Varsha Seshan is a children's writer, author of The Prophecy of Rasphora and The Story-Catcher, among others. She has twice been shortlisted for the Scholastic Asian Book Award, and a collection of her short stories, Dragonflies, Jigsaws and Seashells, was a finalist for the Best Middle-Grade/Young Adult Book at the Singapore Book Awards 2019. She conducts reading and writing workshops for children and adults at schools and libraries. She is also a classical dancer, with over 25 years of training in Bharatanatyam. Varsha has written two storybooks for Pratham Books - Today I Am and What Will Happen?
In this blog post, Varsha writes about a training workshop that she conducted with librarians of municipal schools around Mumbai, and using StoryWeaver to chalk out a library reading programme for these schools.
As a British Council trainer, I’ve conducted numerous reading workshops and facilitated many interactive sessions for theme-based reading challenges. I’ve worked in schools as well as at the British Library itself, interacting with a range of children, from those who devour books to those who yawn at the sight of a library.
So, when Anubhooti Learning Solutions (then ‘Experiential Learning Solutions’) asked me whether I would chalk out a reading programme to be administered by librarians at municipal schools in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, I was interested. The project was a CSR initiative by D-Mart and the crux of the idea was to support a few schools through a library programme.
Excited, I drafted a detailed outline of what we could do. I devised a theme-based approach with detailed assessment criteria, for that was something that the reading programme team felt was crucial. I also worked out the learning outcomes, outline and structure of three training sessions for the librarians. All of them had worked in different capacities earlier and were to be associated with the library space for the first time. The purpose of my training sessions was to introduce them to their role beyond classroom management and discipline, emphasising that inculcating the habit of reading and a love for language is as much a part of a librarian’s role as the issue and return of books.
Varsha Seshan conducts a workshop for librarians from municipal schools around Mumbai
Yet, it was only as we launched the programme and began the first workshop that I began to understand how many problems the librarians face. A theme-based programme with assessment criteria was all very well. How would we deal with the other big issues, including the fact that many children did not even attend school regularly? As we went on, there were three problems that I was determined to address through the reading programme:
One, children come from multiple linguistic backgrounds. For instance, in a predominantly Hindi-speaking area, children attend a school where the medium of instruction is Marathi. “In my class of forty, only five children speak Marathi,” one librarian said to me.
Two, every class has students with varied reading levels. “The children who have been with us for some time are okay, on the whole, but new children come in all the time. If a child is ten years old, the school administration puts him in class five, even if he has not even learnt the alphabet yet!”
Three, some schools have different languages of instruction running concurrently. “My first period is with Hindi-medium children, then semi-English, then Marathi, then Hindi again. Each week, I have Urdu-medium, English-medium, Hindi-medium and Marathi-medium children coming to the library!”
What could we do? How could we hope to tackle such a wide range of problems?
Additionally, what started as a small group of eleven librarians soon began to grow. This is the third year of my association with Anubhooti and the D-Mart initiative, and we work with 47 librarians: D-Mart now supports 68 schools through its reading programme.
It is at this stage that my use of StoryWeaver in libraries comes in. D-Mart’s vision for the reading programme includes providing a minimum of 200 hard copies of Pratham Books in three focus languages (English, Hindi and Marathi) for each library that it supports. Five schools also use StoryWeaver books offline. This was a huge boon to me, for at least I had a starting point. I could access the same story in many languages, and thanks to the Creative Commons licence, I could encourage teachers to work with each story in multiple ways. Teaching requires so many resources that access to free material is invaluable!
I was first attracted to StoryWeaver by the clear levelling of stories, and so, this was the first thing I introduced to the librarians too. In a single class, librarians deal with students struggling to read the alphabet as well as students who read stories confidently. With such a wide range of readers thrown together in one room, I find it particularly relevant that the reading level of books on StoryWeaver is not clearly linked to an age-group. This is important to me because slow learners are often targets for bullies. Reading a “kiddish” book, marketed as one for younger readers, leads to the shaming of slow learners, and a simple indication of reading level rather than age is an important step towards addressing (though not solving) this problem.
