As long as a story is captivating, children will read

As long as a story is captivating, children will read

Arundhati Bhattacharya writes under the pen name of Nura Hatid

Arundhati Bhattacharya decided to pursue her passion for the English language after completing her post graduation in Physics. An alum of IIM Calcutta, she decided to start writing, and her first book  ‘The Adventure of Norbu- The Jade Sword’ was launched earlier this year. 

She writes under the pen name of Nura Hatid, and likes to weave in folklores into her stories. Her book is a fantasy novel for children. The story follows a young boy, Norbu, who along with his friends are looking forward to a fun-filled summer holiday, in an enchanting Mayal. They unravel a secret that triggers a wild adventure. 

What made you decide to write for children?

I am a Bengali, and we have a rich heritage of folk tales and I have also read folk tales from China and Russia. I have also been a fan fantasy fiction. I love how most of these stories are in fact fables. I wanted to present whatever is happening in the world around us, the intolerance and hate, as a fantasy, I would be able to help children understand these complex issues. 

Did you choose to incorporate folklore because you love them?

It is a mixture. I like folklore and I also feel like the children of today read a lot of fantasy. Remember the kind of fame and attention Harry Porter enjoyed? As long as the story is captivating, a child will read. That is also why I choose writing for children; I believe that reading helps improve imagination and balance both sides of the brain.

How did you choose the folktales that you wanted to weave into the story?

The north-eastern parts of India is kind of a mystery to many even though it has a lot of wealth of knowledge to offer. The story is based in Kolkata, where I was brought up, and north-eastern India though all the names have been changed. My story is also based on Bhutan and Sikkim. The Buddhist concept that the Maras are the bad people has been intertwined with the Chinese dragons. I have taken the help of various animals from Russian folklore and our own animals. 

Do you think that reading habits and choices among children have changed over the years?

Because of advances in technology or social media, children tend to read less, today. We used to read bigger books as compared to the current generation. Moreover, even within the story if the sentence is too long the child loses interest. 

Are you working on any other books?

‘The Adventure of Norbu- The Jade Sword’ is a two part story. I am working on the second part of this book and also a book for adults.

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