If you think children don’t find reading interesting anymore, think again. At Vidya Valley School’s Literature Festival, it was absolutely delightful to see children running around, roaring with excitement, thrilled to bits with the very idea of a lit fest! This was my second year at the festival, and it was even better than the first.
I was asked to talk about my railway adventures to class V, and the experience was invigorating. I was astounded by the number of children who knew how bullet trains run. I didn’t know a thing until I began this project!
“Magnets,” many said, quite coolly.
Still others said, even more comfortably, “Mag-lev – magnetic levitation.”
When I read out an excerpt from The Toy Train, I realised that bullet trains, being new and exciting aren’t the only things that are familiar to the children. They knew about the steam engine and the toy trains in Matheran, Ooty and Darjeeling.
I loved the rapt attention with which they listened, completely involved in the story, giggling at all the right places. The best part was the question, “But what happens next? How do the kids save the toy train?”
They have to read the book to find out!
I always come away from sessions like this charmed by the questions I’m asked. Here are a few that are still buzzing in my head and making my lips twitch:
Are you famous?
Are you going to make your books into movies?
If you do, can I act in them?
Why don’t you just tell all the bookstores to sell your books?
Can we buy your books now?
Can we buy all your books and get them signed?
My heart is full!