Technology can make anything possible, from the comfort of your couch, you can now access anything. When we hear these lines we immediately think of advanced and new stuff, but this very technology has made us also get back old things we have lost, like Grandma’s stories.
Every Tuesday and Friday, about 10,000 children in India and overseas eagerly await a voice message from Sarla Minni. On these two days, for about 10 minutes, the children are transported into lands of fables – where animals talk, Birbal out does Akbar’s tricks with his wit and where gods walk among common people.
Sarla Minni is a Bengaluru-based homemaker who is popularly known as the ‘Kahaniwali Nani’ (the grandmother who tells stories). Every Tuesday and Friday, she records voice notes of herself telling children’s stories and sends them over messaging app Telegram to her 10,000 ‘grandchildren’.
“These could be stories from Panchatantra, folk tales from around the world, value-based or moral stories, Akbar and Birbal tales…” Sarla reels off.
Stories have always been a significant part of Sarla’s life. The 61-year-old is an avid reader and recalls reading the likes of Reader’s Digest and Enid Blyton’s novels while growing up. She never forgot the joy stories brought her.
In March, Sarla’s niece Parul encouraged her to record a few stories. She sent them to family and friends, who loved them, and forwarded them in turn in their own circles. Soon, Sarla was getting a number of requests to record more such stories and send it to them. With Parul’s insistence, she and Sarla co-founded Kahaniwali Nani.