I grew up loving stories. Any chance to listen to, or narrate one, I'd be there in the front row. I’m also a strong believer in coincidences. It helps to hold the faith that life brings you some of its best experiences when you’re not looking for it. There’s no better explanation for why I was in the IIT Research Centre auditorium last Saturday evening for Poo Media’s video launch.
Much like me, a majority of the audience had come in without much clue of what we had signed up for. Most of the adult crowd were parents who had taken their kids out on a lazy weekend. There was a good student crowd as well, having somehow found out that an event was happening on campus. Then, of course, there were the kids, mostly restless, some screaming and running around, all impatient for the stories they were promised.
If there’s one thing I learned that day, it’s the fact that we’re never too old for stories. That was something the team at Poo Media Works realised far back when they built this startup amidst the pandemic. Poo paatu or Poo’s songs are the kind of tunes that the young and old can vibe to and sing along with equal gusto.
Poo Media comes from a place of immense love and adoration for stories. These are tales of childhood when everything, from playing in the neighbourhood park to going out to sea, is an adventure. Poo brings home some of the most loved storylines that we all grew up with, but this time, with a relatable Tamil child protagonist. There’s Nalli, scampering around the village looking for her little lamb, Neelavalli. We have ThangaManga who gets lost in the jungle, only to find a whole new world through the eyes of her animal friends. There’s Kurinjivandi, a bus that takes you up the hills if you can just scream its name out loud.
Poo follows the unbounded imagination of a child’s mind all the way up the hills and over the trees, into the seas, jungles and late into the nights to create vivid visuals of childhood shared with friends. The settings spanning across urban and rural life all highlight a sense of community and togetherness, much of which the pandemic childhood has missed out on. After seeing the team leader, Ramya Shanmugam in action, it isn’t surprising that the stories also show brave, venturing female leads in familiar everyday situations; be it ThangaManga navigating a jungle with her animal friends or the unfazed female bus driver at the wheel of Kurinji vandi snaking up and down the hill.
I’m happy for the generation that will grow up watching cartoons with children dressed like them, talking in their mother tongue, eating their food and living in places they’re familiar with. Surely, the sense of cultural recognition and belongingness Poo will plant in young minds is going to make all the difference in the world.
I, for one, can vouch that everyone at that screening left cherishing stories we had gathered in our life, and all of Poo’s latest additions to it.
Poo Media’s songs and music videos are now streaming on youtube under the name Poo paatu.