The occasion was graced by the presence of Hindi fiction author, Prem Pal Sharma and Manas Ranjan Mahapatra, editor at the National Book Trust of India, who was instrumental in the publication of the translations of Cheng’s book. Cheng was accompanied R Sangitha and Kusha Grover, students, in an enrapturing rendition of Water in all three languages. Following was an exciting and energetic interaction ever witnessed by the young learners of Ahlcon.
The author spoke to the students about his passion and motivation for writing. Cheng shared, ‘I started reading as soon as I could hold a book and began my writing career by writing on the walls at the age of three’. He is influenced by the utopian world of Narnia created by C.S. Lewis, his favourite author.
When asked his opinion about the moral lessons he wishes to teach the children, Cheng said ‘I doesn’t start writing with a didactic in mind. Instead, I simply write what occurs to me at the time.’ In conversation with the Principal Ashok Pandey, Cheng lamented one possible reason for the children, shunning books and reading is that their parents don’t read themselves.
The bookWater conveys the message to value this resource and endeavour to save it.