The moment I finish the lesson for the day, my students start shouting, “Teacher, O. Henry story.” I had promised them a-story-a-day!

I have told my class all the O. Henry stories that I could remember. By now, they even know the famous ‘O. Henry twist’. The other day when I narrated a real-life incident the students pointed out that it was like an O. Henry story. This writer is a big hit in my class. The students are looking for his books in the library.

After O. Henry, I went on to short stories written by Maupassant, W.W. Jacobs, George Orwell, Ruskin Bond, R.K. Narayan, incidents from Charles Dickens’ and Shakespeare’s books too and stories of unknown writers.

Little did I realize then that indirectly I was getting them interested in reading. Every day some student or the other brings some book to me, just to show that he or she is also reads books of such classic writers!

It is a pleasure and gratifying feeling to know that children can appreciate the subtle humour, sorrow and other emotions found in many of the stories. Even at a time when they are exposed to the melodramatic serials churned out on our television channels.

Some day, when are grown-ups, I am sure they will remember the stories and themselves go to read the originals!

– Ms. Radhika Iyer