StoryWeaver has over 16,000 storybooks that are classified into four levels based on a child's reading level.
The first time we used StoryWeaver, we worked with three stories I love – I Am Not Afraid, Ammachi’s Amazing Machines and Farida Plans a Feast. We read each story many times, in three languages. Bilingual books are particularly wonderful in the context of this reading programme, for when a child is required to read in one language, even though s/he is more comfortable in another language, having both on the same page is a great aid to reading comprehension. All of us loved the simplicity and artwork of I Am Not Afraid. It allowed us to explore and enjoy the story without being daunted by complexity of narrative and vocabulary.
The main activity we engaged in after reading the books was to create simple stories of our own. Inspired by the sweet simplicity of I Am Not Afraid, librarians created wonderful picture books about conquering fear. This was just the first step because they took the idea back to their libraries and asked children to make books of their own. This was a huge boost to the reading programme, as it encouraged children to read more and write more. The most wonderful outcome was that even if they read nothing else, children wanted to read what their friends had created. An added bonus was that there were suddenly many more books in the school library!
Librarians work on activities as part of the workshop
Librarians at the workshop prepare a chart on morals learnt from stories.
Wordless picture books are all kinds of lovely. We “read” the charming I Can Dress Myself! and then looked at how to work on language skills using a book that is written in none of the focus languages. Beginning with simple questions and answers – giving the girl a name and naming all the pieces of furniture in the room – we went on to a storytelling session, where the pictures in the book became visual aids.
Next, to continue our exploration of the use of StoryWeaver without language, I showed the participants Deepa Balsavar’s vibrant picture of a busy market. With so much happening in a single image, the librarians could explore a range of vocabulary. Consequently, they came up with various ideas of how they could use pictures in class to increase attention and concentration. We discovered that wordless picture books and the visual treat of any detailed image would include both children with very low language proficiency and confident readers who want something new.
The lists on StoryWeaver allowed me to modify the reading programme in the third year, making the entire programme much more accessible. In the first year, the feedback I received from the librarians indicated that a huge majority of older students did not want to read fiction. Working with non-fiction and stories that clearly reflect the world we see around us thus became important to the reading programme as we moved forward.
In groups, the librarians chose a story to work with and present in a novel way. Some took the story further, imagining what would happen next. Others analysed the story in different ways, changing the setting to their own schools. Soon, through skits and quizzes, we had Chhakuli (the lead character in the Marathi translation of A Cloud of Trash) sorting out the garbage problem in a neighbouring village. We had Anand talking to his friends about taking pride in his work, and about there being no shame in working as a rag-picker. We had questions and answers about character motivation and themes. We discussed segregation of garbage and the role each of us must play in the process.
Varsha Seshan watches the prep for a play based on the book 'A Cloud of Trash'
For Mathematics, we read It’s a Laddoo Party! enjoying the repetition and humour in the tale. Working with maths stories was an intriguing idea for many, one that they could not wait to take to their classrooms.
As a quick recall activity for vocabulary, we also played a ballgame. When a ball is thrown to a participant, s/he must quickly say a word that is clearly related to one of the four stories we read. So we remembered what Neema ate, recalled characters like Peter Uncle and Mihir, and discussed seasons of the year.
While I work with only the librarians, the proof of the pudding is, of course, in the eating. As the librarians do not have easy access to audio-visual equipment, working with StoryWeaver remains, for the moment, limited to schools that have computer labs with books downloaded on the systems. Children read independently – either using StoryWeaver offline or hard copies of books in the library. Eventually, I hope that infrastructural changes will allow librarians to use StoryWeaver to the fullest, including the Readalong feature and YouTube channel.
Yet, exposure to all this material has ensured multiple gains. For one, the librarians themselves have begun to read. Their purpose is clear: using stories actively in the library so as to move beyond the rather monotonous role of distributing and collecting books. Secondly, a theme-based approach allows them to look at books in their collections in a new light and create new books that then encourage reluctant readers. Thirdly, access to the same book in all three languages makes the act of reading less daunting, especially when it comes to reading in a language that is not one’s mother tongue or first language.
