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MinMini Reads: Paati Goes Viral by Prabhu Viswanathan

Paati Goes Viral by Prabhu Viswanathan (Karadi tales) is a small chapter book for middle graders and also adults  who love to read a feel-good story. This is the heart-warming story of Paati a.k.a Latha Krishnaswamy, the much beloved blogger and influencer in the making. It is about Paati and her grandson Dhruv’s quest for bringing alive her lost memories through photos with help from social media. Random strangers from her recent travel to Europe open up to her, a kind grandma sharing their big or small experiences.

Dhruv’s Paati was excited. She was to travel to England, Paris and Rome on a much needed ten days holiday trip to Europe with Thatha. Thatha was excited for he could finally click photos of their travels with his DSLR camera instead of his mobile phone. Sadly, just one month before their trip he passes away.

Amma requests Paati to travel solo creating new memories with the beloved DSLR. She travels, happy with all her new experiences, but upon return she was sad. The reason? Her DSLR is stolen in England. All the images of her travel lost. Dhruv wants his old smiling Paati back and goes to his best friend Bragg for help. After putting their thinking caps on and with help from Bragg’s mother they come up with a brilliant idea. Why not take the help of social media to recover Paati’s lost photos? Is that even possible, too far-fetched? Can the internet work its magic? Will readers take notice of a grandma from India and her grandson’s plea for help? Does kindness still exist for random strangers to come forward to help? Help does come from many quarters and in a way they could not even imagine.

A simple story narration indeed by Viswanathan, but wrapped up in many layers of heartening emotions. A story of bonding. How small acts of sharing kindness by random people in your travels can bring  alive an avalanche of stored memories. Even grandparents can read this story and get an idea or two about sharing their anecdotes and travelogues of their travels.

This story took me back to my father and his love for clicking tons of photos on all of our travelling holidays. He painstakingly would mention behind the date of travel and who all are in the clicks. They would then be put in the photo albums. The stories would emerge when we would flip through the album. But now I wonder what would happen if the camera would get lost? The internet did not exist then. How would he recover them? Would a kind stranger come to the rescue? Luckily, now we have the internet and can digitalize all the images. Also, perhaps just like Paati we too could take the help of the internet and have total strangers helping us out with forwards and tweets. The world is filled with honest helpful souls!

MinMini Reads: Paati Goes Viral by Prabhu Viswanathan is a heartwarming tale indeed! Introduce it to children who have just started off with chapter books. Of course, it will also appeal to all readers because of the very contemporary and refreshingly different theme.

Poyani Mehta

Poyani Mehta is a former School Librarian, the co-host of Stories Between the Lines-A Podcast, a freelance storyteller, performs in theatre for children for the Secret Passages Storytelling Circle. She is a team member of the PeekABook Children Literary Festival. She is a bibliophile, rescues injured birds and enjoys spending quality time with her young daughter and Shanti, her indie pariah dog who lives across the street.

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