Writer Write-Up: Jerry Pinto

- September 7, 2020


Jerry Pinto is one of India’s most celebrated writers, contributed some iconic books to Indian literature. In 2016, he won the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Windham–Campbell Literature Prizes for his bestseller ‘Em and The Big Hoom’. Jerry’s words charm audiences of all ages alike. Interestingly, the secret to his captivating style is keeping no rules in mind while writing.

“The purest form of writing is putting down your ideas on paper without thinking about where it is going to flow. Thus, doing it for the sheer fun of storytelling.”.   

Jerry’s popular title ‘Tickle me… Don’t Tickle Me…’ is a collection of humorous poems. In fact, one of the poems was created out of miscommunication between his sister and him. The author prefers poetry over prose, tracing his preference for verse to the womb.

“The first poem you ever hear is your mother’s heartbeat. It is the basis of all music you will ever hear. We pray in poetry and sing in poetry. Poetry is words set to music. Sometimes music plays and turns it into a song and sometimes the music is hidden, leaving it a poem. Keeping a poetry book by your side and reading one each day softens you, shapes you, and also makes you a better person.”

There weren’t many Indian writers who wrote exclusively for children back when Jerry was a boy. However, Mahatma Gandhi has been a childhood inspiration. Gandhji wrote letters to many people. He always spoke his mind and never shied away from owning his mistakes too, a trait Jerry truly admired. So how does he get such wonderful ideas?

“The world is the same for all of us. A writer just views it from a different perspective. For me, what starts a process is a series of ‘what ifs’. What if this happened? What if it turned out that way? It is all about the unusual angle a writer sees and presents in the story.”

Watch the video to learn more about Jerry’s journey so far, and to enjoy watching him read an excerpt from his book ‘Tickle Me… Don’t Tickle Me…’.

#ACKandFriends is a weekly live show by our Amar Chitra Katha editorial team, where we connect with India’s top children’s authors and give audiences a sneak peek into the creative process behind writing books for kids. 

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