Librarians create charts based on stories discussed at the workshop.
And finally, feedback from the reading programme team at D-Mart is promising. Librarians and programme managers assure me that children now enjoy the books tremendously, and isn’t that the greatest victory of all?
Tenzin Choedon is a teacher, who is presently working as the headmistress at Mewoen Tsuglag Petoen School run by Sambhota Tibetan Schools Society under the Department of Education, CTA, Dharamsala. She loves reading and writing poetry. Her husband, Tenzin Dorjee has been working as the head of Traditional and Modern Academic Section, Department of Education, CTA since June 2016.
In this blog post, the husband-wife duo write about being part of a translation sprint to translate storybooks into Tibetan for Pratham Books.
Our relation with Pratham Books had been really wonderful and we owe this to MES (Manjushri Educational Services) for providing us the opportunity to translate 5 of their STEM stories. Our relation became stronger later after the interactive session we had in the Tibet Fund office at Mcleod Ganj followed by another informal meeting at Dhauladhar, Dharamshala. Just recently we translated four of the stories on the theme 'Water' for Pratham Books. We are grateful to the Pratham Books team for believing in us for this important translation work.
On 3rd September, I along with five teachers and 25 students from our school had the opportunity to be part of a translation sprint during which we translated a total of 15 level 1 storybooks from Pratham Books with Mr. Buddha Kyab and Mr. Ngawang Tsetan (MES Team members). It was a wonderful experience.
Pictures from the Tibetan translation sprint conducted by MES with teachers and students of Piteon school in Dharamshala.
Before being part of the translation team for the translation of STEM stories into Tibetan language, my husband and I had no experience of translating stories. Only after being involved in the translation work, many facts about translation work gradually unfolded for us. The translation of children storybooks may appear to be easy one for those who are not involved in the process but our past experiences had made one thing very clear - writing and translating children stories is not at all an easy task. It requires a lot of thoughtful considerations and patience to draft, reread, review and edit the story at your end as the translator before making the final draft to be reviewed by the reviewing team.
The most difficult part in translating a story from English to another language is deciding on a child-friendly language which does not affect the grammatical structure of the language or the flavour of the story. The most challenging part is the time you have to devote for the translation work but if you are interested then you will be able to meet this challenge happily. Moreover, to be able to do well in translating children stories one has to have a good understanding of children's language and their taste.
Stories translated by Tenzin Dorjee into Tibetan
Being a part of the translation team for STEM stories and our experience thereafter with Pratham Books had really changed our outlook towards children literature besides giving us a very rich learning experience. We are highly indebted and grateful to everyone involved in our journey as translators (beginners), though not full fledged. We are also grateful to our daughters for reading each of our translated stories as a trial for further changes before our final drafts, on behalf of the rest of the children. Their reading of the stories reflect their understanding, and this has been really very helpful in making the necessary changes that we as adults might have failed to see.
We thank Pratham Books for this wonderful initiative and for your contribution towards Children Literature. Lastly, we wish the whole team of Pratham Books a very Happy Translation Day!
"Translations are equivalent to communicating science" opines Kollegala Sharma, Science Communicator, Senior principal scientist at CFTRI. Translations are just like reciting stories. Stories are an effective source of learning, given their vast scope and structure. Science itself is a type of language, and so science communication and translation for kids face similar challenges. Below is a short story in Kannada about two sisters. Putti is a young girl who is curious to know things that she sees around her. When she sees a picture book, she is curious about mammals like the platypus, but her sister finds it difficult to explain this to Putti as these words are unfamiliar to the toddler’s experience and environment. The story depicts the difficulties of translating science concepts.
