Her heart lies in growing minds

arundhatiNasreen Sait
NSoJ Bureau
When we talk of Arundathi  Venkatesh, we dream of monsters and magical pumpkins that add an element of fun to children’s fiction in the best of ways. This engineering graduate-turned writer and mother of a naughty 10 year old started off what she takes as her career now as a cool pastime earlier. She used to come up with dreamy bed-time stories for her then todler son.

When her husband was busy at work for long hours in London, she was  busy visiting the city’s public libraries and writing her heart out on scrolls and scrolls of paper and also made sure her family heard all her tales.  But soon she realised that her stories should be told not only within the four walls of her house but also to every eager child, and got her manuscripts evaluated.

From there on there has been no looking back for this award-winning children’s fiction writer. Arundathi sent her content to a couple of media and publishing houses and had them approved right away, thanks to the growing trend in the readership of children’s writers in general and specifically from India as the Indian writers weave in mythology into their stories reflecting a set of values for the children reading them .

The first series of books she brought out was called the Bookasuras. The  first Bookasura is on a book-eating monster, and Koobaandhi is about a one-eyed monster, which were published by Scholastics .She then went on to do junior Kumbhakarna, a picture story book published by Tulika books, and is now in the process of bringing out a book on scary tales for Rupa, a renowned publishing house .

Arundathi is a potpourri of different cultures having grown up in different parts of India. She has absorbed a little of every city and state she has lived in and says that makes it easier for her to understand, reflect on, connect with, and also portray and relate to different people.

She not only writes on children’s fiction but also enjoys reading them.She feels there is a part of her that connects with these stories. Asked if she would ever consider writing for adults, she says, “No,never. I don’t see myself shifting my line of interest even 10 years down the line. I am very happy reading ,writing, and working on children’s stories .

She is actively involved in book-reading for children across schools, book shops, and centres for art and literature. In this age of technology and gadgets she comes as a breath of fresh air for growing minds. Arundathi’s  books are available in leading bookstores as well as on online stores.

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