Eli Puli - it's becoming a household name for many parents with young children learning Tamil as a second language. The month of June is dedicated to this brilliant initiative in driving the love of Tamil into many young hearts. We, ThinkTamil Academy, had a quick chat with Abhi Krish, the brains behind Eli Puli.
What inspired EliPuli, & when did EliPuli become a full-fledged initiative?
My son was 2 when I realised he was deeply interested in exploring English picture books with me but not as much in Tamil. Even at that young age, he was able to sense the disparity in themes, characters and quality of print. That disparity had a visible impact on how fast, and smooth, his learning journey was for English and how far behind he lagged for Tamil. I wanted to do something to make Tamil fun and interesting for him through stories and songs, and that's where the idea for EliPuli was born.
I first started toying with the idea in May 2018 and took the step towards launching in December that year. EliPuli still functions very much as a blog, dependent on bits of time I have available as a full-time mother.
A little background information about life pre-EliPuli?
I was a relationship manager with experience in tech development, project management and social media marketing. I also have a background in design.
What are the books that you have authored?
I've published three bilingual e -picture books for free reading titled, Mongal Stole Pongal (Jan 2019), Meng Was Thirsty (Water Conservation Month, March 2019) and The Big Bad Kurattai (Tamil Language Month, April 2019).
I'm working on a 4th free story, Bunny's Birthday, planned for publishing by end-June 2020.
I've authored more than 30 other Tamil stories and will be bringing them into physical print progressively.
Besides spearheading EliPuli, what do you like to do during free time that contributes to your passion for language?
EliPuli is a physical representation of my passion for language. I go through 30-40 storybooks a week with my kids and draw inspiration from our small interactions to write imaginative stories and songs. I also adore animated movies and take the time to watch them whenever I can. I enjoy rhyme and find it helpful to read poetry and even listen to good Tamil music to analyse how different rhyme schemes have been set up. Language is all around us, I tend to pick up on little things that I hear or read and explore them in great detail.
Any future plans on the line?
I am publishing a bilingual sing-along book titled, Sing-along with EliPuli. It covers 8 common English nursery rhymes with lyrics in Tamil that can be sung to the same melodies as the English versions. Every verse has its own page and illustration, making it easy for kids to associate the words/new vocabulary to visual cues. Audio will also be made available so it's easy to follow.
I am launching my own mini imprint called Nool Monsters this year. Nool means book in Tamil and NM will function both as EliPuli's publishing wing and also a fun book club for children. I am hoping to release 5-6 picture books through Nool Monsters over the next year.
We wish Abhi all the very best for her future endeavours!