Guest Author
The Legend of Kitaanu – Chapter 17
Writer: Ragini Parashar
Illustrator: Arjun Nair

If you’re not familiar with the story so far, start here, at the beginning of the series. In Chapter 16, Kitaanu had successfully improved relations with the neighbouring kingdoms. He now had an important announcement for his subjects.

No glitzy decorations had been ordered for. The Maharaja’s smiling face, the sanitizer attack, the screams and the tragedy were playing in his mind. Suddenly, he sensed Rogaanu snapping his antennae to catch his attention, and cleared his throat. Kitaanu’s voice seemed croaky but the words came out effortlessly.

“Sixteen weeks ago, a superpower in me came to light. It made me special. It made me stronger than the other moskits in Annukulpuram. It also made me your ruler. Maharaja Annukul was a great king and so were the others before him. But the crown is powerless without the support of the people.”

He paused for effect. The moskits looked alert. He continued, “Our troopers and boffins have made our kingdom famous for the right reasons. We remain as alert as before and ever-ready to defend our borders. But we don’t attack first now. We’re glad to have made new friends and learnt new skills. The past week has been proof enough. We have a lot to see and do.

We’ll experience new frequencies; get ready to flap your wings. I’ve signed memorandums of understanding with various kingdoms. We’ll have moskits trained on foreign soil—in areas like technology, tourism, culinary arts and military exercises. Isn’t that a first for us restless moskits? Since you gifted me with your trust, I must present a return gift to you all—the new motto of our kingdom. Let’s join our antennae and live by it.”

A huge banner unfurled in the background. The moskits took a moment to read the words. And then came the happy chants.

‘Calm, Candid, Constructive!’


Annukulpuram has become more smelly, dirty, contaminated, greasy, stained—just like the moskits prefer it to be! But for a change, other kingdoms find it tolerable too, courtesy of Maharaj Kitaanu’s peace-loving ways. Air Annukulpuram runs direct flights everywhere. Professionals from other kingdoms make brief visits for the many exchange programmes that foster new skills and talents.

The bad moskits still exist. They like to live by the old rules—contaminating, choking and causing confusion. At times, even sucking the exotic blood of foreign diplomats! But that does not tarnish the legend of Kitaanu.

If you eavesdrop on colourful butterflies in gardens, or mosquitoes buzzing around a garbage dump, or ants marching up to build their nests or hungry bees licking nectar, you will hear this tale.

The clean palace’s gardens are now open to the common moskits. A section of the palace is now an international guest house—to entertain visitors who don’t relish the moskit way of life.

And Kitaanu?

He still rules from the clean palace, with Rogaanu by his side, and a huge trophy case full of hand sanitizers.


Ragini Parashar, who teaches English, conceptualized The Legend of Kitaanu after an interesting interaction with two kindergarteners who were obsessed with scented hand sanitizers. She hopes this tale will help young readers make peace with “the germs” around them. When she isn’t tracking the lives of microorganisms, Ragini likes to spend her time cooking, reading children’s stories, and listening to songs in languages she cannot speak. Also, Green Apple hand sanitizers are her favourite!

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