While people his age love to get high on money and all things worldly, writer and blogger Tushar Upreti believes in getting high on life. His mission is to take small steps to a happy world, and in the process, he’s been working for the cause of children from the underprivileged backgrounds and helping them make the most of their ‘Days of Childhood’, which is also the title of his first self-published book, whose Hindi version ‘Chhutpan ke Din’ is the winner of India Media Festival’s Special Achievement Award in the category of bestseller in Children’s Literature.
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.” This quote of Mike Murdock is the way of life for Tushar Upreti. A graduate from Hindu College, Delhi University, Tushar went on to pursue Mass Communication from Indian Institute of Mass Communication, and went on to do regular 9-5 jobs in top media houses (both print and electronic), only to realise soon that his real calling was somewhere else. Tushar always wanted to do something for the society, but the turning point came when he met a group of underprivileged children at a friend’s NGO, who got the wheels moving.
Tushar ran from pillar to post, did days of research, and met hundreds of street children to understand what ails them and what can be done to make them live the days of childhood, happily. A great writer, orator and story teller that he is, Tushar started spending quality moments with street children both in Mumbai and Delhi. A series of story-telling session and constructive activities went on to finally take shape of a project called ‘Chhutpan ke Din’, which later became the title of Tushar’s first story book for children. The book was translated in English soon as ‘The Days of Childhood’.
Talking about the book and the process of writing, the writer, who has also written scripts for a couple of commercial movies and serials, says, “Although I did venture into commercial writing, the writer in me was more content and happy writing books for children. So, I decided to write stories from the life of you, me and people around. The book turned out to be an edutainment book, comprising of series of five stories revolving around life of children, across all states, cultures, religions and countries. The names may change, but the issues related to a child’s life are same across the globe, and that’s what makes this book have a global appeal.”
The five stories in the book are not fantasy stories; they address pertinent topics including, health & hygiene, man-animal conflict and issues related to childhood. The book was named ‘The Days of Childhood’ for a reason. Explains Tushar, “The days of childhood are the best days of life; we all want to relive them. And at the same time, as elders, we want that the childhood days of our children are nothing but the best. At a personal level, when I would see a child begging on streets, it would ache my heart. I wanted each and every child, irrespective of his social or financial background, to have a happy childhood. And thus I decided that my first book would be an ode to children; I wanted it to be a book of the children and for the children. And that’s why without focusing much on the visual appeal, I tried to bring out the best content that I could provide to each and every child – content comprising of stories that would make children, smile. I want this self-published book to reach out to as many children as possible, and would feel honored if it made a difference in the life of children.”
Penned straight from the heart, this book will make an instant connect with anyone who wants to relive the childhood days. The experiences shared by the writer through each story cross barriers of language, culture and age, and take the reader to a world of sheer happiness! An easy read, the stories focus on passing on life skills and healthy habits to children through interesting characters that stay with you even after you have read the book!