Educational psychologist in Chennai pens stories for children

Padmini Janardhanan

Chennai: “I’m on print, therefore I exist,” wrote Anne Lamott in the critically-acclaimed book Bird by Bird. For writers, getting their work published is by far (and perhaps) the only goal they aim to achieve.

And then there are those who focus more on the craft of writing, the sheer joy they get when jotting down their emotions rather than worrying about getting their work published.

Fifty-six years old Padmini Janardhanan, an educational psychologist from Vadapalani, is one such writer who has dived into the world of words.

Unlike other writers, Padmini’s journey to writing was a bit different. She preferred to gift her short poems and monologues to her friends and loved ones.

This happened when she was in college. “It was perhaps my way of getting accepted by my classmates as someone with special skill,” she recalls her days as a young literary wordsmith. It was great to see how they reacted when I gave them my writings, she says.

After under graduation, Padmini got married. She later became a counsellor and a psychologist, helping many young ones. Eventually, she let go of writing and also lost some of them during the 2015 Chennai floods.

Yet again, fate had other plans. Padmini got in touch with Sundarajan who was part of the India Poetry Circle, a large group of poets and writers from across India. “I met him on a train journey and soon I got in touch with more writers and poets,” she reminisces.

Padmini credits IPC members for reviving her long-lost love for writing. She informs that she is consistently encouraged to improvise and her writings get critiqued.

She was also nagged by her two grandchildren to tell stories. Padmini opted to restructure traditional stories by spicing them up with her own imagination. “I gave it to them and they loved it,” she beams.

She has written ‘Less Known Avatars of Vishnu‘ which has a child-friendly narration of 10 other less-spoken avatars of Lord Vishnu.

Today, Padmini also writes material used during educational workshops. It was natural to end the conversation by asking her why one should write. “When you write as a creative expression, there comes a connection between the left and right side of the brain,” she says clinically. “It is essential for our mental growth.”

Padmini, who plans to publish more of her writings soon, can be reached at 98411 14166.

Mohammed Rayaan