I guess this is not just about the 90’s kids; all children love to do two things: visit grandparents’ (food being the obvious reason) and listen to stories. 23 years later, I even will enjoy doing it now. I remember lying on my paati’s lap and passing the lazy afternoon by listening to her go on and on and on about this person and that person. Reading Bijnis Woman highlighted how vital such stories are in our life, for they make us who we are.

My Inc’read’able India journey took a turn through Uttar Pradesh. Tanuja Chandra blatantly captures the very stories she grew up listening to. Such stories are cardinal because they set our moral code and ethical value system. These stories also prepare us by acting as a guide to how we should be a member of the bigger society. The stories in the book are ingrained in her heart, and these stories give a good sense of how Uttar Pradesh is.

Some stories about Uttar Pradesh’s stories seemed to be illogical, hilarious, and unreasonable. There is a keen sense that you would need to elicit the underlining message from the book. The message also reveals itself when we re-read such stories a few years later. People were simple, stuck to tractions, and kept their pride high and close to their heart. Understanding the simpletons gives us the real picture. These stopes are a record of ordinary people who lived through their unique times and circumstances.

A state that is big in size and heart was because every person has a deep sense of love and care for each other. This forms the base and is taught as a value. We do forget how to care for each other, and in such times, some choose not to care for the other as well. The identity of the self is built right from the childhood days. People would not mind fighting for what they believe in. No matter how painful it can be, they never let it hinder their growth and progress.

Of course, every action gets its deserved and appropriate reaction. Our value system and history can remain intact through the generations to come only through the customs and traditions we follow. UP as a land always provided for the most deserving, and in the journey, unlikely relationships can boost your zeal to grow.

Such lessons, although are ingrained in every civic community, stories from UP’s people have inspired the author to write this book. The people are still experiencing love and wonder, and with the stories they hear, they in-turn teach the generations to come.

The MAK Tip

Take honour and be proud when you write about your land. This frames the history book for the generations to come. They will form their identity based on what you write.

From this angle, this is a great responsibility. India is filled with stories. Just as writing them, reading and drawing out the message from other stories can be equally fun.

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