M3 Features

Children’s book in digital avatar

বাংলা

May 27, 2014

Childhood days are best spent listening to stories. Circling around grandmother or grandfather with cousins and getting glued to their storytelling is one of the best moments of life. Quivering under the blanket listening to ghost stories when the lights are off or plunging into the world of fantasies listening to fairy tales - remembering those days makes us yearn to go back our childhood days.

Our childhood stories revolved around Abol Tabol, Thakumar Jhuli, Tuntunir Boi, among others. Now, in the days of mobile apps, an audio-visual application on Upendrakishore Raychaudhury’s Tuntunir Boi is going to be launched. In this app, illustrations, music and singer Srikanto Acharya's voiceover will accompany the stories.

Acharya's wife Arna Seal, who conceptualised the app, said, "I have been involved with children's creative activities for long. So I feel this is a natural progression. In English, this is a widespread phenomenon, but in Bengali, this is the first time an audio-visual app has been created on children's storytelling platform. The illustrator, Mayukh Chatterjee, an art college student, has recreated the typical Upendrakishore drawings, only this time, they're in colour." The app, 'Tuntunir Boi', has eight of his popular stories, a biography, along with words about him from Leela Mazumdar, Sukumar Ray and more, collected from various writings.

"Like everyone else, I read these stories as a child, and I love acting. So, on getting the chance to do storytelling in Bengali, I was very excited. It may seem to be for kids, but in terms of listening pleasure, parents too will love it. It will bring back their childhood memories. I used various voices for different characters like Tuntuni, the king, and Narahari Das - the ram who is a lion's uncle," said Acharya. "Even after extensive research, our team couldn't find any apps based on Bengali literature except one on Rabindranath Tagore. So we decided to take up Upendrakishore, who is one of the most important figures in the world of children's literature. The app was submitted to Apple today, and all Android and iTunes users will get to enjoy it in two weeks," said Anindita Banik of Druidendo, the company that has developed the app.

But nothing can replace good old books, feels author Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay. "It's a good idea. Bengali books are easily available even in the US, I've seen it myself. But perhaps this will draw non-readers to the charm of storybooks," he hoped.

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