About KathaKanchiki : Thatha and the Magic Grain

The story goes to Kanchi.

Telugu stories fo children begin with anaganaga (it is said and said and said…) and end with kathakanchiki, manam intiki (the story to kanchi, and us homeward).

That is the way we say ‘once upon a time’ in Telugu stories for little children. And we end them with ‘Katha kanchiki, manam intiki’. Which means the story to Kanchi and us to home. Manam is a special word in Telugu, which I am told few other languages have. It is the inclusive ‘we’, it includes the person that one is talking to.

Anaganaga was my favorite word as a child. Luckily for me there were four people in my family who used it frequently. My great-grand-mother (she lived till she was 95 and I was 14), my grand-father (he lived with us till he was 70+ and I was 15), my grandmother (she lived till she was 80 and I was 31) and my father who still loves to write and tell stories.

Our stories were never interrupted by commercials. Only by delicious snacks that my mother served up from time to time. The distinguished user of the magic word anaganaga.. Would adapt the tale depending on the light reflecting in our expressive, eager eyes, dragging out some parts, repeating some bits and skipping over unpopular parts. They were truly interactive, responding to our spoken and unspoken wishes.

What greater joy in life to have a grandfather recline in an easy chair and light his cigar and call for his grandchildren and use the magic word. Or to cuddle up on each side of grandmother and demand a story before our favorite lullaby “Chunchu duvvi pincham petteda, Gopala Krishna”. Or for father’s eyes to twinkle and shine indicating clearly that there was an “anaganaga” in the offing. Or to catch the eternally free great grandmother, Thathamma, and say, tell us a story, now, right away.

Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved:  Satya Sarada Kandula

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