Book Reviews - Story - telling as a teaching tool
by Purnima Coontoor
I recall with fondness, my childhood days spent listening to stories from Indian epics, puranas and folklore sitting on my grandfather's lap, which I now realise was nothing short of atma-bodha – nourishment for the soul. When I was old enough to read, I eagerly awaited the monthly arrival of the magazine Chandamama, and spent hours delving into its (gaudily illustrated) simple yet fascinating stories. How effortless were the tools of yore in administering the bitter dose of morals and eternal truths, sugarcoated in the form of vivid stories handed down orally through generations! How contrived are today's efforts of putting children through 'personality' workshops and 'positive thinking' exercises! Just bring home grandma, switch off the net connectivity for a couple of hours each day and get a library membership, is my advice to all New Age parents interested in improving the quality of their lives.
And while they are at it, I would strongly advice them to pick up enough copies of Teaching Stories, and play a belated Santa by delivering them to family, friends and acquaintances. I'm glad Life Positive had this brilliant brainwave of coming out with a collection of pithy tales from across the world, dug out from the memories of spiritual masters and seekers. It is rich with inspirational stories from Sufi, Zen, Hindu folklore, with a most non-threatening 'moral-of-the-story' interpretation by the editor (Jamuna Rangachari, Assistant Editor, Life Positive) or the contributor at the end that gently sets the reader thinking on the lines intended by the tale. The stories are categorised under appropriate heads like Mind, Life, Wisdom and Attitude, accompanied by disarmingly simple illustrations sure to strike a chord with young readers.
With this edition, Life Positive has helped me dust my memory and revisit childhood; and amazingly, as a family we now discuss one story from it at dinner time every day! Informal satsangs at the dining table! A book cannot get more effective than this.
Hail the return of story-telling as a tool for personal growth, for the young and old. While you reach for a packet of frozen peas at that chain-store today – do remember to pick up some food-for-thought with Teaching Stories as well. You'll find that it has no shelf life, and is very nutritious to boot!
|HOME | SUBSCRIBE | WALLPAPERS | ADVERTISING | POLICY | PRACTITIONERS | WRITERS | PEOPLE | ABOUT | CONTACT|