Languages of India for Kids (Author Interview)

Can you tell us a little about Languages of India for Kids?

Languages of India for Kids is a collection of simple phrases in 18 common languages spoken in different parts of India. The book helps kids recognize the various scripts, and helps them say the phrases with a phonetic description. The visuals provided also show kids on a map where a language is spoken, and what people in those regions dress like. There is incredible diversity across India, and this book is a gentle introduction for kids to that beauty.

What motivated you to write the book?

It was originally my wife’s idea. As immigrants and new parents, we found ourselves frequently in a situation of wanting to expose our kids to things we learned growing up, but not having the resources to give them something meaningful. Sure, there are lots of blogs, videos and other online resources, but we were also trying to minimize screen time for the kids. My wife was trying to gather material to teach our kids Gujarati, which is her mother tongue, and I pivoted from that idea to pull together an introduction to other languages of India too. 

What age group did you write the book for?

The book was primarily intended for pre-school and school-aged kids, though I have received feedback that even older kids and young adults have found the simplicity and visual aspect of the book appealing.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am an explorer and tinkerer, and use that side of my personality in my work as a Technology Strategy Consultant every day. I grew up in New Delhi and moved to the US for my studies, and eventually stayed for work. As a parent, I try my best to engage my kids in different kinds of activities. I enjoy reading a lot, and use my free time to work on side projects like writing books or helping non-profits do more good by leveraging technology tools.

How long did it take you to write Languages of India for Kids?

It took a few months for the idea to really crystallize into what ended up in the book. Initially I tried various approaches and didn’t find them engaging so I continued to pivot and try different topics and ways to put it together. Once I started on the idea of collecting phrases in different languages, it took me about 6 months of research to find all the phrases across different languages, and outline the visuals to go with them. It took me another 2-3 months to find an illustrator that could portray the concept close to what I had in mind. Once I had completed the manuscript and illustrations were ready, it took another 2-3 months to get through the publishing process and get an actual printed copy in hand.

Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing Languages of India for Kids?

There were a few languages that didn’t have much information available online, and I couldn’t find anyone in my network that spoke those languages. For instance, Meetei Mayek is spoken in the east Indian state of Manipur, but there is very limited material available online that’s written in the language or provides the basic introductory material I was looking for. I was able to find the phrases as written in english text, and had to create the words in their script using Wikipedia pages. I had to confirm the text by going to social sites like Reddit and getting feedback from people that were willing to help out.

What do you like to do when not writing?

Between work, chores at home and activities with kids, there’s not much time left to do other things. When I can, I get books from the library to read (and love just browsing children’s books there). I also try to follow a routine that helps me keep me physically fit, mentally engaged and spiritually centered.

Where can readers find out more about your work?

I am working on my next project, which is a fiction story of a young girl finding ways to combine her passions and interests with fitting in. She uses her kindness and intellect to make friends and help others.

Readers can read about my other initiatives on my website,, or follow me on Instagram @dhruvgami.