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Weaving Tales for Children
by Ramendra Kumar

I was the Resource Person at the National Level Workshop on Creative Writing In English organized by The Department of English, Shillong College in collaboration with the North East Writers Forum on 21st and 22nd May. My session ‘Weaving Tales for Children’ was attended by teachers, research scholars, students, media persons, authors, poets….in fact everyone one interested in the art and craft of spinning yarns. The session went off like a dream with audience responding to my shenanigans and asking for more of mirth and madness. As far as I am concerned very rarely have I come across an audience so very responsive and vibrant! During the interaction session I was asked by a lady whether I suffered from Writer’s Block. “Though my wife thinks I am a blockhead I have never really suffered from one. Whenever I find I am not making much headway in one area of creativity I switch genres and move on. Since I dabble in almost all forms of creative expression like fiction, fables, novels, poetry, travelogue, biography and satires I am never very short of categories to indulge in. Whether the quality is worth reading is for my audience to judge.”

In response to question regarding my current obsession I shared with audience the details of my latest book And the Jhelum Flows. I elaborated that the novel is about Kashmir in the ‘Here and Now’. The book is an unconventional take, a no holds barred account and a brutally honest narrative. I had sent it to two publishers. They wanted me to bowdlerize the ms which was never an option. Hence I decided to go in for self-publishing using the platform of Crowdfunding .

The Creative Writing Workshop began with me talking about how I started writing for children, the way I write and the genesis of an idea. I went on to explaining the various elements that make a story. I followed up with an award winning story which was analyzed by the participants. A story writing session was next with audience divided into heterogeneous groups of 6 to 7 persons. I gave them three topics and asked them to pick one and write a story on it.

For the next hour the entire hall was buzzing with activity as the young and the not so young bounced ideas, argued vehemently, agreed to disagree and finally came with their potpourris of creative expression.

Each group was then asked to present its ‘masterpiece’. Some of them opted for old fashioned narration, quite a few performed skits. Brilliant histrionics, riveting narration, rib tickling dialogues, awesome imagination and near perfect synergy: it was a glorious montage of pure and pristine creativity.

An added boost to my ego was entreaties for photographs and a deluge of Facebook requests.

Later during the valedictory session my book Effective Parenting: A New Paradigm got a nod from the North East. It has been published by the popular literary ezine Learning and Creativity. The book was released by Mr. Lyngdoh former Minister of Arunachal Pradesh in the presence of Mr. K.D. Ramsiej, Principal of Shillong College. I recited my poem ‘My Hero’ which received an awesome response from the discerning audience.

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