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Who is Chatur Chanakya and Why Should Children Meet Him? Radhakrishnan Pillai Answers

Radhakrishnan Pillai now writes for your young ones! Little Chanakya goes to school, standing up to bullies and maneuvering his way through tricky situations we all may have found ourselves in sometimes. But what inspired this journey? Let’s find out!   

From Corporate Chanakya to Chatur Chanakya, what inspired this transition in writing for a different audience?

It was a new dimension for me. Even though the common connect between Corporate Chanakya and Chatur Chanakya is the same – Chanakya, it is very differently presented. Corporate Chanakya was meant as a management book especially for those who are in management and leadership positions. The audience was educated and already decision makers. While Chatur Chanakya was a different aspect. Reaching out to children who are 10 years old. The challenge was to make the profound knowledge of Chanakya from the Arthashastra, to be presented in a simple format.  When the puffin team approached me with this concept to write for kids, it was a challenge. But I got inspired to try a new way of writing. And thanks – the book has really come out well. Much better than what was expected.

Is the character of young Chatur inspired by anyone from your life?

Yes and No. Chatur Chanakya is an imaginary character. Just like Superman, Batman and Chota Bheem. These characters are imaginary but have a message to give to kids. Through Chatur Chanakya we are going to bring out the best of wisdom of Chanakya (who lived nearly 2400 years ago) and his Kautilya’s Arthashastra. He was a leadership guru and a king maker. Chatur Chanakya will teach children how to think and become a leader. The other children in the book are inspired by real children. Arjun is the name of my son, who is the friend of Chatur Chanakya. Lakshmi is inspired by my daughter (her real name is Aanvikshiki). While Datta, Aditya and Milee are their friends. All of them become part of the book.

What is so special about Chatur and why should children befriend him?

Though a comic character. He is very real. Because he is a school going kid like any child of our generation. He has all the challenges that is faced by kids today. Be it bullying in schools, exam fever, being compared to other kids (even parents do that). So any one can associate with Chatur Chanakya. He is cute and nice. But he is also a fiend, philosopher and guide to his other classmates and friends. He is your friendly neighbour and ‘best friend’. He has got a choti on his head and a trick up his sleeve. You will love him. Not only children, but parents, grandparents and even teachers in schools will love Chatur Chanakya. He is what everyone wants in an ideal child – Intelligent and dynamic.

Tell us that one thing in Chatur Chanakya and the Himalayan Problem that one should look out for.

How to think out of the box. Chatur Chanakya faces a huge problem. Himalaya is a class mate of his, who is huge and bullies everyone. While Chatur Chanakya is not physically as strong Himalaya, he uses his intelligence to defeat Himalaya. So through this book we are giving a message to children, teachers and parents that – If you are mentally strong you can defeat any Himalayan (huge) problem.

Revisit school and relive all the memories with your little one in Radhakrishnan Pillai’s Chatur Chanakya and the Himalayan Problem!

7 Quotes that Sum up the Brilliance of Chanakya’s Wisdom

Chanakya was one of the best strategic thinkers the world has ever seen. In the fourth century BC, he wrote the Arthashastra, an unrivalled political treatise that has since been used by leaders across the globe.
In Inside Chanakya’s Mind, Radhakrishnan Pillai, the best-selling author of Corporate Chanakya, takes us deep into the teachings and philosophy of Chanakya. He will guide readers through Kautilya’s art of thinking through his very practical and innovative approach.
Here are a couple of quotes from the book that highlights the brilliance of Chanakya’s mind.



Introduction to Aanvikshiki – An Excerpt

Let me begin with a story.
There was once a child. Whenever he did something wrong, others used to tell him, ‘Why are you making so many mistakes? Why can’t you understand things well? Can’t you think properly?’
When the child went to school, he was brought up in an examination system instead of an education system. When he did not do well in his exams, his parents and teachers used to say, ‘Why can’t you study properly? Think about what we tell you, otherwise you will not only fail in your exams but also fail in life.’
As a teenager, he fell in love and had his heart broken. His friends told him, ‘We had told you not to go after that girl. Why did you not take our advice?’
When he got out of college and worked in various companies, his bosses would say, ‘Your effort is important in work—but what matters more is the result. Think about it and you will succeed in your career.’
When he got married, had children and was bestowed with the responsibilities of a householder, the elders in the house would advise him. They said, ‘Remember and understand your duties. No one can run away from it. It is part and parcel of life.’
Then came a stage in his life when his children were settled and he was close to retirement. His friend asked him, ‘Have you thought about what you are going to do post-retirement? Do you have a plan?’ He did not.
Finally, he was old and alone. His wife had passed away, his children and grandchildren were busy with their own lives, and he had nothing much to do. He had all the time in the world to look back and ponder over his life.
While reflecting upon every stage of his life—as a child, student, teenager, professional, homemaker, he was constantly advised by others to ‘think’, to succeed in life and to avoid making mistakes.
He hadn’t really got a chance to do an in-depth reflection on the word ‘think’ at all.
Now, for the first time in his life, he was ‘thinking about thinking’.
But was it too late?
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All his life, he had been told by others to think. But no one actually taught him ‘how to think’.
Does the story tell you something? Does it ring a bell inside your head?
Do you think this story has a connection to your life?
If you really ‘think’, you will understand that this is a story about all of us. This is a story of every man and woman, every child, every teenager, every professional, the young and the old, the married and the unmarried.
This is the story of you and me.
Strange but true, one can lead one’s whole life without thinking.
What a tragedy.
Now let us reverse this story.
Imagine if you were taught how to think from the very beginning, the moment your thinking faculties develop. Instead of loading the child with information, if one taught the child the right methods of thinking—analysis, decision-making, prioritizing, planning, structuring, critical evaluation, logic—things would be different. You would question when questions are required. Accept others’ views where it is necessary. Think through all the consequences. Take calculated risks and, without doubt, you will be far more successful. You will be successful not only at the very end, but also at every stage of your life.
In this book, we present something very interesting: Some methods and techniques of thinking, the philosophy of thinking and alternative ways of thinking. This book is simple yet profound. It will lead you to something that will ignite your mind and intellect.
In a sure yet subtle way, it will change your thinking. It will add a new dimension to your views about life in general. I hope the book becomes a silent killer. It will kill various misassumptions you had in the past. It will kill your ignorance and make you happier. If understood from the right perspective, it will kill your ego. You may die internally once, only to live a full life again.
Most importantly, you will enjoy this journey—it is fun. It will help you discover yourself all over again.
Let us call this process an adventure in thinking.


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