ಅನುವಾದ ಅನ್ನುವುದು ಹೀಗೇ. ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ಕಥೆ ಹೇಳಿದ ಹಾಗೆ. ಅವರಿಗೆ ತಿಳಿಯದ್ದನ್ನು ತಿಳಿಸುವ ರೀತಿಯಲ್ಲೇ, ಬೇರೆ ಬಾಷೆಯದ್ದನ್ನೂ ನಮ್ಮ ಓದುಗರಿಗೆ ತಿಳಿಸಬೇಕಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ವಿಜ್ಞಾನವೂ ಬೇರೆ ಭಾಷೆಯೇ ಆಗಿದ್ದರಿಂದ ಇದೇ ಕಥೆ ಅಲ್ಲಿಯೂ ಸಲ್ಲುತ್ತದೆ.
“ಏನೇ ಅದು ಸದ್ದು?” ಅಮ್ಮ ಅಡಿಗೆ ಮನೆಯಿಂದಲೇ ಕೂಗಿದಳು
ಅಯ್ಯೋ. ಇನ್ನು ಅಕ್ಕ, ಅಮ್ಮ ಇಬ್ಬರೂ ಬರುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಅಷ್ಟರಲ್ಲಿ ಇದೆಲ್ಲ ಸರಿ ಮಾಡಬೇಕು. ಪುಟ್ಟಿ ಕೆಳಗೆ ಬಿದ್ದ ಚೀಲವನ್ನು ನೋಡಿದಳು.
ಅಯ್ಯೋ. ಇದರಲ್ಲಿ ಚಾಕಲೇಟು ಇಲ್ಲ. ಬರೀ ಪುಸ್ತಕ.
ಶಾಲೆಯಿಂದ ಬಂದ ಅಕ್ಕ ಚೀಲವನ್ನು ಬಿಸಾಡದೆ ಮೇಜಿನ ಮೇಲೆ ಇಟ್ಟಳಲ್ಲ. ಆಗಲೇ ಅದರಲ್ಲೇನೋ ಗುಟ್ಟು ಇರಬೇಕು ಅಂತ ಪುಟ್ಟಿಗೆ ಅನಿಸಿತ್ತು. ಯಾರಾದರೂ ಹುಟ್ಟಿದ ಹಬ್ಬಕ್ಕೆ ಕೊಟ್ಟ ಚಾಕಲೇಟು ಇರಬಹುದು ಅಂದುಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದಳು. ಆದರೆ…
“ಓಹೋ. ಎಷ್ಟೊಂದು ಪುಸ್ತಕ. ಎಷ್ಟೊಂದು ಬಣ್ಣ.”
“ಏಯ್ ಪುಟ್ಟಿ. ಅದು ನಂದು ಪುಸ್ತಕ. ಮುಟ್ಟಬೇಡ.” ಬೆನ್ನ ಹಿಂದಿನಿಂದ ಅಕ್ಕ ಹೇಳಿದಳು.
“ಪುಟ್ಟಿ. ಅಕ್ಕನ ಚೀಲ ಮುಟ್ಟಬೇಡ ಅಂತ ಹೇಳಿದ್ದೆ. ಮೈ ಮೇಲೆ ಬಿದ್ದಿದ್ದರೆ?ʼ ಅಮ್ಮ ಕೂಡ ಬೈದಳು.
“ಅಕ್ಕ, ಅಕ್ಕ. ಪುಸ್ತಕ ಕೊಡೇ? ನಾನೂ ನೋಡ್ತೀನಿ.”
“ಏಯ್ ಹೋಗೇ. ನಿಂಗೆ ಓದಕ್ಕೆ ಬರೆಯಕ್ಕೆ ಬರತ್ತಾ? ದೊಡ್ಡವಳಾಗು ಆಮೇಲೆ ಕೊಡ್ತೀನಿ.”
ಈ ದೊಡ್ಡವರೆಲ್ಲ ಹೀಗೇ. ದೊಡ್ಡವರಷ್ಟೆ ಪುಸ್ತಕ ಓದಬಹುದು ಅಂದುಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ನಂಗೆ ಅಕ್ಷರ ಗೊತ್ತಿಲ್ಲದಿದ್ದರೆ ಏನಂತೆ? ಈ ಬಣ್ಣ, ಬಣ್ಣದ ಚಿತ್ರ ನೋಡಬಹುದು.
