THE TANK OF MEMORIES/यादोंसेभरीटंकी
Vinatha Viswanathan
THE TANK OF MEMORIES/यादोंसेभरीटंकी by By Kavitha Punniyamurthi. Kavita Singh Kale. Translated into Hindi by Kusumlata Singh Children’s Book Trust, 2023, 16 pp., INR 60.00
November 2023, volume 47, No 11

A young boy comes home from school one day to face the loss of his Dadu. Aayan has many memories of his dear grandfather that he cherishes. He thinks of his Dadu with fondness and sadness. However, that is not all that troubles him. His grieving Dadi is difficult for him to watch. To cheer her up, he finds a way to honour and celebrate his Dadu’s life with his Dadi and the family’s memories with him, especially those of Dadu and Dadi with each other. He builds his Dadi a tank of memories.
A heartwarming tale of a close-knit family’s loss as seen by a child. Death, loss and how children and other family members deal with it in their own ways is a topic that has been explored in too few books. In addition, most of these are in English and CBT’s translation into Hindi is welcome. Kavitha Punniyamurthi has captured well the thoughts of a young child—the memories, the details that children remember about people, often little things that adults don’t register or remember. She also uses Ayaan’s eagerness to please his Dadi and make her smile again to showcase the good memories of his Dadu and Dadi, their struggles and hard work in the making of this joint family. The illustrations by Kavita Singh Kale suit the tale, even add to the text—portraying how everyone else seems to get on in some way with their lives while Dadi does not do so for many months. The Hindi translation is stilted at some points though it makes for a much smoother read than Kusumlata Singh’s earlier work.
The Tank of Memories won a prize in the Category Social and Emotional Learning(5-8 years) in the Competition for Writers of Children’s Books organized by CBT.