When Srinanda Gupta was reading stories to her 6-month-old son, little did she know then that this boy would be an author at the age of eight.
Srinanda fondly recalls the day Rishav walked up to her with his drawings and said he wanted a “real” book.
“I clearly remember how happy and confused I was at the same time because I did not quite understand what he meant. After a conversation, Rishav made it clear that he actually wanted to be an author,” says the mother who also teaches at Chatsworth International School in Singapore. She decided to nurture his passion and give him time to become responsible for his own initiative. Rishav named the book The Lion’s Walk. Each page focused on a place and some detail that he observed of that particular place.
“He narrated the story while I documented it. What was unique was how Rishav read books, made connections with his personal experiences and applied his knowledge in his writing. I got the pages printed and stitched together,” shares Srinanda. That was Rishav’s first book!
Now this Grade 2 student of Chatsworth International School, Singapore, has a book to his credit Dreamagination, published by Kitaab International.
The book is a collection of 10 stories written by Rishav between the age of 3 and 7. Dreamagination is more than a book. It is a writing journey of a young boy from doodling, to drawing and then consolidating his ideas in writing.
“This is a big wish come true! You must dream and when the dream becomes bigger, bigger and bigger, it comes true. I want to encourage everyone around the world to write because it helps people to communicate and you can express your heart full of stories. You need dreamagination to live,” says Rishav.
The book also captures Srinanda’s journey as a mentor to her son. Her technique in honing his writing skills is shared in the book with the aim of helping teachers and parents to support their children in their writing journeys. “I strictly chose not to rush but take time. I was also quite reluctant to agree to any publisher as this book has a larger vision of inspiring young minds. I wanted to focus on the authenticity of Rishav’s work and maintain it in the final publication. It has taken 4 years but we believe that our journey with this book has just begun,” she says.
The mother-son duo has co-conducted workshops across eight reputed schools of Kolkata in December, to inspire young minds with Rishav’s Dreamagination.
Reading is a ritual in the Gupta house. Rishav is an avid reader and he enjoys reading Tintin, Shakespeare for Kids and his latest craze is the Harry Potter series. His favourite authors are Julia Donaldson, Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling.
Rishav loves expressing himself through art and can spend hours doodling, sketching or drawing. He enjoys acting and dancing. He also likes to cook. Playing soccer and tennis, craft work and science experiments keep him busy when not in school.
Dreamagination will not only entertain readers but also inspire children to write and chase their dreams without fear.
To buy in India: Dreamagination
To buy in Singapore/world: Dreamagination