“ಅಕ್ಕ. ಚಿತ್ರ ನೋಡ್ತೀನಿ ಕೊಡೇ?”
“ಬೇಡ ಪುಟ್ಟಿ. ಅದು ಶಾಲೆಯ ಪುಸ್ತಕ. ಆಮೇಲೆ ನೀನು ಹರಿದು ಹಾಕಿದರೆ. ದೊಡ್ಡವಳಾದ ಮೇಲೆ ನಿಂಗೂ ಇವೆಲ್ಲ ಸಿಗುತ್ತೆ.” ಈಗ ಅಮ್ಮನ ಸರದಿ.
“ಪರವಾಗಿಲ್ಲ ಅಮ್ಮ. ನಾನು ಬರೇ ಚಿತ್ರ ನೋಡ್ತೀನಿ.”
“ಹೋಗೇ. ಹೋಗೇ. ಅದು ಇಂಗ್ಲೀಷು ಬುಕ್ಕು! ಇದು ದೊಡ್ಡ ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಪುಸ್ತಕ ಗೊತ್ತಾ? ನಿಂಗೆ ಅರ್ಥ ಆಗಲ್ಲ.”
“ಇಲ್ಲ ಅಕ್ಕ. ನೋಡು. ಇದು ನಾಯಿ. ಇದು ಮಂಚ. ನಾಯಿ ಮಂಚದ ಕೆಳಗೆ ಏನನ್ನೋ ಹುಡುಕುತ್ತಾ ಇದೆ. ಅಲ್ಲವಾ? ನೋಡಿದ್ಯಾ?”
“ಓಹೋಹೋಹೋ. ಓದಕ್ಕೆ ಬರತ್ತಂತೆ. ನಾಯಿ, ಮಂಚ ಸರಿ. ಇದು ಏನು ಹೇಳ್ತೀಯಾ?”
“ಯಾವುದು? ಇದಾ?... ಇದು… ಇದು…”
“ನೋಡು. ನೀನು ಇನ್ನೂ ಚಿಕ್ಕವಳು. ಚಿತ್ರ ನೋಡಕ್ಕೂ ಬರಲ್ಲ.”
“ಇಲ್ಲ ಅಕ್ಕ. ಅದು ಏನೋ ನಾನು ನೋಡಿಲ್ಲ. ಅದು ಏನದು ಅಕ್ಕಾ?ʼ
“ನಾನೂ ನೋಡಿಲ್ಲ. ಆದರೆ ಅದು ಏನು ಅಂತ ನಂಗೆ ಗೊತ್ತು. ಅದಿಕ್ಕೆ ಹೇಳಿದ್ದು ನೀನು ದೊಡ್ಡವಳಾಗಬೇಕು ಅಂತ.”
“ನೀನೂ ನೋಡಿಲ್ಲವಾ? ಮತ್ತೆ ಅದು ಹೆಂಗೆ ನಿಂಗೆ ಗೊತ್ತಾಯಿತು? ಏನದು?”
“ಅದು ಪ್ಲಾಟಿಪಸ್ ಅಂತ. ನಮ್ಮ ಟೀಚರ್ರು ಅದರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಹೇಳಿಕೊಟ್ಟಿದ್ದರು.”
“ಓ. ನಾನು ನಾಯಿ ಅಂದುಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದೆ. ಈಗೇನಂತೆ. ಪ್ಲಾಟಿಪಸ್ ಅಂತ ಹೆಸರು ಅಷ್ಟೆ ತಾನೇ. ಆದರೆ ಅದು ಈಗ ಮಂಚದ ಕೆಳಗೇ ಇದೆಯಲ್ಲ.”
“ಆದರೂ ಪ್ಲಾಟಿಪಸ್ಸೇ ಬೇರೆ, ನಾಯೀನೇ ಬೇರೆ ಗೊತ್ತಾ?, ಅಕ್ಕ ಹೇಳಿದಳು.
