Mesmeric illustrations hand-hold a middle school reader into a new fount of Marathi storytelling
Arya pores over the magazine
Pictures help words come alive. They build a unique currency of communication that speaks with kids and adults alike. Kulfi, a Marathi magazine, recently held its hand out to Arya opening up its tapestry of visual epithets. Did Arya shake that hand? Did she lean into the rich drapery of drawings? Her father shares that she excitedly pulled out her sketch pens and crayons to recreate the pull of the pictures.
As a six-year-old, the young reviewer is enjoying her middle childhood. Active, talkative and opinionated are some of the objectives her parents use to describe her. But Arya likes shapes donning colours on a white sheet the most. The magazine that released its first edition on Diwali was born of the need to elevate storytelling in a regional language. Edited by Rushikesh Dabholkar, it compiles stories and hand-drawn visuals by many emerging writers and illustrators. “I liked the crayon-like texture that the paintings had. Some expressions and ideas were stressed across a bigger spread,” she notes. A student of Sanjeevani World School in Dahisar, Arya has just started to learn the language. Virat Singh, her father, a communication strategist, read out the stories to her. “The edition presented a nice opportunity for us to bond over something fun and educational. However, the language was a bit too difficult for her. The compilation has made wonderful use of imagination to depict feelings or situations through novel expressions. For instance, in the story titled Dhangar ani Kokru, the creeping up of fear has been sketched as a slowly deflating balloon. Creative phrases and idioms like these help children learn the art of writing, too. My daughter found it funny and couldn’t stop laughing.”
Arya feels that the variety of topics the magazine covers is a definite positive. It can speak to today’s children. At this point, Singh shares, “I would recommend it for tween and pre-teen independent readers as the language is somewhat advanced for seven and eight-year-olds.” He feels that a bigger font size could have been used to catch the attention of middle graders. Arya’s favourite story was Mohachi shala — a tale of a little boy who doesn’t enjoy school. He prefers spending time with a goat. We hope Arya makes richer connections with fictional characters.
AGE GROUP: Six to 15 years
TYPE: Issues available in print
PRICE: Rs 180