“The crow then starts collecting stones and drops them one by one into the water jug,” says my father, tracing his finger around the colorful illustrations on the page.
“But Thatha,”, quips my 3.5-year-old nephew, using the regional Tamil endearment for grandfather, “Why did he do that?”
“There’s very little water left over at the bottom, how will he get to it otherwise?” prods my father.
“He can just push the jug over, and sip from the ground,” says the kid, growing up in the much-too-smart-aleck, impatient Instagram generation, as we chuckle alongside our poor baby-boomer generation father.
Panchatantra and moral-based stories have always been part of my childhood – starting with my parents reading out stories to me and my sister. In the summers of early schooling years, I remember attending ‘Balvikas’ (Translated to: A child’s development) classes. Through stories, songs, skits, and children’s entertainment mediums, we lapped up so much in those growing up years. I do strongly believe they helped hugely. We never realized we were learning, we just thought we were having fun! Sadly, I don’t see them around much anymore!