“ಅದೇನೋ. ಎರಡೂ ಪ್ರಾಣಿಗಳು ಅಷ್ಟೆ.” ಎಂದಳು ಪುಟ್ಟಿ.
ಹಂಗೆಲ್ಲ ಗೊತ್ತಿಲ್ಲದ ವಿಷಯ ಓದೋದು ಕಷ್ಟ ಗೊತ್ತಾ? ಅದಿಕ್ಕೆ ಮೊನ್ನೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಟೀಚರ್ರು ಬೈದಿದ್ದರು.”
“ಟೀಚರ್ರು ಬೈದರಾ? ಯಾಕೆ? ನೀನೇನು ಮಾಡಿದೆ?” ಅಮ್ಮ ಅಕ್ಕನನ್ನು ಕೇಳಿದರು.
“ಏನಿಲ್ಲ. ಪ್ಲಾಟಿಪಸ್ ಹೆಸರನ್ನ ಬರಿ ಅಂತ ಡಿಕ್ಟೇಶನ್ ಕೊಟ್ಟಿದ್ದರು. ನಾನು ತಪ್ಪಾಗಿ ಬರೆದಿದ್ದೆ.”
“ಯಾಕೆ? ಅವತ್ತು ನಾನೂ ಹೇಳಿಕೊಟ್ಟಿದ್ದೆನಲ್ಲ? ಮರೆತು ಹೋಯಿತಾ?” ಅಮ್ಮ ಕೇಳಿದರು.
“ಇಲ್ಲಮ್ಮ. ಮರೀಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಇಂಗ್ಲೀಷಲ್ಲಿ ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿ ಗೊತ್ತು. ಪಿ ಎಲ್ ಎ ಟಿ ವೈ ಪಿ ಯು ಎಸ್ ಅಂತ. ಆದರೆ ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಬರಿ ಅಂದರು. ಬರೆದಿದ್ದು ತಪ್ಪು ಅಂದರು.”
“ಓಹೋ. ಸರಿ ಬಿಡು. ನಿಂಗೆ ಒತ್ತಕ್ಷರ ಇನ್ನೂ ಕಲಿಸಿಲ್ಲ. ಅದು ಹೇಗೆ ಅದನ್ನ ಬರೆಯಕ್ಕೆ ಆಗತ್ತೆ?” ಅಮ್ಮ ಹೇಳಿದರು.
“ಅಲ್ಲಮ್ಮ. ಅಕ್ಕ ಇಂಗ್ಲೀಷಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೀತಾಳೆ. ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಯಾಕೆ ತಪ್ಪು ಮಾಡ್ತಾಳೆ?”
“ಪುಟ್ಟಿ ಅದೆಲ್ಲ ಗೊತ್ತಾಗಕ್ಕೆ ನೀನು ದೊಡ್ಡವಳಾಗಬೇಕು. ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಸ್ಪೆಲ್ಲಿಂಗು ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಕಷ್ಟ. ಇಂಗ್ಲೀಷಲ್ಲಿ ಹಾಗಲ್ಲ. ಅದಿಕ್ಕೆ ಇಂಗ್ಲೀಷು ಹೆಸರನ್ನ ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆಯೋದು ಕಷ್ಟ. “
“ಅಕ್ಕಾ ಅಕ್ಕಾ. ನಿಂಗೆ ಈ ಪುಸ್ತಕ ಓದಕ್ಕೆ ಬರತ್ತೆ ಅಲ್ಲವಾ? ನೀನೇ ಓದಿ ನಂಗೆ ಕಥೆ ಹೇಳ್ತೀಯಾ?”
“ಓ ಅದಕ್ಕೇನಂತೆ? ಹೇಳ್ತೀನಿ.” ಅಡ್ವೆಂಚರ್ಸ್ ಆಫ್ ಮಿರಿಂಡಾ – ದಿ ಪ್ಲಾಟಿಪಸ್.
