What will be the first word you say, I wonder? Your mom’s first word was ‘Dadda’ and your nanu’s happiness shot through the roof that day!
But there’s still some time for all that. For now, you love to listen your mom’s voice as she feeds you, soothes you, cares for you. I remember how attentively you, just four days old, listened to the story of the very hungry caterpillar as he chomped his way through pears and plums and pies. Of course, you didn’t understand a bit but the sounds were getting engraved in your mind.
You will be fascinated by other tales your mom tells you. You will love the three little pigs and their escapades; you will be enthralled by Jack and his magic beanstalk; you will listen wide-eyed when the big brown bear becomes a prince in golden armor!
For the moment, your own imitation games are on! You try to imitate everyone you see and everything you hear. And soon you will begin to use the same expressions and gestures when you play with your toys and cars and blocks, and as you grow older, invent characters and events and tales!
But you know what? It is not just you little ones who make up stories! We adults spin stories too and these stories help us make sense of the world around us. Two people live together within the bond of marriage, hundreds of men and women work in a company, thousands of people commit themselves to a country, millions believe in a common God… all these bonds and relationships are figments of our imagination; myths that keep us rooted in life.
And language has helped us pass these commonly believed stories from one generation to the next for tens of thousands of years. Indeed, it is storytelling that has kept us human and made us the most powerful race on earth.
Arham, this incredible journey of life – and yours has just begun – is nothing but a story.