• Priyanka Mukherjee

The Beginning...

I am an ardent follower of the teachings of our late President and eminent scientist, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam. He said, “Dream is not that which you see while sleeping. It is something that does not let you sleep.”

It has been an amazing journey that I began six years ago when my daughter was born. After the bumpy ride of a year or so, I started telling her bedtime stories. Her addiction to listening to stories still continues and I have to tell her a new story every day. One fine day, I exhausted my stock of new stories. So, I made one up and to my amusement, my daughter loved it. That worked as an ignition to my rocket.

Reading and writing has been my passion for a very long time. I was introduced to story books with a very colourful copy of “Thumbelina” by my mother when I was five years old. The ball started rolling and gathered momentum with the passing of time. However, it was very difficult to fit in my passion into my busy schedule of being a mother, a wife and a teacher. Then Covid 19 entered our lives as a global pandemic! All schools were shut physically and everything went online. This situation (too early to call it a blessing in disguise though), gave me some time to spare for my dream.

Few poems of mine got published and I got my first certificate as a published author. Then began my journey of writing for children. Building characters, giving them names and creating their adventures was fun. My first character that I created is Tim, the Tortoise. You will get to know about him in my upcoming book – Jungle stories with Tim, The Tortoise. This character resembles a grandfather or grandmother of every household who tells stories of their childhood or stories that they have read to their grandchildren. Tim too is a very old Tortoise with a lot of experience that he shares with all the young ones of the jungle, thus giving them insights of his life along with teaching them some values.

The journey was not as smooth as it looks though. Apart from writing the story on my mobile late night after everyone went to sleep, I still had to think about the illustrations. I am not an artist and illustrations are a must in this genre, specially with the age group that my book was aiming for. Neither did I have the required finances to hire a professional illustrator. However, I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by talented friends. One of my friends, Sumana Banerjee, who also happens to be a colleague, proved to be a blessing in my hour of need. She did all the illustrations on my request and brought my imaginations to life. Finally, it was done and now it is in the editing stage with my publisher.

This book is like a second baby to me. Conceived, carried and delivered with lot of care. Hope it gets the wings to fly and instill the love for reading in our next generation. Hope to pull them out of the black hole created by the screen monsters of this era and give them their best friends forever.

My dream had not let me sleep for the past few years and now that I have begun this journey, I pray for all your love and support.

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