“ಏಯ್ ಅಕ್ಕ. ನಂಗೆ ಅರ್ಥ ಆಗ್ಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಹೇಳೇ?
“ಅದು ಹೇಗೆ ಹೇಳಲೇ ಪುಟ್ಟಿ. ಇದು ಇಂಗ್ಲೀಷು ಪುಸ್ತಕ.”
“ಅಕ್ಕ. ನೀನು ಓದಿದ್ದೀಯಲ್ಲ. ನಿಂಗೆ ಕಥೆ ಗೊತ್ತಿರತ್ತೆ. ಅದನ್ನೇ ಹೇಳೇ?
“ಏಯ್ ಹೋಗೇ. ಅದೇನು ಅಷ್ಟೊಂದು ಸುಲಭ ಅಂದುಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದೀಯಾ?”
“ ಅಕ್ಕ. ಪ್ಲೀಸ್ ಹೇಳೇ! ಯಾಕೆ ನಿಂಗೂ ಅರ್ಥ ಆಗಿಲ್ಲವಾ?”
“ಓ. ನಂಗೆ ಅರ್ಥ ಆಗಿದೆ. ಆದರೆ ಇದು ಇಂಗ್ಲೀಷು ಅಲ್ಲವಾ ನಿಂಗೆ ಗೊತ್ತಾಗಲ್ಲ ಅಂದೆ ಅಷ್ಟೆ. ಸರಿ ಹೇಳ್ತೀನಿ ಕೇಳು. ಇದು ಮಿರಿಂಡಾ ದಿ ಪ್ಲಾಟಿಪಸ್ಸಿನ ಸಾಹಸಗಳು.”
“ಮಿರಿಂಡಾ, ಪ್ಲಾಟಿಪಸ್ಸು, ಅದನ್ನೂ ಇಂಗ್ಲೀಷಲ್ಲಿ ಹೇಳಕ್ಕಾ?”
“ಅಯ್ಯೋ. ಅದು ಹೆಸರು ಕಣೇ. ಅವನ್ನ ಇಂಗ್ಲಿಷಲ್ಲಿ ಹೇಗೆ ಹೇಳೋದು?”
“ಮಿರಿಂಡಾ ಒಂದು ಪ್ಲಾಟಿಪಸ್ಸು. ಪ್ಲಾಟಿಪಸ್ಸು ಅಂದರೆ ಗೊತ್ತಲ್ಲಾ? ಅದು ಒಂದು ಮ್ಯಾಮಲ್?”
“ಹಂಗಂದ್ರೆ. ಹಂಗಂದ್ರೆ.. ಹಂಗಂದ್ರೆ… “
“ಅಕ್ಕಂಗೂ ಗೊತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ. ಅಕ್ಕಂಗೂ ಗೊತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ.”
“ಏಯ್. ಸುಮ್ನಿರೇ. ಗೊತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ ಅಂತಲ್ಲ. ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಏನಂತಾರೆ ಗೊತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ. ಮ್ಯಾಮಲ್ ಅಂದರೆ ಹಾಲು ಕುಡಿಸೋ ಪ್ರಾಣಿಗಳು ಅಂತ ನಮ್ಮ ಟೀಚರ್ರು ಹೇಳಿಕೊಟ್ಟಿದ್ದಾರೆ ಗೊತ್ತಾ?.. ಇರು ಅಮ್ಮನ್ನ ಕೇಳ್ತೀನಿ. ಅಮ್ಮಾ. ಅಮ್ಮ. ಮ್ಯಾಮಲ್ ಅಂದರೆ ಏನಮ್ಮಾ? ಅದೂ ಹೆಸರಾ?”
“ಮ್ಯಾಮಲ್ಲು ಅಂದರೆ ಸ್ತನಿ ಅಂತ ಮಗಳೇ. ಅದು ಗುಂಪಿನ ಹೆಸರು. “
“ಮತ್ತೆ ಹೆಸರನ್ನು ಹಾಗೇ ಇಡಬೇಕಲ್ಲವಾ?”
