“Magic Mirror” and “Tikki Tikki Tambi” – Stories by Mallika

I always enjoyed being with children, observing and learning from them. They keep me wondering all the time. Their ability to create, innovate, think laterally amazes me.

I have always wanted to create a website with all the works of our daughter Mallika, as she is always in the mode of creating something new… she is restless to see her next creation. She has been voracious reader/listener. Indira, my better half, has been reading at least half a dozen books to her every day for the last six years. Mallika will insist. Incentive to Mallika for anything she does, has to be reading a book!! For the last fortnight we have been observing that Mallika’s interest has moved into creating her own stories and also giving shape to them as a theatre performance (looks like this has also been shaped by our weekly visits to theatre / music / dance performances)

The photos of the earliest readings with Mallika
The photos of the earliest readings with Mallika

Here are a couple of stores that she insisted that Indira write the moment she rushed from school last evening. Indira actually wrote two stories narrated. The moment I reached home, Mallika brings the notebook with these stories and insisted on my reading. These stories seem to have been influenced by discussions in her school. Yet, I was taken in and I thought I will blog it. So here it goes.

The language typed in here is as is… ENJOY

Story 1 : Magic Mirror

Once there was a hunter, who lived in Africa. Once the hunter found a snake trying to eat an Antelope. The antelope said, ‘please save me,’ I will be of help to you. The snake said, ‘no no, do not listen to him. I can give you gold or precious treasures or exquisite jewels with stones that are rare.’ The hunter started thinking. He decided to help the snake. He took out the knife and cut off the Antelope’s head. Before dying the Antelope cursed the hunter – “Whatever you get will destroy you and your country!!”

“Give me my reward,” said the hunter to the snake. “Let me digest my food. After one week and take your reward” said the snake.

After one week, the hunter came and found the snake. “Give me my reward,” asked hunter. “Come and hold my tail and come to take your reward,” said the snake. The hunter held the snake’s tail and started following him. The snake led him to a small staircase. They started walking down the dark narrow path. Suddenly some light started emerging from the snake. He turned into a man. He told – “I am the snake king. I live like a human in my land and a snake on your land. I give you one day for thinking what you want.” The man went to his room and saw a nutcracker was cutting wood to make beautiful stones. The man asked – “How can you make wood into beautiful marbles and stones?” The nutcracker asked why he was there. The man told the nutcracker of what the snake king had said. The nutcracker replied, “Ask for Sipao, the magic mirror. He can grant you anything you wish for.”

The man asked for Sipao, then next day. The king gave Sipao to the man. “Sipao, Sipao take me to Africa.” The man became the king of Africa.

The English people wanted to wage a war on Africa because they had golden huts and the straw was as red as ruby. When they waged a war, they were surprised to see African strength. They sent a spy to see what is the small secret.

The hunter kept the magical mirror with his daughter, Jinglao. His daughter was a great friend of the spy. The spy asked her how the gold came to Africa. She told everything to the spy and even showed him the mirror and told him how to use it. He wanted to fool the girl. He told her that he wanted to drink some coconut water. The girl agreed. “Give me Sipao, I can make the coconut sweeter that way.” The girl agreed and gave Sipao to the man. The man climbed up and whispered to Sipao, “Sipao Sipao take me to my land.” Sipao went as he was bid.

The English and Africans waged a war on each other. “Please Please Jinglao, give me my mirror,” said the hunter. “I don’t have it,” told her daughter. The man was upset. That way the Africans lost and became a poor country.

Mallika at Crafts Mela, Suraj Kund
Mallika at Crafts Mela, Suraj Kund

Story 2. Tikki Tikki Tambo

There was a man and a woman who had two sons. The elder one was Sam, the younger one was “Tikki Tikki Tambo No Sarimbo Hurry Kurri Bushy Perry Pem Do Hurri Kari Pom Pom Nikino Mino Dom Barrako”

One day sam fell in the well. The other boy went home and told his mother – “sam has fallen in the well.” Mother went to father – “your son has fallen in the well.” The man took it seriously. He got a ladder and sam came out.

They started playing again. This time, Tikki Tikki Tambo No Sarimbo Hurry Kurri Bushy Perry Pem Do Hurri Kari Pom Pom Nikino Mino Dom Barrako, fell in the well. So Sam went to his mother and said – “Tikki Tikki Tambo No Sarimbo Hurry Kurri Bushy Perry Pem Do Hurri Kari Pom Pom Nikino Mino Dom Barrako has fallen in the well.” Mother went to the father and said “Tikki Tikki Tambo No Sarimbo Hurry Kurri Bushy Perry Pem Do Hurri Kari Pom Pom Nikino Mino Dom Barrako has fallen in the well.” Father ran and got the ladder. When they reached the well, he had already died.

[Mallik said it was a sad story, the boy dies. He died because it to so much time every time to repeat his name. That is the reason Chineese do not keep long names for anyone]


Mallika @ SPIC MACAY gotipua/odissi intensive performance, IIT Kanpur
Mallika @ SPIC MACAY gotipua/odissi intensive performance, IIT Kanpur

The day before I was wondering what she was writing on a note book from an Amar Chitra Katha, Shakuntala. I noticed that she was scribbling all the characters from the story book. Against one of the characters, Shakuntala, the main protagonist of the story, she had written her own name – Mallika. On asking, Mallika shared that she has already planned the drama, Shakuntala and she is going to play the main character, and she is on look out for other actors… Then she went on to narrate how the story will unveil on the stage.. One of the scenes “When Dushyant has to go on a chariot, do you know how it will go? Two of the characters, who do not have a role in that scene, will hide inside the chariot and hold it and run across the stage. Dushyant also will be inside the chariot with his bow and arrow, and he will run along with the ropes of the horses in his hand.. It will look as if Dushyant is riding the chariot.” and her production narration went on…


Amazing how children can really imagine, relate and create…. If only we can facilitate their blossoming… I have to do a lot more..

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