Its all about loving your children!

Directed by Nadira Zaheer Babbar

Written by Kshipra Shukla

Synopsis: is performed by the children of Ekjute’s Young Talent Group

(aged 5 – 14 years) and enjoyed by children of all ages ! The play is situated in a jungle called Hariyali Forest where lives our main protagonist Sargam. Sargam’s mother Koyal abandons her in a crow’s nest for selfish motives. Kagi, the crow mother gracefully takes the abandoned Sargam under her wings. In another part of the forest, Baaz Bahadur, king of Kanha Forest, decides to hold a singing competition. Kagi encourages Sargam to participate in the singing competition and helps her fight against all odds and evil plots hatched against her. Sargam works hard and, with the support of her family and friends, emerges the winner AND proves that good always wins over evil.

The set of the jungle and the costumes in the play are right out of a fairy tale and the catchy songs and music make a complete fun filled experience for children and their parents !!

Reviews is a play that leaves the audience ,adults and children alike spell bound with it’s magic. This is Ekjute at it’s best.

– DNA (Mumbai)

Ekjute artists with 30 child actors ranging from 6 year olds to 14 year olds put up a true professional play. Kuddos to Nadira Babbar and the work she is doing with children through Ekjute’s Young Talent Group.

– Hindustan Times (Mumbai)

(Mithlesh Maihar had the children rolling in the aisles with his antics. The other actors of Ekjute, Vijay Singh,Deep,, Rajiv,Sangam and Ashwini gave stellar performances. The children from the Ekjute workshop were as good as the others. All said and done this play enchanted the children completely.)

– Navbharat Times (Mumbai)

One hour of pure entertainment for the kids. Go for it this holiday.

– Bombay Times (Mumbai)

(All material extracted from the Ekjute web-site)


The Bird’s Tale  is one of the parts of the series called Melody which is a part of The Collected Tails of Jungle Land . There are seven such series with fourteen books in each ( seven in English and seven in Hindi ) which make up the Collected Tails of Jungle Land

Critical appreciation by Mr. Vinod Tiwari.

(Well known journalist, writer and editor)

The world of children is wonderful; it is a world of imagination and color. We, as adults, may be forever curious about this world but we never invest it with serious thought. We assume that children will be children, what is the need to invest their world with depth? We forget the well known adage that, “The child is the father of man.”

Mrs. Shipra Shukla, through her play, “The Bird’s Tale”* reminds us that what, at the first glance, appears to be childlike, at least we adults should not be childish enough to assume that it is for children only! The characters she has created- Crow, Thrush, Frog, Crane, Rabbit, are all attractive to children. Their appearance and antics may be attractive enough to entertain the children but this is not the reason why these characters are in a league of their own. The main reason is the thought which flows below the surface. At times it makes the reader laugh and at times it tickles his funny bone with its sharp wit and along with this the writer’s control over her craft keeps our curiosity alive so that we read on and become cognizant of the social malaise she hints at. If we read this play from this point of view then we realize that this play is as much for children as it is for adults for the characters which please the children, simply and smoothly speak of those matters to adults which, very often, even the headlines in newspapers and experienced cartoonist are unable to express.

The plays that are written in Hindi are hardly any. The ones that are written are those that are inspired by alien cultures and as such are far removed from the Indian sensibility. Shipra has managed to bind together folks with varied sensibilities, from the dyed in the wool proponents of the western culture to the caring, nurturing Indian thought processes and produced a creation which should not only be welcomed in schools but every theatre lover should have a copy of it.

Congratulations to Shipra are in order on her maiden attempt. Her creations will continue to exhibit her novel and new shades of writing – that is my heartfelt good wish.

(Translated from Hindi by Shipra Shukla) 

*Kissa Koyal Ka


The Bird’s Tale”*- what a tale and the opportunity to read this tale was given to me by the writer Mrs. Shipra Shukla when she handed me the book and said, ‘please give your opinion.’ Now, I am not a playwright who would adeptly give her “critical appreciation.” I am definitely a reader and believe that every reader has his own take, his own sensibility, when he reads a story. When reading this story some may say it is inspired by political compulsions and others will say it is a story to entertain children and succeeds in keeping their interest alive – different strokes for different folks. Now, since I can humbly claim some understanding of literary matters and some skills in the screenplay writing department – moreover, I am a “mom” – so for me it was primarily the story of an ambitious mother, selfish actually – a phenomena which is the result of the fast changing social, economic and political environment of our times. This mom is a cuckoo who abandons her helpless baby in the mother crow’s nest and flies off to fulfill her various aspirations to become the court singer in the Kite- King’s court ; she does not want to know nor even cares what happens to the child she left behind.

As is de rigueur of writing of any genre the sensible writer who seeks to garner interest in his story will create ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ elements and, finally, the victory of good over evil – for even though one may cling to evil in multiple ways – there is a place in our heart which constantly beats with the feeling that , “ it may happen that good does not win, maybe those who fight for it go through much pain but even so, “good” is the ultimate “truth” and “truth” is “God”. In “The Bird’s Tale” the writer, too, subscribes to this thought.

The story of the protagonist Cuckoo wends its way through many interesting twists and turns to the point when her singing begins to lose its charm, her persona dwarfed and she is on the verge of total rejection when, at the opportune moment, arrives her youthful daughter Melody who is now capable of trouncing her own mother by her winning notes; who, then emerges victorious and by her talent occupies the space left by her defeated mother. She now becomes dear to her selfish mother who claims her as her own flesh and blood and herself as the ‘real’ mother but Melody vetoes the thought: for her it is the motherly crow who cared for her with selfless love,the ‘real’ mother. Furthermore, Melody rejects the ‘golden cage. She chooses to live with the mother crow and her jungle friends and breathe the free air which resonates with her melodious singing.

So this is the entertaining “tale” which Shipra Shukla has weaved so skillfully around the contemporary social and political environment and made it eminently ‘readable’. To tell her “tale’ she has created many black, white and grey characters; there is music, comic relief, political shenanigans; the language is simple and every day and the environment is jungle and yet modern. The political touches are those that are present in any family or society. There is a glimpse of the tried and tested formula of “divide and rule” – and by the time we reach the end the ogre of evil is vanquished and truth prevails.

I thoroughly enjoyed “The Bird’s tale”* read, so when are you going to read this “tale?”

( Original review translated from Hindi by Shipra Shukla)

*Kissa Koyal ka

Published by Collected Tails of Jungle Land

Collected Tails of Jungle Land Alphabet Stories OH MY DOG series

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