Last week, ‘A Pair of Twins’ made it from ‘being nominated’, to actually getting onto the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project List for 2015….and it gets better….the book is among the Top 10! So for 18 months, ‘twins’ Sundari and Lakshmi will be on this fabulous list of books that’s circulated amongst libraries in the US. Read more about Amelia Bloomer and this list at https://ameliabloomer.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/2015-amelia-bloomer-top-ten/
required me to shift gears and come down to sea level. An aborted plane ride from Java to Bombay during WWll, ahead of the invading Japanese, leaves the hero and his father adrift in the Indian ocean. Another novella in the book has a gutsy little heroine called Sita, holding fort alone on an island in a flooded river. Even the stories that are set up in Assam, have a watery motif — the hero’s grandpa spending hours splashing away in his tub! During and after an earthquake!
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:
A few years back when a publisher of text books asked me for a short story on a sports hero, I picked on Chikka Muniyappa. His is the classic heart-warming tale of a poor boy whose parents were daily wage earners. He begins working as a caddie at the KGA golf course in Bangalore. Soon he discovers he’s good at the game. With help from many club members, he masters golf, becomes an amateur and then turns professional, travelling across India and even abroad. I’d forgotten about the story since the publisher hadn’t mentioned it after the first print run. Till someone spotted this in the Hindu’s sports page. Apparently, the textbook publishers’ accounts dept had lost track of the story since editorial had changed the headline and not informed them about it!
Muniyappa looks so happy to be in a text book. I’m thrilled he got to see it.
P.S. For the record, the illustrations aren’t mine.