courtesy of this musical bear.
With every audio book that I picked up, I started off on a brand new journey. I would elatedly sing and dance along as soon as ‘Karadi the Bear’ welcomed me to his jungle. I would wait eagerly for the ‘tak-tadak’ sound that told me it was time to turn pages and let the story unfold. What a glorious twenty minutes I had with every new tale!
Now, over fifteen years later, after joining Karadi Talesas an intern, when I was asked to pick a book and reflect on my journey with Karadi, my hands immediately reached out to pick up The Monkey and The Crocodile. It has been a long time since I last read (and listened to) this audio book adaptation of the Panchatantra classic, but by the second page I was humming along as the story serenaded me. I found that Ratna Pathak Shah’s evil cackling as the cunning crocodile, Mrs. Jagged Jaws, still sent chills through my spine.
After all this time, Karadi Tales still manages to awaken that little kid in me by bringing together two of my passions – music and stories. All these years I only marvelled at the magic of the books, but now I get to glimpse the magic that goes into their making. It’s been less than a week since my internship began. However, seeing that my days are filled with working on children’s books, and the road ahead seems tremendously promising. Dear Karadi, thank you for the journey so far. Here’s to many more days spent reading and listening to your wonderful stories.