Was feeling a bit jaded with the ‘impersonal-ness’ and almost ‘plastic’ feel to Photoshopped illustrations. After unearthing my colour penciled pics of poor Ollie — Ruskin Bond’s ‘tragic hero’, I felt better. There’s something about the graininess of hastily used colour pencils. Ollie’s a youngish resident teacher at an all-boys’ boarding school. His tragedy is that he’s entirely bald. So is always the butt of the boys’ jokes. And like all hostels, the action begins after moonrise…flying wigs, sleepwalking students, ‘ghosts’, midnight violin concerts, etc.
A month or so back, I was majorly thrilled to hear that ‘A Pair of Twins’ has been nominated for the Amelia Bloomer List in the US. The ALA (American Library Association) has a Feminist Task Force that brings out a list of books featuring strong heroines….targeted at readers ranging from toddlers to teens. So here’s keeping fingers crossed that the twins move from nominations to actually featuring on the List. Check out more about the project, this year’s list and Amelia Bloomer herself, at:
I haven’t read ‘The Room of Many Colours’ in its entirety. The School Edition sends me a few chapters at a time, to be illustrated, at regular intervals and that’s how we’ve progressed so far. And since the book is really a huge collection of short stories and novellas, I’m never sure which part we’re at — the middle, or end.
The last story this week gave me a sense that the book is winding down. It has the feeling of an epilogue. An old Mr Bond, basking in the winter sun and looking back on a life time spent deeply involved in what appears to others as ‘doing nothing’! Considering he’s one of India’s most prolific writers, all those who swore he’d amount to ‘nothing’ must be turning in their graves!
Here are a pair of ‘before and after’ pics of a younger and older Bond…both on the same wall, doing nothing! I loved illustrating this story, particularly.
Last week, Himani, a friend from school, currently the principal of NPS Yelahanka, invited me to do a reading for the senior classes. Did anyone know there was something called ‘World Reading Day’? So ‘No 9 ….’ was given a good airing. I read and chatted with classes 7, 8 and 9, and enjoyed how responsive, confident and participative this bunch of kids were. It’s a brand new school, but what felt really good was how well-stocked the library was. Way to go, NPS Yelahanka!
Here’s a link to the review that also appears in Valsala’s blog ‘kidswanttoread’:
Here’s another one in The Hindu: