Project: Stories Were Taught To Us

My dear Friends – those I know and those who will get this message through others,

My very best wishes to you.

There is a project that I have had in mind for a long time in my attempt to understand the world we live in – to collect the household legends that we are brought up with. The stories that we were told in our childhood. The role models that were shown to us. The people we were told were those we should look up to. The ‘lessons’ and ‘morals’ that were taught to us. All of these helped to mould us, give us our vision of the world, our impressions about others, our prejudices, likes and dislikes.

The nature of these stories will differ from place to place, community to community, country to country. The stories that a Marwari or Gujarati child hears from his mother and grandfather (father is in the shop selling – not telling stories – ;-))) are different from those that a Dalit child hears. The stories that the child of a religious scholar hears will differ from those that the child of schoolteachers hears. Stories that a child from a family with many people in the military are different from those that a child born in genteel poverty in a home that once was that of a noble family from a bygone age, are different. And so on.

Not all stories will be ‘nice’ in our present day, politically correct way of thinking. But don’t worry about that. Say it like you heard it. Only the truth can set us free.

I believe we can understand each other much better if we know what these stories are and so I am collecting these stories and am writing to ask for your help in sharing them with me.

When this is done, each selected story in the book will be published with the name of the person who sent the story. The story may be edited for grammar and spelling but I will endeavor to leave it as it is to the best of my ability.

I am doing this project purely for research and hopefully for people to enjoy and so will not take any royalty if it is published. Any royalty that may accrue will be given to charity – specifically to village primary schools. I will also make this book, when it is finally done, available as a free download from the net.

I will greatly appreciate your own contribution and request you to widely circulate this on your networks. I request you and those who contribute to please keep the same subject line so that I can find the stories in case Google decides to send them off somewhere.

With all good wishes

Yawar Baig