A LETTER TO RICK RIORDAN
-DECEMBER 21st, 2019
Dearest Rick, I was walking past the Fantasy aisle of the library towards the Classics section when a book’s spine made me stop and pluck it out. The Lightning Thief was a title I had never heard of but one that I knew I would never forget. That was the beginning of a journey through hundreds of stories, countless legends and a handful of absolutely amazing characters. I was in the sixth standard when I began the Percy Jackson series, and at the age of nineteen today, it still isn’t over. After the Olympians, it was the Romans and how could I stop there when the magical, mystical world of Egyptian mythology awaited. Want to know how much I love your books – there was a day in middle school when a fight with friends made me cry incessantly but when my father returned from the office with three the Kane Chronicles books tucked under his arm, I couldn’t help smiling. They became my sunshine. Reading the words that your brain emitted, your fingers typed in and the machines printed on paper has been an absolute rollercoaster. From dialogues to even chapter names, every element of your books carries a sense of hilarity in it (Chapter 6 – I Become Supreme Lord of the Bathroom – see I still remember!). But that doesn’t make the stories any less real. Your understanding of teenagers always surprised me; how was it that I could relate to a daughter of Athena with an invisibility Yankees cap, fighting monsters and a half Egyptian boy (who turns out to be a pharaoh by the way) spilling ancient spells in hieroglyphs? (Really how?)I didn’t just find my life mirrored in your characters but also found it charting a new course, scaling a new peak – the mountain of, myths. Adonis and Aphrodite, Calypso, Lupa, Neptune, Aurum and Argentum, Amun Ra, Anubis, Horus sound like names of old friends to me. And it was in-between the pages of your books that I first met all of them. And since then I have really broadened my social circle now including the Nordics, Slavic, Red Indian and many more. And as of today, I can proudly say that I am obsessed with mythologies of all and every kind.
But finally, I think it was about the comfort and the escape I found in your stories that has made them resonant. You could turn a mundane day of school into an adventure of fetching the golden fleece; you could turn a bad exam result into a trip aboard the Argo II; you could turn an anxiety-filled night into a stroll down Egypt’s underground throne room. You had that power and that fantastic haven where I could forget all about my worries and fears. I think I need to put a full stop now or else I’ll just keep going on and on about your books and how much I not only love them but admire too. And hence ending this letter, Rick thank you so much for making the decision of writing because you revolutionized my life and a gazillion others too, I am sure.
PS. I still draw the SPQR on my arm with black ballpoints and carry a Scarab bead for good luck
GIRL NEXT DOOR WITH A TOWER OF BOOKS
There is this girl,
Who lives next to my house,
In a dingy little cabin,
Her father builds houses out of cards
And the mother tries to
Hold the house they live in
This little girl, I often see her,
Peering out of
The single window they have,
And look longingly at my bookshelf,
See now I remember reading
About another girl
Not so different from this one
Who treated books like
Treasure and looked at words
Like a thirsty man,
Looks at the water.
This girl who lives next to me,
She sometimes keeps the six books
One on top of the other,
Builds a tower, somewhat akin
To her father’s house of cards,
Cuts vegetables for dinner
On top of it.
See her house may be built
Out of pages and words,
But nobody told her that
She could perhaps draw in it,
Dance in it, read in it.
Nobody told her,
That someone else could
Cook dinner, that she
Was not supposed to be
The one holding this
House she built
We raise women, like homemakers
And children like adults
And boys to be men
And girls to be mothers
But what happened to raise
Kids to be humane?
PLAY WITH WORDS
OCTOBER 24th, 2019
of thoughts, while I stand on dry ground and admire my origami.
somewhere- like a tapestry. A tapestry that tells my story. A
tapestry, sewn with delicacy in exquisite threads.
to a kite as blue as the waters. Jump and throw it off to wander
anywhere in the whole colossal sky. So that it explores, learns and
and lilac ribbons and scarlet bows and crimson folds and silver
blue belts and a green corset.
as it wants on the plane dull-white sheet. Let the colors dance with
my fingers and make a piece exotic and vibrant.
that they rejoice and celebrate even the winds. So that they click
with each other.
light and hope. And shower the world with the glow of happiness.
their feelings float exactly over my heart. Wear them, with pride.
search for them I keep rereading them when I find them.
