Have a Merry Christmas with Cordis!5 min readReading Time: 4 minutes
This Christmas, Owliver is playing Santa! And he has a gift for you.
In this fortnightly column, we will cover extraordinary grown-ups who are children at heart — they look at the world with wonder, and create magic through their work.
As a Christmas treat, we are bringing to you the story of Cordis Paldano, the author of The Dwarf, the Girl and the Holy Goat.
The book follows an unlikely friendship between Charlie the dwarf and a girl, Inaya. Together, they set out to save Inaya’s mother, who is in the hospital, and Inaya’s beloved goat, Munni, who is in the clutches of an evil politician. There are gangs, adventures, songs, and a circus spread across 176 pages of the book! Grab your copy, here.
Cordis is an Indian theatre artist, and author. He studied acting at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art in Paris, with a ‘Scholarship of Excellence’ from the French Government. Co-founder of a theatre company based in Pondicherry, he has performed in over 25 plays in India and France. He is presently a part of the Master of Fine Arts (Creative Writing) programme at the University of Minnesota, USA.
Fun fact about Cordis: You will often spot him in black!
His first book came out in August 2018 and was a roaring success amongst a young audience!
Let’s get to know this trailblazer, shall we?
How did it all begin?
“I think it all started because I did not want to go to college. So, I ended up doing theatre” says Cordis. One thing led to the other and soon, he received a scholarship to study acting in Paris. Cordis adds, “After 10 years of working in theatre, I wanted to switch to writing. But, because, I had never been to college, I was not sure how to do that.” That’s when he found the Young India Fellowship at Ashoka University. After the fellowship, Cordis returned home to Pondicherry, rented a beautiful house surrounded by trees, and decided to commit to writing. He adds, “There was nothing there— no internet and minimal cellphone connection. So, I just had to do it! The book came out of those 40-50 days of writing.”
What does storytelling mean to him?
Cordis calls himself a “child of theatre.” That is where he learnt about life and “how to be a good person.” He adds, “I saw my first book as a play being acted out and I was just there taking notes.” Moving from theatre to writing was organic for Cordis as they are both grounded in storytelling. He says, “I just saw myself as a storyteller. Only the medium had changed for me.”
What is the one incident from his childhood that he remembers vividly?
Watch Cordis as the wonderfully playful storyteller that he is and listen to a story from his own childhood.
Disclaimer: It’s more of a what-not-to-do tale!
Which book did he love when he was a child?
The book that is closest to Cordis’ heart is The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. Cordis adds, “My great grandfather gifted it to me, and I loved it as a child. I read it repeatedly!” His yet-to-be published work draws inspiration from Dumas.
Quick 5 with Cordis
Favourite subject: Physics
Favourite season: Autumn
Favourite city: New York City
Favourite Author(s): Anton Chekhov, Mikhail Bulgakov, and John Saunders
Favourite person: His wife, Aditi
Who is his favourite character from his own book?
Cordis says, “Margaret Atwood says that I will never tell you my favourite character because the other characters might get jealous. She is great writer, so I will follow her advice and not reveal it. But I do have my favourites!”
Read the book, and maybe you can tell Owliver who you liked the most in the comments below!
Why did you start writing for children?
When he sat down to write, he had no idea he would end up writing for children. But this is the story that came out! He adds, “My theatre director always used to say that children are honest. If they come to watch a performance and it’s boring, they will let you know. But adults, they are good at pretending.” For that and more, Cordis said that he has always loved children at his performances, and in his life.
And here’s Cordis message for all his young readers who want to become writers:
Cordis’ story allows us to believe in the magic of words. It inspires us to lead our lives with passion and hardwork, as ever-learning students of the subject of life.
Check out the book and share your thoughts with Owliver in the comments below!
Before you go, Uncover the Cover of Cordis Paldano’s book!
(Trailblazers 2.0 is a monthly column that celebrates grown-ups who look at the world around them with wonder by charting their own unconventional paths with success)