Storytelling – A Kid’s Style

Does Putana, the witch, who tried to poison little Krishna, have a family? If so, is Putana her first name or the family name? Do witches and demons drink hot chocolate? Do they also have family feuds like us? You can get answers to these and many more questions from my two (and a half) year old granddaughter as she narrates stories spun by her own imagination. She seems to have found her formula to tell stories. First the introduction of characters explaining what each one typically does. This is more in the nature of defining roles and laying down ground rules for each character. The order is set thus. Then a character is introduced who violates the code of conduct leading to a little chaos. This is at once recognized by everyone as an unacceptable crime and hence the punishment and finally the resolution and reconciliation. Recently she spun a story out of several stories she heard. The story of Putana, the story of the doggy and the teddy bear. In her version Putana is no more the first name. It is the family name as she comes up with several characters – Kutty Putana(the little one), appa Putana(the father), amma putana(the mother) and even Patti & Thata Putanas(the grandparents).  Her kutty Putana gets up in the morning and drinks hot chocolate! Appa putana is reading a news paper while amma Putana is working hard in the kitchen. Thata Putana is doing Yoga or reading a book or asleep while Patti Putana is busy with some work. It’s perfectly reflecting a regular household.

In her imagination, Putana has a family of her own and why not? Our mythologies do not dwell much on the antecedents or upbringing of witches and demons. They invariably appear from nowhere, cause immense death and destruction and finally meet their end. In that background, I think it is an interesting idea to deal with their history and background. Surely, in her unconditioned mind, the likes of Putana must have a background and it should be interesting to explore the same.

To continue with her story, Kutty Putana comes running to a Kutty doggy ‘s house and hurts her and there comes appa doggy in support of the little one. She charges into the house of Putanas and complains to amma Putana upon which the latter hands down a punishment to Kutty Putana and asks her to stand in a corner. Here, interestingly, elders in Putana family are presented in a good light with a sense of fairness. Not all Putanas are bad after all!

Here is the web link to an excerpt of another story from her.





Published in: on September 17, 2016 at 4:31 am  Leave a Comment  

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