or dance to them or just recite them, plain and simple. Maybe fill
them with beats of drums and notes of the piano and chords of the
they learn to fly and admire and appreciate. So that they learn to
blow away the whiskers of failure as the dandelions do.
glide with me. Let them get soaked in the rain and face the
and shields and armors and swords and arrows. So that they learn
about valor and bravery. And understand the meaning of
sacrifices as they taste the blood of the old and forgotten dissolves
in the water.
stars. To let them shine with them. To let them face the dark.
and cut through rocks. To let them fall from heights in the river’s
lap. To let them learn to fight.
learn how priceless it is. So that they learn to make their mark
upon it. So that they learn the significance of a whisper in the
wilderness, in the middle of nowhere.
despair, love and hate. So that they learn to choose, decide and
believe that their decision to turn left from the aisle and then right
by the posterity, even by the past.
My Enid lands
SEPTEMBER 22, 2019
Enid Blyton has always been a children’s favorite, be it through her Bedtime stories or the Famous Five. There have rarely been people who haven’t come across the Noddy jingle and it will perhaps continue to be the case. Blyton has been the author who added emotions to our first personal friends, our very own toys. What follows is a small mold of my soul dedicated to one of the best children’s author.
As I stepped up on the ladder
At the age of mere five, it felt so right
For I jumped into this cradle.
And sulked on to the side
I sifted through the unclear shelf
Of elder’s black and white
Facts, Figures, and Fiction, so-closed-up tight!
Crimes, Innovations, Circus hah
Adding to my might.
There’s something on the side
I saw a clown Noddying its head
Seemed like a happy sight!
Ran the pages- twice!
Suddenly my toys were a talking mystery
Then I visited the Famous Five
The Toyland roared, through Enchanted Woods
Hurrah-Hurrah! Said I
None could try and spite.
Had found a bedtime pal there after
Lulling through my hair.
An Ode to the Fairies of Fairytales
September 22, 2019
“Then the fairy waved her wand
And showered silver magic
Making blessings and miracles
Of all that had been tragic”
And now that I look back
On the days of childhood gales
I find it was the fairies
Who were the heroines of the tales
Because they taught me more
More than Cinderella and Snow White
And Ariel and Belle and Rapunzel
In her tower of height
They taught me to never lose faith
In the powers of my dreams
For they can turn pumpkins into carriages
Unbelievable though it may seem
They taught me to fight for my rights
Stand up to the ones who wrong me
And stand strong and stand-alone
Even if no one’s beside me
They taught me to be strong,
Rebellious and smart and clever
And take the reins in my hands
For all of my endeavors
They taught me to not wait for a prince
The poor fellow might be stuck in some tree
They taught me I was enough
And will always be enough for me
They taught me that I don’t need to be saved
I have a throne and I am a queen
I am resilient and tenacious
And stronger than I seem
But most importantly they taught me
That if I ever see another girl down
I should offer my hand, lift her up
And quietly help her fix her crown
– Khushi Jain
MY INTRODUCTION TO THE CRAZY WORLD OF BOOKS
September 13, 2019
Every night before sleeping I would sit for an hour and read that book. And soon enough and quite unknowingly that one hour became the most exciting part of my day. I was blown by the way the book was written. What made this book so interesting for me were all the supposedly funny and weird sounding words. The story of this outrageous little girl who was so smart that her mind simply couldn’t contain it. And it’s so fascinating to read about how she felt as if the entire world was against her except for her teacher Miss Honey. She is the only one who didn’t just understand but relate to her. All her excessive reading was something which started to make me want to read more and more.
“Oh, I was. I was flying past the stars on silver wings”, Matilda said.
“It was wonderful.”
~ Matilda, Roald Dahl
September 1, 2019
Choosing childhood over warnings
I followed the girl in the blue frock
And the white rabbit with the running clock
And entered a topsy-turvy world
With each chapter which unfurled
A world where possibilities were banned
It was in a true sense a Wonderland
An unforgettable tryst with a feline
With a heavily unsettling smile
Words soft as whispering bells
And a propensity for disappearing spells
The little hand then turned south
It was time to put the cup to mouth
And Mad Hatter’s Tea Party began
And then it all went against the plan
For someone had slyly dared to chart
A course to irritate the Queen of Hearts
With her pie chewed, they were very well fed
While she kept chanting ‘Off with your head’
Suddenly then the dream did pass
Oh, what a wonder it had been alas
Not to fret the ephemeral stages
I’ll revisit them through the pages
But that’s not all that there is to see
A mirrored world also waits for me
With a chance to chat with Humpty Dumpty
And play around with Tweedledee
So, let not age be a barrier
But a wonderful dream carrier
Because trust me it’s absolutely serene
To be reading Caroll’s Alice at nineteen
The Magic Room
October 23, 2018
You would know it to be a magic room,
But it’s not a tale of fantasy.
