This storyteller has something important to share!4 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
Our world is a vibrant one brimming with stories. Only if we care to listen! This week, Owliver met with an amazing trailblazer who, along with a vibrant team of authors, has brought forth stories from rural India through the collection called the PARI series.
About the Series:
The PARI Series are a collaborative venture of the People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI) and Karadi Tales. The PARI series published by Karadi Tales is a collaboration to turn stories set in rural India into short novels which can be read by 10-14-year olds. The original stories were published on PARI and Karadi felt they would make exciting and informative storybooks. Who wouldn’t want to read about Krishnan’s determined dash for the marathon, Nandhini plucking flowers by night, Selva’s quiet plan to get his brother back home and Anjanamma who spins stories at stations? There are also articles on farming, of HIV and migration – issues that rarely feature in children’s stories.
Owliver met with one of the authors from the team, Priti David, to know more about the journey that led to the series.
Priti is a journalist and a teacher, and is the Education Editor at the People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI). Priti travels to rural areas and writes on rural communities, education, their work and their lives. As Education Editor, she speaks in schools and colleges on rural India and gets students to engage and explore stories on agriculture, farming, craft, and migration.
Let’s get to know this storyteller better!
How did it begin?
Karadi got in touch with PARI and we authors got started! Vishaka George wrote about Krishnan in House of Uncommons, Aparna Karthikeyan on Nandhini in No Nonsense Nandhini, Subuhi Jiwani wrote on people like Anjamma in No Ticket, Will Travel and Niveda Ganesh on Dhivya in A Big Splash.
I wrote on Selva in my book Coming Home.
What does storytelling mean to her?
I think storytelling and reading allows one to travel to far off places, to meet characters and to get a sense of how they think, what they feel. The PARI Karadi series uses storytelling to also get kids to see up close issues about how hard farmers work to bring food to our table, the heartache of migration and how prejudice feels when you are on the receiving end.
What keeps her going?
I believe I am lucky to enjoy what I do – writing and teaching – and learning all the time. This is what keeps me going.
Who is her favourite writer and why?
I have many many many favourite writers, too long to list here and I can’t list them all. I’ll list some of the older ones which I read in my early teens: Vikram Seth, Gerald Durrel, R K Narayan, Oliver Strange, LM Montgomery, Richmal Crompton, Sue Townsend and more.
How does she unwind?
I read a lot, including a few newspapers everyday and more on Sundays, and I always have at least four books on my bedside table. I trek in the Himalayas every year and I love watching classical dance and I do yoga.
Who inspires her?
I am inspired by people who do things for others, who can think and feel for people other than themselves and who are not afraid to tell the truth.
You can get The PARI Series, here.
Trailblazers 2.0 is a fortnightly column where Owliver features some inspiring adults who are doing great things to make the world a better place.
Photos: By special arrangement from Priti David
Would you like to nominate someone you know to be featured in this column? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with their name, and what makes them a Trailblazer.