The Coronavirus pandemic has induced extreme fear of the most basic human touch, for obvious reasons. Consequently, our homes have been converted into workspaces, technology has taken over and transformed the meaning of human contact from tangible and real, to virtual.  One has more time on one’s hands to introspect, to catch up with old friends, update oneself regarding the happenings in the world, and even share one’s stories and knowledge now. As a result, the most inspiring, shocking, entertaining, even absurd content has been floating on the internet even more than before, and more importantly, people have begun to pay attention to it.

With so much virtual information available at one’s disposal at any moment, it can get extremely difficult for a person to identify what genuinely helps them get through this period of uncertainty, anxiety and stress, and what is relevant to their situation.

However, most of us have also immersed ourselves into the classic magical, and wise world of books. One book that is extremely relevant in this pandemic is “The Tale of Makkhilal”. “The Tale of Makkhilal” is a children’s book authored by Geeta Dharmarajan and illustrated by Charbak Dipta. It is so fitting in today’s times for one primary reason — health and hygiene.

Have you noticed that a lot of people have taken up a healthier lifestyle lately — Yoga, mindfulness, homecooked meals loaded with fruits and vegetables, regular handwash, sanitization, and improved sterilization? It is noteworthy that families that were ignorant towards hygiene, and kept their homes unclean, are today trying to boost their immunity and pay attention to their surroundings. In this context, this poem is a wake-up call for all those who still don’t understand the importance of being healthy and germ-free. In fact, this book motivates its young readers to actively educate everyone around them about the consequences of dirty and unkempt spaces.

The book is even available as an e-book, which further makes it easier and accessible for us to yoke the information provided in this book, especially at this time.

Now, how do you motivate your children to fight for all the causes that set their heart on fire, when they’ve been feeling caged at home for four months now? “The Tale of Makkhilal” stimulates the leader within each child and provokes them  to start a revolution towards all the noble causes they want to fight for. Yet, the foremost reason for children to read this book should be the fact that the bright visuals and clear wording takes them a step closer to the lively and colourful atmosphere of their schools and parks that they dwelled in during pre-COVID times.

This article has been written by Rhythm Gupta, a volunteer at Katha.