‘When in doubt, follow your nose’. That was Gandalf speaking, not me.
Introducing a child to the marvellous world of Tolkien, C.S.Lewis, M.R.James and their ilk is an adventure in itself. One is amazed at how much joy is out there, if only one reaches out!
True to all children, my young daughter sniffed haughtily when I suggested that we watch the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.’ I have seen Legolas already. I also remember orcs and dwarfs,’ she said, remembering ‘The Hobbit’ series. Besides, whatever Amma suggests, should be treated first with a sniff.
True to all mothers, I ignored her upturned nose royally, and played the movie. Fifteen minutes into it, she snuggled closer. When the bed time came, she protested that it was unfair: she had to go to bed when the Nazgul chief – The witch king of Angmar- had just stabbed Frodo with his evil blade. I grinned and extended the bed time allowance till Frodo reached Rivendell safe.
Suffice to say that by this week, she knows everything about everybody in the Tolkien trilogy. My next attempt is to get her read the original. Her sister has taken the tome with her to University, so little girl waits patiently for the Return of the Book.
Meanwhile I got her ‘ The Hobbit’.
I am charmed by the quality of authenticity in people. Human beings who remain grounded in spite of what this worldly life had showered them with- both good and bad and all in between.
So this brilliant editor offers to read through my translation of vernacular poetry and give his feedback. He is kind enough to appreciate the few lines that I quote to him. I reflect on the quality of humility that binds both him and the original writer of the poetry.
In a few months’ time, we will see a poetry book in English take shape: thanks to a Bengali editor who gave feedback to poems that were originally written in Malayalam. It shall be published in Hindi heart-land.
A garland made of languages. The bridge to accessing human thoughts and becoming better versions of ourselves.