A write-up in the Hindu

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TWINS FOR HINDUHere’s a link to Sravasti Datta’s article after ‘A Pair of Twins’ featured on the Amelia Bloomer List’s Top 10. Loved the way she linked it to my earlier book and all that’s being discussed in the media, currently. Mildly embarrassed about the Kathakali like pose…!

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-metroplus/the-girl-who-wanted-to-be-a-mahout/article7021428.ece

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A new story begins today

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uncle, aunt,elephant logoOne more Bond book begins serialisation in the School Edition. Just when I feel like I know every aunt and uncle of the author’s, on a first-name basis, he pulls yet more relatives out of his memory…each more eccentric that the previous lot.

When an author writes in the first person, you’re dying to know which episodes are fact and which fiction. So reading up on his other books, I discovered his stories about moving to the UK as a young man, and how miserable he was in grey London. Reminded me of Gerald Durrell and family who were similarly depressed when returning to England from India.

The Amelia Bloomer Project’s Top 10 titles

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ABPTopTen2015 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/

Adrift

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Horizontal Java logo

From drawing stories featuring panthers, snakes and sundry other creatures of the mountains, ‘Escape from Java, and other tales of Danger’ by Ruskin Bondlast chap of Java, pic 1

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java 6, pic 1

java 6, pic 2Sita, part 1, pic 2

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!

sita 7, pic 1

Escape from Java, Chap 1 (grandpa's bath) pic 1 last chap of earthquake

Ollie’s Adventures

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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.

Ollie ad 2Ollie ad 3Ollie ad 5Ollie ad 4Ollie's adventures 1Ollie ad 6

The Amelia Bloomer Project

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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:

https://ameliabloomer.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/nomination-a-pair-of-twins/

https://ameliabloomer.wordpress.com/page/3/

Closing chapters

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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.

.young ruskin on the wall pic 1 older ruskin on the wall