Last week I spent a day at the Chandigarh Children’s Literature Festival 2014, hanging out with readers and schoolchildren from the city as well as hobnobbing with fellow authors and storytellers.
My session was titled “Unwelcome guests: Is a ghost in your PC ever good news?” It was an interactive one-hour session, where the audience and I exchanged notes about various spooky stuff. There was some reading from my book There’s a Ghost in My PC, followed by some more exchanges about strangers and other unwelcome guests, in computers or otherwise.
The kids ranged in age from about 8 to 15 and, compared to a similar session I’d done in a Delhi school, they were impressively aware of cybersecurity. Interestingly, very few were on social media (that is, Facebook) and were suitably circumspect about computers that started talking to you for no reason.
The session ended with a lucky draw, where three of the kids won a copy of There’s a Ghost in My PC. There was also a handout titled “Staying Safe is Important” that was distributed to the audience. (The safety tips are simple things young people can do to stay safe. If anyone wants a copy, please get in touch here or through the Facebook page.)
The other fun thing about this trip was that I got to hang out with other authors and illustrators. Samina Mishra, Priya Kuriyan, Ranjit Lal, Devika Rangachari, Sampurna Chattarji, Srivi Kalyan and Shweta Taneja, to name some. We even managed some sightseeing—Sukhna Lake and the astounding Rock Garden created by Nek Chand.
(Photo credit: Priya Kuriyan)