“ಇದು ಹೆಸರು ನಿಜ. ಆದರೆ ಇದು ಒಂದು ಗುಂಪಿನ ಹೆಸರು. ಇಂಥವರದ್ದು ಅಂತ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಅದಿಕ್ಕೆ ಇದನ್ನ ನಾವು ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಬೇರೆ ಹೆಸರಿಟ್ಟು ಕರೀಬಹುದು. ಸ್ತನಿ ಅಂತ ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಹೇಳ್ತೀವಿ.”
“ಸರಿ. ಪ್ಲಾಟಿಪಸ್ ಒಂದು ಸ್ತನಿ. ಅದು ಮೊಟ್ಟೆ ಇಡುತ್ತದೆ.”
“ಹೂಂ. ಗೊತ್ತಾಯಿತು. ಅದು ಈಗ ಏನನ್ನೋ ತಿನ್ನಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗ್ತಾ ಇದೆ ಅಲ್ಲವಾ?”
“ಪುಟ್ಟಿ. ಜಾಣೆ ಕಣೆ. ಅದು ಹೆಂಗೇ ಗೊತ್ತಾಯಿತು?”
“ಅಯ್ಯೋ ಅಕ್ಕಾ. ಈ ಚಿತ್ರ ನೋಡು. ಪಲಾಟಿಸ್ಸು ಆ ಪಾತ್ರೆ ಕಡೇನೇ ನೋಡ್ತಾ ಇದೆ. ಆ ಪಾತ್ರೇಲಿ ತಿಂಡಿ ಇದೆ ಅಲ್ಲವಾ?”
“ಪುಟ್ಟಿ. ಅದು ಪಲಾಟಿಸ್ಸು ಅಲ್ಲ. ಪ್ಲಾಟಿಪಸ್ಸು. ಆ ಪಾತ್ರೇಲಿ ಇರೋದು ಚೀಸು”
“ಪ..ಪಪ..ಪಲಾಆಆಆಟಿಪಸ್ಸು… ಸರೀನಾ… ಇಂಗ್ಲೀಷಲ್ಲಿ ಯಾಕಪ್ಪ ಅಷ್ಟೊಂದು ಕಷ್ಟದ ಹೆಸರು ಇಡ್ತಾರೆ.”
“ಪುಟ್ಟಿ. ಹೆಸರು ಕಷ್ಟ ಅಲ್ಲ. ನಿಂಗೆ ಓದಕ್ಕೆ ಬರಲ್ಲ. ನೋಡು ನಾನು ಓದಲ್ಲವಾ?”
“ಹೋಗಕ್ಕ. ನೀನು ದೊಡ್ಡವಳು. ಆಮೇಲೆ ಆ ಚೀಸು ಬೆಣ್ಣೇನಾ?”
“ಅಯ್ಯೋ ಪೆದ್ದಿ. ಚೀಸು ಬೆಣ್ಣೆ ಅಲ್ಲ. ಅದು ಚೀಸು.”
“ಆದ್ರೆ ಬೆಣ್ಣೆನೂ ಹಾಗೇ ಹಳದೀಗೆ ಇರುತ್ತೆ ಅಲ್ಲವಾ?”
“ಹೋಗೆ ಪೆದ್ದಿ. ನಿಂಗೆ ಏನೂ ಹೇಳಿಕೊಡಲ್ಲ. ಸುಮ್ಮನೆ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆ ಕೇಳ್ತಾ ಇರ್ತೀಯಾ? ಅದು ಇಂಗ್ಲೀಷು ತಿಂಡಿ. ಅದನ್ನ ಚೀಸು ಅಂತಾರೆ. ಅದು ಬೆಣ್ಣೆ ಅಲ್ಲ.”
“ಊಊಊ… ಅಮ್ಮ. ಅಮ್ಮ. ಅಕ್ಕ ಪೆದ್ದಿ ಅಂದಳು.” ಪುಟ್ಟಿ ಅಳುತ್ತಾ ಓಡಿದಳು.