The Alligator and the Stapler’: Author Shazi Zaman pens magical tales in children’s bookOf talking alligators and crying staplers: author Shazi Zaman creates a magical universe

NewsDrum Desk
New Update

New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) An alligator that talks, a stapler that cries tears of loneliness, a kitchen that doles out words of wisdom and is temperamental enough to literally run away... they are all part of journalist-writer Shazi Zaman's magical universe where “everything speaks provided you listen”.

In “The Alligator and The Stapler and other Magical Tales”, his first book for children, the author conjures up fantastical stories and characters, evocatively illustrated by Papiya Saha.

The inspiration for “The Alligator and The Stapler…” came from his twin daughters’ love for stories during the lockdown.

“During the lockdown, I began telling stories to my twin daughters about magical occurrences that bring them closer to things and beings around them, where the world around them—the trees, the birds, and many things—speak to them. They discover that everything 'speaks' only if you listen to them,” Zaman told PTI.

His daughters, Tara and Arzoo, who are now seven, also figure in the stories as main characters.

In the title story of an alligator and a stapler, the sisters come across the big and kind lizard that finds the likeness of a “baby alligator” in a stapler and wants to take it home.

The stapler, having heard words such as family and love, comes alive at night and wants to be reunited with its “alligator Pa” but at the same time does not want to leave its “didi” behind.

The emotional stalemate is ended by a wizened Ashok tree who says, “If you open your heart, you would realise that everybody around you is your family.” In another story titled “The Day the Kitchen Ran Away”, the twin sisters are taught a lesson by their humble kitchen to respect food and cleanliness. Or else, it will run away.

Other stories in the book unravel similar fascinating adventures of Tara and Arzoo as they find snakes and ladders from their board game alive and talking. There is also the cuckoo clock and elephants on the curtains who decide to come alive.

An author of three novels, including the historical fiction titled “Akbar”, Zaman said that he returns to “his childhood interest of telling stories to children”.

“A storyteller need not be bound by his past. Having said this, let me admit that with these stories I return to my childhood interest of telling stories to children. For almost a decade I was a storyteller to young listeners of Akashvani (All India Radio). This phase began when I was in Class 6 I think. I am happy to be resurrecting it,” the author said.

“The Alligator and the Stapler…”, published by Om Books International, is available for purchase across online and offline bookstores. PTI MAH MIN MIN