Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Neverending Story

The Neverending Story
originally in Kannada by Ashwini Bhatt
Illustrations by Chinmayie

Ages : 3-6

Who doesn't want a never ending story? Just the thought of it would delight any child.. A girl asks her grandma for a never ending story and grandma gives her not one but two of them that are never ending!

The first is a folk-tale like ditty about an old man who comes from Madikeri to Bengaluru. Then comes the old man's wife from Madikeri to Bengaluru... Then their daughter, and the daughter's doll, and the doll's dog, and the dog's tail .. and you can imagine in this vein the story would never end.

But the girl isn't satisfied, perhaps she can see through her Grandma's ploy? She gets agitated and asks her grandma "When will this story end?"And that's when Grandma comes up with the second story that is nicely interwoven into the first. She says that the story will end when the needle comes out of the well.

Needle come out of the well? How did it land up there? Well it so happens that there was an old woman who had a torn saree and asked her son for a needle to sew it. And then the needle fell into the well.

And then what happened? - you may ask.

Well - if you ask Grandma that, she would say - "If you ask me what happened, will the needle come out of the well?"

To which you might respond with a "No". And then grandma would say "If you say No, will the needle come out of the well?".

Did you just say Aaargh? To which grandma would respond, 'If you say Aaargh, will the needle come out of the well?"

You see where this is going?

When my daughter read this story, she was laughing hard at this point, to which I obviously said "If you laugh, will the needle come out of the well?". She tried various things, like shaking her head, to just looking at me with a meaningful expression, to writing to me, but all I said was - "If you do that, will the needle come out of the well?"

For days after reading this story, we ONLY spoke about the needle coming out of the well, because in case you remember, only if the needle comes out of the well, can this story end. Else it is a never ending story!

A lovely book (by Ashwini Bhatt), very to-the-point illustrations by Chinmayie, and written in several languages Hindi/Kannada/Telugu/Tamil/Bangla.

My only gripe? This book is best enjoyed in Kannada, the meter of the ditty (Madikeri to Bengaluru) is a bit unwieldy in English.

25 comments:

meera sriram said...

That was something Poppins! If I am not incorrect, a story that has two stories that don't have an ending!I think it must have been quite challenging to communicate the idea, but I think you have done a great job at that (even if I haven't gotten it right:))

ssstoryteller said...

What a wonder ful idea. Children really bond over such humour and innanity...
There are many such stories inTamil as well..where the essence is enjoyed in the that language and the meaning is lost in others...i'm sure that is the case for many such stories around the world...
yet we need such translations..so that we can atleast know...
thanks...
My personal favourites are Indian Stories...I am in heaven!!

ssstoryteller said...

This reminds me of the song "There is a Hole in the Bucket, Dear Elisa"..hahah

sathish said...

If I leave a comment will the needle come out of the well! :)

Hema said...

Only last month we bought this book and I don't know about my little one but I enjoy reading and telling this!

Kodi's Mom said...

ROFL! A totally fun book, and an excellent review from you...

ranjani.sathish said...

Poppins,
I happened to read the book quickly, when I had to deliver it to a friend who had requested it. When I finished the book, I felt that something was missing. Now that you have pointed out, I realise it must be the language !

It must be so much more fun to read such a funny tale in the local language !

I did not read the book with Sooraj..otherwise I think he would also have enjoyed it like your daughter!

ChoxBox said...

totally agree poppy. sometimes stories are best read in the original language they were written in! but hey this story is great even so.

on a tangent, had read an article where anthea bell and derek hockridge, the translators of asterix comics, talk about the challenge of translating french puns/language nuances into english. interesting read that is too!

the mad momma said...

sounds lovely poppy - now I MUST find it for the kids even if it doesnt have the ring the original does...

Poppins said...

@Meera: Ofcourse you got it right. Thank god or I'd have been fretting about my review! And yes it's quite a difficult concept to catch hold of.
@ssstoryteller: Then fix dear Henry, dear henry, dear henry.. Then fix it. :)
@Satish : LOL
@Hema: I know, isn't it delightful?
@Kodi: Try it :)
@Ranjani: Yes try it in Tamil, but Kannada is a hoot
@Chox: You asterix crazy you!
@TMM: I'll send it for you if you want! Or come to Bangalore - I'll read it in Kannada :)

Mama - Mia said...

:)

we have similar stories in marathi too! :)

and i know how many afternoons my brother and me have spent irritating hell outta each other depending on who started it! :D

lovely review!

cheers!

Lakshmi said...

Loved your review and I'm sure the book is worth picking up. A fun to read it for kids though I'm not sure my three-year-old will be able to understand it yet. Any idea where it's available in Bangalore?

Poppins said...

@Abha: yes I'm sure they exist in all local languages - what fun to introduce to kids no?
@Lakshmi: Yes they're available to buy at Crossword/Landmark kind of places. To rent try the libraries such as Hippocampus/Easy Lib/Out of the Box/My Mitra/iCue - plenty of children's libraries these days

Chox, I say, you got to do that list of places in India (atleast Bangalore) where we can find children's books!

ChoxBox said...

@Poppy: Will do ma'am!

Praba said...

Grandma tale and that too never-ending...Poppins, this one delightful pick!

Have got to get this. My kids will be able to relate to the Madikeri part - thanks to our recent trip.

As for the second tale, something to be said for the magic of language in regional folklore...and to think something as simple as needle and a well can get kids laughing rolling on the floor. Wow!!

Thanks for this Tulika treasure, all the way from Karnataka, Poppy!

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

Sounds like an absolute delight! Maybe one day you can read it to us in Kannada, till then, I guess I'll have to settle with the English version. I hope I can lay my hands on it!

Sheela said...

Sounds like a brilliant idea, Poppins! Just thinking about the delicious possibilities of making up our own never-ending stories with our kids makes this a treasure.

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

Sounds like a fun read ... lovely review.... you know what i will pester you for when I come down ... of course a list of all these lovely books and places to find them.

Poppins said...

@Praba: I knew you'd like the grandma bit :)
@M4: But, but you know Kannada don't you?
@Sheela: Yep I thought the same thing too
@CA: You want me to send some to you? Why wait until next time?

Kowsalya Subramanian said...

I have read a similar Birbal Story where Akbar tortures all his ministers to give him a story everyday and Birbal comes up with an idea. The story starts with a farmer sowing seeds and harvesting and storing them in a big granary and through a small hole, one bird take those grains and day two it becomes two and so on. The story would end only when all the grains in the granary has been emptied by the birds..
But this needle story is more hilarious than that. will try to get hold of it. :)

Poppins said...

@Kowsalya: Ah yes I've heard that one too - this is a bit more funny and interactive though - try it, Abhi will like it!

utbtkids said...

I am ordering it :)

dipali said...

Delightful story and review!

Poppins said...

@Utbt :)
@Dipali: Thanks Dips!

Uma said...

That sounds like a book that is a must on my bookshelf! I can imagine how my lil one would react...will pick it up this weekend.

Related Posts with Thumbnails