During the coronavirus lockdown, acclaimed author Sudha Murthy did what she does best - create stories - and came up with a collection of tales for children that inculcate values of compassion, resilience, and sharing.
"It was a joy to create something memorable and positive for the children, especially in this unprecedented time when most of us are restricted to home. Writing this book was a delight and took me on a trip down memory lane," she says about her latest book.
"My imagination ran wild and free and the stories seemed to flow seamlessly, almost as if this book was meant to be written. I became both Ajji and Ajja, the main characters of the book, and some days, I felt like the children in the book too! The days went by quickly," Murthy says.
"Even as the book revealed itself, I learnt the importance of having a routine, being positive, accepting the new normal and working towards the goal of helping people less fortunate than me," she adds.
"Grandparents' Bag of Stories" with illustrations by Priya Kurian is a special Children's Day release by Puffin and a follow-up book to "Grandma's Bag of Stories".
Amid the lockdown, Ajja and Ajji welcome their grandchildren and Kamlu Ajji into their house in Shiggaon.
From stitching masks, sharing household chores, preparing food for workers to losing themselves in timeless tales, the lockdown turns into a memorable time for the children as they enter the enchanting world of goddesses, kings, princesses, serpents, magical beanstalks, thieves, kingdoms and palaces, among others.
The myriad stories told by their grandparents become the biggest source of joy, making the children compassionate, worldly-wise, and more resilient than ever.
Murthy has dedicated the book to her father R H Kulkarni, a doctor popularly known as Kaka, and the medical fraternity at the forefront of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Today, doctors, nurses, and housekeeping workers are putting their lives on the line more than ever before, to fight against the virus and protect our country. That is the reason this book is dedicated to them," she says.