We create magic here!
The students cast spells, with wands that sparkle blues and blacks.
We take them to the world of dragons, princesses, castles, and fairies,
And their gleaming eyes wait restlessly,
To know and explore the chambers of secrets.
They are the young wizards away from the gloomy darkness,
They are the young bright souls who can overpower the monsters taking over the world,
And no, they won’t need a flying carpet or magic broom to fly,
For their bright minds will have them succeed and reach the top of the sky.
(The Magic Room i.e. the Jahangirpuri center, with efforts of Wordsworth volunteers & Teach for India Fellowship interns has completed 4 years of successful classes.)
The Enigma Of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory
October 14, 2018
And one of them asked
“How can the factory be sooo big and made of chocolate”?
While the other one says
“Even I want to go to Willy Wonka’s factory”
Riya curiously asks “Can I be the 6th child, please?”
And the story flows from several questions and curiosity, they experience everything from Chocolate Factory to Charlie’s poverty.
Then the class ends but the story is still incomplete, they go on requesting me to take half an hour extra as the curiosity is still there as to what happens in the Chocolate Factory.
With a broken heart, they go and in the next class, they are the first ones to come.
“Everything in this room is edible.
Even I’m edible.
But, that would be called cannibalism.
It is looked down upon in most societies.”
And again the journey begins, Charlie Bucket lives with his parents and his grandparents. They depend on his father’s income but then he lost his job.
Hearing this they asked intriguing “Why is he poor?”
“How will he go to the factory?”
When they comprehend that he finally finds the golden tickets, they are the happiest and somehow also start believing in miracles.
Anger surrounded them when they found out about the other 4 spoiled brats who will go to the factory. Their teasing made them more furious.
But happiness overcame the anger and they become excited again.
“Now we will know what is in the factory,” says Nitin
And the journey starts. Labels in the factory say;
EATABLE MARSHMALLOW PILLOWS
LICKABLE WALLPAPER FOR NURSERIES
HOT ICE CREAMS FOR COLD DAYS
COWS THAT GIVE CHOCOLATE MILK
FIZZY LIFTING DRINKS
SQUARE SWEETS THAT LOOK ROUND
Happy as they were, not caring about anyone they just enjoyed the journey.
Nisha asked, “Can we forget the story anyhow and we listen to it again?”
Satisfied and happy they went home, giving me homework to find a story similar to Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.
Roald Dahl and the World of Stories
January 11, 2017
Ever since I can remember, Roald Dahl has always been a part of my life and my reading experiences. His work always touches your heart and forms a smile on your face. Over the years, kids all around the world have grown up reading Roald Dahl books and feeling inspired by the imagery created by his work.
I remember sitting in a corner in my room reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, totally engrossed in the world of chocolate. It was one of my early reading experiences and I am still a big fan of that book.
Apart from this, the other book by Roald Dahl that is very close to me is The Roald Dahl Treasury. I remember picking an old copy of that book from my school library. It is a vast collection of stories, poems, essays and even letters highlighting all kinds of fascinating fictional characters that we all fall in love with.
Roald Dahl has been one of the finest, creative and inspiring children writers of all times. And we at The WordsWorth Project truly embrace his work and want to introduce the world of Roald Dahl to our kids.
Fantastic Mr. Fox is a book by Roald Dahl that revolves around a clever fox named Mr. Fox who lives underground beside a tree with his wife and four children. In order to provide for his family, he makes nightly visits to farms owned by three wicked and cruel farmers. The story highlights his smart and creative ideas to feed his family. This book has been a favourite among the kids and The WordsWorth Project is trying to collect copies of this book to provide them for the kids.
Therefore, we have started a collection drive for copies of Fantastic Mr. Fox. Help us get Fantastic Mr. Fox and let us spread smiles and stories for the children who would love reading it!
“I guess you think you know this story. You don’t. The real one’s much gorier.” – Roald Dahl